Alpine Lakes Protection Bill Gets A House Hearing
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions bill continues to show momentum for passage in 2013. After having passed the U.S. Senate on June 19, its companion bill, H.R. 361, received a hearing in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation on July 23.
If enacted, the legislation would protect 22,000 acres adjacent to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and designate both the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as Wild and Scenic. The additions would be primarily between the current southern border of the wilderness and I-90, in the Pratt River Valley and south of the Middle Fork SnoqualmieTrail. The legislation enjoys the support of a broad swathe of the non-motorized recreation community, including the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and Back Country Horsemen of Washington.
WTA has been a supporter of this legislation since it was first introduced in 2007. It's passage in the Senate, and this House hearing, is closer than it has ever come to becoming law. WTA is pleased that the House Natural Resources Committee offered a hearing, and we'd like to thank King County Councilman Reagan Dunn who testified in support of the legislation at the hearing. We'd like toacknowledge Congressman Reichert and Congresswoman DelBene, the principal supporters of the bill, as well as Congressmen McDermott and Smith have also signed on. Their leadership has been essential to shepherding H.R. 361 through the legislative process.
The next step would be for the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation to refer the bill to the full House Natural Resources Committee, who then would have the task of marking up the bill to the House floor. We will keep you posted on developments as they occur.