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Public Statements

Designation of Wild and Scenic River Segments

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the passage of my bill, H.R. 1740, and to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this measure.

I want to thank Chairman Hastings and Chairman Bishop of the subcommittee, as well as Ranking Members Markey and Grijalva, for their help in getting this bill to the floor.

I have the honor of representing one of the most scenic parts of the country, Washington's Second District. The Second District is home to the North Cascades and to the beautiful San Juan Islands. It's also home to some of the best fishing in the country, both commercially and recreationally. Salmon and groundfish stocks are beginning to recover all over the Northwest. Part of the reason is that we've begun to protect places that are important for fish habitat. When we protect these places, we protect the jobs that come from the fishing industry. This preservation is a catalyst to introducing the legislation before us.

Illabot Creek travels from the Glacier Park Wilderness Area to the upper Skagit River, falling about 7,000 feet during its journey. The water of Illabot provides the optimal conditions for wild Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout--all species listed as threatened. This legislation will designate 14.3 miles of the Illabot Creek as wild and scenic, protecting these species while ensuring that hunting and fishing and other recreational activities continue. Protecting this area has the support of local hunters, farmers, environmentalists, anglers, the local government, and the State government, which are all in my district.

I want to thank Senator Murray for introducing the bill's companion over in the Senate. I hope that that body will take up the bill as well.

I appreciate the support of Minority Whip Hoyer, of the chairmen, and of the ranking members for bringing this legislation to the floor, and I urge my colleagues to support its passage and to protect this important body of water.


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