Friday, November 17, 2017

Comment on Skamania County’s updated shoreline program by Nov. 30

The confluence of the Wind and Columbia rivers in Skamania County. 
In the shadow of Mt. St. Helens National Monument, Skamania County reaches from the Columbia River Gorge north to some of the most remote areas in Washington; in the heart of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Ninety percent of the county’s 1,684 sq. miles is forested. The rest is a mix of small towns, roads, water and shorelines.
Skamania County hosts approximately 581 miles of rivers and creeks, and
166 miles of lake shorelines.

From now through Nov. 30, the Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on proposed changes to Skamania County’s Shoreline Master Program that guides the uses on approximately 581 miles of rivers and creeks, and 166 miles of lake shorelines. In addition to the Columbia River, there are seven other county shorelines of statewide significance, including the Wind, and Little White Salmon Rivers, Spirit Lake, and Swift Reservoir. Additional County shorelines include many tributary streams, creeks, and smaller lakes.

Skamania’s County’s Shoreline Master Program includes updated goals, policies, regulations, environment designations, and administrative provisions that are locally tailored to reflect current conditions and community vision for future shoreline use and development. It hasn’t been revised since 1986.

Spirit Lake is located within the Mount St. Helen's National Volcanic Monument.
The updated master program prioritizes water-oriented uses, habitat protection, public access, and ecological restoration and allows for legal existing uses and structures to continue. Most future shoreline development will occur outside the federal lands that dominate the region, in areas along the SR 14 Evergreen Highway corridor where residential and recreational activities are popular.

The public has until 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, to comment.

After the public comment period ends, Ecology will compare Skamania County's proposed program to the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program Guidelines and decide whether to approve the program as is, with recommended changes, or send it back to Skamania County with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements.

There are three ways to comment and ask questions by contacting the Ecology Shoreline Planner:

Call:    360-407-6349
Write: Washington Department of Ecology
            Southwest Regional Office – SEA Program
            Attn: Michelle McConnell
            PO Box 47775
            Olympia, WA 98504-7775

The electronic documents out for public review and comment can be found online.

Paper copies are available for viewing by appointment, at the following locations:

Washington State Department of Ecology’s Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Dr.
Lacey, WA 98503
Staff contact: Michelle McConnell
Phone: 360-407-6349

Skamania County Department of Community Development
Courthouse Annex
170 NW Vancouver Ave.
Stevenson, WA 98648
Staff contact: Alan Peters
Phone: 509-427-3900

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