[Loscho_Enews] Fw: Green Mountain Lookout

Karen Prasse kprasse at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 4 22:19:45 PDT 2012


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Chris Moore <cmoore at preservewa.org>
Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
Sent: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 1:41 PM
Subject: Green Mountain Lookout

Dear Local Partnership Committee,
Perhaps you have heard about the recent court decision involving the National Register-listed Green Mountain Lookout.  We are sending out the following advocacy alert to our members.  If you would do the same to your respective constituents/members/audience, etc., it would be greatly appreciated.
I have also cc’d Karen Prasse on this message – Karen represents the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations and I’m hoping she’ll forward this message to their member organizations!
We are hoping to get as many people as possible to submit letters requesting an exemption for the Lookout, thus avoiding its removal.  It is especially important to email letters to Rep. Rick Larsen (the Lookout is in his district), along with Senators Murray and Cantwell.  Please forward the following at will: 
Advocacy Alert!
In 2011, the Washington Trust included the Green Mountain Lookout in our Most Endangered Historic Properties List.  The threat: Wilderness Watch, a hardline environmental activist group, sued the US Forest Service on the basis that work recently completed to restore the Lookout violated the Wilderness Act.  On March 27th, Judge John C. Coughenour of the US District Court in Seattle ruled in favor of Wilderness Watch, ordering the US Forest Service to remove the National Register-listed structure.  Caringly restored utilizing hundreds of hours of volunteer labor and placed on a repaired foundation atop Green Mountain in 2010, its removal would deprive the numerous recreation enthusiasts who hike the Green Mountain route from enjoying a significant component of our history.
The Response: While the Wilderness Act contains a prohibition on structures and installations being located within a designated Wilderness Area, exceptions are made when the agency managing the area can demonstrate that repairs or maintenance to a historic site is a necessity for administering the Wilderness Area.  In his ruling, Judge Coughenour found that there was no 'necessity' in preserving the Lookout in place - that the Wilderness Area could be managed appropriately without the presence of the Lookout, therefore ordering its removal.  The Judge added that unlike other fire lookouts in designated Wilderness Areas, the Green Mountain Lookout has never been singled out as exempt from the Wilderness Act.  Such an exemption is possible, but would take an act of Congress.
Our Request: The court's decision has the potential to adversely impact how federal agencies will manage historic resources on public lands in the future.  This needs to be addressed from a broader policy standpoint and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to achieve the needed consideration for historic resources.  In the short term, however, we are asking you - historic preservation advocates and recreation enthusiasts alike - to write to your Congressmen and to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, asking them to support immediate legislation exempting the Green Mountain Lookout from the Wilderness Act.  Without this action, the Lookout may be removed from Green Mountain in early summer.
The Darrington Historical Society has crafted a template letter with this request.  Attached is a copy of the letter - please revise it any way you see fit, and email it to members of Congress.
In addition, the Darrington Historical Society has crafted a list of responses to the court's decision arguing against removal of the Lookout, attached for your reference.  [If anyone wants to see these responses, please email Karen at info at snocoheritage.org and I will forward to you - the listserv cannot handle attachments.]

Brian Turner, Senior Field Officer/Attorney in the San Francisco Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, wrote a comprehensive summary of the lawsuit and the ruling:
A Video Blog of the last full time fire spotter stationed at the Green Mountain Lookout can be seen at:
The following are recent News Articles on the issue:
Thanks to all for any support you can provide – this is an issue that we can all weigh in on!  Don’t hesitate to contact me with additional questions.
206.624.9449 (O)
206.930.5067 (C)
206.624.2410 (F)
cmoore at preservewa.org 
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