25 Years of the Columbia Gorge Commission

Thank God for Google Alerts. I have an alert setup to send me, up to once a day, a list of references on the Web to “white salmon”, the town I grew up in. Even though I haven’t lived there for (wow) almost 20 years, I try to keep up on the goings on. Google Alerts forwarded me an article in the Columbian newspaper about 25 years of the Gorge Commission, created from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, signed by President Reagan.

It’s a long piece, with lots of background, and an obvious attempt at balance. I’d love to hear reactions from people in the Gorge that have lived through the Commissions reign. They have some, and the comments afterwards touch upon it, but it’s only scratching the surface. No other single event has impacted the lives of those living in the Columbia River Gorge as much in my lifetime.

What made me post this? This paragraph here:

Counties were given a choice: Adopt their own ordinances implementing the management plan or let the Gorge Commission oversee development. Eventually five counties adopted ordinances. The holdout was Klickitat County. To this day, Gorge Commission staff reviews all applications for development in the part of Klickitat County that lies within the scenic area. Because it chose to ignore the law, Klickitat is not eligible to receive economic development money.

That’s the county that White Salmon’s in. Who would have thought that the county would have been a den of rebels!

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