There is so much news these days of things that are going wrong. It filled my heart with joy to hear about something that’s going right.
The Wild Sky Wilderness bill protecting a 106,000-acre Wilderness in the heart of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state passed the U.S. Senate with both Democratic and Republican Senators giving unanimous approval and was signed into law by President Bush. The area includes low-elevation old growth forests home to black bears, bald eagles, mountain goats, wolverines, cougars and spotted owls. The wilderness designation eliminates logging, mining, off-road vehicles, even cars. Virtually all motors are prohibited. You can’t even fire up a chain saw. Wheelchairs would be allowed, and the proposal calls for a 2-mile former logging road to be converted to a wheelchair-accessible trail.
The area is already visited by thousands of people every year. Many people come just to watch the salmon runs. They also enjoy hiking, climbing, rafting, fishing, and in the winter cross country skiing. Several picturesque small towns in the area directly benefit from this steady flow of visitors.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, both D-Wash.. It is the first new federally designated wilderness in Washington since 1984. The Wilderness Society worked closely with the Wild Washington Campaign to preserve this unique area for future generations.
I Know You Wild Skykomish
I know you wild Skykomish River I know you
glaciers melting in the warm spring air
and you – rushing down the mountain full of snowmelt
roaring and shaking the ground, the granite boulders,
the granite mountains
I know you too my wild Skykomish
wide and quiet in a mountain meadow
flanked by a million tiny flowers
singing in the dawn with crystal notes
murmuring through starry nights
I know where you come from my wild Skykomish
deep in the turquoise heart of translucent ice caves
following a serpentine trail through the grandfather hemlocks
past carpets of tiny liberty cap mushrooms
glistening like jewels in the dew
I come to you when I’m done with the rushing traffic,
the clatter of machines, the rough scream of chain saws,
the endless slap slap slapping of my windowshield wipers
I come to you my wild Skykomish
and touch my soul again.