On March 11, 2021, the U.S. Forest Service, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, announced their proposal to reissue 10-year permits to existing permit holders who offer whitewater boating services for both the White Salmon and Klickitat Rivers. The proposal will also establish a Temporary Use Pool of 500 service days on the White Salmon and will increase the Klickitat River Temporary Use Pool from 200 to 300 service days. The eight-page Decision Memo includes the historical background, the proposed action, as well as a summary of comments and responses received during the public involvement process.
As SDS prepares to sell their corporate assets, local community groups, including Friends of the White Salmon, are engaging the community to bring “about awareness of the potential impacts the sale could have on the Gorge region.” The March 2, 2021, Columbia Gorge News article by Jacob Bertram outlines many of these concerns. How the assets are sold and to whom they are sold could impact the community economically as well as have negative impacts on timberland and critical habit into the future.
Friends of the White Salmon encourages you to become involved. FWSR invites you to attend the Premiere showing of Joe Roth’s Uprooted, a one-hour Facebook event that will explore the impacts the SDS sale will have on the community. This Zoom event will be held March 14th, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Under Canvas update. It is my understanding that on Friday two appeals of the SEPA determination were filed. FWSR filed comments, which we will post on the website, but it takes lawyers to file SEPA appeals, and it’s great news that Under Canvas opponents could get that done. The response from Under Canvas and the County will probably be a while. They could withdraw this SEPA and try again, or call for a full environmental assessment, or they could decide to litigate the appeal. Stay tuned.
On December 25, 2020, Klickitat County issued a revised Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance for the Under Canvas Project. You can read the MDNS on our website here Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance. If you want more information, including all comments submitted on the original MDNS last fall, you can read them on the County website here. https://www.klickitatcounty.org/1261/Under-Canvas You will find all documents, including the CUP application and the Recreation Park Application there as well. Settle down for a long winter’s night of reading.
Rumors in the fall of 2019 that SDS was going to sell its mill in Bingen, Washington, and/or its 101,000 acres of timberland were confirmed by their press release on September 21, 2020. Beginning September 30, 2020, Sandra DeMent wrote a series of articles printed in The Goldendale Sentinel providing an informative historical background of the company and tentative proposals for its future. An interview with the new CEO, covered in the December 30, 2020 article, confirms that SDS intends to sell the entire company in the near future. The sale of SDS has potentially large, negative consequences for many aspects of life for the people and critters here in the Gorge.
Under Canvas, withdrew its application to develop a 95-tent luxury “glamping” site in October to address comments and issues. It has now resubmitted revised/updated applications, SEPA checklist and special reports to the Klickitat County Planning Department. On December 15, 2020, the Planning Department determined that the revised Environmental Checklist was substantially complete, and SEP2020-21 has been re-issued as a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance.
Written comments must be submitted to the Klickitat County Planning Department by 5:00 p.m., January 22, 2021, via email at email@example.com, or by mail sent to 228 W Main Street, Goldendale, WA 98620.