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Gorge Commission To Discuss Plan Review

Commissioners to take first look at draft work plan on Dec. 11 in Stevenson.

Columbia River Gorge Commissioners will get their first look at a draft work plan for the first-ever review of the Scenic Area's Management Plan when they meet Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Stevenson.

The regular December meeting of the Gorge Commission starts at 9 a.m. Discussion of a draft work plan for review of the Management Plan will begin at 1 p.m.

The draft work plan is a strategy developed by staff to address a list of major policy issues and "cleanup" items that Commissioners approved in November for Plan Review. Congress requires a review of the Management Plan every 10 years to see how well it is working to fulfill its main purposes of protecting Scenic Area resources and promoting economic development in designated urban areas.

The list of Plan Review issues was compiled from over 1,600 comments the Gorge Commission and Forest Service received over the past year from the public and the various partners that implement the Scenic Act -- the six Gorge counties, four Indian tribes and state and federal agencies.

On the morning's agenda is a request from the Husum/BZ Corners Community Council that the Gorge Commission offer comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the proposed removal of Condit Dam on the White Salmon River.

The Husum/BZ Corners Corners Community Council opposes removal of the PacificCorp-owned Condit Dam, which is located just inside the Scenic Area northwest of the community of White Salmon. However, Gorge Commission Executive Director, Martha Bennett, has recommended that the Commission not take a position in the dam's removal because the bi-state agency does not have jurisdiction over the action of federal agencies such as FERC.

"Since the decision to permit removal of the dam would be made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Forest Service is the agency that is charged with reviewing that action under the National Scenic Area Act," she said.

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