On July 23, I went before Congress in support of H.R. 361 the Alpine Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act.
I was invited to testify before the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation by Congressman Dave Reichert who introduced the legislation. The Congressman and I have been working together on crafting this bill since 2007.
This bill will protect rare low-level forests, preserve important recreational opportunities, protect wildlife and by designating the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as wild and/or scenic rivers, guarantee clean water and downstream fisheries for generations to come.
As a lifelong resident of Washington living in the shadow of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, I fully support the actions of this legislation. Growing up in Bellevue I fished both the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie and hiked in the Alpine Wilderness.
I grew up in a family that understood the importance of these wild places especially close to population centers where families hike, fish and camp without having to spend a lot of money or drive long distances from home. And now I look forward to enjoying these areas with my son and daughter.
As a member of the King County Council, I have had the privilege of sponsoring and cosponsoring many pieces of environmental legislation and as we all know, collaboration is the key to bring the stakeholders to the table. This legislation, H.R 361 was built on consensus-based and collaborative negotiations that include elected officials, large and small businesses, hunting and fishing groups, recreational groups, and religious leaders.
This bill is a testament to how we craft bipartisan legislation in Washington State and I was grateful for the opportunity to speak before Congress in support of H.R 361.
Squak Mountain Acres Preserved by King County
An agreement has been agreed to for permanent public ownership of 216 acres of forestland on Squak Mountain, following several months of negotiations with the landowner.
Per the agreement, The Trust For Public Lands will close the purchase in early 2014 and hold it until King County has funds to acquire the land as part of the Counties parks and open space.
King County will use as a partial funding source the Conservation Futures funds that are collected from property taxes levied throughout the County and cities. These funds are dedicated for the purchase and permanent protection of open spaces. Additional funding could include the regional open space funds in the proposed King County Parks levy, which is on the August ballot.
The purchase of this land will allow the County to maintain the land’s recreational opportunities and forest habitat which supports a wide array of wildlife and birds along with endangered species. This is a true win-win outcome for the region. I would like to commend Executive Constantine and the Trust for Public Lands for their leadership on this issue. Also, I would like to thank all of the citizens who supported the purchase of this land by writing letters and working collaboratively with the County and my office to help this purchase come to fruition.
Please feel to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (206) 296-1009 if you have any questions regarding this or any other matter involving county government.
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