TIMBELRINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
TIMBELRINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP. HISTORIC PRESERVATION. MANAGED RECREATION.

R.L.K. AND COMPANY SUSTAINABILITY

R.L.K. and Company has operated Timberline Lodge since 1955. We possess a long-term commitment to the people, the environment, and the preservation of Mt. Hood and its National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge.

For over 60 years, R.L.K. and Company has been an integral part of the Mt. Hood community. We recognize that we operate within a cherished natural landscape and actively work towards the preservation of Timberline Lodge and its natural surroundings. We also recognize the close ties to our community and are committed to employing our local population, featuring local arts and crafts, and promoting the agricultural products of our region. Stewardship, after all, is not new here, but we can always do better. With this in mind, R.L.K. and Company invites you to explore the topics listed below to learn more about our stewardship activities.

INITIATIVES
ORIGINS ORIGINS
INSPIRED BY OUR PAST

R.L.K. and Company invites you to join us as we honor the rich history of Timberline Lodge by working together towards a brighter future.

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ORIGINS - INSPIRED BY OUR PAST

The ORIGINS Campaign aims to move R.L.K. and Company’s stewardship efforts to the front lines. By reflecting on Timberline’s rich history and using that inspiration as our guide, we intend to renew our focus on stewardship efforts today, tomorrow, and for the years to come.

Going forward, we ask of you only one thing…

Take a look at our initiatives, find your inspiration, and explore our Visitors page to find out how you can help. Stewardship is a collective effort and it’s going to take all of us to responsibly manage our impact on Mt. Hood and the National Forest which surrounds it. Our combined support of the ORIGINS Campaign will play a vital role in our future and ultimately, each and every one of us will benefit from an economically and environmentally sustainable R.L.K. and Company.

A Native Landscape

At Timberline we are blessed to live in a cherished landscape with a rich cultural history, much of which existed long before “Westward Expansion” and the arrival of pioneers. The first inhabitants of the area, Native Sahaptin and Chinookan speaking tribes, regularly traveled across the lower slopes of the mountain in pursuit of fishing, hunting, and trading. Huckleberries were of particular interest, as was the Western Red Cedar which was used to make baskets, longhouses, and canoes. These tribes held the peak in high regard and yet, they kept their distance from the alpine heights, believing that powerful spirits lived high on its slopes.

Today, the presence of these indigenous peoples is not forgotten. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs still visit the mountain to harvest huckleberries, perform tribal celebrations, and of course, recreate. Their cultural influence is on display within Timberline Lodge as well. Originally chosen in 1936 as one of Timberline’s three predominant decorative themes, the Native American theme captivates Lodge visitors in the form of paintings, carvings, metal work, and textiles. These artistic interpretations of Native culture serve as a reminder to all who visit that a Native landscape still exists, and that we should aspire to treat these lands as they have for centuries; with reverence and appreciation.

Timberline Lodge Construction

R.L.K. and Company didn’t build Timberline Lodge, but we’re inspired by those who did. As part of his “New Deal,” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and funded the majority of Timberline’s construction in 1936. Construction of the Lodge was completed in 15 months – a remarkable achievement – and the Lodge was primarily built by hand using native materials collected on site and from around the region. During this process, laborers, craftsmen, and artists chose to recycle and repurpose materials in order to create some key elements of the lodge and its furnishings. The main interior staircases are a good example of this: made from thick railroad ties, they complement the Lodge’s robust construction, as do the sections of old telephone poles that were used to create the animal-themed Newell posts on the stair rails. Old tire chains were used to create fireplace screens, and railroad tracks were used to make the fireplace andirons as well. Today, “in the spirit of the original”, Friends of Timberline still tries to recycle and repurpose materials during their lodge preservation efforts and R.L.K. and Company encourages its staff to do the same when turning over equipment or supplies. This is just one of the ways we draw inspiration from the past when looking towards the future.

Friends of Timberline

Timberline Lodge wouldn’t be what it is today without the help of some remarkable partners in lodge preservation and restoration. Friends of Timberline was established in 1975 as a non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to preserving Timberline Lodge, protecting its historical integrity, and communicating the spirit of its builders by raising funds and coordinating community efforts to accomplish these goals. As a result of this mission, Friends of Timberline and its partners, the U.S. Forest Service and the State Historic Preservation Office, are all responsible for the condition of the Lodge as it sits today. If you or someone you know wants to be a part of history, Friends of Timberline memberships are available here, or you can donate to the cause by clicking here.

Awards & Recognition

1977National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior National Historic Landmark presented to R.L.K. and Company

1987National Trust for Historic Preservation Preservation Honor Award presented to R.L.K. and Company, Friends of Timberline, and the U.S. Forest Service

2006Museum at Warm Springs Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Richard Kohnstamm

2010Sustainable Travel International Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification presented to Timberline Lodge

2011Oregon Heritage Commission Heritage Excellence Award presented to Timberline Lodge

2011Travel Oregon Forever Sustainable Business Challenge Gold Level achieved by Timberline Lodge

2013Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Championship Award presented to Timberline Lodge

2017Travel Oregon Gene Leo Memorial Sustainable Tourism Award presented to Jon Tullis of R.L.K. and Company

ENVIRONMENT ENVIRONMENT
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Our success depends on keeping Mt. Hood beautiful for all those who visit today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter.

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ENVIRONMENT - LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

R.L.K. and Company believes that our industry’s success depends on the health of our natural environment. We believe in providing our visitors with the opportunity to play outdoors and develop their connection to nature. Sustainable operations are key to this success. Our employees are skiers, snowboarders, bikers, hikers, and so much more. We strive to play responsibly and to be good stewards of that which gives us so much enjoyment.

Energy

Let there be light! Just this year, we completed our transition to LED lighting in Timberline Lodge, our Wy’East Day Lodge, and Vehicle Maintenance Shop. Our new lights look great, use less energy, and last for up to 15 years! We’ve also invested in upgraded refrigeration units that use less electricity and water. Thanks to our Facilities Maintenance department for making this happen!

Waste

No plastic straws, no problem! We support the movement and have transitioned to biodegradable paper straws throughout all of our Food and Beverage outlets. This was an easy decision, especially after adopting reusable flatware and biodegradable plastics last year. Portland’s SeQuential gets our spent fryer oil for use in biodiesel too. Good work Food and Beverage!

No paper, no problem! Actually…we still use paper, but we’re using a lot less of it by transitioning to digital processes wherever we can. Our Rental and Repair Shop, Ski Patrol, Guest Services, Terrain Park, and Accounting departments are all on the digital bandwagon, and our application process is online as well!

Transportation

R.L.K. and Company is proud to help fund the Mt. Hood Express, offering public transportation in support of the Mt. Hood community and its businesses. We’ve also hired Aspen Limo Services to provide the Timberline Resort Shuttle service. It’s true…we want you to come visit! We also take pride in reducing vehicle emissions by offering multi-passenger alternatives.

Timberline also uses PistenBully SNOWsat, an innovative grooming management system. This results in diverse effects that benefit both the environment and mountain safety: optimized workflows and vehicle routes, for example, increase grooming efficiency and also reduce fuel consumption, and snow depth measurement improves snow quality by allowing operators to push snow where it’s needed most, making our slopes a safer place for our guests to play. Great work Mountain Ops and Grooming!

Landscape

We cherish our landscape, its ecology, and the scenic beauty it provides. The view from Timberline is undoubtedly one of the best in Oregon and in an effort to keep it that way, we scrutinize every operational decision we make. Together with the U.S. Forest Service, we work to keep Mt. Hood beautiful by performing environmental impact assessments, ensuring appropriate drainage and erosion control measures are in place, and scheduling group clean-up days to pick up what the seasons leave behind.

COMMUNITY COMMUNITY
KEEPING IT LOCAL

We call Mt. Hood home. For us, it’s not just about doing business locally. It’s about doing business right.

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COMMUNITY - KEEPING IT LOCAL

For over 60 years, R.L.K. and Company has been an integral part of the Mt. Hood community. We are committed to doing business right by employing our local population, featuring local arts and crafts, and promoting the agricultural products of our region. Our community partners, guests, and employees have supported us for decades. We want to return the favor.

Our Community

Mt. Hood is home to R.L.K. and Company, but it wouldn’t be our community without the wonderful people who come here to live, work, and play. We are proud to work with our local schools, non-profit organizations, and employees to form partnerships that help to strengthen the community. Donations are available to local groups and organizations who might benefit from a little more time on the mountain, and our employees receive educational assistance and a free meal each day in addition to the many other excellent benefits offered to those who work for us.

Local Goods & Services

R.L.K. and Company likes to keep it local. Our Retail, Food and Beverage, and Purchasing staff are always working their hardest to source and stock the highest quality local goods. Our Wy’East Store or Gallery Gift Shop can help you find a gift that is uniquely local, or if you’re traveling, you can visit our new Timberline store in the Portland Airport! If you’re like us, however, you’ll want to sit down, relax, and try one of the exceptional meals offered by Timberline’s Executive Chef, Jason Stoller Smith. Jason leads our Food & Beverage teams in sourcing the best local ingredients including meats, cheeses, veggies, and wines.

Partnerships

Together, we can do more. R.L.K. and Company takes pride in its partnerships and believes that we can have a stronger positive influence when we team up with those that share our vision and values. Take a look below to learn more about these valued partnerships.

The National Ski Area Association’s Sustainable Slopes and Climate Challenge are voluntary programs dedicated to helping participating ski areas incorporate sustainable practices, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and reap other benefits in their operations such as reducing costs for energy use. The visibility of the ski industry to millions of skiers and boarders every year provides a tremendous opportunity for the NSAA and R.L.K. and Company to lead by example.

Timberline Lodge is a proud partner with the National Forest Foundation, and through this partnership we are able to give our guests opportunities to get involved in volunteer days and travel philanthropy. Our annual “Friends of the Forest Day” provides an opportunity for guests to volunteer here on the Mt. Hood National Forest, and our partnership with the NFF’s Ski Conservation Fund provides a way for recreationalists to lend financial support for protecting the forest surrounding Timberline Lodge. Every time a guest stays at Timberline, they have the option of donating $1 per room night to this fund. This money then becomes available for grants to local nonprofits to carry out restoration work on the Mt. Hood National Forest.

VISITORS VISITORS
HOW YOU CAN HELP

Stewardship is a collective effort. Help us reduce our impact on Mt. Hood by doing your part!

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VISITORS - HOW YOU CAN HELP

Ride Share

Getting to Mt. Hood can be tricky sometimes. The weather, traffic, parking, gas… No matter what your reason is for teaming up on the drive, the benefits of leaving a car at home are enormous. Before starting your trek, take a moment to familiarize yourself with local ride sharing and public transportation options. It’s easier on the environment and you’ll arrive at Timberline feeling less stressed.

Don’t Litter

You’ve all heard it before. “Keep America Beautiful”, “Don’t Be A Litterbug”, “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute!” Littering is so…1950s, but unfortunately we still see people do it today. Do your part by disposing of your garbage properly and if you see someone else litter, do the right thing and pick up after them. We go outside to be in nature, not a landfill, so let’s do our part to keep Mt. Hood clean.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

These are the “three R’s” of waste management, and it doesn’t take much to incorporate them into your lifestyle. Reduce what you consume, reuse (or re-purpose) what you can, and make every effort to recycle what you might throw away.

Leave No Trace

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. R.L.K. and Company is proud to support the principles of Leave No Trace by aligning with their values as a Community Partner. Reference The Seven Principles below, and keep in mind that camping and campfires are never permitted within R.L.K. and Company permit boundaries.

The Seven Principles

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Volunteer

Being a part of the Mt. Hood community means helping out when you can, and R.L.K. and Company encourages its employees and guests to get involved with local organizations that make a difference. Take a look at some of the opportunities listed below and consider the difference you can make.

Learn

Education is powerful, and we believe that by learning about Mt. Hood’s unique history, landscape, and ecology, you will feel empowered to protect it. Please take some time to explore the links below and dig into the natural features that make Mt. Hood so special.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about our stewardship efforts or just reach out and share your ideas or feedback, please contact R.L.K. and Company’s Environmental Health & Safety Manager:

Brett Wesson
P: 503-272-3249
E: bwesson@timberlinelodge.com

STEWARDSHIP NEWS
MT. HOOD ALL MOUNTAIN CLEANUP

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 | 9am - 4pm | Summit Ski Area

Timberline Lodge, The Village of Government Camp, Summit Ski Area, Mt. Hood Meadows, and Mt. Hood SkiBowl have collaborated for the first time to create an All Mountain Cleanup. Volunteers will meet at Summit Ski Area at 9AM and fuel up on coffee from Mt. Hood Coffee Roasters, snacks from New Seasons, and donuts from Voodoo Donuts before shuttling to the resorts to cleanup designated areas. We’re excited to have NW Trail Alliance on board this year with a mountain bike component to the cleanup. Bring your bikes and ride the Timberline to Town trail if you want to! Volunteers will meet back Summit Ski Area around 1PM for a massive group photo and an after party provided by 10 Barrel Brewing at the Ratskellar in Government Camp.

Please bring a refillable water bottle and coffee mug. Volunteers will be on varied terrain so wear sturdy boots and work gloves if you have them. Dress in layers for the weather and bring your smiles and good vibes.

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BIKE PARK SUSTAINABILITY
New Timberline Bike Park Focused on Sustainability

By Casey Knopik for Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory

This summer, guests now have another way to experience the slopes of Mt. Hood from Timberline Lodge with the opening of their brand new lift assisted mountain bike park. Phase 1 features approximately eight miles of green, blue and black trails. Other Timberline Bike Park facilities that will open include a full service bike shop (offering repairs, rentals and sales), food and beverage concessions and a bike school.

But what visitors might not see right away is the amount of care and thoughtfulness that went into designing a bike park with sustainability at the forefront.

Enjoy and protect this special place

The Timberline area of Mt. Hood is home to several threatened and rare species of plants and animals. A critical part of designing the bike park was protecting these populations and training all crews on how to properly work within the design criteria.

“The biggest thing that I hope people appreciate is the fact that we aren’t just going out there to put trails through the woods,” said Jena Christiansen, bike park project environmental coordinator. “All of these trails are designed and engineered specifically for bikes and laid out as carefully as we can to allow for the sport and recreation, while taking into consideration and respecting the ecosystem.”

Christiansen worked as the key liaison between all involved parties during each step of the process. She worked daily to ensure that the approved project design criteria and the environmental assessment requirements were translated to the crews on the ground.

“I’ve always believed that the more people can connect with nature and connect with the mountain and connect with the flowers and the birds and the butterflies, the greater the appreciation they will have for this incredible area,” said Christensen. “I think that’s the most important part about having things like ski runs or mountain bike trails or hiking trails; they give people a way to connect with nature. This bike park has been designed with a lot of care and consideration for the ecosystem and hopefully it’s a place where people can come up to experience the mountain, breathe the fresh air and be a part of a very special place.”

Thoughtful trail design

When it came to building the trails, there was more to the work than just following a set of plans. Crews would scout ahead to make sure none of the protected species were in the path or that the land wouldn’t be disturbed too much. And if one of these species was found, the trail needed to be rerouted.

“We had to reroute a few times,” said Christensen. “However there is more to that then just shifting the trail a few feet either direction. You have to plan a half mile or more up the hill on how to adjust it and redesign it, making sure that the new route isn’t affecting a different species in that new section.”

The trails are designed so they are enjoyable for everyone and reroutes kept that in mind – especially on the beginner trails. Too sharp a turn or too steep a drop won’t make the park as enjoyable. Christensen and her team took all of that into consideration every day while planning.

“Each trail is engineered and built specifically for supporting mountain bikes,” said Christensen. “Sometimes people want to ride trails that aren’t designed for bikes, and the sides will give way, or there are erosion problems. But by offering trails that were specifically designed for the activity you help protect the area around them. We will also have crews out there daily monitoring any trail damage and making proper repairs. People will be able to enjoy their activity without worrying about the trail conditions.”

How visitors can help

One of the biggest things people will notice as soon as they arrive at the Timberline Bike Park is a series of educational signs that explain invasive plants and how they affect the local ecosystem. There is also a bike wash station for every visitor to use before hitting the trails.

“The bike wash station allows you to rinse any dirt or residual plant debris off your bike from where you rode before,” said Christensen. “This will help minimize the spread of invasive species and protect the native habitat.”

The bike park project also allowed for Timberline to start their own plant seed bank, which is a library of stored seeds collected from the local area. The collection of wild seeds allows crews to replant areas that get disturbed with native seeds from the area. There will be at least one opportunity this summer for volunteers to come in and help with seed collection.

“The biggest reason seed collection is important is that if I went to a store and bought seeds and tried to plant them at Timberline, they wouldn’t germinate because they haven’t adapted to the higher elevation and the snowfall,” said Christensen. “But by getting seeds specific to the west slope of the Cascades, you get a much higher germination rate and we want to support the ethological health of the mountain as much as possible.”

Phase 2

This summer visitors will only get a taste of Phase 1 of the new mountain bike park, as phase 2 construction continues.

“The Timberline Bike park development will be a multi-year process,” said John Burton, director of marketing and PR at Timberline. “Over the next several seasons, new trails and terrain will be opened as design and construction are completed.”

The Timberline Bike Park officially opened on August 12 and showcases the hard work and amazing trails being offered at the lodge. The bike park is now open seven days a week through Labor Day, with a revised schedule in the fall.

CLIMATE CHANGE STATMENT
Mt. Hood Ski Area Operators Support Climate Solutions Legislation

Timberline, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Summit, Cooper Spur and Mt. Hood Meadows ski areas support S. 3791/H.R. 763, the Federal Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act and Oregon House Bill 2020, the Oregon Climate Action Program.

The winter sports recreation industry is uniquely vulnerable to feel the environmental and economic impacts of climate change. Warmer, less predictable winter weather, reduced snow packs, and tinderdry forests in summer are all well-documented effects of climate change which can lead to uncontrolled wildfires. The leading contributor to climate change is carbon emissions, which generate harmful greenhouse gasses.

The ski areas of Mt. Hood have been leaders in the snow sports industry, and in our community, for early adoption of sustainable business practices and advocacy for public policies that effectively address reduction of carbon emissions.

Two important climate game-changing public policies are now before us. We urge the 116th Congress and the 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly to enact these two packages of climate legislation:

  • We support S. 3791/H.R. 763, the Federal Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This Act stands out with its market-based approach to meeting aggressive emissions reductions targets, while providing Oregonians with a dividend. This legislation is bipartisan, embodying an American ideal of working together to find common solutions that are effective and long-lasting.
  • We support the basic framework of Oregon House Bill 2020 which creates an Oregon Carbon Policy Office to administer the Oregon Climate Action Program, which would adopt an economy-wide cap and invest system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon. We understand that aspects of this bill will change during the legislative process, but let us adopt meaningful climate legislation this session.

We also support efforts by the Federal Government to manage our National Forest system in a manner which reduces forest fuel loading and encourages the economically productive use of fiber resources which, in turn, create rural jobs and reduce the incidence of catastrophic wildfires in Oregon.

Damage caused by carbon-based greenhouse gases are at or near the tipping point. This issue cannot wait any longer for decisive action. Citizens, industry and Federal and State government must put partisanship and personal opinions aside and address this problem now.

Therefore, we would encourage our elected representatives at both the state and federal levels to support the respective climate solutions legislation.

For more information about Timberline’s commitment to climate solutions, contact Director of Public Affairs and Planning, Jon Tullis, at jtullis@timberlinelodge.com.

TIMBERLINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
TIMBERLINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
TIMBERLINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
TIMBERLINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
TIMBERLINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
TIMBERLINE STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
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Timberline Lodge hotel rooms may be booked for one night. The Lodge at Government Camp Condos require a minimum of two nights.

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