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SITE DESIGN BY: Style Can Studio

 Mazamas statement on the proposed destination resort and ski area expansion on the NE side of Mt. Hood 

In March 2002, the Mazamas Executive Council approved our organization's position on this issue. 


Mazamas, a mountaineering organization established July 19, 1894 on the summit of Mt. Hood, has a century long tradition of leadership, safety, conservation, and climbing education in the Northwest.  The Mazamas’ mission is to "Provide a comprehensive climbing program with allied activities that enhance and protect the participants and the environment.”  The original 1894 (and current) bylaws of the Mazamas stated as one of its primary purposes: " ... to explore mountains, to disseminate authoritative and scientific information concerning them, and to encourage the preservation of forests and others features of mountains in their natural beauty."

It has come to the Mazamas’ attention that (1) Meadows North, LLC (an affiliate of Mt. Hood Meadows Development Corporation, “Meadows”) has consolidated its land holdings by purchasing the Cooper Spur Inn and Ski Area and 156 acres of nearby land with the intention of developing the ski area, (2) Hood River County has proposed to enter a land exchange with Meadows, trading 620 acres owned by the County and located adjacent to the Cooper Spur Inn and Ski Area for 750 acres owned by Meadows and located in remote zoned forestland and (3) Meadows has publicly proposed to develop the land it obtains in the exchange into a 4-season destination resort with approximately 450 new housing units, an 18-hole golf course, retail shops, and restaurants.

A portion of the land currently owned by Meadows on the NE side of Mt. Hood and the land at issue in the exchange and the surrounding area contains old growth forests worthy of protection and provides a pristine backcountry experience for Mazamas as well as recreationists from all over the world.

This land is also part of a key elk migration corridor, the sensitive Crystal Springs watershed which provides drinking water for 2,000 nearby residents, and the East Fork Hood River watershed.  The land and surrounding public and private land is an important part of Mazamas’ history as well as an essential element of the natural heritage for the entire region and in particular the citizens of Hood River County, neighboring counties and the residents of Portland. 

Local residents and citizen groups, including many members of the Mazamas, have raised a substantial question about the legality of the land exchange.  The Oregon Revised Statutes require that the land be exchanged for “equal value” and be in the “public interest.”  Here, the exchange agreement illegally excluded the potential development value of the property without further analysis.  Here, the County specifically limited the appraisal to not include the full development potential of the land while it simultaneously is taking action to open up the ability of Meadows to develop this land.

Due to the nature of the land at issue, the Mazamas request that all lands subject to the exchange remain as forestlands, that Hood River County land be retained in public ownership, and that the County consider purchasing the desired forestland from Meadows if it is determined to be in the public interest.

Furthermore, the Mazamas, and its interested members, demand that Hood River County, at a minimum, comply with state law governing exchanges of County forestland by allowing the public to provide input on the exchange and by hiring a qualified appraiser to properly assess the valuation of the properties at issue.

Finally, the Mazamas oppose the expansion of the Cooper Spur Inn ski area or the surrounding land at issue including, development of a 4-season destination resort, a golf course of any kind, and the development of any new ski lifts or ski runs on the land at issue.

Mazamas Conservation Committee


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