Expanding park imperils residents
The North Cascades Study Report of 1965 helped initiate the park's creation. I encourage you to read it. This document made clear that "large numbers" of people were to have access to the park through infrastructure well beyond simple trails and campgrounds. This infrastructure was to allow average citizens to see the rugged mountains that were the basis for the park's creation. This didn't happen. Most of the park is now accessible only to the most physically fit. Limited access is probably the biggest reason for the park's low visitation and contributes to the ongoing economic depression of eastern Skagit County. Current expansion proposals would increase land use restrictions and further limit access through road closures.
A corridor of interconnected parks and wilderness areas where development, logging, and motorized vehicles are prohibited currently extends the length of the North Cascades from Canada to Stevens Pass. Much of the land proposed for inclusion into the park is not old-growth forest and harbors no endemic species.
When the park was created, many promises were made to the local people who depended on this land for their living. Most were broken. The current Recreation Area between the two park units where traditional land uses such as hunting and mushroom harvest are allowed was one that was kept. This would be broken upon park expansion.
My family came to Marblemount in 1888. I have lived here my whole life, yet I have never heard of most of the big names behind park expansion before this. These people live elsewhere, won't face the consequences of the park expansion, and do not understand that these actions threaten the rural culture of the Pacific Northwest.