Civil engineer named to Gorge commission

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Clark County commissioners on Monday appointed Vancouver resident Damon Webster to the Columbia River Gorge Commission.

Webster, vice president of engineering at MacKay & Sposito, will replace Vancouver resident Joe Palena.

Palena, who served on the commission since 1999, did not seek reappointment.

Webster’s term will expire June 30, 2015.

Webster, 49, said Tuesday he was born in White Salmon and lived there until he was 10, when his family moved to Vancouver.

He said he frequently travels to the Gorge, for both personal and professional reasons; his firm has done work for port districts and cities there.

On Monday, commissioners interviewed Webster and three other finalists.

Webster’s past civic involvement includes serving as president of the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce.

Columbia River Gorge Commission members make decisions on land-use applications, hear appeals of county land-use decisions and modify the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Management Plan.

The national scenic area is 85 miles long and includes portions of six counties in Washington and Oregon. The bistate Gorge commission has 13 members.