The following is a press release from The King County Council.
The US House of Representatives has approved the Mountain to Sound Greenway Heritage Act.
Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is pleased about this news.
Championed at the national level by Congressman Dave Reichert, H.R. 1791 seeks to designate a stretch of 1.5 million acres between Seattle and Central Washington as a National Heritage Area.
If passed by the US Senate and signed by the President, the bill would establish the greenway as the first National Heritage Area in Washington and the 50th National Heritage Area in the United States. It already has the distinction of being designated the country’s first National Scenic Byway.
“The Mountains to Sound Greenway is part of the fabric that makes our state such a great place to call home,” said Dunn, whose district includes a large portion of the greenway. “I spent years hiking those trails with my brother and mom. I have worked throughout my career to help secure conservation lands along the greenway. I’m fortunate to have been able to play a role in distinguishing this beautiful stretch of land as a National Heritage Area.”
In 2012, Dunn cosponsored a motion urging Congress to recognize the Greenway. This motion was passed by the Council unanimously.
Reichert subsequently introduced legislation at the national level in 2014 and reintroduced the bill in 2017 during what is now his final term in Congress.
In April of this year, Dunn and former US Senator Slade Gorton made the trip to Washington D.C. where Gorton testified in favor of the legislation to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands. Dunn submitted written testimony as well.
Today, their efforts were rewarded as the House approved the legislation, sending it across the Capitol to the US Senate.
“In my home state of Washington, we know well how spectacular the Mountains to Sound Greenway is and why this area is so deserving of this National Heritage Area designation,” said Reichert.
The Greenway conserves a healthy and sustainable relationship between land and people by balancing built and natural environments. This natural open space is also surrounded by world-class recreation.
This legislation demonstrates the significance of this landscape, empowers partners to work together, enhances fundraising opportunities, and formalizes the Greenway coalition’s cooperative management style across the entire landscape.
If passed by the US Senate the measure will head to the White House for final approval.