The National Scenic Area Act designated for
special protection 292,500 acres on both sides of the Columbia from the
outskirts of Portland-Vancouver in the west to the semi-arid regions of
Wasco and Klickitat counties in the east. The National Scenic Area is
categorized into three areas: Special Management Areas, General Management
Areas and Urban Areas.
One thing that differentiates the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic
Area from national parks and monuments is land ownership, as nearly half
of the lands in the Scenic Area are in private ownership.
Since the Scenic Area was created, developments and new land uses have
been reviewed in the Scenic Area. Development is occurring but in a
controlled framework that protects the very resources that make the Scenic
Area so special.