By Office of Congressman Rick Larsen | Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted for a comprehensive wilderness and public lands protection bill which includes Representative Derek Kilmer’s legislation to designate more than 126,000 acres of public land as wilderness and nearly 460 miles of rivers and major tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.
Larsen is a longtime champion of protecting Washington state’s public lands and waters. Last year, Larsen supported bipartisan legislation to permanently, fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and help address the growing repair and maintenance backlog at national parks and public lands, including at Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and San Juan Island National Historical Park. In recent years, Larsen led the legislative charge to designate Illabot Creek as a Wild and Scenic River and protect the Wild Sky Wilderness, Green Mountain Lookout and San Juan National Monument in Northwest Washington.
“I applaud Representative Kilmer for his leadership to keep the Olympics wild and ensure the vitality of the Pacific Northwest,” said Representative Larsen. “Protecting Washington state’s environment for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations is one of my top priorities. I will continue to champion legislation like this that boosts the state’s outdoor economy, buffers local communities against climate change, and preserves critical habitat for endangered fish and wildlife.”
The Outdoor Industry Association estimates outdoor recreation is responsible for 201,000 jobs and $26.2 billion in annual spending in Washington state. Washington is currently home to more than 4 million acres of wilderness area and nearly 200 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers.
For a summary of the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, click here.