Challenges to Land Management Plan Must Address Actual Violations to Be Ripe

Wednesday, January 09, 2019 5:47 am
January 2019 - Volume 47 Number 1

Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Inc. et al v. Columbia River Gorge Commission, No. A125031, 2007 Ore. App. Lexis 1536 (Oct. 31, 2007)

Local neighbors, vendors and environmental groups in Oregon and Washington brought nearly two-dozen challenges to a land-use management plan. But the appellate court upheld only one of those challenges, dismissing the rest as either unripe or without merit.

Facts: Congress passed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act (the Act) in 1986. The Act created the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which stretches for more than 80 miles along the Columbia River and encompasses nearly 30,000 acres in Oregon and Washington. To accomplish its goal of preserving this area’s natural resources, the Act established a framework within which a landuse plan was to be developed and administered. To implement this plan, the Act also created the Columbia River Gorge Commission (the Commission).

The Act charged the Commission with periodically reviewing the management plan, and in the late 1990s the Commission began its review process. In preparation, the Commission produced a series of monitoring reports th[..]