Camp Bonneville is located in southeastern Clark County, Washington, about 12 miles east of Vancouver and seven miles north of the Columbia River.
It was established in 1909 as a drill field and rifle range for Vancouver Barracks and was used primarily as a training camp for various branches of the military for 85 years. The property is largely undeveloped; more than half of its six square miles is forested.
Clark County is working with the federal government to clean up the site so it ultimately can be used by the public. The work includes searching for and removing munitions of explosive concern left over from decades of military training.
Project update - June 2015
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently agreed to provide $4.8 million for the second of four phases for Camp Bonneville's cleanup.
The money will be used to search for and clear munitions of explosive concern on an additional 124 acres of the property. The additional cleanup encompasses former demolition areas, grenade and rocket ranges, and firing positions for artillery and mortars.
Some areas will surface cleared to a depth of 3 inches while others will be subsurface cleared to a depth of 14 inches
Read a monthly report prepared by Clark County Public Works summarizing progress on Camp Bonneville's cleanup.
A map on the report's final page indicates the current level of cleanup on Camp Bonneville's central valley floor and associated wetlands. Areas marked in dark gray are 100 feet by 100 feet subgrids that has been cleared for munitions of explosive concern to a depth of 14 inches below ground.
In May 2014, the Board of County Commissioners modified the contract for munitions cleanup in progress at Camp Bonneville, using an additional $7.1 million in federal funds.
Weston Solutions Inc. contracted in 2012 to complete subsurface clearing of the former military base’s central valley floor by the end of June 2014. However, the work has been more extensive than initially estimated and will now continue through April 2017.
Weston has cited difficult conditions with a large amount of metallic debris requiring a labor-intensive process to locate potential munitions underground.
Federal funding agreements shield the county from financial responsibility for the cleanup. The county will need additional funding from the Army to complete all work at Camp Bonneville once Weston finishes its work.
Army provides more cleanup funds
Read a staff report to the Board of Clark County Commissioners explaining that the U.S. Army agreeing to provide another $7.1 million for Camp Bonneville's cleanup.
In June 2012, Weston Solutions Inc. resumed the cleanup at Camp Bonneville.
One month earlier, Board of County Commissioners approved a $7.6 million agreement with the international company that operates from 60 locations, including Seattle and its headquarters in Pennsylvania.
Clark County sought a new contractor and accepted ownership of the 3,840-acre former military post in 2011 after the U.S. Army agreed to provide the funding for the next phase of the cleanup, with the understanding that additional funding will be needed to complete all work at the site.
The ongoing work involves removing munitions of explosive concern and other hazardous materials left over from 85 years of military training. Weston will clear Camp Bonneville’s central valley floor and associated wetlands. The Washington State Department of Ecology continues to regulate site cleanup.
Please – no trespassing.
For more than a decade, Clark County consistently has said Camp Bonneville will not open for public use until the property has been cleaned up.
For this reason, Camp Bonneville remains closed. A perimeter fence surrounds the site because of the danger posed by unexploded ordnance after decades of military training. Hundreds of munitions of explosive concern have been located and detonated, but an unknown number remain.
Warning signs have been placed at gates, along the perimeter fence and at various spots inside the site. These signs mean precisely what they say. For your own safety, please do not trespass on this property.
Background on Camp Bonneville
Since the U.S. Army closed Camp Bonneville in 1995, the 3,840-acre property has captured the imagination of hikers, equestrians, parks planners, wildlife enthusiasts, campers, Native American groups and many others.
After the Army closed the facility along with several others nationwide, the property was selected for transfer and reuse by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
On October 3, 2006, after 10 years of dialog and negotiation with the Army and the state Department of Ecology, the Board of Clark County Commissioners accepted transfer of property ownership from the Army to the county. The county then transferred ownership to the Bonneville Conservation Restoration & Renewal Team LLC, an organization that for several years managed a team of contractors with expertise in removing hazardous waste and unexploded ordnance.
In 2011, the county accepted ownership of the property after the Army agreed to provide additional funding for the cleanup that is far more extensive and expensive than preliminary estimates.