Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (NSA) was created in 1986. The NSA includes parts of three Washington counties (Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat) and three Oregon counties (Multnomah, Hood River, and Wasco). The bi-state Columbia River Gorge Commission was created to manage the non-federal land in the NSA; the U.S. Forest Service manages federal land in the NSA.
The first Management Plan for the NSA was adopted in 1992 to ensure that land in the National Scenic Area is used consistently with the purposes and standards of the National Scenic Area Act. In response, Clark County adopted an ordinance in 1994.
The Gorge Commission and Forest Service must revise the management plan at least every 10 years. In 2004, the agencies completed the first 10-year revision. The county revised its NSA ordinance (CCC Chapter 40.240) in 2005.
In July 2016, the Commission launched its second 10-year technical review and update process for the 2020 Management Plan. The adoption of changes to the 2020 Management Plan may trigger the need for Clark County to update its ordinance in 2020 for land use in the scenic area portion of the county.
At the request of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, the county is also made some minor changes to CCC Chapter 40.240 in 2018. These changes were required to ensure that the Clark County Code is consistent with recent changes that were made to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Management Plan, having to do with the review of the cumulative effects of development applications.
Sharon Lumbantobing, Community Planning