Gold Basin Campground is the largest in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, able to hold more than 800 campers on grounds that include an amphitheater, playfield, salmon-fry viewing area and half-mile boardwalk.

The campground is also at risk of a devastating landslide, sitting at the base of a hill with eerie similarities to the Steelhead Haven slope that collapsed in March, about 15 miles away, the Seattle Times reported.

Slides have been documented at Gold Basin hill going back to the 1940s. Since 1954 there have been proposals to either move or close Gold Basin Campground, including one in the last few years to eliminate a portion of the site closest to the river, according to records obtained by The Seattle Times. But the U.S. Forest Service, which owns the campground and the surrounding land, has refused to go along.

“Because this campground is too popular,” a manager with the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office wrote in an internal email last month, about two weeks after the mudslide at Steelhead Haven.

Peter Forbes, the Forest Service’s district ranger in Darrington, said in an interview that the agency has invested heavily in the campground’s facilities and doesn’t have a good site for relocation. The campground’s popularity translates into revenue for the federal treasury, contributing to the government’s desire to keep the site, he said.

“I haven’t seen a compelling reason, I guess, to justify getting rid of the campground,” Forbes said.

The campground is the most popular in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and brings in the most money, state records say. The Times asked Forbes how much the campground takes in, but he was unable to provide figures by Wednesday.

A feasibility study generated by the Forest Service concluded it would cost about $3.5 million to rebuild the Gold Basin Campground somewhere else, records show.

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