Editorial: Rim Village to get new look, and it’s about time – November 26, 2004

Editorial: Rim Village to get new look, and it’s about time

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
November 26, 2004

BY PAT BUSHEY

Finally, the money’s approved and Crater Lake’s Rim Village is going to lose its “used car lot” look.

Thank heavens. And also thanks to an an energetic effort by Rep. Greg Walden, congressional staffers and strong support by the Crater Lake National park administration led by Supt. Chuck Lundy. They worked hard to make it happen.

This drawing shows the new look coming to Crater Lake National Park.
This drawing shows the new look coming to Crater Lake National Park.

This one’s been a long time coming.

Some $8.7 million is in the 2005 Omnibus spending bill that was approved last week by the House and Senate. It’s expected to be signed by President Bush.

Rim Village, overlooking the lake from the edge of the caldera, is dominated visually by the parking lot, which means visitors’ first view of the lake is either across a sea of asphalt or the tops of cars, depending on whether there’s a lot of visitors that day.

Either way, it’s not an aesthetic view for one of the world’s gems, one created 6,000 years ago when 12,000-foot Mount Mazama erupted, then collapsed, leaving the nation’s deepest, bluest lake.

Plans have been worked on for decades to take away the strip-mall approach to development at Rim Village and return the area to a more natural setting, one far more in keeping with the beauty of the scene.

But its been a struggle for money.

Last summer it was in the budget for awhile, then stripped out by the House Interior Appropriations Committee.

With hard effort by Walden, Sens. Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden, and others, the money is back in, and it deserves to be. This is not a pork barrel measure. It’s something the nation should do to recognize the gem that it has in Crater Lake. It’s also capitalizing on money already spent on the lodge and other buildings to return it to a more natural setting and to give the place more appeal.

When the project’s completed, the parking lot will be behind buildings at the rim, and other structures will be relocated and rebuilt.

Crater Lake deserves as much.

Finally, it’s really going to happen.

 

The “H&N view” represents the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Pat Bushey wrote today’s editorial.

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