April 2018: For the first time since 2014, the U.S. House’s Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on designation of the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area. This is a critical step towards achieving designation before the end of this year, although there are still several hurdles before the Greenway National Heritage Area is officially designated.
Legislation was re-introduced in March of 2017. Senate Bill 713 was introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell, with co-sponsor Senator Patty Murray, and H.R. 1791 was introduced by Congressman Dave Reichert, with co-sponsors Representatives Adam Smith, Suzan DelBene, and Pramila Jayapal. The Senate bill has already passed out of committee and has been attached to the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, which is now awaiting action on the Senate floor. As a part of this larger package, the Greenway bill has a much higher probability of passing the Senate.
We are working hard with our delegation to move these bills forward. To receive updates out designation status, sign up for our email newsletter.
Why Create a Greenway Heritage Area
When we are connected with nature, our lives are better. The Mountains to Sound Greenway offers world-class recreation and spectacular open spaces on the doorstep of our urban areas. This high quality of life makes us healthier and happier, and helps attract tourism and top employers that keep our economy strong. Designation of the Greenway National Heritage Area would recognize these strengths and allow the Greenway to serve as a national model for collaborative conservation.
National Heritage Area designation provides a non-regulatory approach to conservation and will not affect private property, water, hunting, fishing or Tribal treaty rights.
Greenway designation has strong, bipartisan support in Congress and has been endorsed by over 6,500 businesses, governments, non-profits and individuals, including Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Microsoft, Expedia, REI, the Trust for Public Land, and the Mountaineers.