The following statement and letter (PDF) were released on March 8, 2017.
We are Keep the Whites Wild. Our mission is to preserve and protect the diverse biology, natural aesthetic, and intrinsic value of New England’s White Mountain region. We have great concern over The Mount Washington Cog Railway’s (MWCR) interest in building an alpine hotel on Mount Washington and have thus launched a campaign called Protect Mount Washington in an effort to halt this harmful construction.
Keep the Whites Wild has mailed a letter to the Coos County Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals opposing a publicly announced hotel in the alpine zone of Mount Washington. Seven additional local and national conservation and outdoor recreation groups have signed in support of the letter. Those groups are The Waterman Fund, The American Alpine Club, The Access Fund, Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, The New England Wildflower Society, Friends of the Ledges, and Protectors of the Ammonoosuc River Corridor. The Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Mountain Club, Conservation Law Foundation, Forest Society, NH Audubon, and Appalachian Trail Conservancy have previously mailed a letter.
The MWCR is working on a proposal to present to the planning board for construction of a 35-room luxury hotel high up on the shoulder of Mount Washington. The corporation seeks approval to build in a protected zone along a 99-foot wide strip of the Cog Railway. As evidenced by our letter, we have retained counsel and will vigorously contest the siting of a hotel in fragile alpine environment. We support construction of a hotel at the Cog’s base where such a project could foster greater employment opportunity, will have less environmental impact and less strain on the Mountain’s infrastructure.
The campaign to Protect Mount Washington has over 8,300 signatures opposed to the site in the fragile alpine zone. The campaign is also concerned about the economic impacts of the location and increasing the amount of visitation on the summit facilities of Mount Washington.