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Senate votes to preserve Green Mountain lookout


By unanimous consent, the U.S. Senate passed S.B. 404 on Thursday, April 3, which would protect the historic Green Mountain Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness near Darrington.

The bill was also approved in the House of Representatives, blocking a federal judge's earlier ruling that the structure had to be removed.

"The Green Mountain Lookout is an iconic part of the Pacific Northwest and it holds a special place for Eastern Snohomish County and the Darrington community that has gone through so much these last few weeks," said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene. "As the community embarks on the long and difficult road to recovery, we must do everything we can to help, including supporting the region's economy – in this case, its critically important outdoor recreation economy."

Rep. Rick Larsen added, "Outdoor recreation at the lookout draws many tourists to the region to hike the picturesque trails and enjoy other local activities. The regional economy benefits from these visitors, which is especially important for the nearby Oso and Darrington communities following the recent landslide over Highway 530."

This legislation is necessary because a Montana-based group 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, a U.S. District Court ordered the USFS to remove the lookout.

The lookout is one of few surviving fire lookouts in the West, and only one of six such lookouts within a wilderness area. The Washington State Trust for Historic Preservation named it one of the ten most endangered buildings last year, before the court made its decision.


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