A vast expanse of wilderness in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest known as "Wild Sky" is one step closer to federal government protection.
The U.S. Senate passed the Wild Sky wilderness proposal in a late-night session yesterday. The House could vote on the proposal later this week.
The plan, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would protect 106,000 acres, including scarce lowland old-growth forest north of Index near Stevens Pass. The proposed wilderness area is home to bears, northern spotted owls, cougars and mountain goats.
Wild Sky would become the first new wilderness area in Washington in 18 years should the measure gain House and presidential approval.