Wild and Free Bulletin



March 21, 2005



Summer Use at Cooper Spur Announced

The Cooper Spur Wild and Free (CSWF) coalition recently received a “scoping letter,” or announcement, that could threaten the quiet backcountry use of the Tilly Jane roadless area surrounding the Cooper Spur Ski Area. Mt. Hood Meadows (MHM), operator of the 50-acre ski area, has requested permission from the U.S. Forest Service to host a variety of events at the ski area to increase summer profits.

Will the Forest Service Let Meadows Compete with Local Businesses?

Not only could summer events spoil the quiet forest experience of hikers using the Tilly Jane wilderness, but would compete with private landowners who depend on their own special event income. Despite the fact that the Mt. Hood Forest Plan does not allow for these activities, last summer the Forest Service granted MHM a Categorical Exclusion that shortcutted an environmental analysis to allow concerts, weddings, parties, etc. on the ski grounds. Now the Forest Service is proposing to do this again to further test the profitability of holding summer events. Mt. Hood Meadows is taking advantage of the system at the expense of local businesses, backcountry hikers, and wildlife.

Other potential impacts of summer events on the Tilly Jane wilderness include:

You can view the Coalition’s letter to the Forest Service outlining objections to this expansion of activity by visiting www.cooperspur.org.

Speak Up Now for Cooper Spur! Comments Due Friday, March 25

The Forest Service will take public comment through this Friday, March 25. Please tell the Forest Service not to threaten local businesses and the historic quiet uses of Cooper Spur for Mt. Hood Meadow’s profit. For information to put in your comment see above or go to www.cooperspur.org and submit your comments to:

Doug Jones
Hood River Ranger District
6780 Highway 35
Mt. Hood/Parkdale, OR 97041
Phone: (541) 352-6002
Fax: (541) 352-7365
E-mail: dgjones@fs.fed.us

Hike the Pollalie Ridge Trail in the Proposed Tilly Jane Wilderness!

Lou Klump, Oregon Nordic Club representative on the Cooper Spur Wild and Free Steering Committee will lead a hike up the world famous Pollalie Ridge Trail March 27, 2005. Call Lou for details on where to meet at (503) 649-9612. This will be an all day hike of 8 miles and 3,000 feet elevation gain, climbing the Pollalie Ridge Trail to a point above the tree line and returning via the Historic Tilly Jane Trail. Departure will be 8:30AM.

Pollalie Ridge Trail Restoration Update

Cooper Spur Wild and Free members, with the help of the Forest Service, cleared the Pollalie Ridge Trail last summer. The trail had been neglected for some 20 years due to lack of trail maintenance funds. It’s a wonderful route, winding along the crest of an ancient moraine that looks into Pollalie Canyon, some 1,000 feet down. A large glacier carved this U-shaped valley during the last ice age. Now, instead of ice, there’s a forest and roaring river at the bottom. Several points along the way offer unique views of the mountain and the huge blocks of ice that form the Elliot Glacier. There’s nothing like it anywhere else on Mount Hood.

The trail climbs 2,000 feet in three miles, and is accessed from the Historic Tilly Jane Trail using a connector trail that runs just above the top of the Cooper Spur Ski Area. Look for the sign pointing left to the Ski Area as you ascend the Tilly Jane. About 20 feet down this trail you will see a fork veering off to the right and uphill. That’s the connector trail, which leads to the Pollalie Ridge, approximately 1/4 of a mile. The trail goes to the Tilly Jane Cabin where you can visit this historic building and get back on the Tilly Jane or follow the signs to ascend further up the ridge to the Round-the-Mountain Trail. The views only get better as you break above the tree line!

If you want to help in any way, please contact us via the web site e-mail address. Even a one-hour commitment is very important, and will help keep Cooper Spur Wild and Free!

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