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Reichert, Cantwell Introduce Greenway National Heritage Area Legislation in Congress

Posted by Francakes at Jun 29, 2015 10:05 AM |

Representative Dave Reichert and Senator Maria Cantwell introduced legislation to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area.

A view of Manastash Ridge, a hike in the Eastern portion of the Mountains to Sound Greenway. Photo by Adaset.

Last Thursday, Representative Dave Reichert and Senator Maria Cantwell introduced legislation in both houses of Congress to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area (H.R. 2900 and S.1690).

Both bills have been previously proposed in Congress but were not passed. WTA continues to support the NHA designation for the Greenway.

What is the Mountains to Sound Greenway?

Stretching from Puget Sound to Ellensburg, the Mountains to Sound Greenway is a 1.5 million-acre landscape with more than 1,600 miles of trail that has sustained generations through an abundance of natural and recreational resources.

Alpine peaks, wilderness lakes, working farms and lush forests within the Greenway are connected by roads and trails, offering local residents and visitors a place to live, work and play in communities deeply rooted to the land around them.

National heritage area designation

A national heritage area is a large, lived-in area designated by Congress where natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine to form a landscape of national distinction. This designation provides a flexible strategy to encourage residents, government agencies, nonprofit groups and private partners to collaboratively plan and implement projects to preserve a landscape, without affecting private property rights. Official recognition of the Greenway would:

  • Create a framework for communicating the national significance of the Greenway.
  • Build public awareness, recognition and involvement in stewardship of the Greenway.
  • Empower citizens, businesses, interest groups and government to work together more efficiently.
  • Provide a legal structure to enable governments to work together across jurisdictions.
  • Name the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust as the local coordinating entity.

Next steps and sharing your support

The Senate bill will now head to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for committee review and approval. In the House, the bill has been referred to the Natural Resources Committee for review.

You can share your support of the legislation online by using #YesGreenwayNHA and by signing the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust petition for the designation.

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