Wild and Free Bulletin

of the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition

Number 1        March 18, 2003

In this Issue:

Inaugural Bulletin

Welcome to the new periodic Bulletin of the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition.  The purpose is to provide timely information to subscribers about conservation efforts on Mt. Hood in general and the Cooper Spur area on the northeast flank of Mt. Hood in particular.

A main theme of the Bulletin is to let subscribers know what they can do to help in the Cooper Spur conservation effort.  A regular feature, Homework, will give ideas on action anyone can take to help.  It can usually be completed in minutes, gives a great feeling of satisfaction, and when done by hundreds of people it can move mountains.  Or in our case, help a mountain stay where it is.

If you received the Bulletin directly from the Coalition, it may be from information received on attendance sheets at public meetings, such as the recent Hood River County Planning Commission hearings.

This bulletin is not intended to be spam.  If you would prefer not to receive it, please follow the directions to unsubscribe below.

War Thoughts

[Ed.  This bulletin is written on the apparent eve of war.  While there may be no direct connection to Cooper Spur issues, the gravity of the day does not allow a dialogue on any subject without some recognition of it.  For some of us the prospect of military action, perhaps yet avoidable, grates on the same part of our heart that knows wrong as when we consider commercial development of a wild and free place like Cooper Spur.]

Award-winning author Hal Clifford to speak in Portland and Hood River

From publisher comments, "lifelong skier Hal Clifford reveals how publicly traded corporations gained control of America's most popular winter sport during the 1990s, and how they are gutting ski towns, the natural environment, and skiing itself in a largely futile search for short-term profits.  Chronicling the collision between Wall Street's demand for unceasing revenue growth and the fragile natural and social environments of small mountain communities, Clifford shows how the modern ski industry promotes its product as environmentally friendly - even invoking the words and emblems of such environmental icons as Ansel Adams and John Muir - while at the same time creating urban-style problems for mountain villages."

Please join the Cooper Spur Free and Wild Coalition to welcome Hal Clifford and learn from his findings what motivates destination resort development for Cooper Spur. 

In Portland

Saturday, March 22, 2003, 6:30 p.m.

First Unitarian Church, Salmon Street Sanctuary
1011 SW 12th Ave, downtown Portland between Salmon and Main

$5 - $20 sliding scale
Tickets available at the door

The Coalition would like to express many thanks to the 7th Principle (Environmental) Committee of the First Unitarian Church for supporting the Coalition's mission.

In Hood River

Sunday, March 23, 2003, 1:00 p.m.

CAST Theater
105 4th Street

$5 - $20 sliding scale

*Seats are limited, purchase tickets in advance at Waucoma Bookstore, 212 Oak St

Special thanks to Waucoma Bookstore for co-sponsoring this event.


Hood River County Planning Commission Hearings

The Hood River County Planning Commission held a public hearing on January 22, 29, and February 5 to hear public testimony about a proposed county map and ordinance regarding zoning for destination resorts.

While the proposed map and zoning ordinance applies to the whole county, the testimony centered on the plans by the owners of Mt. Hood Meadows ski area to develop a destination resort at Cooper Spur.  The outcome of the hearing will be a recommendation by the Planning Commission to the County Board of Commissioners, who will make a final decision on the destination resort map and zoning ordinance.  This is a critical issue for the conservation of Cooper Spur, since the Board's decision can either protect the area or it can encourage resort development.


In drafting a county ordinance for destination resort planning, Hood River County officials are following procedures outlined in Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals and Guidelines under a section called Goal 8: Recreational Needs, by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.  The goals and guidelines call for a map (current Planning Commission draft map) to be adopted by the county showing all land eligible for a destination resort.  There are specific rules about what land is eligible.  For example, land within 24 miles of an urban growth boundary or within three miles of farm land within a High Value Crop Area must be excluded.  Land containing certain types of forest and sensitive big game habitat must also be excluded.

The definition of "High Value Crop Area" is a big part of the Goal 8 mapping debate.  There are operating farms within three miles of the proposed Cooper Spur destination resort site, and Mt. Hood Meadows has influenced county planners and the independent planning firm, Cogan Owens Cogan, so that later revisions of the map showed Meadows' owned land as eligible.  This continues to be an important topic of debate.

The latest revisions of the county's Goal 8 map also show all U.S. National Forest land as eligible for a destination resort, even though the County arguably has no jurisdiction over it.  This change was also promoted by Mt. Hood Meadows and apparently supported by favorable correspondence from the Forest Service itself.  This helps development plans because if a public-private land swap were conducted then the newly privatized land could become immediately eligible without the need for further review. 

The especially sensitive big game habitat rule is another important area of debate.  The site of the proposed destination resort at Cooper Spur is within a key deer and elk migration corridor.


The public portion of the Goal 8 Mapping hearing took 10 hours over three sessions and received good news coverage.  The January 22 session saw one hundred people or more turned away because the meeting room was filled to capacity at 275.  In addition to the long-form presentations by both sides of the destination resort debate, 133 individuals each gave three minutes of testimony.  The topics were not limited to the technical details of the Goal 8 process but also included passionate pleas about

In the end, 81% of the speakers were opposed to destination resort development at Cooper Spur.

The county Planning Commission received written comments up to February 19.  They held a work session on February 26 to address questions with their staff.  Planning Director, Mike Bendict, was charged with gathering further specific information for the Planning Commissioners.  A second work session is scheduled for April 9. 

Regular Features


  1. You have already completed the most important part of your homework by staying informed about Cooper Spur.  Thank you for your interest.
  2. Forward this Bulletin and encourage friends and colleagues to subscribe.  See Subscription Information below.
  3. Go to one of the appearances of Hal Clifford (see above) and turn your dial to KBOO, 90.7 FM, Tuesday, March 18th between 10:00 am and 10:30 am to hear a live interview.
  4. If you would like to do more this week, consider sending a letter or e-mail to the Hood River County Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.  While the official period for submitting testimony to the Planning Commissioners on the Goal 8 planning is over, the Planning Commissioners have yet to make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, and real letters from constituents cannot be ignored:

Bill Lyons, Chair
Hood River County Planning Commission
State Street
Hood River, Oregon 97031

Chair Rodger Schock
Board of Commissioners
309 State St.
Hood River, OR 97031-2093

You can also e-mail your comments and read some suggested talking points.


Tuesday, March 18, 2003.  10:00 a.m. Live interview of Hal Clifford on KBOO 90.7 FM   

Saturday March 22, 2003.  6:30 p.m. Hal Clifford will speak in Portland.  See above for details.

Sunday  March 23, 2003.  1:00 p.m. Hal Clifford will speak in Hood River.  See above for details.

Cooper Spur Index

Current size of Cooper Spur Ski Area

Proposed size of Cooper Spur Ski Area after expansion under an existing USFS special use permit

Number of speakers giving testimony against a destination resort at the recent Hood River Planning Commission hearings

Number of speakers in favor

Width of key deer and elk migration corridor at Cooper Spur

Amount of corridor cut by lands that would be developed into a destination resort


This issue of the Bulletin was edited by Mike Bruns, bulletin-editor@cooperspur.org.

For questions, more information, or to volunteer, please contact the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition at info@cooperspur.org.

Subscription Information

The Bulletin of the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition is published periodically by e-mail to registered subscribers.  It may be forwarded in integral form to anyone.  While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information presented here, mistake are possible.  Please forward requests for corrections or clarifications to bulletin-editor@cooperspur.org.

To Subscribe to the Bulletin of the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition send an email to CSWF-subscribe@cooperspur.org.

To Unsubscribe send an email to CSWF-unsubscribe@cooperspur.org.






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