Alpine Lakes bill gets a House hearing – first since 2010

Middle Fork Snoqualmie River

Photo courtesy of Washington Wild.

Today, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Wild and Scenic Act (H.R. 361) was heard before the House Natural Resource Committee’s Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.

The hearing is the first step the Alpine Lakes bill must take in order to be heard and voted on by the entire House of Representatives.

Alpine Lakes was first passed by the House in 2010, but failed to pass the Senate that year. Now Alpine Lakes has passed the Senate and we’re hopeful it will be smooth sailing through the House and on to the President’s desk for his signature to make the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Act the first wilderness bill to pass Congress in Washington state since 2008. If passed by the House this year, the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers will be the first wild and scenic rivers designated in the state since 2005.

“The Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions are 22,000 acres of spectacular valley forests,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, Pacific Northwest regional representative.  “Protecting this land not only secures important habitat for wildlife such as elk, bears and bobcats, it also allows people to enjoy these wild lands and rivers now and in the future. We can’t thank Congressman Reichert and co-sponsor, Congresswoman DelBene, enough for their outstanding leadership and drive to keep Alpine Lakes moving through the House.”

What’s Next?

Now that the Alpine Lakes bill has been heard in committee, it moves on to what’s called “markup,” a process where amendments can be added on to bills. Once a bill has been marked up, it moves to the House floor to be heard and voted on by the entire House of Representatives.

For those who have followed the Alpine Lakes bill over the years, you know it’s been a long journey. We are incredibly close to the finish line and we look forward to the bill making to the President’s desk in the near future.

 

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