Reichert to Present Award to State Senator Andy Hill for Conservation Efforts —

Reichert to Present Award to State Senator Andy Hill for Conservation Efforts

Kirkland Patch

Congressman Dave Reichert will present state senators Andy Hill (R-Redmond), Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) and Joe Fain (R-Auburn) with an award from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust honoring their conservation leadership.

Litzow, Hill and Fain are being recognized for reaching across the aisle during the 2011 session to continue funding for a critical wildlife conservation program -- the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP). The WWRP was initially slated for elimination in the governor's budget.

Hill, who represents the 45th District, including most of Kirkland, joined Fain and Litzow in gathering support from colleagues to keep a significant amount of money flowing into the program.

“Years ago, when I adopted Washington as my home, it was the breathtaking beauty here that drew me,” Hill said in the news release. “Today, as a state senator, I have a strong commitment to keeping Washington’s wild areas pristine. The Mountains to Sound Greenway is a magical place, covered in evergreens, alive with wildlife, and honeycombed with hiking trails that I have enjoyed with my own kids. So it is a great pleasure to help conserve it for future generations.”

The Mountains to Sound Greenway connects natural areas, trails, working farms and forests, historic towns and communities, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities from Seattle across the Cascade Mountains to Central Washington.

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) grant program in 1989 to address the need to preserve more land for outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat. The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (RCW 79A.15) is a state grant program funded from the capital construction budget that provides funding to protect habitat, preserve working farms and creates new local and state parks. Independent experts rank the applications based on criteria such as the benefits to the public, level of threat to the property, or presence of threatened or endangered species.

The ceremony is at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

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Information from the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition

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