Gorge commission continues review

The Columbia Gorge Commission continues its series of Gorge management plan review meetings, with a scenic resource review scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday at Skamania County Courthouse Annex.

The commission will discuss scenic standards as they relate to "key viewing areas" in the main agenda item for the Scenic Resources Committee. In an earlier meeting, the committee agreed that the current management plan system is working to protect scenic resources, but that implementation guidelines need some fine-tuning, according to Brian Litt, commission senior planner.

Congress requires review of the scenic area plan every 10 years to see how it is achieving the main purposes of the 1986 scenic act -- protection of gorge resources and promotion of economic development in urban areas. Commission staff will recommend that commissioners narrow the list, focusing on 26 land uses. The public will have an opportunity to comment before the commission makes a decision.

Some of the land uses to be recommended by staff for consideration include churches, events at bed-breakfast inns, cluster developments, commercial development in special management areas, fish-processing facilities, lot-line adjustments, replacement structures and temporary uses. Uses not recommended for change include cemeteries, clean energy production, docks, geologic hazards, and mining. "Most of the land uses we've recommended not to consider further did not meet evaluation criteria approved earlier in the plan review process by the Gorge Commission," said Allen Bell, a senior planner with the commission. "These issues, for the most part, haven't been the subject of many appeals, haven't presented many implementation problems, and are not a priority with gorge counties, tribes, other partner agencies or the public," he said. An exception to this is mining, according to commission staff. "More than 200 people submitted comments stating mining threatens scenic vistas, wildlife and plant habitat, water resources and other sensitive resources," Bell said. "But the guidelines in the management plant that regulate mining are rigorous and consistent with the purposes and standards of the National Scenic Act." After the Commission decides which land uses to consider in plan review, a technical advisory committee will begin exploring alternatives to those uses. Public comment will be heard on these options at open meetings.

For more information on plan review and to access related documents, visit www.gorgecommission.org or call 509-493-3323.

-- The Dalles Chronicle

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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