Each year I make a pilgrimage (well, make that multiple pilgrimages) to Washington’s Teanaway country. The Teanaway, so named due to its proximity to the mighty Teanaway River and its tributaries, is known for its abundant recreational opportunities, including horseback riding, fishing and hiking, spectacular vistas of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Stuart and beautiful early summer floral displays and a stunning golden larch bonanza in the fall.
Much of Teanaway country borders the highly popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the North Cascades, but the Teanaway itself is largely an Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA).
As one of Washington state’s largest IRAs, the Teanaway joins other IRAs in the state to account for a total of 2 million acres of pristine roadless forests that provide vibrant habitat for fish and wildlife, clean drinking water for communities and outstanding recreational opportunities for Washingtonians to enjoy.
At the end of April, Washington governor Christine Gregoire joined neighboring Oregon state governor Ted Kulongoski in calling for Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to enact permanent protection of these unique wildlands.
“I write to ask your help to protect inventoried roadless areas in Washington state and across the nation. The vast majority of Washington citizens have joined me in support of full protection for our national forest roadless areas, ” wrote Gregoire.
Gregoire and Kulongoski join other governors in requesting that Secretary Vilsack protect roadless forests, such as the Teanaway.
Whenever I need an escape from the hustle and bustle of Seattle, I must only take a short two-hour drive to Teanaway country to soak in the expansive views and get my hiking fix. With this special place — and many like it across the nation — so close to populated areas yet so wild, it is time that they become preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Teanaway Roadless Area, Washington. Photo by Andrea Imler.
Esmerelda Basin in Teanaway Roadless Area, Washington. Photo by Andrea Imler.