Senator Murray's Wild Sky Legislation Passes Critical Hurdle, Now Heads for a Final Vote

May 23 2007

Murray, Larsen praise Senate Committee vote to move Wild Sky forward

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the Senate Energy and Resources Committee's passage of her Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2007- H.R. 886. The Wild Sky bill designates 106,577 acres of national forest in east Snohomish County as wilderness. Today's committee action means that the bill, which was passed in the House of Representatives on April 17th, now moves to the Senate floor for a final vote before going to the President.

"The finish line is finally in sight for all of us who have worked over the years to protect the Wild Sky area and improve recreational opportunities in our state." said Senator Murray. "We are now primed for a final vote to establish the first new wilderness land in our state in over twenty years. Hikers, wildlife enthusiasts, fisherman, and local businesses should all know that Wild Sky is now just around the bend."

The Wild Sky legislation has passed the full Senate three times. However, companion legislation in the House has been repeatedly stymied in the House Resources Committee despite wide support for the bill. This year, because of the shift in House leadership, the bill passed for the first time. Congressman Rick Larsen has been a consistent champion for the bill in the House of Representatives.

"Senator Murray's leadership on Wild Sky has brought us steps away from the end of the trail," said Larsen. "I'm looking forward to celebrating when the first new Wilderness area in Washington state in twenty years becomes a reality."

The Wild Sky wilderness designation will preserve the pristine nature of the land, protect wildlife, promote clean water, enhance and protect recreational opportunities for the region, and contribute to the local economy.