Documentary Highlights Environmental Stories Behind Washington's North Cascades

Jan 13, 2010

SEATTLE — Imagine a place that is one of the largest and wildest left in the United States. A diverse landscape that has more glaciers than any other place outside of Alaska; where clear, cold rivers give rise to much of the fresh water that flows into Puget Sound and the Columbia River; and is home to one of the largest winter migrations of bald eagles and a healthy return of the magnificent gray wolf. This place is right in our backyard; our own national treasure — the North Cascades.

A group of businesses and organizations — including The Wilderness Society, REI, the North Cascades National Park, the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, the Okanogan – Wenatchee National Forest, the North Central Washington Economic Development District, the North Cascades Institute, KCTS 9 and the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway—have come together as a part of the North Cascades Initiative to connect people and communities to the North Cascades and inspire the next generation of stewards.

As a part of this unique partnership, the organizations are proudly anticipating the premiere of North Cascades: People, Places and Stories, on Sunday, January 17, at 10:30 p.m. on KCTS 9 and KYVE 47. This original production will showcase the breathtaking North Cascades through the words and actions of Washingtonians of all ages. The program repeats Wednesday, January 20, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, January 31, at 4:30 p.m.

“The diversity of ecosystems and recreational opportunities in the North Cascades are remarkable and exceed my experiences that I’ve had through my travels around the world,” said Tom Vogl, REI Vice President of Marketing. “REI is a proud sponsor of the inspirational KCTS documentary and we are very committed to working with our community partners to encourage people, and especially youth, to get outdoors and experience the beautiful North Cascades.”

Larger than the state of New Jersey, the North Cascades ecosystem includes a National Park and two National Forests. The North Cascades also boasts amazing old growth forests, recreational opportunities that provide economic benefits to local communities and wild and scenic rivers that support endangered salmon and provide fresh drinking water.

"The North Cascades are calling you, your family and friends for fun, adventure and memories that will last a lifetime," said Chip Jenkins, Superintendent of North Cascades National Park. "The series provides a glimpse into the spectacular beauty that is really just a short trip from your home."

“The bounty of the North Cascades is in its ability to refresh our sense of wonder about our natural environment. It’s accessibility for all levels of recreation from simple scenic viewing, to leisurely walks to intense adventures invites everyone to enjoy it,” said Nancy Trucano, Executive Director of the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway. “The success of many of the communities surrounding the North Cascades is intricately interwoven with this natural treasure. These communities recognize that a majority of their visitors, and residents, are here because of the indescribably majestic North Cascades.”

“The North Cascades Initiative is about the connection of people and the land,” said John Chelminiak, Director of the Initiative for The Wilderness Society. There is no other place in the Lower 48 where so many people live near and benefit from an interconnected system of wild lands. The documentary chronicles our connection with the land and how the North Cascades define us as a culture.”

About the KCTS 9 Program

Written and produced by Emmy award-winner Doug Tolmie and hosted by KCTS 9's Enrique Cerna, North Cascades: People, Places and Stories provides an in-depth look at the region and its relationship to the community. North Cascades highlights both critical environmental issues and the stories of passionate citizens who have worked to create, maintain and preserve this stunning part of our state for the future good of all.


  • Sunday, January 17, at 10:30 p.m. on KCTS 9 and KYVE 47. Repeats Wednesday, January 20, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, January 31, at 4:30 p.m.
  • KCTS 9 will also be producing a Spanish-language version, which will air on V-Me on Saturdays, January 23 at 7 p.m. and January 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The full-length program will be available online at in English and Spanish after the premiere. The program will also be available via Comcast Video on Demand.

About the North Cascades Initiative

The Wilderness Society's North Cascades Initiative envisions the North Cascades as a celebrated national treasure, where wilderness is preserved for future generations, where recreational opportunities are enhanced and well-planned and where vibrant local communities realize the benefits of the wildlands surrounding them.

For more information regarding the North Cascades visit