Washington is set to get a new national historical park, along with protection of a mountain valley close to Seattle, as a result of a complicated, bipartisan compromise set to move through Congress in the next few days.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported that using an amendment to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act, lawmakers are poised to create a new Manhattan Project National Historical Park — including the B Reactor at Hanford — enlarge the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and put the Middle Fork-Snoqualmie River under protection of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

“Some of us just keep our heads down and work,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. “I anticipate this legislation will be out of the House in a day or two, and through the Senate next week.”

The Middle Fork, in the 1990′s, was rapidly becoming an alpine slum. It was a dumping ground of carcasses of dead automobiles. A big meth lab operated in the valley.  And families using the rutty road often found firearms going off around them.On Good Friday in 2011, Murray and Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., stood near North Bend at a point where the three forks of the Snoqualmie River come together. They unveiled bipartisan legislation to protect the Middle Fork — the closest mountain valley to Seattle — and add 22,000 acres to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

“It has required years of work to clean it up, haul out the garbage, and get the powers that be to stop the shooting,” said Rick McGuire of the Alpine Lakes Protection Society, who did a lot of the hauling.

For the full report click here.