Obama Administration Supports Green Mountain Lookout
The Obama Administration announced its support to for the legislation to preserve the Green Mountain Lookout in Glacier Peak Wilderness, but the fate of the lookout remains unclear.
Late last week the Obama Administration announced its support for the legislation to preserve the Green Mountain Lookout in Glacier Peak Wilderness. The legislation, championed by Reps. Suzan DelBene and Rick Larsen, would protect the lookout after a U.S. District Court judge ordered its removal back in 2012.
In a statement, the White House wrote, “The Administration supports provisions that would allow for the operation of the Green Mountain Lookout in Washington State.”
The show of support is welcome in the ongoing effort to protect the lookout, which 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.
A political snag for the Green Mountain bill
Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Act (H.R. 908 / S. 404) was included in a package of controversial public lands bills voted and passed by the House. Many environmental groups oppose the package, as does the Obama Administration, saying that the package contains “a number of provisions that would undermine the responsible balance of interests and considerations in the stewardship of the Nation's lands and natural resources.”
Both Reps. DelBene and Larsen opposed the lands package and requested that the Green Mountain legislation be heard as a stand-alone bill. The House Natural Resources Committee has approved the stand-alone legislation and a companion bill has been introduced by Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell in the Senate where it awaits action.
What’s next for the lookout? Stay tuned
The disappointing House vote on the controversial package may have complicated matters, but there is still time for the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Act to be heard as a stand-alone bill on the House floor. As a supporter of the legislation, WTA will work with conservation and recreation partners to support Reps. DelBene and Larsen in their efforts to protect the lookout.
While the fate of the federal bill remains uncertain for now, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has no choice but to move forward with its first phase of planning for removal of the lookout as a result of the U.S. District Court judge’s order. The Forest Service is looking at options to destroy or relocate the lookout to nearby Circle Peak, which is outside of Glacier Peak Wilderness, or move it elsewhere on the forest.
Stay tuned for ways to get involved in the future of Green Mountain Lookout. Sign up for our Trail Action Network to keep up to date on this and other important issues.