Gorgeous Again? Restoring the Scenic Columbia River Gorge

February 21, 2019

Panel with Lisa Platt, Moderator

February 21st, Community Outreach: Gorgeous Again? Restoring the Scenic Columbia River Gorge, Panel with Lisa Platt, Moderator.

Gorgeous Again—Recovery and Reflection
New Challenges and Opportunities in the Wake of the Eagle Creek Fire

February 21, 9:30am Coffee, 10:15am Program

For decades the Columbia River Gorge has topped lists of must see places in Oregon and Washington. More than two million people visit each year to hike the 218 miles of trails, windsurf in Hood River, fish for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon, peek at 800 wildflower species, pick apples and pears and enjoy the rich beauty of this area.

The beauty of the Columbia Gorge inspired PGC member Nancy Russell to strive for its preservation for the enjoyment of generations to come. She was joined in this quest by many PGC members in founding the Friends of the Columbia Gorge (FoCG) and in securing designation of the land as a National Scenic Area in1986.

Then there was the fire. In September 2018, a spark from a firework ignited the worst conflagration in Oregon’s history and the first major fire in the area in over 100 years. Burning for three months, the Eagle Creek Fire destroyed 50,000 acres and closed the roads, trails, railway and the river.

Clay Courtright

Park Manager, Oregon Parks and Recreation DepartmentResponsible for Overseeing the Western Columbia River Gorge Management Unit



Kevin Gorman, Executive Director, Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Kevin joined the organization in 1998 and during his tenure Friends has grown from eight staff and one office to 20 staff and three offices; net assets have grown from $750,000 to $18 million.



Steve Kruger, Executive Director, Trailkeepers of Oregon

Steve joined TKO in July 2017 after a decade with Oregon Parks and Recreation.




Dana Skelly

US Forest Service, Regional Fuels Program Manager Pacific NW & Alaska