News Releases

Senate Approves Wild Sky Wilderness Bill

Nov 24 2003

Murray muscles proposal through Senate for second time; urges prompt House passage

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. Senate has passed the Wild Sky Wilderness bill for the second time in two years, clearing an important hurdle on the way to becoming law. The House of Representatives must follow the Senate’s lead and pass the measure so the 106,000 acres of majestic mountains and valleys can be protected for future generations.

The bill cleared the Senate on a unanimous consent agreement Monday evening. Sen. Patty Murray, the bill’s Senate sponsor, had spent several weeks urging fellow Senators from both parties to move the measure. Tonight, nine bills dealing with public lands, including Wild Sky, won Senate approval.

“Senate approval of this measure is a critical step in establishing Wild Sky as a destination for future generations to hike, fish, ride, camp, climb, and enjoy the great outdoors,” Sen. Murray said. “It combines accessible lower elevations with majestic mountains and will be a treasure for Washington’s citizens. Now is the time for every member of the delegation to get behind this proposal to help us reach the mountaintop.”

“We can get it done this year,” Murray added.

At the end of the last Congress, Murray won Senate passage of Wild Sky. Unfortunately, the House did not approve the bill and the clock ran out. At the time, House members cited the lack of time remaining in the session as the biggest obstacle to House passage.

In February 2003, Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, the lead House sponsor, reintroduced the Wild Sky Wilderness proposal. In June, a Senate subcommittee held a hearing on the proposal. Mark Rey, on behalf of the Bush Administration, testified that Wild Sky “is a good bill,” which the President was willing to sign into law.

On July 23rd, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, of which Sen. Maria Cantwell is a member, approved the measure.

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.

More information on Wild Sky

Map of the Wilderness Area