Columbia River Gorge commission welcomes new member

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White Salmon resident Loretta DeKay became the Columbia River Gorge Commission's newest member in July.

DeKay, who has worked as both a fishery biologist and teacher, was appointed to the position by Gov. Jay Inslee.

She replaces commission member Sondra Clark, whose term expired this year, and joins a group that has recently seen high turnover.

With DeKay's appointment, nine of the commission's 12 voting members now have been in their posts for two years or less.

The Columbia River Gorge Commission coordinates policy, partnerships and land-use planning within six Gorge counties in Washington and Oregon. The agency has been hobbled by budget cuts in recent years, but 2013 marks the first cycle in six years with no such reductions, according to the commission.