Senators Murray and Cantwell Introduce Green Mountain Lookout Legislation
Senators Murray and Cantwell introduced legislation that would preserve the Green Mountain Lookout. Photo by HikerJim.
On December 14, Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell introduced S. 3683, legislation that would protect the Green Mountain Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.
The legislation comes after a group based out of Montana filed a lawsuit against the US Forest Service (USFS) for using a helicopter and machinery to repair Green Mountain Lookout in federally sanctioned wilderness within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. As a result, a U.S. District Court ordered the USFS to remove the lookout in March.
At that time, the federal judge granted the USFS time to assess how best to comply with his order to take down the lookout, and to date it still stands atop Green Mountain. Since then, U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen and Senators Murray and Cantwell have been working to preserve the lookout through legislative means. Friday's action was a step towards doing just that.
Green Mountain has been a beloved hiking destination for generations of Washingtonians, who value the lookout for the glimpse of Washington's vanishing history that it provides. More importantly, the judge's order to remove the lookout could have sweeping consequences for wilderness efforts nationwide, as it would make lawmakers much more nervous about fighting for any new wilderness that might contain even slight evidence of past human habitation or use.
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That's why this legislation is so welcome. It's a necessary corrective to a ruling that went too far. Should it pass and be signed by President Obama, hikers will be able to visit and appreciate this historic structure for many more years. And worthy additions to the Wilderness Preservation System will not have a new impediment to their progress.
Please take a moment to contact Senators Murray and Cantwell and thank them for this important bill. Let them know that they have your support in this ongoing effort to preserve the Green Mountain Lookout.