The ghost of picnics future

Mt. Hood from Chehalem Ridge

Mt. Hood from Chehalem Ridge - Photo: Portland Metro

The best writing in daily papers usually comes from the columnists and the sportswriters, who have license to wax creative in ways that the hard-news reporters, and even the feature writers, do not. 

Occasionally, editorial writers also get a chance to turn a phrase.  Exhibit A for this morning comes from the Portland Oregonian, in an editorial on the recent acquisition of Chehalem Ridge Natural Area by the Metro regional government.  While the piece is signed collectively by the Oregonian Editorial Board, it exhibits a tightness and grace that suggest a single writer. 

It happens that this editorial endorses a TPL project.  But cross my heart and hope to spit, I would have posted it even without a TPL mention, since is so attuned to what we are up to at LandNotes.

Some places are haunted by history and give off sad, solemn vibrations. But the Chehalem Ridge Natural Area, five miles south of Forest Grove, is eerie for almost the opposite reason.

This place echoes with premonitions of joy. Picnicking, hiking, camping? Nothing has been decided yet about how this natural area will be used, but on a sunny day, Oregonians lucky enough to be tramping around up here will be transfixed by the view.

And further along is my favorite part:

Few achievements, recorded in the minutes of a public meeting, last forever. Winds shift, majorities collapse and even a wise decision made by one group of politicians can — and often should — be revisited by the next group in another few years.

But the purchase of a park comes as close to being a timeless decision as public bodies ever make. Chehalem Ridge Natural Area will be recorded on the maps and memories of Portlanders for generations to come.

Read the full editorial here.  And there is more about the project on TPL’s website here and here

If anyone knows the name of the scribe who actually penned the editorial, I hope they will let me know.  “The purchase of a park comes as close to being a timeless decision as public bodies ever make.”  Boy, I wish I had written that.

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One Response to “The ghost of picnics future”

  1. Kendall King Says:

    As a geographer and as a former US Forest Service employee, and having lived south of Hillsboro for over 40 years, the prospects of an area such as the Chehalem Ridge Natural Area is awesome.

    Hopefully route maps to the area will be published soon.

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