Search The Site
Press Release of Senator Cantwell
Cantwell: To Protect Mt. St. Helens, it's Time to Look at Transferring Site to Park Service
Friday, April 13,2007
WASHINGTON, DC - Friday, following an announcement by the Forest Service that it plans to scale back visitor center operations at Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said it was time to look at preserving the monument as part of our National Parks system. Currently, the Forest Service manages the site.
"This plan shows that the Forest Service is not taking its responsibility to protect our natural heritage at Mt. St. Helens seriously," said Cantwell. "Each year, thousands of Americans visit this monument to see the stunning effects of the 1980 eruption. This unique destination showcases the eruption's dramatic aftermath, and lets visitors see returning plants and animals firsthand. We need a real plan to improve opportunities for visitors, not cut them back. It's time we looked at transferring Mt. St. Helens from the Forest Service to the Park Service."
Cantwell's proposal comes as the Forest Service announced plans to close the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center during 2008. Other active volcanoes of significant natural value in the Unites States, including Mauna Loa in Hawaii, are operated by the Park Service. Cantwell first raised the possibility of a transfer last summer during the confirmation hearings of now-Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.
Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, set to close next year, opened in 1993 and was built at a cost of $11.5 million.