Gorge scenic area gets new manager

Lynn Burditt will take the helm just after the New Year

By Kathie Durbin, Columbian staff writer

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Lynn Burditt, a veteran Forest Service manager who has a master’s degree in conflict management, has been named area manager of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. She will begin her duties in the Hood River, Ore., office in early January.

Burditt succeeds National Scenic Area Manager Dan Harkenrider, who recently retired.

A former deputy supervisor of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Burditt comes to the job from the agency’s Region 6 office in Portland, where she has served as assistant director of resource planning and monitoring since April.

“I’m truly honored for the opportunity to work with people in this special place,” she said Friday.

A new Oregon Field Guide documentary on the 25th anniversary of the National Scenic Area that aired Thursday night on Oregon Public Broadcasting “was such a reminder of how much people care about the places where they live,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be part of that.”

During more than 30 years with the Forest Service, Burditt has held a variety of positions in Minnesota, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, California and North Carolina. While working on Oregon’s Willamette National Forest, she was co-leader of a science/management partnership that focused on research on the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. She has extensive experience in collaborative efforts and public and private partnerships.

“A lot of connecting is about just communicating with people and being able to hear each other,” she said. “ I do find it useful to step back and think about what I am hearing and how I can bring people together.”

Burditt spent four months as acting area manager for the National Scenic Area last year. “I really got an opportunity to experience the place and the people and the unique mission of the Scenic Area,” she said. “When I knew Dan was leaving, I applied.”

Burditt has a bachelor of science degree in outdoor recreation and forest management from Iowa State University and master’s degrees in forestry, from Oregon State University, and conflict resolution, from Antioch University. She is a member of the Oregon Archaeological Society, the White Pass Historical Society, the Society of American Foresters, the Ecological Society of America, the National Recreation and Parks Association, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the NAACP.

The Forest Service Scenic Area manager is a nonvoting member of the Columbia River Gorge Commission and is responsible for managing recreation in the Gorge, acquiring land from willing sellers, and regulating development in the most visually sensitive areas.

Kathie Durbin: 360-735-4523 or kathie.durbin@columbian.com.