Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Baker and Helens should be a National Park!
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Cooper Warpula



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PostTue Jul 19, 2022 3:18 pm 
Why isnít Mount Baker part of North Cascades National Park? I think it would be a fantastic park If it included Mount Baker. I sent an email to the White House about a year ago, it never got replied. Same with Mount St Helens, why isnít it a National Park? Iíve been to about 25 National Parks, and half of them donít compare to Mount St Helens.

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Secret Agent Man
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PostTue Jul 19, 2022 4:08 pm 
There was a thread here discussing a St Helens National Park and/or wilderness area a couple months ago https://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8035425

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RodF
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PostTue Jul 19, 2022 4:29 pm 
Why isn't Mt. Hood a National Park?  or Idaho's Sawtooths, Oregon's Wallowas, Wyoming's Wind Rivers?

Because Congress has not designated them so.

Because their state's Senators and Congressmen have not heard no public outcry for it, conducted public meetings to refine such proposals, nor sponsored such legislation.

Because there is no public sentiment driving them to do so.

Might this perhaps be because the entrance fees, reservations and hiking quotas on trails and campsites, imposed by NPS, dissuade much of the public from visiting National Parks?  confused.gif

Or the long lines of cars backed up at Park entrance stations every weekend may cause many to regard National Parks as sacrificial zones designed, like flypaper, to attract out-of-state tourists, so they can go elsewhere?   wink.gif

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Randito
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PostTue Jul 19, 2022 8:13 pm 
RodF wrote:
regard National Parks as sacrificial zones designed, like flypaper, to attract out-of-state tourists, so they can go elsewhere?† wink.gif


Like say the Enchantments or Snow Lake N of Snoqualmie Pass -- those places never see crowds of people.   confused.gif

Perhaps areas of particular beauty attract a lot of attention independent of their status under federal law.

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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jul 19, 2022 10:25 pm 
check this out
Read down the page a bit to get to the land battle. Mostly industry, agency jealousy, and, truth told - fear of National Parks' habit of overbuilding.

I have a copy of the Ice Peaks National Park study under Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes - the Ice Peaks area was huge, and included practically the entire planet. (ask not, get not). There may be an be an online copy somewhere. (JSTOR?)

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kiliki
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 8:16 am 
Good comments already.

In most cases the USFS has been highly unwilling to give up lands to the NPS. There have been many legendary turf battles. MSH may be the exception as the USFS may be crying uncle here.

You'd also need politicians to back this, which means it needs to be a very popular idea across a variety of user groups and probably have a significant economic benefit to the local business community. I don't think we have that and it would face significant opposition from many, such as the snowmobilers that flock to Baker in the winter or other locals that just don't want more rules and regulations.

The NCNP superintendent (a former one) told me the biggest obstacle to an NCNP expansion was the otherwise conservation-minded people who wanted to hike with their dogs. That is very easy for me to believe.

Unlike MSH Baker doesn't seem to be an area where people are clambering for different management for any particular reason.

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mike
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 8:55 am 
kiliki wrote:
the otherwise conservation-minded people who wanted to hike with their dogs.

Yep. Include me in that one.


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Secret Agent Man
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 9:34 am 
kiliki wrote:
Unlike MSH Baker doesn't seem to be an area where people are clambering for different management for any particular reason.

I personally would be happy if the Baker NRA was non-motorized and I know I'm not the only one, but I doubt that will change any time in the foreseeable future with how committed the snowmobile people are to it, and I personally don't care enough to make a fuss about it.

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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 9:40 am 
Secret Agent Man wrote:
I personally would be happy if the Baker NRA was non-motorized and I know I'm not the only one, but I doubt that will change any time in the foreseeable future with how committed the snowmobile people are to it, and I personally don't care enough to make a fuss about it.

The wedge on Mt Baker where snowmobiles are allowed came out of a compromise when Baker Wilderness was created. It was the only way to get enough support for the Wilderness Area.

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kiliki
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 9:49 am 
mike wrote:
kiliki wrote:
the otherwise conservation-minded people who wanted to hike with their dogs.

Yep. Include me in that one.

It's not the hill I'd choose to die on, but me too, generally.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 8:56 pm 
Hiking addict wrote:
Why isnít Mount Baker part of North Cascades National Park?

It was a compromise to get NCNP to become a reality.  FS was doing a good enough job managing it that it wasn't really a priority, and there was a feeling that it was too similar to Rainier, NPS already had a stratovolcano in their jewel case.

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zimmertr
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 11:41 pm 
Make Rattlesnake Mountain a national park

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PostThu Jul 21, 2022 6:32 am 
ďKomo Kulshan: The story of Mt BakerĒ is an excellent and very detailed history of white peoples interaction with the mountain.

As I recall there was a very significant and sustained effort to make it a national park back in the day but failed due to just not making the list of parks being created at the time.

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DrScience
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PostWed Aug 10, 2022 1:33 pm 
There's quite a lot of information available on how the existing national parks became national parks. Ken Burns' great video series is a good place to start, as is the Wikipedia page on any given park. Long ago (more than a century) parks tended to be designated in order to protect a site of great natural beauty, but that idea faded away after the Antiquities Act gave the President broad authority to confer such protection, and Teddy Roosevelt asserted that authority so extensively that it has never been forgotten. During the last half-century, most parks have been political creations. Theodore Roosevelt National Park exists, for example, because a powerful senator from North Dakota believed (correctly, it turns out) that giving North Dakota a national park would draw tourists and their dollars to the state. Experience has shown that National Park status is often a kiss of death for a natural area; it draws funding, tourists, highway construction, and visitor facility construction. The biggest challenge faced by popular parks such as Great Smokies, Yosemite and Mount Rainier is how to protect the park from its visitors -- and they face that challenge with fees, regulations, reservation systems, and a host of other restraints on visitors. Be thankful that Mt. Baker and Mt. St. Helens are not national parks. It keeps them pristine.

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Schroder
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PostWed Aug 10, 2022 3:33 pm 
DrScience wrote:
Experience has shown that National Park status is often a kiss of death for a natural area;

Be thankful that Mt. Baker and Mt. St. Helens are not national parks. It keeps them pristine.

Nonsense. You're talking about the concepts of a century ago. North Cascades NP doesn't reflect your claims.

Personally, I believe that St. Helens should be a National Park but not Mt. Baker.

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