Saturday, January 25, 2014

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington,USA:

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington,USA
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a large wilderness area spanning the Cascade Range of Washington state in the United States. The wilderness is located in parts of Wenatchee National Forest and Snoqualmie National Forest, and is approximately bounded by Interstate 90 and Snoqualmie Pass to the south and U.S. Route 2 and Stevens Pass to the north. The Alpine Lakes is the largest wilderness area near the population centers of Puget Sound, at approximately 390,000 acres.The wilderness was originally designated the Alpine Lakes Limited Area in 1946, but this designation did not offer protection from resource extractions and was exclusively regulated by the United States Forest Service.The region and adjacent areas were being extensively used for mining, timber extraction, and fur trapping leading to roads, clear cuts and ecological degradation.Efforts to further protect the lower valley forests of Alpine Lakes began in the 1950s by the North Cascades Conservation Council formed in 1957 and in October 1968 the Alpine Lakes Protection Society was formed.However, it was the plans of the Snoqualmie National Forest to expand timber sales and build a road up the Miller River valley to Lake Dorothy and then onto the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the city of North Bend that started a grassroots campaign to remove the unilateral decision making away from the Forest Service.In addition, there was much criticism by conservationists that recreational usage should not be exclusive to the upper alpine terrain as the regional forestry leadership advocated saving the lower forests for possible timber sales.A powerful and key amendment to the Wilderness Act by Wayne Aspinall, a Colorado congressman, gave Congress and not federal land agencies the ability to propose, debate, and vote on new wilderness designations.



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