Letter: Gorge vistas blocked by growth



I generally have no disagreement with the July 4 story “Columbia River Gorge: Forest Service land purchases heighten area’s appeal” or the intent of the Gorge Commission and the Gorge National Scenic Area Act to protect the Gorge. However, I do have a suggestion and a recommendation.

The financial resources to acquire these subject lands comes from taxpayers. Taxpayers support this protection only because of the pristine beauty for which we take pride of ownership in and want to preserve when and where possible. Yet, the very beauty we aspire to save and enjoy, is rapidly disappearing from visualization.

As any viewer who travels the Washington or the Oregon sides of the Columbia River will notice, these panoramic vistas are being concealed by the trees that separate the highways from the river, views that 30 years ago were otherwise lithographed in every viewer’s mind’s eye as they traversed the Gorge.

Are we so overburdened with laws, that select tree-thinning or removal cannot be done so that both residents and visitors can see and appreciate the beauty of the Gorge corridor once again without necessarily stopping at only a handful of turnouts which are mostly dangerous?

Lance Burton