Wednesday, September 19, 2001
The Gorge Commission released for public comment last Thursday a list of 91 proposed issues for plan review.
These 91 issues were distilled from comments from the public in May and June.
Gorge Commission and U.S. Forest Service staffs have sorted more than 1,600 public comments about Plan Review into 91 issues covering 14 topic areas. As part of the Congressional mandate to review the Management Plan every 10 years, the comments were gathered in the past six months from public meetings held in the six Gorge counties, as well as from letters, e-mails and response forms, and input solicited from Gorge land use planners.
The public is invited to submit written comments on the preliminary list of Plan Review issues through Sept. 30.
The complete list is now available on the Gorge Commission's web site www.gorgecommission.org or by calling the Commission office at 493-3323.
Written comments may be mailed to the Gorge Commission, P.O. Box 730, White Salmon, WA 98672 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
"We're seeking the public's input to make sure we haven't overlooked any issue that should be addressed in the Plan Review process," said the Commission Executive Director Martha Bennett. "We also want to make sure this preliminary list of issues captures accurately and thoroughly all the comments we've received so far."
Besides accepting public comment on the Plan Review issues during September, Gorge commissioners and staff also are meeting with Gorge county commissions and tribal councils to see which issues these governments feel should have highest priority in Plan Review.
Based on input from the counties, tribes and public, the Commission plans to develop a prioritized list of Plan Review issues in early October.
The public will have another opportunity for comment on those priorities at a special hearing set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson.
"We want to make sure we use our limited time and resources to address the most important of the 91 issues in Plan Review," Bennett explained. "That's why we're asking our Scenic Area partners to help us in defining our priorities."