(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Wild Sky Wilderness got another shot in the arm today as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee gave the proposal its stamp of approval. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Maria Cantwell, the Committee passed the bill, which was reintroduced by Senator Patty Murray in January. Wild Sky will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Wild Sky designates over 106,000 acres of national forest in east Snohomish County as Wilderness. Murray, who originally co-authored the legislation with Representative Rick Larsen in 2002, has pushed the bill through the Senate twice. The Senate bill has now passed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee three times.

“Washington state has a long history of bi-partisan cooperation in protecting our environment and creating Wilderness. Today’s Senate action continues this tradition and brings us a step closer to preserving Wild Sky for generations to come,” Senator Murray said. “I appreciate the efforts of Senator Cantwell and Senators Craig, Wyden, Domenici and Bingaman in helping to bring the dream of Wild Sky closer to reality.”

“Wild Sky Wilderness is supported by the community, outdoor recreationists, and local elected officials. With all of this support, I am optimistic that the third time's the charm and Wild Sky will finally become a reality,” Senator Cantwell said. “Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen clearly did their homework in creating legislation that will do wonders to protect Wild Sky for future generations to enjoy.”