They didn't announce the meeting below to a wide audience. It's also being held in Carson, which is difficult for people from the Portland/Vancouver metro area to get to. Since the majority of recreation users are from the metro area, you'd think the meeting would be held in Portland. I recommend calling the FS office to confirm the meeting before driving there, as it's being kept so quiet.
If we don't show up, we'll get what we as hikers often end up with, the short end of the hiking stick shoved you-know-where. Read the release below and get to Carson Tuesday night. I'll be there and I need your support.
Here are some background documents:
FS position statement to Gorge Commission: http://www.gorgecommission.org/images/u ... Report.pdf
Current Management Plan (See chapter 4) http://www.gorgecommission.org/images/u ... _2016).pdf
We need to ask for:
- More trails
- Trails that match the needs of hikers that are currently crowding sites because of particular attributes such as flower meadows, waterfalls, and views.
- Dialogue with the hiking community before restrictions are placed on existing sites
- Stable funding for trails that can be applied wherever the need is important, unlike today's fee structure that only allows spending at existing fee sites.
- A campaign for responsible ethics regarding social media sharing of recreation sites
- A public review of the fire management plan for the Gorge, including clear policy on when trails are closed during times of high fire danger.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Rachel Pawlitz, U.S. Forest Service, (503) 758-2624
Public Meeting on Updating Recreation Guidelines in Gorge’s National Scenic Area Plan
Hood River, Ore. — October 11, 2019 – The U.S. Forest Service and Columbia River Gorge Commission are interested in public input on recreation-related topics being considered for revision in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (CRGNSA) Management Plan.
The revisions are part of an effort called Gorge 2020, in which the U.S. Forest Service and Columbia River Gorge Commission are fulfilling their obligation under the National Scenic Area Act to review and revise the management plan every ten years.
Gorge 2020 began with a 2017 public scoping, followed by a complete review of the plan for issues in need of potential 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 Columbia River Gorge to discuss recent trends in recreation 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.”
The meeting will start with a presentation outlining the current plan’s approach and identify key questions under consideration, before inviting the public to provide inputs in an open house format. All interested members of the public are welcome to attend.
WHAT: Public Meeting on Recreation Revisions to the CRGNSA Management Plan
DATE: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
TIME: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
LOCATION: Wind River Education Center, 441 Hot Spring Avenue, Carson, WA 98610
Visit Gorge Commission’s Gorge 2020 website to learn more about the revision process.