Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Mount Rainier National Park


PARKS: 2014 resolutions for our national parks

Re: “2014 look ahead” (TNT, 1-5).

With hopes for a better 2014, the National Parks Conservation Association appreciates the rear-view look at the particularly trying year for our national parks.

In addition to the noted closure of Mount Rainier National Park’s Ohanapecosh visitor center due to across-the-board cuts from the government sequester, the park had to implement earlier closures of its Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh campgrounds, on top of indefinitely delaying needed road repairs and campgrounds maintenance.

Collectively, these closures impacted tens of thousands of park visitors. Across the country, national park operations budgets have faced a 13 percent

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RAINIER: One idea could enhance safety

Re: “Life and death on the mountain” (TNT, 2-19).

The National Park Service staff working up on Mount Rainier should be applauded for their efforts to make visitor trips to the park as safe as possible. However, education, technology, and search and rescue staff can only go so far.

Having worked on the mountain, and taken more than 100 trips to the summit, I’ve always wondered why the park has not implemented a simple solution that certainly would have prevented many fatalities in the past.

When driving up to Paradise in the winter, the road is lined with 8-foot

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CONGRESS: Continue investments in state’s outdoor heritage

Re: “Interior Department plan would benefit Nisqually Refuge” (thenewstribune.com, 2-16).

One of the reasons I love living in the Northwest is easy access to Mount Rainier National Park. I was overjoyed when I heard that the president’s budget requested funding to protect Mount Rainier through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

I’m not alone. Many people and businesses locate in Washington, and choose to spend their money here, because of our unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities.

The LWCF is our nation’s principal funding source for local, state and national parks; trails; wildlife refuges; and working forests, farms and ranches.

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PARKS: Protect rain forest near Mount Rainier

I’ve lived in Seattle all my life and have enjoyed beautiful hikes around Mount Rainier. What I didn’t know was that in the U.S. there are only two inland rain forests; one of them is right next to the mountain. The Carbon River on the northwest side runs right through this rain forest and is a major breeding ground for chinook and sockeye salmon.

The rain forest around this river is part of the vital ecosystem, but it is unprotected from logging and development. This summer, take some time to write a letter to your senators about including this rare

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RAINIER: Airplanes leave the smallest footprint

Re: “Park flight fight hits turbulence” (TNT, 4-25).

Why is listening to “subtle sounds of nature” more worthy than seeing the magnificence of nature from the air?

I know people who can’t hike Mount Rainer Park, let alone go there with sensitive equipment to listen to falling rain, chewing insects and the snow melting. Some of them are disabled, old or just very young.

Seeing the mountain from the air is breathtaking and much less intrusive than traipsing through the woods, breaking plants and disturbing the wildlife with sensitive equipment.
To see the park from the air actually leaves

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RAINIER: Bedlam in the wilderness skies

Re: “Park flight fight hits turbulence” (TNT, 4-25).

I live near Mount Rainier. Air traffic has increased dramatically, especially military: helicopters and twin-engine Sherpas flying low to the ground even at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., rattling windows, heading to Yakima.

Then there are search-and-rescue aircraft, National Park Service-contracted aircraft, and commercial and private sightseeing aircraft. My once peaceful neighborhood is now noisy with the drone and thumping of aircraft.

Camping on Stevens Ridge, two miles into the wilderness, we couldn’t hear each other talk from the low-flying park service helicopter. On Panorama Point, it is common to see aircraft

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PARKS: Support decision on Carbon River Road

I was pleased to read Craig Hill’s article, “Carbon River trail coming” (TNT, 2-11). The decision to convert most of the Carbon River Road to a trail is the correct decision.

As quoted in the article, Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga made this very difficult decision after careful consideration of the options before him and what makes the most sense for the Park Service, the public and the park itself.

Since 1977, damage to the Carbon River Road from flooding has occurred an average of every 2.4 years; a road here is no longer feasible due to continual

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