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Here in the Columbia River Gorge, land use issues dominate community debates.  From coal trains, wind turbines, the Broughton Mill site development to the Cascade Locks Casino, these proposals tend to ignite sparks polarizing individuals and groups.

There are other land-related projects that bring folks together.  On November 9, at least a 100 volunteers have signed up to help restore the Sandy River Delta on the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge, and just “down the street,” the Friends of the Columbia Gorge have opened up their internal planning process on whether to expand hiking/biking opportunities on their 550 acres located east of Lyle, Washington.  See map above.   The Friends have invited adjacent neighbors, governmental agencies, and other concerned persons to join in.  They hired a facilitator, and there is a sense of common purpose here.

The “Cherry Orchard” lands are privately-owned, yet are open to serve the public.  This generous concept is the main hope behind my blog: private lands stewardship, education, recreation, all serving both the landowner and the public good.

I am feeling good about the process started in Lyle, for an all-inclusive endeavor almost always leads to positive results. ~