News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to designate Illabot Creek in Skagit County as a Wild and Scenic River received a strong endorsement from the Obama Administration at a Senate National Parks Subcommittee hearing.  The legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell and introduced in the House by Congressman Rick Larsen, will protect the free-flowing character of Illabot Creek, an important habitat for threatened wild Chinook salmon, steelhead, bull trout and other wildlife, while maintaining recreational opportunities such as hunting and fishing.

“Today’s hearing moves us in the right direction toward protecting the pristine and delicate habitat of the Illabot Creek for generations to come,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Preserving this part of Washington is vitally important to the many species of fish and wildlife that depend on it to survive, as well as ensuring that hunters, anglers and families alike are able to enjoy all the area has to offer.”

Joel Holtrop, Deputy Chief of the National Forest System testified today saying, “We strongly support the legislation.”

Senator Murray and Congressman Larsen introduced this bill on May 5, and it enjoys broad local support from elected officials, environmentalists, fishermen, agriculture, and other stakeholders.

Read more information on Illabot Creek and the legislation that would protect it.

Key excerpts from the submitted National Forest System testimony follow:

“The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protects the free-flowing condition, water quality, and outstandingly remarkable natural, cultural, and recreational values of some of our most precious rivers. It also provides an opportunity to build partnerships among landowners, river users, tribal nations, and all levels of government.”

We strongly support the legislation.”

“Illabot Creek provides exceptional spawning and rearing habitat for summer and fall Chinook, coho, chum and pink salmon; native steelhead; and, one of the largest populations of bull trout in the Skagit River watershed.”