Parks, Recreation and Natural Resource Advisory Board votes unanimously to oppose telecommunications towers in Cooks Butte natural park


LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon – October 9, 2019 – Save Cooks Butte announces that the Lake Oswego Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Advisory Board voted on a motion today to unanimously oppose the proposed telecommunications tower in Cooks Butte natural park.

“Today’s a good day! We feel we are being heard. It’s a step in the right direction,” says Scott Handley, the leader of Save Cooks Butte. “Lake Oswego parks are its identity, its culture, its lifeblood. There are 460+ acres of natural parks that Lake Oswego residents enjoy on a daily basis to get away from the stresses of urban life. These parks are an important habitat for our plants and animals; they are a place for us to connect to nature. Structures and telecommunication facilities have no place in any of our natural parks, including Cooks Butte.”

The board’s agenda for October 9, 2019, originally included Cooks Butte, but was removed before the meeting with no explanation. Nevertheless, over 35 concerned residents bearing their green shirts attended the meeting to speak during the Citizen Comment portion. Residents expressed their appreciation for the Parks department’s stewardship of Lake Oswego parks and expressed how a telecommunication tower wasn’t compatible with a natural park. “Cooks Butte natural park hosts an amazing number of bird species for an urban park.  My concern is how a tower could be consistent with the Cooks Butte Park Management Plan,” stated resident Claire Puchy, a retired professional wildlife biologist and past Executive Director of the Audubon Society of Portland.  “I am also very concerned about compliance with the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act–both during construction and operation,” continued Puchy.

“The board had no idea the City had engaged in a lease in December 2017 with Clackamas 800 Radio Group. They appeared displeased to hear the City Council had been working on this for several years and had not consulted them,” continued Handley. “This is how residents have felt since we learned of this proposal over Labor Day Weekend. We feel the rug has been pulled right out from under our feet. The more we learn about how long the City and C800 have been discussing Cooks Butte, the more frustrated we have become with the City and their lack of transparency in communicating with the citizens about important issues. The board did the right thing today!”

Save Cooks Butte is a coalition of Lake Oswego residents who are concerned about our natural parks. They are working to inform the Lake Oswego community about the City’s practices and procedures with Clackamas 800 Radio Group to place a telecommunication tower in Cooks Butte natural park. This coalition opposes telecommunications towers, or structures of any kind, in any of Lake Oswego’s natural parks. To date, the coalition has secured over 500 petition signatures from Lake Oswego residents in opposition to a telecommunication tower in Cooks Butte natural park.