Congress called for the preparation of the Management Plan for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Management Plan) to ensure that land in the National Scenic Area is used consistently with the purposes and standards of the National Scenic Area Act. The Gorge Commission and Forest Service must revise the management plan at least every 10 years. The Gorge Commission and Forest Service adopted the management plan in 1991 with input from Indian tribal governments, county and city governments, state and federal agencies, citizens, and non-governmental organizations. In 2004, the agencies completed the first 10-year revision. The Gorge Commission may amend the management plan between revisions if it finds that conditions in the National Scenic Area have significantly changed. The Secretary of Agriculture must concur with revisions and amendments to the management plan.
The management plan contains the land use and resource protection standards, non-regulatory programs, and actions for protecting and enhancing Columbia River Gorge resources, as well as a description of roles and relationships of governments and agencies responsible for implementation of the National Scenic Area Act. The Forest Service develops the land use regulations for federal land and land in the “special management areas.” The Gorge Commission develops the land use regulations for the general management area. The management plan does not directly apply to the 13 urban areas.
The Commission will be launching its 10-year technical review and update process for the Management Plan in July 2016. We will be engaging our partners in this process as we move forward. Stay tuned for opportunities to provide your feedback.