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    Northwest will be in the money

    Or rather, on it, as the U.S. mint prepares to issue a new series of quarters.

    Following-up on the popularity of U.S. quarters featuring the states (issued in the order they joined the union), the U.S. mint will bring out a new series featuring national parks, forests, wilderness areas. and historic sites in the order of their designation. The Northwest is up early in the series.

    The LA Times has the rundown: Oregon is up next year with a quarter featuring Mt. Hood National Forest (founded in 1893). Washington follows in 2011 with Olympic National Park (1897), joined by Montana featuring Glacier National Park (1897). Alaska with Denali National Park (1917) is minted in 2012. Then there's a gap: you have to wait until 2019 to get your quarter featuring Idaho's the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (1980).

    No word on how much a quarter will be worth in 2019, but the Times' blogger predicts that when the coin series ends in 2021, "Joe Biden will still be talking about shovel-ready jobs saved and Sarah Palin will be in her second White House term."

    Knute Berger is Mossback, Crosscut's chief Northwest native. He also writes the monthly Grey Matters column for Seattle magazine and is a weekly Friday guest on Weekday on KUOW-FM (94.9). His newest book is Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice, published by Sasquatch Books. In 2011, he was named Writer-in-Residence at the Space Needle and is author of Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. You can e-mail him at mossback@crosscut.com.

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