Congress votes to expand Alpine Lakes Wilderness, protects 3 rivers

The U.S. Senate voted today to protect land in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley. The bill had previously passed the U.S. House.

The bill now heads to the president for his signature.

The protections include the addition of 22,000 acres to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Additionally, the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and the Pratt River received protection as wild and scenic rivers. Illabot Creek, which flows into the Skagit River, was also designated a wild and scenic river.

“After seven years of hard work, we are elated to see the Alpine Lakes and Illabot proposals for new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River protections pass Congress,” said Tom Uniack, conservation director for Washington Wild. “The patience and leadership of Senator Patty Murray has paid off in the waning days of this Congressional session.”

The new wilderness adjoins the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The new addition is north of I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass. Check out this map for an overview of the area. (New wilderness is in purple.)

I’ll have more about the area, including the recreation opportunities in the area, on Sunday.

You can read a press release with more details about the bill here.

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