On February 10, 2011, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. David Reichert (R-WA) introduced legislation that will expand the existing 394,000-acre Alpine Lakes Wilderness by 22,100 acres and designate parts of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as Wild and Scenic.
The additional roadless lands protected by this bill lie in the Pratt River Valley and the Middle and South Fork Snoqualimie River Valleys, an area that includes glacier-cut U-shaped valleys, snow-capped peaks, old-growth forests, whitewater rivers and strong native trout runs.
This wilderness area is the closest and most accessible to residents of the greater Seattle metropolitan area and would preserve existing recreational opportunities for hiking, camping, rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking and wildlife viewing.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Reps. Norman Dicks (D-WA), Jay Inslee (D-WA), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Adam Smith (D-WA) are co-sponsors.
A hearing was held in the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests on May 18, 2011.
A hearing was held in the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on October 25, 2011.
This legislation was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on November 10, 2011.