Northwest Washington is one of the most beautiful areas of the country with great opportunities for outdoor recreation. I am working to protect open spaces in the 2nd Congressional District to benefit current and future generations, and create good jobs in the tourism and recreation industries.
Outdoor recreation is responsible for an estimated 6.1 million jobs in the U.S. and plays a huge role in the rural economies of the 2nd District. Every year fishermen, hunters, tourists, boaters, hikers, snowboarders, and tourists spend millions of dollars in Northwest Washington. If we do not protect our environment and its resources, we lose that business. For many rural areas, outdoor recreation is the driver of the economy. I will continue to push to encourage tourism and recreation in the Northwest to help our economy and protect our environmental heritage for future generations.
- Led successful efforts to introduce and pass legislation that protects Green Mountain Lookout, an important part of Skagit County’s outdoor heritage and recreational economy.
- Introduced legislation and pushed the administration to make sensitive federal lands in the San Juan Islands into a National Conservation Area to preserve public access and protect these pristine areas. President Obama designated the San Juan Islands National Monument in March 2013.
- Wrote and passed legislation to create Wild Sky Wilderness Act in 2009, which created the Wild Sky Wilderness Area and protects 106,000 acres the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Senator Patty Murray and I created the first new wilderness area in Washington state in 20 years. Washington families and businesses will benefit from this accessible wilderness for generations to come.
- Introduced and the House of Representatives passed legislation to designate Illabot Creek in Skagit County as a Wild and Scenic River in 2011, protecting Illabot Creek’s habitat for endangered salmon and trout and maintaining access for fisherman and hunters.
- Championed the local work at Northwest Straits Initiative, which provides grants to locally led groups restoring seafloor by removing derelict fishing equipment.
- Led efforts to protect Fisher Slough with American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding, which increased flood capacity while improving fish habitat.
- Secured $6 million in the 2011 Department of the Interior funding bill for the National Parks Service to purchase and protect Mitchell Hill, a valuable natural and historic landmark adjacent to San Juan Island National Historical Park. As a result, the 300 plus acres of land on Mitchell Hill that was in danger of development will be preserved for public access for future generations.
- Fought to protect Ebey's Landing, the nation’s first historical reserve created to protect farms and farming communities.
- Secured funding to restore the Qwuloolt Estuary, which will be the largest tidal marsh restoration project completed in Washington state.
Congressman Larsen and Senator Murray in Wild Sky.