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Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.


Washington Recreation Groups Unite to Protect Mountains to Sound Greenway

Tania Lown-Hecht

More than 3,000 citizens sign petition to designate the Greenway as a National Heritage Area

Seattle, WA--A coalition of outdoor recreation groups has collected more than 3,000 signatures calling on Congress to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area.

The signatures were collected between April 15-May 15 and support formally recognizing the 1.5 million-acre outdoor paradise connecting Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.

“Our members have spoken strongly in favour of designating the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area,” said Martinique Grigg, executive director of The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based outdoor education nonprofit. “This move would protect and enhance the incredible climbing, mountaineering and hiking in Seattle’s backyard.”

The Mountains to Sound Greenwayincludes 1,600 miles of trails, the stunning Cascade Crest, excellent whitewater runs, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, rock climbing and mountain biking. Itconnects rugged alpine peaks, wilderness lakes, and expansive forests to the city and to rural communities through a network of roads, rails, and trails that would be enhanced by a National Heritage Area designation.

The campaign was launched in coordination with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, a Seattle-based nonprofit that has spent two decades taking care of the Greenway, ensuring a long-term balance between people and nature. The Greenway National Heritage Area effort has strong, bipartisan support, with champions in Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), as well as hundreds of local business and civic leaders.

“The Greenway provides a playground just minutes from the 15th largest metropolitan area in the nation,” said Amy Brockhaus, Greenway Trust Coalition Director. “The Greenway ensures quality of life that attracts tourism and top employers, keeping the region’s economy strong.”

The National Heritage Area designation will mark the Greenway's place on the map, improve collaboration between businesses and conservation groups, and identify the Greenway as a special place in the state and in the nation.

The coalition of groups supporting the petition include The Mountaineers, Washington Trails Alliance, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Access Fund, and American Whitewater, and was coordinated by Outdoor Alliance, a nonprofit coalition that unites outdoor recreation groups on public land policy.

To learn more about the Greenway, or to lend your help to the campaign, visit

About Outdoor Alliance

Outdoor Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of organizations that include American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, Access Fund, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and the Mountaineers.  We are backcountry skiers, hikers, paddlers, mountain bikers, boaters, and climbers who share a commitment to protecting public lands. In uniting our voices, we are building and nurturing a conservation constituency for the 21st century.

About the Greenway Trust

The Mountains to Sound Greenway is the 1.5 million-acre landscape connecting Puget Sound and central Washington. The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust leads and inspires action to conserve and enhance the Greenway, ensuring a long-term balance between people and nature. Founded in 1991, the Greenway Trust works to promote public land acquisitions, connect a continuous regional trail system, preserve rural lifestyles, teach people of all ages about forests and wildlife, and mobilize thousands of volunteers to care for the landscape.