Skykomish, WA - It's impossible to pick the most beautiful place in
Washington, and one of the reasons is being celebrated this weekend.
The Washington State Wilderness Act was signed into law 25 years ago
today, by then-President Ronald Reagan.
John Chelminiack, the North Cascades Initiative director for The Wilderness Society,
says it created 19 federal wilderness areas around the state, and
expanded the boundaries of four others, protecting a total of more than
one million acres.
"Virtually, it was every corner of the state; from the Olympic National
Forest to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, all the way over to the
Okanogan-Wenatchee and the Colville; the Gifford Pinchot, which is in
the south, and Juniper Dunes, down in the southeast corner of the
The Evergreen State has a longtime reputation for putting aside
political differences to preserve the state's natural resources, says
"The 1984 Act is a really great example of bipartisan legislation. It
reminds us that our congressional delegation has always worked that
way, to save and to use our public lands."
The best way to commemorate passage of the Washington State Wilderness
Act is to get out and enjoy some of it this summer, he adds. Today,
there are 30 federal wilderness areas in the state, covering a little
more than four million acres.