Filson Hosts Alpine Lakes Celebration

Filson Headquarters in Seattle, WA

American Rivers, along with partnering organizations of the Alpine Lakes Working Group, recently celebrated the passage of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (Alpine Lakes) with Senator Patty Murray and Representative Suzan DelBene, both sponsors of the act.
The celebration took place at Filson’s Corporate Headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Filson is a member company of The Conservation Alliance which provides competitive grants to organizations, such as American Rivers, for achieving permanent protections to special places. In December, Congress passed the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act thus protecting nearly 40 river miles as Wild and Scenic and just over 22,000 acres as Wilderness.
Gray Madden, President of Filson, provided the evening’s welcome and opening remarks. Gray spoke about the importance of protected places and the recreation economy to his company and beyond. According to a new report prepared by Earth Economics for the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, Washington’s outdoors are worth billions in revenue, clean water and more. A few of the report’s findings include:

  • $21.6 billion is spent on outdoor recreation trips and equipment on both public and private land in Washington.
  • Nearly 200,000 jobs are supported by outdoor recreation, more than the aerospace and tech industries in Washington.
  • $8 billion is spent on activities around water, including fishing, boating, swimming and diving.

Senator Murray and Congresswoman DelBene were both presented with a gorgeous framed photo of the Pratt River and Snoqualmie River valleys and each gave a short talk recognizing the hard work and persistence it took by many individuals, organizations and supporters to achieve this success. Both of these congressional conservation champions deserve a great deal of recognition and thanks for their efforts. Senator Murray has been a stalwart champion of the Alpine Lakes bill since it was first introduced to Congress in 2007 and Rep. DelBene sponsored the bill in 2013 shortly after her election in 2012.
This past December, Congress took action to permanently protect more than 100 miles of rivers as Wild and Scenic in five different states across the nation, which included Alpine Lakes. Of those 100 river miles, approximately half of them were in Washington, increasing the state’s total number of river miles now part of the National Wild and Scenic River System by 25 percent. The upper 27.4 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, the entire length of the Pratt River, and 14.3 miles of Illabot Creek will now remain free-flowing forever along with their excellent water quality, high value habitat for fish and wildlife, and recreational values for all walks of human life.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Photo: RichBowers

American Rivers thanks The Conservation Alliance for its generous support of our Wild Rivers of the North Cascades Campaign. We are pleased with our recent success with the passage of the Alpine Lakes and Illabot Creek bills and are looking forward to our continued work to also permanently protecting the upper Nooksack River system as Wild and Scenic.
For more information about American Rivers and their work on protecting the wild rivers of the North Cascades, please contact Wendy McDermott at