Reichert awards Auburn's Fain, other state senators

Auburn Reporter

Congressman Dave Reichert visited Snoqualmie Point Park on Tuesday to present Sate Sens. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) and Andy Hill (R-Redmond) with an award from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust honoring their conservation leadership.

Fain (pictured), Litzow and Hill were recognized for reaching across the aisle during the 2011 session to continue funding for a critical wildlife conservation program - the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP).

The WWRP was initially slated for elimination in the budget.

"In the Pacific Northwest, we take special pride in our natural resources," Reichert said. "I am impressed by the state senators' efforts to save the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and look forward to adding more allies to the ongoing mission to preserve our environment."

Reichert honored Fain, Hill and Litzow for their commitment to Washington's open spaces and recreation areas, like the Greenway, and their pivotal leadership that ensured the continued funding for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program last session.

"In Congress, I have always been eager to advance responsible conservation proposals; in either chamber and on either side of the aisle," Reichert added. "Environmental conservation is not a partisan issue and these state senators have shown that they understand that with their work in Olympia."

The WWRP, which has funded dozens of projects along the Greenway from Mount Si and Mailbox Peak to the John Wayne Trail, faced its greatest threat last session. Sens. Fain, Hill and Litzow stepped forward and gathered support from their colleagues to keep a significant amount of money flowing into the program.

"The Mountains to Sound Greenway project is a great asset to the Pacific Northwest, and I'm proud to support it in the Washington State Legislature," Fain said. "It's important that we work to strike a balance between this region's natural environment and habitable areas so that future generations will have the opportunity to appreciate the pristine beauty of western Washington."

About The Mountains to Sound Greenway

The Mountains to Sound Greenway connects natural areas, trails, working farms and forests, historic towns and communities, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities from Seattle across the Cascade Mountains to Central Washington. The Greenway provides easy access to recreation and nature for millions of people in the Northwest, key to the quality of life in this region.

Founded in 1991, the Greenway Trust works to promote public land acquisitions, connect a continuous regional trail system, teach people of all ages about the importance of conserving forests and wildlife, improve recreation access, create new parks and trails and mobilize thousands of volunteers. The Greenway Trust is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a variety of events, activities and educational opportunities for all ages in 2011.

About the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) grant program in 1989 to address the need to preserve more land for outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat. The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (RCW 79A.15) is a state grant program funded from the capital construction budget that provides funding to protect habitat, preserve working farms and creates new local and state parks. Independent experts rank the applications based on criteria such as the benefits to the public, level of threat to the property, or presence of threatened or endangered species.

About Snoqualmie Point Park

From the dramatic view promontory at Snoqualmie Point Park, visitors can see thousands of acres of forest and farmlands and comes to rest on the rural cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend, with the rugged face of Mt. Si towering above. This scenic viewpoint was made possible through a long-term collaboration by the City of Snoqualmie, The Trust for Public Land, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, among other numerous public agencies and private donors.