Larsen Applauds Passage of the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act

Apr 7, 2014

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act.

“The communities near the Green Mountain Lookout spoke up when this iconic structure was threatened and I am deeply pleased today their voices have been heard. The Lookout has been a source of both enjoyment and economic benefit for the region and should remain so long into the future.

“While the push to save the Lookout took many months, I was glad to have led the charge by introducing the original bill in 2012. I thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate for their support.

“Passage of the Act sends an important message to Oso and Darrington that their community remains a premier Northwest destination,” Larsen said.

The Act passed out of the Senate on April 3 and passed the House today, on April 7, by voice vote.

Larsen gave the following remarks on the House floor in support of the Act’s passage. Full text follows:

“I rise in support of S. 404, the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act.

“Mr. Speaker, Green Mountain Lookout symbolizes a unique and vanishing part of the Pacific Northwest’s heritage.

“And this bill symbolizes Congress’ solidarity with a hard-hit part of Washington state.

“The Green Mountain Lookout is one of few surviving fire lookouts in the West, and is only one of six such lookouts within a Wilderness area. It was also an early warning station during World War II to alert citizens to possible aerial invasion.  

“The communities in nearby Darrington and Oso are recovering from last month’s tragic landslide that killed dozens of people and shut the communities off from much of the outside world. First responders, FEMA, and other federal agencies have been extraordinarily helpful in recovery efforts.

“Passing this bill invests in the longer term economic recovery of the region. Many people in these communities rely on outdoor recreation and tourism for their livelihoods. Part of that economy is based on access to historic and beautiful locations like Green Mountain Lookout. With the summer recreation season coming up, protecting Green Mountain Lookout sends a message from Congress to these communities: We’re with you.

“For twelve years I represented these communities in Congress, until redistricting last year. I introduced legislation identical to this bill in June 2012, after an ill-advised court decision suggested Green Mountain Lookout should be taken down.

“I was pleased that Senators Murray and Cantwell followed my lead and introduced companion legislation in December 2012. In February 2013, Congresswoman DelBene and I reintroduced this bill, along with our Senate colleagues.

“I appreciate my colleagues willingness to protect the lookout, and the support of Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member DeFazio to put this bill on the President’s desk.

“By protecting the Green Mountain Lookout, we will protect the economic livelihoods of many of those who have struggled after last month’s tragic landslide. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and send a message of hope to the people of Darrington and Oso.

“I yield back.”