News Releases

Senate Passes Murray Wild Sky Wilderness Bill

Nov 19 2002

Senator urges House to act this week

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- A plan to preserve 106,000 acres of wilderness area in Snohomish County has passed the United States Senate. The "Wild Sky" wilderness bill, written by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen can be sent to President Bush if the House of Representatives passes the legislation when it meets again later this week.

"Senate passage of Wild Sky is a huge victory for Washington state and the many people who would enjoy the wilderness area for years to come. We are down to the last hours of this Congress but there is still time for the House to pass Wild Sky, and preserve this pristine area," said Murray.

The "Wild Sky Wilderness" proposal is the result of more than two years of discussion and negotiation with the local community, Longview Fibre, the Washington State Snowmobile Association, the Wild Washington Campaign, and the Chelan County Public Utility District.

Designation of this wilderness area would protect wildlife and promote clean water, protect threatened species of salmon, steelhead, and trout, enhance and protect recreational opportunities for the region, while contributing to the local economy.

The plan won praise from across the political spectrum for the inclusiveness with which it was developed. During the bill's Senate hearing, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) noted approvingly, "You did it the way it ought to be done. It was an inclusive process,"

"Wild Sky represents a wonderful opportunity for hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, rock-climbing and other recreation. It was the result of a great deal of planning, effort, and outreach to all interested parties. I hope the House will do the right thing for Washington's future and pass this important bill," Murray concluded.

Hearings on the Wild Sky Wilderness bill in both the House and Senate were held earlier this year. Sen. Murray and Sen. Cantwell worked with their colleagues to pass the measure in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in October. Congressman Larsen's Wild Sky companion legislation passed the House Resources Committee in September.

For more information on Murray's bill go to: