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We can, can't we?

The recent momentous political changes in The Other Washington have significantly narrowed the chances for increased wilderness protection on federal lands. But two groups, Cascades Wild and American Alps, are forging ahead with fairly large-scale proposals that could include all or parts of the lands that Mount Baker Wild has identified for protection. MBW is supporting, assisting and being assisted by both of these groups, because we just want these lands protected and don't care so much about how it gets done or by whom.

Cascades Wild

About two years ago, Mount Baker Wild joined with other wilderness lovers to start a concerted effort to advocate for additions to National Forest wilderness areas on the western slope of the Cascade Mountains between I-90 and the Canadian border. Mount Baker Wild's proposal covers the area between the Skagit River and the Canadian Border, while The Alpine Lakes Protection Society is looking for additions to the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the area east of Seattle and Friends of Seven Rivers is working on the headwaters of rivers such as the Sauk, Suiattle and White Chuck, south of the Skagit River and north of US Highway 2.

American Alps

American Alps is working on a proposal that would increase wilderness protection in the North Cascades. It would combine additions to existing National Forest wilderness areas with adjustments to the boundaries of the North Cascades National Park on both sides of the Cascades crest to bring them more in line with ecological realities. For instance, there is an odd rectangular bump on the western side of the Park that takes in Mount Shuksan but leaves out some precious headwaters and trails on its slopes. Since the Mount Baker and Noisy-Diobsud Wildernesses butt directly up against the Park in many places, many of the areas identified for protection by Mount Baker Wild could reasonably be included in either jurisdiction.

American Alps will soon be ramping up its campaigh for public support. A major feature will be the first annual American Alps Challenge, a relay race down the North Cascades Highway from the crest at Washington Pass to the town of Marblemount in the Skagit Valley. It will involve running, biking and kayaking, and is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, September 18.


Other Wilderness News

Alpine Lakes Wilderness
The Wild Sky Wilderness proposal has finally become law and legislators are currently working an addition to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Read all about it in area newspapers:

The Wilderness Society
The Wilderness Society has recently begun to focus its attention on Mount Baker and the North Cascades. Here are some recent articles focusing on our area: