Taking care of where we live, work, and play

Major Step Forward for Greenway National Heritage Area Bill

Our supporters’ calls for action have been answered: thanks to Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray’s persistent work, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing today on a bill to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area (NHA). The hearing today moves this bill one step closer to reality, and with the continued efforts of the Senators and Congressmen Dave Reichert and Adam Smith, we hope to have the bill pass this session.

“The Mountains to Sound Greenway is emblematic of the natural beauty of our state and a reminder that conservation is critical to economic vitality. I understand firsthand the importance of these resources to local communities for cultivating a strong sense of volunteerism, responsibility to the environment and ties between communities,” Senator Cantwell, ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee said. “I am proud to work with Senator Murray on this, and I am glad the committee received testimony on this important piece of legislation.”

Seattle is one of the fastest growing major cities in the nation  as more people move here for the combination of economic opportunity and the natural environment that sets this region apart from all others. Having the Greenway designated as a National Heritage Area is more important than ever.

Our region should continue to be a model for thoughtful growth that keeps our economy strong while maintaining a long-term balance between people and nature. This designation will help ensure the Greenway remains a special place to live, work, and play for generations to come.

Your support is pivotal. Emails from local constituents played a major role in securing this Senate hearing. Please add your voice again now, to ensure this legislation advances. We’re sending a letter to the Senators and Congressmen thanking them for their efforts and encouraging them to create the Greenway NHA by the end of December. Please consider adding your name as a signatory to the letter.

Bipartisan legislation was introduced a year ago by Senators Cantwell and Murray and Congressmen Reichert and Smith, and enjoys broad-based community support with over 6,500 individuals and local and national organizations endorsing it.  Supporters include Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, the Kittitas County Commissioners, Microsoft, Expedia, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the Nature Conservancy, and Washington Trails Association, among many more.

The National Heritage Area program provides a non-regulatory approach to conservation. Designation encourages cooperation with local communities to develop a shared vision for the landscape, and facilitates interagency collaboration to carry it out. Learn more about the proposed Greenway NHA.