Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and U.S. Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Rick Larsen (WA-02) introduced legislation that would protect the Green Mountain Lookout in Glacier Peak Wilderness. The legislation comes after a group based out of Montana filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for using a helicopter and machinery to repair Green Mountain lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. As a result, the U.S. District Court ordered the USFS to remove the lookout.
The 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 only one of six such lookouts within the 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 named it one of the ten most endangered buildings last year, before the court made its decision.
"Green Mountain Lookout is an important part of our state's history, and is cherished by the local community," Senator Murray said. "I am proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Cantwell and Representatives DelBene and Larsen to preserve the lookout for future generations and maintain access to this popular hiking attraction in the Glacier Peak Wilderness."
"The Green Mountain Fire Lookout is a treasured local landmark, an important reminder of Pacific Northwest history, and a lasting testament to the hard work of the Civilian Conservation Corps," Senator Cantwell said. "This legislation would help preserve this historic lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness for future generations to enjoy. I look forward to working with Senator Murray and Representatives Larsen and DelBene to keep the historic Green Mountain Fire Lookout open to the public."
"The Green Mountain Lookout is an iconic structure within the Glacier Park Wilderness that represents a significant piece of the Pacific Northwest's history and it deserves to be protected for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy today and in the years to come," Congresswoman DelBene said. "I am honored to work with Senators Murray and Cantwell, and Congressman Larsen to protect this special and historic structure."
"The message of this bill is simple: The Green Mountain Lookout stays on Green Mountain," Congressman Larsen said. "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. I look forward to working with Rep. DelBene and Sens. Murray and Cantwell to pass this bill so that visitors to Glacier Peak Wilderness will long be able to enjoy the Green Mountain Lookout."
Last year, the Senators and Representatives joined in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use all legal means to protect the Green Mountain Lookout in Glacier Peak Wilderness.