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Saving the Pacific NW Alpine Lakes Wilderness (1970's)

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Back in the '70's, the 400,000 acre Alpine Lakes Wilderness was indeed in trouble. After a dedicated advocacy push — which included presenting copies of The Alpine Lakes to every member of the Senate committee — a bill to establish the wilderness area managed to pass Congress. However, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and the Office of Management and Budget all advised the President to veto the bill. The Forest Service even drafted veto language for him.

Washington Governor Evans, a former Boy Scout, and champion of Washington’s wild places, managed to secure a meeting with President Ford. But along with it came some stern guidelines, “The President is very busy. You get 15 minutes — that’s it.”

When Evans arrived in Washington D.C., he realized he was missing a key tool of persuasion, The Alpine Lakes book. He recalled that one of the Boy Scouts who had been in his troop was now living nearby in Maryland. It was worth a try.

Evans gave his former troop member a call. “Have you got a copy of that book? Can you bring it to me tomorrow morning? I’m meeting with the President.”

“Yes,” came the reply, “On one condition: you have to get the President to autograph it for me.”

Equipped with The Alpine Lakes book, Evans walked into the President’s office.

“I sat down with the President and then opened the book,” Evans recalls, “That 15 minutes turned into 45 minutes. Aides kept coming in and saying, ‘Mr. President, you have to get to the next meeting; you have to go.’ And he just kept leafing through that book, lost. You know he was an Eagle Scout, a hiker, a lover of the outdoors himself, and as a result, the Forest Service took a back seat, he signed the bill and Alpine Lakes was created."

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More details at source:

https://www.mountaineers.org/blog/governor-evans-and-the-book-that-saved-the-alpine-lakes-wilderness

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