Today, Thursday, July 18th, 2013, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell announced that legislation they introduced in February to protect Green Mountain Lookout would be discussed during an Energy and Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining hearing later this month. The hearing will be held Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 at 10:00 AM ET. Senators Murray and Cantwell introduced the legislation 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.
"Green Mountain Lookout is an important part of our state's history, and is cherished by the local community," Senator Murray said. "I am so pleased this legislation is moving forward in committee, and I will continue working to preserve the lookout for future generations and maintain access to this popular hiking attraction in the Glacier Peak Wilderness."
"This committee hearing is a major step in our work to save the Green Mountain Fire Lookout," Senator Cantwell said. "Our legislation would preserve this treasured landmark and its historic setting for future generations to enjoy in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. As a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue to work with Chairman Wyden and Senator Murray to get this bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Now is the time to act to protect this important reminder of Pacific Northwest history."
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 located 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 named it one of the ten most endangered buildings last year, before the court made its decision.
Last year, the Senators 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.