About the Campaign

The author at Mount Hood’s White River Canyon (Photo by Brian Chambers)

Thanks for visiting the WyEast Blog! This is the voice of the Mount Hood National Park Campaign, encompassing what is now the Mount Hood National Forest, including the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge.

This is a private, non-profit movement to set a higher bar for what Mount Hood might become as a result of people like you and me sharing our own visions for the mountain and gorge. As we watch what so many of us consider to be a national shrine be chipped away with short-sighted decisions, it’s clear that we must act soon to protect our mountain. Through corporate greed and the inability of the U.S. Forest Service to act as an effective steward for our mountain, the future of Mount Hood and gorge stands at a crossroads.

The first step in advocating for a new Mount Hood National Park is to simply learn more about the threats to the mountain and gorge, and hopefully this blog and the campaign website will help you do that.  The next step is to voice your opinion, and you can find several ways to do that on the website. 

Finally, you should go enjoy the mountain – visit the high meadows, ancient forests, historic lodges, deep canyons, quiet lakes and splashing waterfalls. Walk in the tracks of Oregon Trail pioneers and pick huckleberries where countless generations of Native Americans have for centuries. There is no place quite like Mount Hood, and you can literally spend a lifetime discovering the secrets of this national treasure.

Tom Kloster | Mount Hood National Park Campaign

23 thoughts on “About the Campaign

  1. Would love to hear the status of your proposal for a Mark O. Hatfield Trail. What a beautiful route and great idea to honor the former senator.


  2. Greetings,

    I would like to learn more about what your organization is doing to achieve its goals.

    I am in the process of establishing a Celilo education/restoration political action committee and nonprofit.

    Please send me an email. I divide my time between Portland, Corvallis and Eugene, so if you are in one of those places I would like to have lunch with you.

    Vincent Mulier


  3. Hey Tom,

    I would like to see you enable comments in this blog – I’m a reader and love the content but there have been a few times now when I’ve had a question for you as a result of something you’ve posted but no good way to ask it. Keep up the good work!


  4. Hello Tom,

    As a staunch supporter I am wondering if there are opportunities for you to get some media time – say on KPOJ or other local talk radio show? I think it would be great and make a difference.

    On another note I wanted to let you know about an error on the third paragraph of the homepage. The Columbia Gorge (national scenic area) is not administered by the Mount Hood National Forest, it is its own entity, just thought you should know.

    Keep up the good work and feel free to contact me!



  5. Thanks, Trixie. I’ve had a bit of free broadcast media several years ago (after the first big Oregonian piece was published), but you’re right, I need to try KPOJ. I did a full hour on the local HikeYeah! podcast in 2010, before it folded. Thanks for your support — and correction on the web text!



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  7. Tom,
    I ran across your blog a few months ago and then read some more today. I love weather, history, and the outdoors and I think I’ve read almost every one of your posts. Nice job all around. Plus, my home is in one of your pictures (in the distance) of the logging above Latourell Falls. I have found Longview Fibre company to be good neighbors and don’t have any complaints about them. Of course clearcutting is, well, still clearcutting…Mark Nelsen


  8. Thanks, Mark – glad you found the blog! I don’t cover too much in the meteorology department, though I do have a couple of climate-oriented pieces in the hopper on the rain shadow effect, the aftermath of extended freezing rain/fog in the east Gorge this winter, and the long-term prognosis for glaciers in the face of global climate change.

    I admit, I’m not as kind regarding Longview Fibre (since the local ownership was bought out a few years ago, in particular) but I’m glad you’ve found them to be good neighbors.


  9. Tom – can you put me in touch with the folks who transcribed the Hiroshima Rock inscription? I have been fascinated by this mystery for years and have tried in vain to track down ancestors of the climbers.

    Peter M.


  10. Peter, I’ll try to connect to you via e-mail — I think we exchange e-mails a few years ago, so not sure I have your address, but I can introduce you to the folks who transcribed that message.


  11. Tom – I found this blog a few weeks ago and I found it informative with subject matter close to my heart. Thanks for your initiative and ongoing efforts.


  12. Hi Tom, I very much enjoy your blog and appreciate the time that I’m sure it takes to write such informative pieces. But I have to respectfully disagree with the drive to make Mt. Hood a national park. I’ve just returned from a week in the southern Utah desert, and found the national parks overrun with people and loved to death! We ended up doing most of our hiking on BLM and Forest Service land to get away from the selfie-snappers. Until our national parks get the budgets they need (doubtful in the near future), the spotlight just seems to put too much pressure on the resource. I also enjoy the opportunity to hike through the backcountry, which often isn’t permitted in many national parks. Selfishly, I guess, I prefer to keep Mt. Hood out of the international spotlight!


  13. Thanks, TBird! I know you’re not alone in your concerns, and I’ve certainly seen national parks that suffer from overuse, too. My thinking is that Mount Hood already has the overuse (the current visitation rivals that of some of the most popular national parks) but few of the tools for managing the crowds, so thus my advocacy for national park status. In the end, we both love the mountain, and that’s the main thing! I appreciate you taking the time to post! 🙂


  14. I found your blog due to a google recommendation of your article proposing a Mt Hood Loop Highway trail. I have had the exact same thought that the old highway could be adapted into a wonderful facility for off-highway recreation, including bicycling, hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross country skiing. In particular, it seems that it could fill a vital gap for ambitious cyclists who were interested in exploring the mountain.

    In 2014, my friend Joe and I parked our car at Rhododendron and rode wide-tired road bikes up the Pioneer Bridle trail before crossing the highway to get on Kiwanis Camp road. We went past the Little Zig Zag trailhead and continued on the disused section of road before scrambling over the jersey barrier and scampering with our bikes across US 26 to the Laurel Hill trailhead. We then rode the switchbacks up over Laurel Hill to the overlook above 26 where they’d dynamited the ridge to grade the highway, and we rode down the temporary road that connected the Hood Loop highway to US 26 during construction and scampered across 26 again and up the embankment on the other side, taking our best guess as to where to pick up the old road again. We were as dismayed as you were to find that the old tarmac had been jackhammered up, although from what I understand about the impact of impervious surfaces in forest ecology there was at least some rationale there. We went past the Enid Lake sno-park, and even rode through the Skibowl parking lot before going up the Government Camp business loop to complete the experience. After exploring that section of the Mt Hood Loop Highway, we hauled our way up West Leg Road to Timberline, then came back down the main highway before hopping the guardrail to go down East Leg Road. We finished up the ride by going down the Trillium Lake access road, and then down Still Creek Road to Rhododendron. I was extremely dismayed to see a couple years ago that ODOT had made a repeat of that wonderful adventure impossible with the highway widening.

    I’m extremely impressed with the content and the writing in your blog, and I’m going to be a regular reader. I share your love of the mountain and it’s surrounding area. Thanks for all the work you do!


  15. Hi Tom! Love your blogs and have enjoyed learning more about many of the places you cover. I grew up in Mt. Hood (the community) and the mountain and Gorge are icons to me.

    Do you know if anything is being done about accessing the east side of the Parkdale lava flow? There could be some changes there in the future, I would like to hear if you have any input.

    Email would be easier and welcomed.


  16. Thanks, Melonee! I’m not aware of anything, though there is a lot of work going on with the irrigation pipes near the Eliot Branch. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking of?


  17. Hello Tom,
    While I have been in the Northwest off and on for about 20 or so years, I find the history of this area to be a treasure trove for all those who understand the past defines our future. I have become obsessed with the Pioneer Woman’s grave. I am currently studying Genealogy formally. Genetic genealogy seems to be my chosen path. I really feel that if there was a way, if she can be exhumed that we can extract DNA and enter the result into Gedmatch and see if we cannot find genetic descendants. Then, perhaps we can find this woman a proper grave site.


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  19. Hello – I live in western Colorado and visited the Mt. Hood area years ago and remember being surprised that it wasn’t a National Park. I sympathize with Tbird’s concerns about overuse – and since his post 4 years ago, it’s just gotten worse. Except for the lull in 2020/21 because of the pandemic, the number of people going to Nat’l. Parks (and state parks, Nat’l. Recreation areas, etc. for that matter) sets new records. Yes, the selfie-type day visitors can be annoying – at Black Canyon Nat’l. Park here in Co., people wait in line to take selfies in front of (or climb onto) the entrance sign. But the more people that visit (and fall in love with) the Nat’l Parks, the more people (hopefully) will demand that their congressmen fund and protect places like Mt. Hood, and the more parks there are for people to visit the less stress their would be any any one park (again hopefully) – although even if that were the case, it probably won’t help much with the world famous places like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, etc. So I’m conflicted about a Mt. Hood Nat’l. Park, but as you point out, the visitorship is already at Nat’l. Park levels, and the size and spread out nature of the proposed park and recreation area would hopefully avoid a heavy concentration of visitors in any one place. Most importantly, as you point out, the Nat’l. Park status will should eliminate most of the development and exploitation of the area. What is the current status of the proposal? Any action in congress? Thanks, Edgar


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