Update on saving Green Mountain Lookout

Green Mountain Lookout

For those who follow public lands and wilderness issues in Congress, the announcement that the House Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Doc Hastings, will hear a slate of wilderness bills on July 23 is a small miracle.

Lucky for Green Mountain Lookout supporters, the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act is on the list. It is the first of a few hurdles the legislation will have to clear to find its way to the President’s desk.

The next hurdle is the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee—the legislation is scheduled for a hearing on July 30, a week after the House hearing. Needless to say, The Wilderness Society is thrilled both committees will consider the legislation. As we discussed in our previous blog on this issue, the Forest Service has started its first phase of planning for the removal of the lookout from Green Mountain, in Washington state's North Cascades, in anticipation of its relocation or destruction next year. The time for Congressional action is now, before the Forest Service gets too far along in the planning process and too many resources are poured into an action the wide majority of the public and elected officials do not support.

After the hearings on the House and Senate sides, the bill will go to mark up, then to the floor of the House and Senate for approval. It’s hard to estimate how long this process will take, but we are hopeful for passage this calendar year and will work steadfastly to that end. Let’s hope the small miracle we’ve been given will result in a good outcome for the Green Mountain Lookout—one that allows it to remain atop Green Mountain, standing guard over the wild lands and waters of the Glacier Peak Wilderness.