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Mt. Washington Observatory, Cog Railway Seek Court Ruling On Summit Rights

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Two of the big players on the Northeast's highest mountain - the Mount Washington Observatory and the Cog Railway – are taking each other to court.

At issue is a 2009 agreement that lets Cog riders visit the nonprofit Observatory's museum for free. In exchange, it says the Cog will pay the Observatory a dollar per visitor.

But the Cog stopped paying in 2016. The Observatory says they're at least $200,000 overdue. Now, they're suing for that money - and seeking legal clarification of the usage rights on the mountain.

Railway owner Wayne Presby says the Observatory violated the museum fee agreement first. He plans to counter-sue.

The ruling on this case could also affect the usage rights of the state park, hiking clubs and the Mount Washington Auto Road.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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