A National Treasure: Washington State’s North Cascades

One of the gems of the North Cascades: Mt. Shuksan. Photo by Jim Nelson.

One of our top priorities in the Pacific Northwest is the North Cascades Initiative. Rising from lush valleys to Mount Baker’s 10,778-foot peak, the North Cascades are in greater Seattle’s backyard and is the most glaciated area in the Lower 48.

Glaciers carved many of the deep valleys and cut mountain sides much steeper than those on the higher peaks of the Sierra Nevada or Rockies. The North Cascades are one of the few intact ecosystems in the Lower 48 that is wild and large enough to support wide-ranging species such as grizzlies, mountain lion, and wolves.

Wet and rainy on the west and desert-like on the east, it features tremendous diversity. Much of the area belongs to all Americans: places like North Cascades National Park and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee national forests.

We are determined to preserve the area’s wild beauty, build its reputation for world-class recreation, and support robust and economically viable human communities. We want to turn the region into a classroom for those with limited exposure to nature. We are building a coalition of businesses, grassroots groups, and a wide range of others who love this region and are willing to act creatively to preserve the North Cascades for future generations. If we plan for the future, we can shape it.

Visit www.experiencewilderness.org to learn more about the North Cascades Initiative.

photo: One of the gems of the North Cascades: Mt. Shuksan. Photo by Jim Nelson.