Mountains to Sound passes out of committee
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Act out of committee on Nov. 18.
The act would designate a stretch of scenic landscape from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area. A Natural Heritage Area is a large, lived-in area designated by the U.S. Congress where historical, natural, recreational and cultural resources combine to form a landscape worthy of national distinction.
The Mountains to Sound Greenway includes about 1.5 million acres of wilderness, forests, parks and mountains stretching along Interstate 90 from Central Washington to Puget Sound.
U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert, representing Washington’s 8th Congressional District, testified on the bill earlier this year, and has been working to get it passed.
“I am very pleased that Chairman (Doc) Hastings and the Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed my Mountains to Sound Greenway legislation,” Reichert said a news release on Nov. 18. “Ensuring the proper recognition of both the achievements and beauty of our state will always be a top priority for me. The Mountains to Sound Greenway is an important part of that, as it has played a role in nearly every major industry in the state — from agriculture to energy to technology.”
About 1.4 million residents live around the greenway, which also includes three watersheds: the Snoqualmie River basin, the Yakima River basin and the Cedar-Lake Washington basin.
“This legislation will highlight the heritage and legacy of the area while also protecting property rights,” Reichert said in his statement. “Clearing the committee is a critical step in the legislative process and I will continue working with my colleagues to make this law.”