I don't know about the rest of you, but when I go to Mount Hood, I enjoy the security of knowing that I won't be killed under a massive slab avalanche. That security is due to the work of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center,
which monitors snow conditions in Oregon and Washington, issues forecasts, and generally promotes mountain safety for all of us snowboardin', mountain-climbin', outdoor-lovin' Portlanders.
But like the rest of us, the NWAC is suffering the effects of this recession.
According to NWAC director Mark Moore, the organization cannot expect to make it through the 2009-2010 season without additional funding. That's where Washington Senate Bill 5596 comes in, which is currently being debated in the Washington state Senate. The bill proposes adding a surcharge to sno-park permits and snowmobile licenses, and all of the funding will go towards keeping the NWAC operational.
So what should we do? We're Oregonians, not Washingtonians, after all. I suggest nagging your Washington cohorts to lobby their senator (which you can find out on the Washington State Senate home page, here
). If you're befuddled as to what to do, but would love to continue not dying on Mount Hood, feel free to contact Friends of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center
to see how you can help.