Larsen Introduces Bill to Protect Green Mountain Lookout in Glacier Peak Wilderness

Jun 27, 2012

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today introduced legislation to save the Green Mountain Forest Fire Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

“The Green Mountain Lookout adds to the Glacier Peak Wilderness,” Larsen said. “The lookout is an integral part of Glacier Peak Wilderness, important for both recreation and the region’s history. The message of this bill is simple: The Green Mountain Lookout stays on Green Mountain.”

The Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act amends the Washington State Wilderness Act of 1984 to protect the operation and maintenance of the Green Mountain Lookout and prevents the U.S. Forest Service from removing the lookout.

Earlier this year a U.S. District Court ordered the U.S. Forest Service to remove the lookout after Montana-based Wilderness Watch sued the Forest Service for using a helicopter and machinery to repair the Green Mountain Lookout. The lawsuit is still in the courts, pending continuing action.

“I believe strongly in preserving our environment, and I have fought hard to protect wilderness areas in Wild Sky, the Skagit River Valley and in the San Juans. The extreme view of a small minority in this matter fails to take into account the spirit of the law. The Green Mountain Lookout is one of the few surviving fire lookouts in the West, and was used during World War II as an early warning station for aerial attacks.

“I am prepared to break through the partisan gridlock in Washington, DC, to pass this bill so that visitors to Glacier Peak Wilderness will long be able to enjoy the Green Mountain Lookout.

Local organizations including the Snohomish County Council and the Darrington Historical Society, support maintaining the lookout.

“The Darrington Historical Society has worked hard to help restore Green Mountain Lookout, and we appreciate Congressman Larsen's support,” said Darrington Historical Society Vice-President Scott Morris. “This lawsuit has wasted a lot of people's time and money, and it's time for Congress to step in and allow us to move on to more important things.”