As general manager of the Port of Cascade Locks, I am responding to the Feb. 22 editorial, “Tough Task in the Gorge: Commission’s new executive director faces a multitude of challenges.” The editorial misstates the charge Congress gave the Columbia River Gorge Commission, which is: “To protect and enhance the scenic, natural, cultural and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge; and to protect and support the economy of the area by encouraging growth to occur in urban areas and allowing future economic development consistent with resource protection.”
The stated purpose does not include either “environmental protection” or “a reasonably beneficial business climate.”
Until the economies of urban areas such as Cascade Locks and Stevenson are sustainable, the scenic act has not met its purpose. The last two executive directors of the Gorge Commission understood that the commission’s role is to encourage economic development within the designated urban areas. We are hopeful that the new commission executive director will embrace the dual purposes.
Cascade Locks, Ore.