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Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Inc. v. Columbia River Gorge Commission

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-23-2012
Case #: A146584
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Edmonds, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/sites/Publications/A146584.pdf

Administrative Law: The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act required the Columbia River Gorge Commission to include provisions in its management plan that development should take place without adversely affecting natural resources.

The Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Inc. request judicial review of the Columbia River Gorge Commission’s revisal of its management plan. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act directed the Columbia River Gorge Commission to adopt a management plan that incorporated their developed land use designations for certain land along the Columbia River. In 2004, the Commission adopted revisions to the original plan, which the Petitioner, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Inc. argued violated aspects of the Act including the definition of “natural resources” and failed to protect natural and cultural resources. The Court of Appeals held that the revised management plan violated the Scenic Area Act by failing to include provisions that require commercial, residential, and mineral resource development to take place without adversely affecting natural resources, and that the commission should also reconsider provisions addressing adverse cumulative effects to cultural resources. The definition of natural resources was reasonable. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for reconsideration.