Larsen votes to protect public lands, rivers in Washington state, nationwide

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.

For full text of the bill, click here. For a summary of the Wild Olympics and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, click here

Alec Dietz

Alec joined the Lynnwood Times in August of 2020, with several years of journalism experience and a degree from the University of Washington in fall of 2019. With an emphasis on sports reporting, Alec has sought to get at the heart of stories and tell human stories that need to be told. Before the Lynnwood Times, Alec covered minor league baseball and the NWSL for the Tacoma News Tribune and UW football and basketball for UW's student paper, The Daily. At the Lynnwood Times, Alec will look to bring the community together, and highlight people and community leaders who deserve the spotlight.

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