three distinct areas
The National Scenic Area is categorized into three areas: Special Management Areas/ General Management Area/ Urban Areas.
Special Management Areas cover approximately 114,600 acres and contain some of the Gorge’s most sensitive resources. Special Management Areas are managed by the US Forest Service National Scenic Area Office in Hood River, Oregon.
The General Management Area covers approximately 149,400 acres of land and all of the Columbia River – which contain a mixture of land uses including farming, logging, cattle grazing, public recreation and rural residential uses. Development on private lands is administered by Columbia River Gorge counties and the Gorge Commission in Klickitat County, Washington. Development on Federal lands is reviewed by the U.S. Forest Service National Scenic Area Office.
Thirteen Urban Areas are exempt from Scenic Area regulations: Cascade Locks, Hood River, Mosier and The Dalles in Oregon, and North Bonneville, Stevenson, Carson, Home Valley, White Salmon, Bingen, Lyle, Dallesport and Wishram in Washington. Lands held in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs are also exempt from National Scenic Area regulation.