Bagby faces change


The Mount Hood National Forest is considering turning the Bagby Hot Springs over to a private manager to fix the destination’s many problems.

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The Mount Hood National Forest is considering turning the Bagby Hot Springs over to a private manager to fix the destination’s many problems.

The national forest service will hold a public meeting in January to discuss the idea.

Stoked by the tentative nature of the national forest’s plans, the reaction to potentially privatizing Bagby has been as hot as its 136 degree mineral-rich water. Even beat up, worn down and rotted out, Bagby has a hold on people. Although they acknowledge Bagby’s problems, longtime users, volunteers and forest watchdog groups are leery of privatizing a public treasure.

A commercial “cookie cutter” management approach won’t work at Bagby, says Mike Rysavy,  executive director of the Northwest Forest Alliance, a Portland-based conservation group. He’s concerned a concessionaire might close Bagby at night, limit soaking times or charge a daily fee — it’s free now except for a $5 forest pass to park.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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