Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...

Everything old is new again: How the EEOC is reinventing itself

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
BY TAMSEN LEACHMAN | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

It is important to understand the EEOC’s priorities, and ensure that your leadership understands the shifting expectations of regulators and the heightened standards to which you (and they) may be held.


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


Read more...

Grassroots movement pursues carbon bills

News
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
eventthumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A partnership of a grassroots environmental organization and a youth group is striving to build community and business support for carbon price legislation.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

Power Players

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.


Read more...

Are wolves good for business?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 06, 2015
030615-wolf-thumbBY JEFF DELKIN | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

As a local business owner, I believe it’s important to build our economy on a platform of conservation values.  


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