| A Summary of the Mt. Hood Proposed Solution
The Hood River Valley Residents Committee, Hood River County, and the Mt. Hood Meadows have reached an agreement that seeks to settle a long-standing dispute on the fate of the north side of Mt. Hood. The parties seek assistance from Oregon’s congressional delegation and conservation groups in order to implement this plan.
The plan is that Mt. Hood Meadows and its related entities and principles would permanently divest themselves of all the properties they own and operate on the North side of Mt. Hood (approximately 775 acres of private land, the Inn at Cooper Spur, and the 1,400 acres ski area permit and facilities) in exchange for certain public land of equal value in Government Camp which has been zoned for residential development. The Government Camp property consists of one 80-acre and one 40-acre parcel. The proposal is that Mt. Hood Meadows would receive property equal in value to its north side holdings pursuant to Forest Service approved professional appraisals.
This agreement preserves the existing natural setting of the North side of Mt. Hood for future generations, while permitting the Government Camp Community Plan to be implemented in a manner envisioned by Government Camp and consistent with County and State land use laws. The plan for the north side of Mt. Hood would preserve the Crystal Springs watershed, Cloud Cap, Cooper Spur, Tilly Jane Creek and Polallie Canyon areas, and the historic community ski area. The plan is to leave the existing facilities on the north side of Mt. Hood at their current size and footprint, by protecting all adjacent forestlands within and without the Crystal Springs Zone of Contribution from development and further ski expansion.
II. Proposed Solution
The proposed solution seeks to achieve the following:
A. Cooper Spur Ski Area (CSSA) – Approximately 1400 acre permit area, with approximately 50 acres developed.
Proposed designation: The CSSA permit area would be reduced down to its current foot print except for the possibility that 10 to 20 acres directly to the east and north of the lower northern section of the ski hill may be used for a new tubing hill (not all the way up to the ridge above Polallie Canyon). The lands formerly in the CSSA permit area would be federally designated as Wilderness. These lands have been included in the current Lewis & Clark Wilderness proposal. The buildings and improvements at CSSA would be owned by the Forest Service. The Forest Service would lease the facilities to another entity (e.g. Hood River County Parks & Recreation or another non-profit organization). Neither Meadows nor any of its affiliates would operate the entity.
B. Cloud Cap Tilly Jane Special Interest Area (CPTJ SIA). The SIA contains more than 1,000 acres of land surrounded by Wilderness on two sides. The SIA covers all of the elements of the Historic District except for the Cooper Spur Warming Hut and the Tilly Jane Ski Trail.
Proposed designation: Congressionally designated Wilderness. The groups who operate or own the historic structures in the SIA would be able to continue to do so.
C. Crystal Springs Zone of Contribution. The ZOC is currently a mixture of public and private land 6.9 square miles in size.
Proposed designation: – Wilderness designation for the roadless areas that are public land. Legislation would protect the watershed permanently as a watershed protection area similar to what has been done in the Bull Run for all of the other public land that is not eligible for Wilderness protection.
D. Inn at Cooper Spur & Dillard Property - approximately 157 acres
Proposed designation: Watershed protective designation via legislation except that the 3 acres of Inn at Cooper may be A-4 Special Interest Area. The Inn would stay its current size and be operated by a lessee --- a non-profit or other appropriate venture, based on input and approval from the members of the Cooper Spur Wild & Free Coalition. The Inn may be converted into a historic site operated for the benefit of the public similar to the manner in which the Timberline Lodge is operated. The proposed solution intends to limit the footprint of the facility permanently.
Click here for a detailed version of the proposal.