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Protecting the Mountains to Sound Greenway

Outdoors NW Magazine
Designating the Greenway as a National Heritage Area

 

A coalition of outdoor recreation groups has collected more than 3,000 signatures (and counting) calling on Congress to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area.

The original signatures were collected between April 15 – May 15, 2015 and support formally recognizing the 1.5 million-acre outdoor paradise connecting Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area. The petition is still open and signatures are still being collected.

“Our members have spoken strongly in favor of designating the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area,” said Martinique Grigg, executive director of The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based outdoor education nonprofit. “This move would protect and enhance the incredible climbing, mountaineering and hiking in Seattle’s backyard.”

While no specific date has been scheduled, both Representative Dave Reichert (R) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D), are planning on reintroducing the Greenway National Heritage Area bill in the next few weeks.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway includes 1,600 miles of trails, the stunning Cascade Crest, excellent whitewater runs, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, rock climbing and mountain biking. It connects rugged alpine peaks, wilderness lakes, and expansive forests to the city and to rural communities through a network of roads, rails, and trails that would be enhanced by a National Heritage Area designation.

“The Greenway provides a playground just minutes from the 15th largest metropolitan area in the nation,” said Amy Brockhaus, Greenway Trust Coalition Director. “The Greenway ensures quality of life that attracts tourism and top employers, keeping the region’s economy strong.”

The National Heritage Area designation will mark the Greenway’s place on the map, improve collaboration between businesses and conservation groups, and identify the Greenway as a special place in the state and in the nation.

To learn more about the Greenway, sign the petition, or to lend your help to the campaign, visit the Outdoor Alliance.

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