The U.S. Forest Service and Columbia River Gorge Commission are seeking public input on recreation-related topics being considered for revision in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (CRGNSA) management plan at a public meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Wind River Education Center (441 Hot Spring Ave.) in Carson.
The revisions are part of an effort called Gorge 2020, in which the agencies are fulfilling their obligation under the National Scenic Area Act to review and revise the management plan every 10 years.
Gorge 2020 began with a 2017 public scoping, followed by a complete review of the plan for issues in need of updates or revisions.
In early 2018 “recreation” was announced as a focus topic. Earlier this year, the two agencies hosted several meetings with recreation experts and public land managers in the Gorge to discuss recent trends and identify aspects of the management plan’s framework that may need to be modernized.
For example, the management plan relies on a zoning framework called “Recreation Intensity Classes” to evaluate potential impacts of new developments on scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources based on the anticipated numbers of visitors. This framework is one of the key elements of the plan under discussion.
“We are still early in our revision process,” said Rachel Pawlitz, public affairs officer for Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
“So far, conversations have helped us focus on the guidelines we might need to adapt to meet today’s needs and challenges. We haven’t started developing specific adjustments yet, so this is a good time to engage,” Pawlitz said.
The meeting will start with a presentation outlining the current plan’s approach and identifying key questions under consideration, followed by public input in an open-house format. All are welcome to attend.
To learn about the process, visit the Gorge 2020 website.