Larsen: Protect the Green Mountain Lookout

Jul 23, 2013 Issues: Environment

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today called on Congress to pass legislation to protect the Green Mountain Lookout. In testimony submitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, Larsen emphasized the important recreational and historical benefits of the lookout.

Larsen first introduced legislation to protect the Green Mountain Lookout in June 2012. He joined Rep. Suzan DelBene, WA-01, and Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to reintroduce the bill in February.

Larsen’s testimony follows:

Testimony Before the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation

Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva,

Thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony in support of H.R. 908, the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act.  I urge you to move this legislation expeditiously.

I appreciate the Subcommittee taking time to address this issue, which is important to recreation and rural tourism in Washington state.  I also applaud Congresswoman DelBene for her leadership in moving this legislation forward.

Green Mountain Lookout is an important part of the region, and reflects a unique and vanishing part of the Pacific Northwest’s heritage.  It 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 Washington State Trust for Historic Preservation has named it one of the ten most endangered buildings in the state.  The Snohomish County Council, Darrington Historical Society, and numerous local citizens all support protection of the lookout.

I introduced an identical measure in the 112th Congress.  At that time, I represented the area that includes the lookout. I heard overwhelmingly from citizens in the area supporting renovations of the lookout, and opposing its removal.  I continue to hear from many of my constituents who enjoy outdoor recreation that keeping the Green Mountain Lookout intact is important to them.

Despite what you may hear today, this bill is not a reason to attack the merits of the Wilderness Act.  It follows the precedent established in the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, PL 110-229, which protected the Evergreen Mountain Lookout in the Wild Sky Wilderness.

Thank you again for considering this legislation. I look forward to working with you to ensure that outdoor enthusiasts from around the world can continue to enjoy the experience of visiting the Green Mountain Lookout.