King County Council endorses greenway heritage plan

March 27, 2012

By Staff

King County Council members endorsed a plan March 19 to designate the greenbelt along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.

In a unanimous decision, council members called on Congress to recognize the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a ribbon of conservation lands, recreation areas and suburban cities interspersed among farms and forests — in a federal program for “nationally important” landscapes.

Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor of the motion, lauded the council for supporting the effort.

“The Mountains to Sound Greenway is truly one of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest,” he said in a statement.

The designation from Congress is meant to highlight a unique feature or local history. The greenway could become the only National Heritage Area in Washington.

Though the National Park Service handles oversight for heritage areas, the lands differ from national parks. The designation does not add lands, land-use restrictions or more regulatory authority inside the National Heritage Area.

“The Mountains to Sound Greenway has been a bold vision which has been masterfully executed,” council Vice Chairwoman Jane Hague said. “This area absolutely needs to be a national heritage site.”

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