A couple of years back I wrote to Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman David Wu to complain about plans to develop the most beautiful part of Mt. Hood, Cooper Spur. A company, Meadows North, LCC, an affiliate of Mt. Hood Meadows ski area, had plans to develop the area into yet another gargantuan Gortex hellhole.
Cooper Spur had a small family ski area with a rope tow and a little ticket building. Down the road a piece was a small lodge. The area’s key was its long Tilly Jane Trail to my favorite place on the mountain, the Eliot Glacier.
I don’t recall Wyden responding. Wu said he couldn’t do anything because no official paperwork had been filed. Once it had been I wrote them both back and neither responded. One can hardly blame them. It’s not as if the state has a tradition of taking the long view regarding development and it’s not exactly a state whose main resource is its beauty.
Hey, wait a minute — Yes it does and yes it is.
Well, it turns out Wyden is pushing for the addition of the Tilly Jane area to adjacent wilderness areas. I am not certain that would stop the expansion. But also, the Hood River Valley Residents Committee is prosecuting a lawsuit to challenge the expansion via Cascade Resources Advocacy Group. There are other issues in the area, such as logging and watershed conservation.
Please keep in mind that Mt. Hood, at twelve thousand plus feet Oregon’s highest mountain, a glaciated peak in the Cascade Range, and the second most popular such peak for ascents (second only to Japan’s Mt. Fuji), already has FIVE SKI AREAS.
Whether you live in Oregon or not, do what you can to keep these gremlins off our hill.
Some folks want to make Mt. Hood a National Park. Considering how President Bush’s priorities have screwed National Parks as a whole, and Crater Lake in particular, I’m uncertain how viable this is now, but I think it is definitely worth examining.