Democratic News

Jun 08 2016

Cantwell, Murray Introduce Bill to Name Olympic National Park Wilderness in Honor of Former Washington Governor and Senator Dan Evans

Bill would honor the legacy of former Washington Sen. Dan Evans and his work to protect wilderness areas within the state

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced S. 3028, a bill to rename the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park as the “Daniel J. Evans Wilderness,” in honor of former Washington Governor and Senator Dan Evans.

Dan Evans served the state of Washington for more than 50 years, including service as a state legislator, governor and United States Senator. During his time in the U.S. 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 Olympic, North Cascades and Mount Rainier National Parks.

This 1988 law designated 877,000 acres within Olympic National Park as “the Olympic Wilderness.” The bill proposed by Sens. Cantwell and Murray would rename the Olympic Wilderness as “the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness,” without affecting either the name of Olympic National Park or the management of the designated wilderness.

Sen. Evans was also a cosponsor of the Washington Wilderness Act of 1984, which designated more than one million acres of national forest land as wilderness within the state.

Sen. Dan Evans was instrumental in the passage of more than 2.5 million acres of wilderness designations in our state. Naming the Olympic National Park wilderness in his honor is an appropriate recognition of his many years of work to protect and preserve Washington’s national parks and forests,” said Sen. Cantwell, ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Throughout his decades in public service, former U.S. Sen. Dan Evans was a champion of Washington state’s special places,” said Sen. Murray. “He played a pivotal role in the passage of the 1984 and 1988 Washington Wilderness Acts, and knew these wild places personally as an avid outdoorsman. I cannot think of a better way to honor his legacy than to rename the incredible Olympic National Park Wilderness the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness.”

Members of the Washington delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced companion legislation in their chamber, H.R. 5397. Each member of the delegation sponsored the bill, including U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Dennis Heck (D-Wash.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.).

Sen. Cantwell hopes to hold a hearing on the Senate bill in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee this month. Stay tuned for more details on the hearing schedule at

Read the text of the Senate bill here.