Guidelines were known, ignored

Regarding the Monday letter, “Lookouts a plus, remains are not”: Heybrook, Alpine and Pilchuck are not in a designated wilderness, so they do not fall under the limitations of using helicopters or motorized equipment for their restoration and or maintenance. Three Fingers Lookout, while in the Boulder River Wilderness, was restored without the use of motorized equipment or a helicopter, but by volunteers carrying up the materials after horses and mules carried them several miles up the trail.

Several lookouts lying in wilderness areas have had the provision written in the act where helicopters may be used. As in the Evergreen Mountain lookout, Wild Sky Wilderness, and the Miners Ridge lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. But the Forest Service itself said, when the Green Mountain lookout was added to the Glacier Peak Wilderness, “It didn’t meet the criteria.” So the provision of the use of a helicopter was left out. Even then, there are certain procedures and guidelines, where if they had been followed, the use of the helicopter may have possibly been used. But these rules, procedures and guidelines were ignored. Talking to one who has been involved in many lookout restorations, and one who I consider an expert on lookouts, as well as wilderness areas, said this to me: “They knew that it was wrong! They knew what they were doing was wrong! But they deliberately, did it anyway!”

Don Stobbe


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