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Senator Murray’s Statement on House Passage of Legislation to Protect the Green Mountain Lookout

Apr 07 2014

After also passing the US Senate last Thursday, legislation sponsored by Senator Murray will go to President where it is expected to become law

U.S. Senator Patty Murray today released the following statement after S. 404, legislation to protect the Green Mountain Lookout, passed through the House of Representatives.

“This is a small, but meaningful step in returning some hope to the community impacted by the deadly landslide last month. It provides some reassurance that even as that community mourns their loved ones and begins the long process of rebuilding, that a vital part of the tourism economy of that region is being protected. It also is an important accomplishment in our continued efforts to preserve the treasures of our state for future generations.

“I’m so proud that I was able to sponsor and pass this bill through the Senate. And when Mayor Rankin made clear that speedy passage was vital to giving the community of Darrington a glimmer of hope for the future, I was even prouder to get work to make this happen immediately.”

The following are Senator Murray’s remarks on the Senate floor following Senate Passage of the bill on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014:

M. President, I come to the floor today to request unanimous consent to pass a bill that is a small step in what will be a very long recovery process for a community devastated by the landslide in my home state two weeks ago.

The Green Mountain Lookout bill we are passing won’t rebuild anyone’s home or provide the desperately needed human aid that we are supporting through recent federal disaster designations.

But what it will do is provide a glimmer of hope for the long term recovery of this region – and in particular the community of Darrington.

For years now, along with Senator Cantwell, I have fought to pass this bill through procedural and political hurdles -- because I know what it means to Snohomish County and that region of my state.

The Green Mountain Lookout is more than a hiking destination - it’s part of the Pacific Northwest’s heritage, and it’s a cherished, historical landmark

It’s a place where parents have brought their kids for generations to appreciate the splendor of the great outdoors in the Northwest.

And it’s a place that has been a vital source of tourism related income for some of the people who have been impacted by the deadly landslide that struck that region.

In fact, I was just up in Darrington last weekend and had the opportunity to sit down with the Mayor and many of the small-town officials.

We're talking about a town of about 1,200 people and they told me tremendous stories about the families that have been lost, about people that had driven to the store on a Saturday morning and now only have what they wore when they left their home a few hours later. 

I heard about the needs that this community is going to have for a long time, the emotional impact. and after we finished sort of our official meeting, the mayor took us aside and told myself and Senator Cantwell and Congresswoman Delbene that the one little glimmer of hope he thought he could provide to this community was passage of this Green Mountain Lookout bill that we are going to pass in a few moments.

I want to give a truly heartfelt thanks to both Senator Landrieu and Senator Murkowski who have been incredibly understanding and helpful in the process of getting this bill cleared.

They both know what it means when communities large and small are impacted with disaster and they both know that the federal government needs to be there quickly to provide support. 

The people of Oso, Arlington and Darrington have a long road to recovery.

I was so pleased that the President granted a Major Disaster Declaration yesterday which will be vital to meeting many of the immediate human needs they face.

But it’s also important that these communities know we are in it for the long-term.

And even small steps like this one – that will support the region’s tourist economy – are critical to showing them the federal government will be there for them.

And that as they mourn their loved ones, recover, and ultimately rebuild we won’t forget them.