Olympic National Park Wilderness to be renamed in honor of forme - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Olympic National Park Wilderness to be renamed in honor of former WA Governor and US Senator

Posted: Updated:

Washington, D.C. – Today, a bill honoring former Washington Governor and U.S. Senator Dan Evans passed the U.S. House of Representatives after unanimously passing the Senate in July. The legislation will rename the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park as the “Daniel J. Evans Wilderness”. The bill – backed by the entire Washington state congressional delegation – will now head to the president’s desk for signature into law.

Dan Evans served Washington state for more than 50 years, including service as a state legislator, governor and U.S. 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 – including 877,000 acres within Olympic National Park as “the Olympic 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.

“We are grateful to Sen. Dan Evans for his dedication to preserving our most treasured places. Naming the Olympic Wilderness in his honor this holiday season is a deserved recognition of his many years of work to protect Washington’s national parks and forests,” said Sen. Cantwell, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“Washington state is so lucky to have had an advocate for the great outdoors like former U.S. Senator Dan Evans,” said Sen. Murray. “It’s only right to honor his legacy in Washington state by renaming one of the places he helped protect, the Olympic National Park Wilderness, as the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness.”

"I can think of no Washingtonian more deserving of this honor,” said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05). “Dan Evans lived and breathed the outdoors. From his days as an Eagle Scout and Hike Master to his years of public service, he spent his life protecting our wilderness. Dan carried his passion with him in every role during his expansive career, so it's fitting that his home state names one of the most impressive wilderness regions after its tireless advocate."