It's a blue bird day at Teacup Lake Nordic area and the sun lights up the snowy peak of nearby Mt. Hood. I push off on a crust of perfectly groomed Nordic track on my classic skis, trying to catch...
There's a massive real estate deal in the works on Mount Hood, and if you have opinions about it, the Forest Service would like to hear them.
The long-delayed Mt. Hood Land Exchange finally reached a key milestone with the Oct. 28 release of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The document is available for your perusal, weighing in at a slightly bloated 393 pages, not including supporting documents.
For those of you lacking the appetite for devouring 393 pages of EIS-speak, here are nine key facts to give you a sense of the magnitude and importance of the Mt. Hood Land Exchange:
The Forest Service's analysis of the project considered cultural resources; hydrology; wetlands; water rights; threatened, endangered, and sensitive species (aquatics, wildlife, and plants); recreation; visuals; facilities; and socio-economics. But solid property valuations are still missing in action. Those numbers will be crucial, because the law requires that public-private land swaps must involve properties of comparable value.
Meadows President Matthew Drake has lobbied hard to make the deal happen, with support from environmental groups, Senator Ron Wyden, and U. S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
The map below shows the rough location of the property north of Government Camp that would go from public ownership to Mt. Hood Meadows. Meadows plans to develop lodging with shuttle buses connecting to its main resort. There is also a long-term, long-shot plan involving a gondola connecting Govy with Timberline, but extending that aerial connection over the White River drainage to Vista Ridge at Meadows remains a long-shot (though a long-shot worth considering).
This overview map screenshot gives you a sense of how much larger the Cooper Spur property to the northeast is than the Government Camp property to the southwest:
Shred Hood Editor Ben Jacklet is a lifelong skier, a career journalist, and an MBA student at Portland State University.