The year 2011 is the 25th Anniversary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and a fitting time to celebrate it as one of the most successful examples of a commons in the United States.
The Columbia River Gorge has long faced pressure from development, logging and mining. In 1986, Friends of the Columbia Gorge drove a groundswell of public support to secure passage of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, protecting nearly 300,000 acres in Oregon and Washington. This unique federal designation provides protection across six counties and two states.
Since the passage of the Act, Friends of the Columbia Gorge has helped bring over 40,000 acres of National Scenic Area lands into public ownership. Today the vast recreational resources and natural wonders of the Gorge are enjoyed by over three million people each year. Over 70 waterfalls, 100 hiking trails and a bounty of wildflowers and scenic vistas are available for public enjoyment today – where just 25 years ago, no such public access or protection was assured.
Today Friends’ mission is to protect the scenic, natural, cultural and recreational resources of the Gorge. We strive to protect this unique natural place for future generations to enjoy. Thanks to Friends’ members, supporters and partner organizations, today the public lands of the Gorge are a treasure held in common by all of us.
Find out more at: http://www.gorgefriends.org/
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