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|Articles - June 2011|
|Wednesday, May 18, 2011|
Page 8 of 10That’s the kind of economic paradox that is likely to continue creating tension around the mountain into the future as more people come to the region, escape to the mountain and rely on its resources. The mountain’s wild beauty and its magnetic pull are at once its greatest attributes and its greatest perils. Were it not the grand mountain that it is, if it did not have its iconic profile, its historic lodge and lingering ski season, its towering forests, crystalline waters and rich volcanic soils, there would be no 4.5 million visitors spending hundreds of millions of dollars here every year, no orchard industry, no snowboard camps.
And yet, the more people who come to the area to live or even visit, the more the mountain and its resources are taxed. Timberline’s mountain bike park, for example, could generate an estimated $1 million in visitor spending every year, which would boost the local economy. But conservation groups oppose it, citing potential environmental damage and increased traffic and noise at the lodge. Similar tensions will likely arise whenever new development or transportation upgrades visit the mountain as well.
For more than 100 years now, Mount Hood’s recreation, tourism, agriculture and natural resources have coalesced into a unique economy tied directly to the mountain and its surrounding environment. It is an economy that has a reach far beyond the mountain itself, from the Bull Run water serving the Oregon Zoo — and its 1.5 million annual visitors — to the Hood River pears that end up in Russia and Taiwan and the international snowboarding teams that practice at Timberline in the summer. It is an economy challenged by weather, geography and the tenuous balance between growth and conservation, extraction and preservation. And it is an economy — and a mountain — that will continue to shape and texture an entire region.
About the author: An Ohio native, Jon Bell had never seen Mount Hood until he moved to Oregon in 1997. Once he did, however, he quickly found himself drawn to the mountain. Since then he’s climbed it, hiked it, camped on it, kind of learned to ski on it and otherwise become acquainted with the state’s signature peak. “Everyone I know out here has some kind of a connection with Mount Hood,” he says, “It has such a huge presence and influence.” A graduate of Michigan State University, Bell is a regular contributor to Oregon Business. His work has also appeared in publications such as Backpacker, The Oregonian and Oregon Coast. His book, On Mount Hood (Sasquatch Books, $22.95) is out this month.
Thursday, December 04, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.
Sunday, December 07, 2014
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Monday, November 10, 2014
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.
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The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.
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