Summits to unveil `vision’ for mountain

November 26, 2005

Two federal legislators are hosting summits in their respective hometowns on Dec. 3 to share with citizens their long-term vision for Mount Hood.

U.S. Reps. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, and Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, will present “A Legacy for Mount Hood” from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Gorge Room at Hood River’s Best Western Inn. A second forum will take place the same day from 1:30 to 3.30 p.m. in Hoffman Hall at Portland State University.

Walden and Blumenauer will present their blueprint for mixed-use of the mountain. They are seeking public feedback on their draft plan to address concerns expressed by multiple stakeholders.

“The concepts we are putting forward at these summits culminate a three-year effort of listening and learning about the demands on the mountain, and the needs and ways to protect it for the future while we enjoy its many offerings today,” said Walden, chair of the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health.

“As Oregon’s recreation mountain, Mount Hood stands as a bold symbol of the quality of life we desire in the Northwest. Our proposals will improve transportation, recreation and the health of the forest, while enhancing and protecting water quality and wilderness values,” he continued.

“After three years of hard work, we’re ready to advance a proposal for additional wilderness and a legacy for the future of Mount Hood,” said Blumenauer.

In August, Walden and Blumenauer went on a 41-mile trek along the Timberline Trail on Mount Hood to discuss potential legislation. During that trip, they met with experts in a variety of fields, including hydrology, geology, forestry, wilderness, recreation, tribal concerns, climatology and wildlife. Those informal meetings followed two previous summits, each of which drew between 250-300 participants, and many round-table discussions held within the last three years.

After completing their journey this summer, Walden and Blumenauer set down to work on the conceptual plan. They now want to unveil their ideas for public comment before any formal legislation is introduced.

Blumenauer represents the 3rd Congressional District of Oregon and Walden the 2nd District; the two districts split Mount Hood at its crest.

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