News Releases

Murray, Cantwell, Hastings, Renew Push for Ice Age Flood Trail

Jan 31 2005

Bipartisan team reintroduces legislation to make trail a reality

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Doc Hastings, Senator Maria Cantwell, and Senator Patty Murray have renewed their push to establish an Ice Age Floods National Geological Trail through portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The legislators reintroduced their bill to establish the trail in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

Hastings, Cantwell and Murray said an Ice Age Floods Trail would help educate the public about the series of floods that swept across the Pacific Northwest at the end of the Ice Age – some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago. The Ice Age Floods fundamentally changed the geography and way of life in the Pacific Northwest leaving coulees, buttes, boulder fields, lakes, ridges and gravel bars that define the landscape today.

The bipartisan team of Washington state lawmakers decided to continue their efforts because the trail would be an educational tool and provide promising new opportunities for tourism and local economies.

“This trail will create jobs and economic development while sharing an important part of our region’s history,” Murray said. “I look forward to passing this bill and protecting the trail for our local communities and for generations to come.”

“Celebrating the unique geology of our state is an exciting project that the whole region can take pride in,” Cantwell said. “This isn’t just about glaciers and rocks -- developing an accessible educational trail will bring in tourist dollars that will help invigorate rural Central and Eastern Washington communities.”

“This common sense project will serve as an educational tool and provide small towns and communities throughout the region with a new to way to draw visitors,” said Hastings.

Under the proposed legislation, the Trail would be managed by the National Park Service in partnership with the Ice Age Floods Institute and other local entities. Interpretive centers, signs and markers, exhibits, waysides and roadside pullouts would be used to tell the story of the floods.

The proposed legislation was originally introduced in July of last year. The plan had to be reintroduced in the new 109th session of Congress in order for it to be considered by the House and Senate. Hastings, Cantwell and Murray said they look forward to further advancing their proposal and are hopeful it can be enacted into law this year.

Additional information about the Ice Age Floods can be found at:

The Ice Age Floods Institute and the National Park Service

Local Contacts:

Dale Middleton
Ice Age Floods Institute
206- 784-3146

Jim Pritchard
Ice Age Floods Institute

Gary Kleinknecht
Ice Age Floods Institute