Senator Patty Murray honored for conservation work during Great Outdoors America Week: Award given for work to protect America's lands and waters

Jun 28, 2013
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was honored as one of America’s Great Outdoors Congressional Champions during Great Outdoors America Week or GO America Week (June 24-June 27, 2013 in Washington DC)

The Wilderness Society (TWS), Sierra Club and other participating groups, honored Sen. Murray for her efforts to protect America’s wild places and green spaces that are essential in reconnecting people to the great outdoors.

Earlier this month, the  Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (S. 112), sponsored by Sen. Murray, passed the Senate. Passage of this bill would protect an additional 22,000 acres of wilderness adjoining the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and would add 10 miles of the Pratt River and nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the National Wild and Scenic River System. The area is rich in recreational opportunities like hiking, rafting, fishing and climbing – and is only a 45 minute drive from the greater Seattle area. The Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie are outstanding, world-class rivers that deserve lasting protections.

Another Sen. Murray sponsored bill also passed the Senate this month. Bill S. 383 would designate a segment of Illabot Creek in Skagit County, Washington as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Upon passage of this legislation, 14.3 miles of the Illabot would be protected in perpetuity.

Both measures assure Washington residents and visitors alike that the state is committed to preserving its great natural beauty, as well as the recreational activities such as hiking, rafting and camping, that these areas sustain.

In recognition of her efforts, Sen. Murray will be one of the delegates honored during Great Outdoors America Week (GO America Week). The week is designed to reconnect people with the environment, and invigorate them in the fight to continue pushing for strong environmental protection.

“Washington state is home to tremendous natural beauty and recreational enthusiasts,” said Sen. Murray. “It is part of our upbringing and part of our state’s heritage. Expanding the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and protecting portions of the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie rivers and Illabot Creek as Wild and Scenic Rivers will ensure that we can continue that legacy for future generations.”

In the midst of Great Outdoors Month, GO America Week joins together environmental enthusiasts from all walks of life to celebrate America’s great outdoors, and tell President Obama and his administration and Congress that protecting America’s great outdoors is our priority. The advocates include business leaders, recreationists, active military and veterans, students and adults alike – all united in their love for the wilderness.

“The Wilderness Society is incredibly thankful to Sen. Murray. She has been a stalwart champion of the Alpine Lakes bill in Congress for the past four years,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, Pacific Northwest regional representative for The Wilderness Society. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication by Sen. Murray these special places have a real chance of being protected for future generations to enjoy.”

Great Outdoors America Week offers a chance for advocates to take direct action on a number of conservation issues, ranging from wilderness and national monument protection to reconnecting inner-city kids to the great outdoors. Great Outdoors America Week serves as another example of the long-standing, bipartisan tradition of conservation in the United States.




The Wilderness Society is the leading public lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.


Cynthia Wilkerson