Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Actby Representative Rick Larsen
Posted on 2014-04-07
LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the chairman
of the full committee, the ranking member of the full committee, and
the ranking member of the subcommittee for helping to bring S. 404 to
the floor, the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act.
The lookout symbolizes a unique and vanishing part of the Pacific Northwest's heritage, and this bill symbolizes Congress' solidarity with a hard-hit part of our State.
The Green Mountain Lookout is one of few surviving fire lookouts in the West. It is one of only six such lookouts within a wilderness area. It was an early warning station during World War II to alert citizens to possible aerial invasion.
The communities in nearby Darrington and Oso are recovering from last month's tragic landslide that has taken the lives of dozens of people and shut the communities off from much of the outside world. First responders, FEMA, and other Federal agencies have been extraordinary in their efforts to help with recovery.
Passing this bill invests in a longer-term economic recovery of the region. Many of the people in these communities rely on outdoor recreation and the tourism that it brings for their livelihoods. Part of that economy is based on access to its historic and beautiful location, like Green Mountain Lookout.
Keeping the lookout in place means Darrington has one more reason to tell people from across this country that Darrington is open for business. With the summer recreation season coming up, protecting Green Mountain Lookout sends a message from Congress to these communities as well that we are with you.
For 12 years, I represented these communities in Congress and for 3 years before that on the local county council. I introduced legislation identical to this bill in June 2012 right after an ill-advised court decision suggested that Green Mountain Lookout should be taken down.
I was pleased that Senators Murray and Cantwell followed that with the introduction of companion legislation in December of 2012.
In February 2013, Congresswoman DelBene reintroduced this bill, along with our Senate colleagues.
I appreciate my colleagues' willingness to protect the lookout, and I appreciate the support of Chairman Hastings, Ranking Member DeFazio, and [[Page H2980]] others to put this bill on the President's desk.
By protecting the lookout, we will protect the economic livelihoods of many of those who have struggled after last month's tragic landslide.
I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and to vote for S. 404.
Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I advise my friend from Arizona I am prepared to close if he is prepared to close.