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RIP Green mountain lookout


jordansahls
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On the one hand, I can see why the judge decided the way he did.

 

On the other hand, I have really come to love the lookouts and think that their very limited impact on wilderness is outweighed by their historical significance. Sad news. :(

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Especially since the LO is already rebuilt and in place. More harm would be done removing it than just leaving it be. Having talked with people on the MBSNF on this issue, including Peter Forbes, they have certainly learned their lesson. Removing the LO will accomplish nothing.

 

If the LO had been remodeled in place, the judge wouldn't be calling for its removal. So it seems crazy that when the same endpoint is reached (albeit by not following the letter of the law) the judge is calling for it to be torn down, after significant tax monies have gone into the restoration work and legal defense. It really doesn't make any sense, but I guess judges can't be flexible?

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Yup, I pretty much totally agree with you. Removing it after the fact seems really pointless. My only point is I can understand a judge making a ruling based simply on the laws as they are written. I don't like it or agree with it, but the laws as legislated do seem to side against the forest service in this case.

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While I do not know a lot about the lookout, my guess is that the FS got a legal ruling from DC that they could ignore the Wilderness Act and went about the replacement. Using the helicopter was what probably tip things over the hill.

 

However, the FS has many other structures with historical significance that they has worked on. My cousin was responsible for many of the projects for the FS during the 90s and 00s.

 

I bet if the FS scoped, prepared an EIS, went in via ground and did the work as a repair and not a replacement there would not have been an issue.

 

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  • 11 months later...
"common-sense" is in the eye of the beholder.

 

"Common sense" is what we've come to call the set of knowledge that must become instinct in the environment one is raised in. There's farm common sense, wood-shop common sense, mountain common sense, etc. If, however, you haven't put in enough time in a particular environment, or if you don't tend to learn from your mistakes, then you don't develop that "common" sense. Its not a shortcoming, per se, just a reality.

 

"Common sense initiatives" are what politicians call their bad ideas if they don't want you to critically examine them.

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Stay in Oregon.

 

Seems like the only folks who want to tear down our historical treasures have never bothered to visit them.

 

Most don't even live in WA.

 

Take local control of your community and the good things in it. There will always be outsiders who want to burn it down.

Edited by tvashtarkatena
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Stay in Oregon.

 

Seems like the only folks who want to tear down our historical treasures have never bothered to visit them.

 

Most don't even live in WA.

 

Take local control of your community and the good things in it. There will always be outsiders who want to burn it down.

 

Not sure if this is directed at me (re: Staying in Oregon), but I'm not an Oregon local. I've spent the last 10 years living in Wyoming. That doesn't make my observation any less valid, my point was simply this: if the meat of your argument is "its just common sense", then you're appealing to a sense that your audience may not share, or you're trying to weasel out of adequately expressing yourself.

 

As far as the lookout, I don't have an opinion. I just have an opinion on "common sense", because I don't see how "common sense" somehow allows the NFS to ignore the processes they are supposed to follow, even if preserving the lookout is the right thing to do.

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Yes; because this thread was clearly a discussion on the relative meaning of the phrase "common sense."

 

Perhaps "intelligent thought" would have been a more appropriate choice?

 

For those of us who actually enjoy this wilderness and visit these historic structures, keeping the lookout is common sense. Wilderness Watch, I'm sure you do some good work, but you are in the wrong here. I hope this legislation passes and the lookout is saved.

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Seems like the only folks who want to tear down our historical treasures have never bothered to visit them.

 

I find it ironic in that it was the Forest Service who dismantled the structure in the first place. Yeah, okay the replacement used something 75% of the original materials but the fact remains the Forest Service blew it when they removed it and used a helicopter in the process.

 

As I said above had the Forest Service done all of the restoration work on site without a helicopter they would have been fine - even if they dismantled but not removed the lookout so to build a new foundation.

 

From the wilderness advocacy side I see Wilderness Watch's point. The usage of helicopter was the main issue. Probably not the lookout as it was historical. However, when the Forest Service removed it in its entirety they compounded the problem because it was gone. And in a sense the area returned to it natural state. So when the Forest Service put the restored lookout in place it was considered a new structure which did follow the law. Especially given that the lookout serves no administrative purpose.

 

IMHO Wilderness Watch was correct, the Forest Service is the one to blame for the mess. That said, I am not in favor of the removal of the lookout so the Congressional act is probably appropriate for cleaning up the mess that the Forest Service created in the first place.

 

Going forward you can bet that the Forest Service will change their practices when it comes to historical structures. And as I mentioned my cousin has worked on many, some of which were in wilderness and he never utilized a helicopter - though at times I am sure he wished he could have.

 

 

BTW speaking of historical treasures did you write a letter to the NPS regarding Camp Muir which has a similar status as the lookout of being on the National Historical Registry ? I bet most that have posted in this thread did not.

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Does the GMLO predate Wilderness designation and therefore deserve protection via the HPA and WA?

 

Yes.

 

Did the FS use a chopper to rebuild GMLO?

 

Yes.

 

Did the FS have a good reason to do so?

 

Yes. The structure as originally restored was unstable and would have created a huge debris field - not exactly an environmentalists wet dream, had they not taken that action. Our massive storms after 2000 changed the rules, as Mother Nature is want to do on occasion. I reckon folks in states a thousand miles away probably never got that memo.

 

Must they, or should they, tear down the lookout, risking greater environmental damage, huge expense (particularly with the road washed out), and loss of one of the last few remaining historical treasures?

 

No.

 

Does one need to be aware of or give two shits about the Muir hut's issues or lack thereof to care about Washington's last remaining historical lookouts?

 

No again.

 

Is Washington's 1984 Wilderness Act, which codifies our citizen's democratic desire to preserve our 14 (out of hundreds of original) remaining lookouts, possibly in conflict with the 1964 Wilderness Act?

 

Arguably.

 

Can legislation provide for legal exceptions to the No Power Equipment rule of the 1964 WA?

 

Yes, there is much precedence here. Rep. Rick Larsen is pushing for just such an exception for Green Mountain. Wilderness Watch is fighting it, of course, incorrectly characterizing it as a Republican ploy. I've noticed they play really fast and loose with their website rhetoric and basic facts, but hey, honesty is for whimps, right?

 

And finally, how many of you here have ever even been to Green Mountain?

 

 

 

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena
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