Today U.S. Representative Dave Reichert announced legislation to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area. The bill, H.R. 1785, was introduced to Congress by Rep. Reichert on Friday, April 26th.
"Designating the Mountains to Sound Greenway a National Heritage Area is yet another step in recognizing Washington State's distinguished influence and contribution to the national movement of keeping America green, clean, and pristine," said U.S. Representative Dave Reichert. "The natural wealth and beauty of the Greenway represents a truly unique national gem and I'm proud to represent such an integral part of our nation's heritage, nestled in the heart of Washington State. The Mountains to Sound Greenway has played a vital role in many of our nation's most important industries: from salmon and coal, to timber and recreation, to technology and green building. I am so pleased to champion this effort, helping to preserve this important piece of Washington State's heritage, which has been so central to America's history, for our children and grandchildren."
"The National Heritage Area designation of the Mountains to Sound Greenway will communicate the national significance of the Greenway and build public awareness, recognition and involvement in stewardship of this landscape between Seattle and Ellensburg," said Bill Chapman, President of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. "Our goal is to empower citizens, businesses, interest groups and government to work together more efficiently to promote and preserve the Greenway for generations to come."
The Mountains to Sound Greenway is a 1.5 million-acre landscape with alpine peaks, wilderness lakes, and lush forests that connect by road, rail and trail to rural towns and city high-rises, sustaining generations through an abundance of natural resources. Today, the Greenway's scenic beauty is the backdrop for the daily lives of 1.4 million residents who live, work and play in communities deeply rooted to the land around them.
"Showcasing the remarkable balance between a flourishing economy and access to recreation and nature that we enjoy in our region, we have an opportunity to demonstrate to the entire country that the Greenway is a national treasure," says Chapman.
Twenty years of innovative conservation and collaborative solutions protect the natural heritage of the Greenway. This network of parks, forests, farms, and cities is part of a regional history and a legacy for future generations. The Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area will be a fitting recognition of this regional identity in the Pacific Northwest, and serve as a model of sustainability and cooperative solutions for the nation.
A National Heritage Area is a large, lived-in area designated by the United States Congress where natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine to form a landscape of national distinction. This designation provides a flexible strategy to encourage residents, government agencies, nonprofit groups and private partners to collaboratively plan and implement projects to preserve a landscape, without affecting private property rights.