New effort underway to preserve Mountains to Sound Greenway

May 28, 2013, 11:09 PM | Updated: May 30, 2013, 9:27 am

When you get on I-90 and head east from Seattle, it’s hard not to be taken with the beauty all around you. And some local leaders and volunteers are trying to get Congress to help keep it that way.

Washington Congressmen Dave Reichert and Adam Smith recently introduced a bill designating 1.5 million acres stretching from east of the Cascades to the Puget Sound a National Heritage Area.

It’s known as The Mountains to Sound Greenway. It encompasses everything from vast forests and meadow-strewn mountain peaks of the Cascades, to farms, rural communities and vibrant cities, all under a broad umbrella aimed at preserving our area’s “living heritage,” says Cynthia Welti, Executive Director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

She says the goal is simple: “To keep the cities in the cities and forests in the forests.”

For 20 years, the organization has brought together a diverse group of citizens, agencies and businesses to conserve natural resources, promote recreation and education and encourage sustainable, growing communities.

The mix can seem contradictory, but Welti says there’s a way to balance all of the divergent interests in our area for a common good.

“We work with partners in three ways. The first is bringing land into public ownership, the second is to enhance them and restore lands, the third way is working with agencies and citizens,” Welti says.

The group tries to stay out of politics as much as possible. It works with environmentalists and developers alike.

“We pull people together and find common ground, because we all love this area here, our way of life.”

“Already our reality has exceeded our vision,” said Reichert at a recent event announcing the legislation. “It was not by accident that I-90 does not look like I-5. Official recognition of the Greenway will sound the horn on the special connections we have with our natural world here and will help cement the cooperative nature that the Greenway Trust exemplified, and it will be necessary to keep the Greenway through many generations,” he said.

National Heritage Area designation would increase funding opportunities, broaden public awareness and remove barriers for state and federal officials to work together on everything from habitat restoration to recreational policy on public lands.

But Welti says just as important, it wouldn’t add any new regulatory authority or restrictions on private lands, add any federal oversight over local management decisions or limit other property rights.

“We want to see working forests. We want to see smart, thoughtful development. We want to see people using our wonderful spaces. We want to preserve our special landscape. And through our work, we can do all that.”

Bonneville Seattle, The Seattle Seahawks, Les Schwab Tire Centers and Carter Subaru are proud to honor The Mountains To Sound Greenway as our “Charity of the Month.” Learn more about the Greenway here.

Local News

snow plow...

Frank Sumrall

Who will join Plowie McPlowface as Lynwood snow plow naming contest returns

Some current snow plow names from previous contest winners include Plowie McPlow Plow, The Big Leplowski, Sir Plows-A-Lot and Betty Whiteout.

2 hours ago

lawsuit wrongful death...

L.B. Gilbert

Family settles wrongful death lawsuit with Seattle for $1.8M

The family of a man who died of a heart attack after first responders delayed responding to the incident has reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit with the City of Seattle.

2 hours ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Louie Tran, KIRO 7 News

Tacoma parents allege school workers physically assaulted children, including son with autism

A Tacoma mother and father accused workers with Tacoma Public Schools of physically assaulting their children multiple times, including the father’s son with autism.

2 hours ago

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks during the introduction of the integration of Microsoft Bing sea...

Suman Naishadham, Associated Press

Microsoft CEO says unfair practices by Google led to its dominance as a search engine

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Monday that unfair tactics used by Google led to its dominance as a search engine, tactics that in turn have thwarted his company’s rival program, Bing.

3 hours ago

(Photo from Washington State Department of Transportation)...

L.B. Gilbert

2 semis crash on I-5 early Tuesday, delaying morning commuters

Two crashes on northbound Interstate 5 have snarled traffic for Tuesday morning commuters as crews work to clear the semis.

4 hours ago

Image: The outside of Hard Rock Hotel is seen on April 14, 2023 in New York City....

Steve Coogan

Seattle’s Hard Rock Cafe to permanently close Dec. 1

A spokesperson confirmed to KIRO 7 the company is open to having another location in Seattle if the right one can be found.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

New effort underway to preserve Mountains to Sound Greenway