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

Oregon needs a Grand Bargain energy plan

Linda Baker
Monday, June 22, 2015
0622-gastaxblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.


Read more...

An uncertain future

Guest Blog
Thursday, May 21, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.


Read more...

Destination Resorts 2.0

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.


Read more...

Queen of Resilience

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Astrid Scholz scales up sustainability.


Read more...

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


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