Olympic Wilderness Renamed for Coalition Founding Co-Chair Dan Evans

September 6, 2017

The Coalition was honored to be part of the dedication of the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness Area in August.

Conservation and recreation leaders, politicians, community members, and members of the Evans family gathered together on August 18th to celebrate the achievements of former Washington Governor and founding Coalition Co-Chair Dan Evans—and the renaming of the Olympic Wilderness Area in his honor. The area is comprised of 1,370 square miles of wilderness; approximately 95 percent of the Olympic National Park, which is one of Evans’ favorite outdoor places.

Governor Evans has been a key player in preserving and protecting the incredible natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities that we are lucky enough to have in Washington over the last 50 years. His leadership was crucial in passing 1988’s Washington Park Wilderness Act, which designated more than 1.5 million acres in the Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades National Parks as protected wilderness.

Said Evans, “When asked how much wilderness, I always respond ‘more’ rather than ‘less.’ That would be an easy answer, but there’s some logic to it. If you take too much, you can modify boundaries. If you leave wilderness out and it’s lost, it can never be regained.”

Evans has been a continued champion of the great outdoors and has shown a deep understanding of the bipartisan work that is necessary to get things done. It was this bipartisan spirit that brought him together with former Governor Mike Lowry in 1989 as a founding co-chair of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a grassroots effort spearheaded by a diverse group of concerned citizens who wanted to protect the rapidly-disappearing wild areas of our state.
Not simply a politician, Evans is a true outdoorsmen. He has spent a lifetime exploring the natural wonders that Washington has to offer, and has true respect for civilization’s place in things. “Some question the necessity of wilderness, but we—all of us—are short-term renters of space on the planet,” said Evans at the dedication to an audience of over 200. “Wilderness is a window into our past, and it’s vital to understand and respect history.”