Seattle – Rep. Dave Reichert and Sen. Patty Murray will hold a press conference today to discuss the new legislation that would grant Wild and Scenic River protection to the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers, safeguarding clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, and excellent hiking, fishing, and paddling opportunities for millions of people in western Washington. Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson and Tom O’Keefe of American Whitewater will also speak at the conference.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act, which was introduced on March 27, also includes wilderness protection for an additional 22,000 acres in the Alpine Lakes region. It was developed in consultation with many local stakeholders and input from a coalition of conservation and recreation organizations including American Rivers.
Bonnie Rice, Associate Director of Conservation for the Northwest regional office of American Rivers, made the following statement:
“We applaud the bipartisan work of Congressman Reichert and Senator Murray for championing these Wild and Scenic designations that will safeguard two of Washington’s great rivers. This bill would give these rivers the protection and recognition they deserve and strengthen Washington’s Wild and Scenic system, which includes the Skagit, Sauk, Suiattle, Cascade, White Salmon, and Klickitat.”
“Wild and Scenic designation will protect these rivers’ pure water, abundant fish and wildlife, and recreation opportunities. And, as we’ve seen with other Wild and Scenic rivers in the Northwest and across the country, this special designation can bring real benefits to local economies and communities.”
“The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River is one of the nation’s outstanding free-flowing rivers and offers easy access to many exceptional recreation opportunities, such as scenic hiking trails and whitewater rafting, that are enjoyed by thousands of visitors and local residents.”
“It is rare to find a truly wild river so close to a major metropolitan area. But this is exactly what we have with the Pratt River, a tributary to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and one of the last wild, pristine rivers in western Washington. It is rivers like the Pratt and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie that make living in this part of the Pacific Northwest so special.”
“Protecting rivers like the Pratt and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie, and the clean water that they provide, is an important component in ensuring the overall health and recovery of Puget Sound.”
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.