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.
Green Mt. Lookout
"wolfwoman" on Feb 16, 2014 08:05 AM
Green Mountain Lookout
This road is the best access to get people way back into the Glacier Peek Wilderness. Wilderness is very important for lots of reasons of which one is the water sheds it produces which finally gets to the population that need it but also for recreation. Without this road there is minimal access for most people unless you take a week or two off to hike through it.
I was going to bicycle back to the trail head to hike this next summer before they have to move it but not sure of the access based on possible repair to this road. I definitely understand the desire to maintain our wilderness areas but the effort put forth to have this lookout removed is very costly and not in keeping with what the majority of the outdoor loving population want. In the end its about The Wilderness Act and how it was worded to preserve it and one groups desire to hold the people accountable and in compliance with it.
I understanding the need not to build new structures but this one was already there before the act was approved. They just moved it to repair it then put it back. If the chain of events can't be changed then I agree we should move it somewhere else to preserve it. I am sure we can get a revised, repaired or update trail to access it or maybe we should create a fund raiser to help raise money for the cost.
fox15rider on Feb 16, 2014 08:05 AM
Thanks for the feedback!
Wolfwoman, to answer your question regarding access to the Green Mountain Lookout trailhead, it's my understanding that the Forest Service intends to open the Green Mountain Road when they open the Suiattle River Road later this year. The trail itself hasn't received maintenance in a number of years, so some work will need to take place to get the trail back into good shape. The lookout itself is still used by the Forest Service for administrative purposes.
As for Circle Peak, the access to the peak has been lengthened due to the closure of Circle Creek Road. You can access Circle Peak via the Crystal Lake Trail. Once you get to Crystal Lake, you can connect with a trail that will take you to the Circle Peak Trail.
AndreaMae on Feb 19, 2014 09:35 PM
Thanks for the info!
"wolfwoman" on Feb 19, 2014 09:35 PM
Green Mountain Lookout
There are a few lookouts where I feel the experience it the opposite. One such lookout is Heybrook. Without the lookout, you are stuck in the trees. Unfortunately, the Green Mountain lookout is the opposite, it detracts, rather than enhances the viewing experience.
"Ross Bleakney" on Feb 23, 2014 11:15 AM