Local Scout property making National News

Got this from the Scouting News Blog

Partnership Will Protect Boy Scouts Land in Happy Valley
Posted on 11 December 2010 by Press Release


A beloved Boy Scouts property overlooking Happy Valley will be protected as a public natural area with new trails, picnic tables and restrooms, thanks to a partnership including Metro, the City of Happy Valley and the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District.
Metro is under contract to purchase 70 acres from the Boy Scouts of America’s Cascade Pacific Council, investing funds from the region’s voter-approved 2006 natural areas bond measure.
Under an agreement approved this month by all the parties, Metro will oversee restoration and improvements at the forested property. Happy Valley will pay for the upgrades with its remaining $380,000 of local allocation from the bond. And the parks district will manage the future Scouter Mountain Natural Area, which could open as early as summer 2012.
“This partnership will ensure that future generations connect with nature in a fast-growing part of the region,” said Metro Councilor Rod Park, who represents the eastern suburbs in District 1. “Voters were thinking of places like Scouter Mountain when they asked Metro to protect our best remaining land in the Portland metropolitan area.”
Rising more than 700 feet above the valley floor, Scouter Mountain is part of the Boring Lava Field. The future natural area is part of a larger property owned by the Boy Scouts, who will retain about 110 acres.
Scouter Mountain Natural Area will honor the Boy Scouts’ legacy on the site – not only by promoting outdoor exploration, but also by salvaging pieces of a deteriorating lodge to incorporate in the new picnic shelter. An independent study determined that it would cost more than $8 million to restore Chief Obie Lodge, which has been closed since 2004 due to fire safety issues. The Scouts will deconstruct the 22,000-square-foot building prior to the property sale, which is expected to be finalized this spring.
“Like so many others, I have very fond memories of camping and other activities on Scouter Mountain with my children and as a young Scoutmaster,” said the Scouts’ council president, Gene Grant, a former mayor of Happy Valley. “While we all were disappointed to find the cost of preserving the lodge was too high, the new trails, restrooms and picnic shelter that will replace and reuse the lodge materials will be a welcome amenity we will all put to good use. I am truly excited to help create the Scouter Mountain nature park with these new facilities.”
The Scouts plan to invest proceeds from the sale at their 17 camping properties in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. More than 15,000 youth and volunteers attend overnight or day-camping programs every summer, and another 30,000 Scouts camp independently throughout the year.
At the Scouter Mountain site surrounding the future natural area, for example, the Scouts host more than 2,000 campers every summer. Now, those campers will share part of the mountain with fellow nature-lovers.
“The City of Happy Valley is thrilled to have access to another 70 acres of natural area to enhance our city’s green spaces,” said Happy Valley Mayor Rob Wheeler. “As a result of this outstanding acquisition, our residents will have direct access to trails for recreation and education within our natural environment. This is a great asset for the city and the region.”
Happy Valley citizens voted to join the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District in 2006. The district covers 36 square miles, stretching from Happy Valley west to the Willamette River, south to the Clackamas River and north to the Multnomah County line. The new natural area on Scouter Mountain – which was identified as a long-term priority for the district – will be added to a roster of 60 parks and facilities.
“It’s a wonderful resource, which we’re happy to see preserved for people to use,” said Michelle Healy, parks district manager. “It fits well into what we’re trying to do.”
Scouter Mountain Natural Area showcases Metro’s natural areas bond measure at its best, said Metro Council President Carlotta Collette.
“Voters have allowed us to leverage this region’s passion for the outdoors,” she said. “No one party in this collaboration could have done it alone. But working together, a community group, a city, a park district and the regional government are protecting Scouter Mountain for future generations.”
Metro’s voter-approved Natural Areas Program protects land in 27 key areas across the region. To learn more, visit www.oregonmetro.gov/naturalareas.
Source: Oregon Metro News Release

OK.. Now my opinion.
I love Chief Obie Lodge and wish we still had access to it, but as the article said.. we have not been in it for a very long time and have done fine without it.  The way I see it, the CPC and the Scout units therein are loosing nothing and gaining much needed funds to improve the 17 other camps that we use on a regular basis.
I know in our area that this issue has tugged at the heart strings of many scouters (the scouts can really care less).  But I personally think the council has done the right thing here.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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3 thoughts on “Local Scout property making National News

  1. It is very sad to have lost the Lodge. I couldn't help but feel hornswaggled after seeing how the government went about it. I will never forget watching the news at 5:30 am and seeing all of the documentation and posturing. I only hope that the area remains safe for BSA use. We all know what happens in remote parks.

  2. >It is a sad day for all of us, the lodge is officially demolished. Unfortunately the one thing the author of this article is missing is all the facts.Since 2004, volunteers of the Council have been trying to get approval to renovate and use the lodge. But at each turn we were shut out because they would make more money in the short time by selling as opposed to keeping it and reaping the benefits in the long run.

  3. >We had a fire side chat with the SE of the CPC this Saturday. The Chief Obie Lodge issue came up as well as the future of Scouters Mountain. I think the Board at the CPC is in fact looking out for the best interest of the Council as a whole and maybe, just maybe Scouters Mountain has to be on the chopping block to make the council better. I agree, the lodge was nice and a great location… but beyond that it had run its course and the council board was (is) not willing to improve it.. not when the real camps in the council need up keep and maintainance.In so far as Scouters Mountain for a Cubbie camp goes.. well, fortunately in our council we have better options there too. Scouters Mountain is not a great camping area contrary to what you all may think. It may be close, but so us Lewis, Morrison, and Ireland. Campership was higher than it has been in years last year and while the day camps at Scouters Mountain did play a role in that, it was not a role that could not have been abosorbed at one of the three other cub camps. With $$ from Scouters Mountain going to improvements elsewhere, the camping programs of the CPC will be better off in the long run.Having said all of that.. I have no emotional attachment to Scouters Mountain, even though it is within my District.We held the October Ordeal there as we do annually. It was terrible, a party was going on just over the fence.. It is hard for Allowat to challange Scouts to live a life of Cheerful Service when beer cans are being tossed into a bon fire and AC/DC plays Who Shook me all night long 150 ft from the ceremony. As development happens in Happy Valley the BSA will be completely surrounded and it will be nothing more than a park with Tee Pees.I think the Council should get all it can for the property and do better elsewhere.Thanks for your comments

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