Sponsored by Lane Powell

Mount Hood's unique economy

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
0611_MountainEcon_05
Legislation in 2009 designated an additional 127,000 acres of land around Mount Hood as wilderness.
The economy associated with Oregon’s tallest mountain goes above and beyond recreation and tourism. Ever since Native Americans harvested huckleberries from the mountain’s flanks and pioneers first felled trees for cabins, natural resources from Hood and its surrounding environment have been crucial to not only the region’s economy, but to its very survival.

According to the Forest Service, the nearly 1.1-million-acre MHNF is host to no fewer than 15 municipal watersheds, the largest being the Bull Run Watershed, which provides drinking water for more than 800,000 Oregonians in the Portland metro region. Bull Run’s massive output, which comes not from the mountain’s glaciers but primarily from heavy rainfall, includes water for more than 20,000 commercial, industrial and institutional users such as Wacker Siltronic, Precision Castparts and Vigor Industrial.

Water from the Hood River, which pours directly off the mountain’s east and northern faces, also helps irrigate the pear, apple and cherry orchards of the Hood River Valley, one of the economic foundations of the area.

“Agriculture is the No. 1 economic factor in Hood River County and it has been forever,” says Jean Godfrey, executive director of the Columbia Gorge Fruit Growers, a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of growers and shippers in the mid-Columbia area. “Some people like to think it’s tourism, but it’s not.”

Every year, 350 growers in the Hood River Valley produce about 196,000 tons of pears, apples and cherries. When harvest is in full swing, more than 3,000 people are at work in orchards and packing houses across the valley. And once the picking and packing is done, roughly $84 million worth of fruit ships out, 30% of it leaving the country and the rest finding its way across it.

Another key natural resource, one which used to underpin much of the mountain economy, plays a fraction of the role that it used to: timber.

 



 

More Articles

4 winners and losers in the Kitzhaber scandal

The Latest
Thursday, February 12, 2015
021315-govorno-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a  few days ahead of the 2015 season, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

Transportation Fairness Alliance holds demonstration in Pioneer Square

The Latest
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
IMG 3367BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland's cab companies urged city hall for consideration as officials weigh new rules for Uber and other ridesharing companies.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS