The Daniel J. Evans Olympic National Park Wilderness Act has passed the U.S. House of Representatives after unanimously passing the Senate in July.
This legislation renames the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park as the “Daniel J. Evans Wilderness.”
Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), who authored the House version of the bill, was joined by the entire Washington State congressional delegation in supporting the legislation.
Evans served the state of Washington for more than 50 years as a state legislator, governor and United States Senator. During his time in the Senate, Evans was the lead sponsor of the Washington Park Wilderness Act of 1988 which designated over 1.5 million acres of wilderness areas in Washington, including 877,000 acres within Olympic National Park as “the Olympic Wilderness.”
“My home state of Washington and the region I represent are known for their breathtaking natural treasures,” said Rep. Reichert. “But we cannot talk about Washington’s natural beauty without thanking the man who’s been instrumental in maintaining and protecting it for future generations.”
The Quinault Indian Nation sent a release that applauds the passage of a bill. The QIN Council passed a resolution and wrote to key members of Congress and supporting the proposal in September.
The letter, signed by President Sharp, included the statement, “These 876,447 acres, which comprise 95 percent of the Olympic National Park, are home to magnificent Roosevelt Elk and one of the country’s few remaining rain forests. Here you find Mt. Olympus, the highest peak in the rugged Olympic Mountains, 48 miles of wilderness coast and more than 600 miles of adventurous trails.”
It concluded, “This is the most appropriate place in the world to name ‘The Daniel J. Evans Wilderness.”
Upon receiving the news regarding the passage of S.3028, President Sharp said, “This is a fitting honor for a very honorable man. Senator Dan Evans is a true statesman, the kind of leader who citizens of Washington State and the United States should be inspired by. He has been someone who has understood the wisdom of working with Tribes on a government-to-government basis and supporting our treaty rights and sovereignty. Having his name associated with this great wilderness area will serve as an important reminder of his values and leadership qualities for many generations to come.”
The legislation will now head to the President’s desk for signature into law.