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Washington Wild Mobilizes More than 300 Washingtonians to Stand Against Dams in Alpine Lakes Wilderness

As a result of Washington Wild advocacy efforts over 318 individuals stood against a water project that would allow new dam development in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. In addition, Washington Wild joined 30 other groups on a joint comment letter to the Chelan County Natural Resources Department expressing their deep concern for the egregious projects that are illegal and a clear violation of the Wilderness Act.

Photo Courtesy of Andy PorterIn June, Chelan County put forward a draft programmatic environmental impact statement (DPEIS) on a number of projects in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, including expanding dams and new tunnel development inside the wilderness area. These egregious projects that were proposed are illegal and a clear violation of the Wilderness Act. Allowing these projects to go forward would set a dangerous precedent to allow new dam building inside wilderness areas across the nation, clearly antithetical to the purpose of the act. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a shared natural resource that must be respected and protected.

Not only do hundreds of residents in the Upper Wenatchee Valley hike and climb in the Enchantments, but thousands of people travel from around the state, country and world to experience the high-quality hiking, climbing, and mountaineering opportunities. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is one of the most popular National Forest wilderness areas in the country. Furthermore, the Enchantment Lakes Basin and surrounding area is one of the most treasured areas in the Alpine Lakes, renowned for its rugged beauty, enchanting lakes, and breadth of recreational opportunities. This is an area where management decisions require the utmost scrutiny and adherence to sustaining wilderness values.

Thank you to everyone who took action on this important issue and for using your voice to help protect our public lands!