Summary of Friends of Mount Hood Newsletter
Assault Continues on Mount Hood
Mount Hood is an Oregon icon, much loved for it’s beauty and priceless natural wonders. Interestingly, water is the most important natural resource the mountain provides, which some forget. This explains the public concern expressed by many, when over citizen protest, the Hood River County commissioners traded 600 acres of county land in the Crystal Springs Drinking Water Protection Area to Mount Hood Meadows (MHM), the would-be destination resort developers.
The Hood River Valley Residents Committee is challenging the land trade in court. The county argues that these local citizens do not have legal standing. Details of this legal effort are too intricate to present here, but briefs on the appeal are due December 9, 2002.
Friends of Mount Hood (FOMH) continues to maintain that the many, priceless resources of Mount Hood deserve protection, rather than mass-market commercialism.
A proposed large-destination resort, (in fact a small city), on the slopes of the mountain would have a severly damaging impact on both the mountain and the upper Hood River Valley farm community, an area of intensive agriculture.
At present Hood River County is engaged in Goal-8 Destination Resort Mapping Process to decide whether a destination resort is a legally appropriate use of MHM land. Among other criteria, Goal-8 requires 160 acres of land that lie not within three miles of high value farm land. A consultant was hired to study the mapping issues. The draft map presented by the consultant indicated that the required acres was not present. A public hearing at the planning commission level on the Goal-8 mapping is scheduled for January 22, 2003.
As discussed in our June, 2002, newsletter, a determined coalition of groups concerned about the destiny of Mount Hood has been formed. The Coalition is combating what is felt to be the out-of-control overdevelopment of Mount Hood and loss of important remaining wild areas on the north slope treasured by so many.
A new book, Downhill Slide, by Hal Clifford, offers revealing information about how the corporate ski industry is bad for skiing, ski towns, and the environment. Chapter 1, “From Rope Tow to Real Estate”, aptly describes the present threat to the tiny community at Cooper Spur.
Action Item: Please mark your calendar with the January 22, 2003, planning commission hearing on Goal-8 destination resort mapping. It will be held at 7:30 at the county court house on State Street in Hood River.
We need to demonstrate that huge numbers of people care what happens to Mount Hood. Do come to testify, even if you live outside of Hood River County. Five minutes will be allowed each person. Relate your own personal experiences and concerns.
For more information about the hearing call FOMH (541) 352-6228 or visit the website of The Coalition, www.cooperspur.org.
Kate McCarty, Chair, FOMH