Author Archives: OPRD Planning

Music to Our Ears

One of our favorite program ideas to come out of the Gorge Parks Plan is being piloted this summer!


The Song Circle

Do you love singing?  And your Oregon State Parks?  These two worlds are coming together this summer in the Columbia River Gorge. 

Oregon State Parks invites the public to join in Song Circles at both Vista House and Rooster Rock State Parks on a series of Friday nights between the end of June and mid-September.

For more information see:

OPRD Parks Commission Adopts Draft Gorge Plan

Marking the Map

Gorge MU Public Meeting I at the West Hatfield Trailhead

The Draft OPRD Columbia River Gorge Management Units Plan was unanimously approved by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission on February 11, 2015.

Planning staff will now be working with counties in the Gorge for land use compatibility approval throughout 2015. Following this OPRD will apply to formally adopt the plan as state rule.

Additionally, OPRD will be developing detailed site plans for projects identified and prioritized in the plan as a next step in moving forward with these improvements and identifying potential funding. We will be posting information about these plans on the blog as it becomes available.

You can view the current Draft OPRD Columbia River Gorge Management Units Plan here:

Plan 1/2

PDF Part 1 (21mb)

Plan 2/2

PDF Part 2 (17mb)

Draft Gorge Plan Goes to OPRD Parks Commission for Adoption

Mayer State Park

Mayer State Park

The Draft Gorge Management Units Plan was presented to the public, partners, and staff in October 2014. The resulting comments have been incorporated into the plan for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission’s approval and adoption at the upcoming meeting February 11, 2015. If approved, planning staff will seek land use approvals with Gorge counties in early 2015 and then later this year formally apply to adopt the plan as state rule.

Please read the updated DRAFT Gorge Management Units Plan (1/20/2015) here:


PDF – Part 1 (21mb)


PDF Part 2 (17mb)

Draft Plan Comment Period Extended


Due to several requests, the comment period for the Draft Columbia River Gorge Management Units Plan has been extended. Comments will now be accepted on the plan through Monday, December 1, 2014, extended from the original date of November 21.

Public Meeting IV Summary

OPRD Proposed Improvements Board

OPRD Proposed Improvements Board (Click to Expand)

Meeting Summaries

Thank you to all of those who attended the public meetings in October to review the Draft Oregon State Parks Columbia River Gorge Management Units Plan. We have received a lot of thoughtful contributions to the plan from those who attended, in addition to those submitted via the blog, letters, and email. Please find Draft Meeting Summaries below and let us know if there are any corrections.


West End Public Meeting Summary PDF 10-22-14


East End Public Meeting Summary PDF 10-23-14


Advisory Committee Meeting Summary PDF 10-22-14

If you haven’t yet had a chance, comments will be accepted on the plan through Monday, December 1, 2014. This reflects a 30-day comment period from October 22, the date of the first public meeting.

Next Steps

Planning staff will continue to revise the Draft Plan based on comments from this round of meetings. We hope to be taking the plan to the Oregon State Park Commission for approval in February 2015. Upon approval, planning staff will work with counties in the Gorge to make sure the plan is compatible with land use plans.

Review & Comment on the Draft Plan!


A family, extreme sports enthusiasts, an artist, international travelers, in-laws visiting Portland from out-of-state, local fruit farmers, kayakers, a sporting goods store owner, native fisherman, a tourist taking a drive….

Everyone is inspired in their own way during a typical day in the Gorge. The following plan proposals aim to support the recreational needs and values of the people we meet in state parks, while celebrating the great diversity of people who characterize the gorge, today and for generations to come. These proposals strive to find a balance between recreation access, natural resource health, scenic beauty management, and fiscal responsibility.

If you’ve been following this planning process for Oregon State Parks in the Columbia River Gorge you know how exciting it is to arrive at the draft plan document stage. We could not have gotten here without your help! Many members of the public, partner agencies, stake holder groups, and state park staff have contributed to the development of this plan.

However, we are not done yet. The gorge is a complex place and we need your help to review this detailed draft plan. The plan is divided into four sections which you can see below. Leave your comments here on the blog, send us an email at, or tell us what you think at our upcoming public meetings on October 22nd and 23rd.

THE COMMENT PERIOD HAD BEEN EXTENDED: Comments will now be accepted on the plan through Monday, December 1, 2014, extended from the original date of November 21.  (Edited 11/18/2014) This reflects a 30-day comment period from the date of the first public meeting.

I. Existing Conditions

GMUP_1Read this section to understand the status of state parks in the Columbia River Gorge at the time this plan was written. This section explores the existing uses, facilities, natural and cultural resources, history, and geographical context of the parks within the management unit. Parks are described from a variety of perspectives, with an emphasis on visitor experience.

II. Analysis

GMUP_5Read this section to understand the discussion and collective thought behind the proposals shown later in this plan. This section describes the public process for gathering input about the plan, the opportunities and constraints that were identified, and an analysis of the major themes that arose during the existing conditions studies.

III. Plan Proposals

GMUP_7Read this section to understand the long term vision for how OPRD will serve visitors to its parks in the Gorge as well as the management strategies that will be used to maintain these parks going forward.

IV. Plan Implementation

GMUP_9Read this section to learn about the steps for implementing the proposals in this plan, including the priorities and phasing identified for improvements to parks, the estimated costs, and the permitting processes required to make this plan happen over the next 20 years, and find out what you can do to help.

Public Meeting IV. Final Draft Plan


Starvation Creek State Park

We have changed the date of these meetings from October 15 & 16 to Oct 22 & 23 due to a scheduling conflict. Please note the new dates for the Gorge Oregon State Parks Plan Advisory Committee Meeting on the post below.

The times and locations for these meetings have not changed. Please contact us if you have any questions.

The fourth set of public meetings in the Gorge state park planning process are scheduled for October 22 and October 23, 2014. OPRD staff will present the draft comprehensive plan for state parks in the Gorge and listen to public comment at these meetings. The draft plan includes summaries of the assessments, public input, values and desired benefits of the parks, revised park proposals, phasing and recommendations for the future vision and management of state parks in the Columbia River Gorge.  Public discussion at these meetings will allow us to share specific opportunities and challenges at each of our state park sites in addition to hearing what you think about the plans. Public engagement and discussion at this meeting is especially important to the success of the planning effort.

The draft plan will be available online at  for review on October 8th, one week prior to the public meetings so please come to the meetings with your questions.You can also review past public meeting materials, including existing conditions, guiding values, and planning proposals on the website. After the meetings there will be a 30 day comment period on the plan and you are welcome to tell us what you think right here on the blog.


The meetings are scheduled as follows:


Advisory Committee Meeting IV 
Wednesday, October 22, 1:00-4:00pm
Port of Cascade Locks Pavilion at Marine Park
355 Wa Na Pa StCascade Locks, OR 97014

(Note: The public may attend the Advisory Committee meeting however, only comments from the committee will be taken at this meeting. Public will have a chance to respond at both of the public meetings listed below.)


West End Public Meeting IV 

Wednesday, October 22, 5:30-7:30pm

Port of Cascade Locks Pavilion at Marine Park

355 Wa Na Pa St

Cascade Locks, OR 97014


East End Public Meeting IV 

Thursday, October 23, 5:30-7:30pm

Gorge Discovery Center

5000 Discovery Dr

The Dalles, OR 97058


Services, programs and activities of OPRD are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If accommodations are needed, please call 503-986-0723 at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.



Oregon State Parks Comprehensive Planning Schedule Update


We have updated our current planning schedule and will tentatively be holding the final series of public meetings in October. At these meetings we will be presenting the Draft Comprehensive Plan for Oregon State Parks in the Gorge.

In the meantime we are busy adding your comments into our draft park proposals; drafting phasing priorities and park management strategies. We will announce the exact dates and locations of the next round of meetings as soon as they are finalized.

In the meantime, we wish you another beautiful summer season in the scenic Columbia River Gorge!


Meeting III. Summary.

meetingDb meetingAa


Thank you to all who participated in last weeks public meetings, as well as to those who contributed their thoughts through email and on the blog. Your comments on the preliminary proposals for Oregon State Parks in the Columbia River Gorge are already helping our planning team to clarify the priorities for managing state parks over the next 15- 20 years. Below are summaries of our public presentation and the open discussions that followed.

1. Slide show presented at the public meetings (part one)

Pages from 2014_5_8_Gorge_Presentation_FINAL


2. Slide show presented at the public meetings (part two)

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 11.58.10 AM

2. Draft Summary of the Advisory Committee Meeting discussions

3. Draft Summary of the Public Meetings discussions

4. Definitions of OPRD recreation terminology



Our next steps are to continue to revise the plan proposals, consider budget and phasing for the projects, develop management strategies for the parks and continue to develop partnership opportunities with neighboring agencies and stake holders. We will be announcing the dates and locations for our last set of public meetings in the next few weeks.





Preview of Draft Planning Proposals


As a result of the thoughtful input you provided at our past planning meetings, the OPRD planning team is ready to present preliminary planning concepts for Oregon State Parks in the Columbia Gorge next Wednesday April 30th and Thursday May 1st. Given the complexity of the Columbia Gorge we are providing a preview of the proposals for your review. As you consider the proposed plans, there are three important points we would like you to keep in mind.


I. The goals for the third set of public meetings are to:

  1. Summarize the planning process to date.
  1. Articulate the preliminary planning proposals for state parks (see below).
  1. Listen to your comments and questions about the proposals.
  1. Ask for your input on the prioritization of the proposed improvements.


II. This draft set of preliminary planning proposals:

  1. Focuses on identifying improvements within state parks property relative to how state parks contribute to the existing recreation, cultural resources and natural resources in the National Scenic Area.
  1. Includes consideration of natural resource and scenic areas that should be protected within state parks property.
  1. Identifies improvements that can be made to the overall visitor experience in already established state park recreation sites.
  1. Proposes two significant areas for development at Wyeth and West Mayer and identifies five additional parks with major visitor experience improvement opportunities.


III. Later in the final draft plan document (presented at our next series of public meetings) you will see:

  1. Revised proposals based on public comments and advisory committee feedback.
  1. Values, goals and strategies articulating OPRD’S approach to park management in the Gorge for the next 15 years.
  1. Prioritization of improvement projects with budgets and phasing.
  1. A summary of the many regional planning ideas that have been suggested  and discussed by the public, stakeholder groups, and our advisory committee.  (Throughout the planning process OPRD has committed to acknowledge and share larger regional planning ideas with other agencies and stakeholders so as to assist in future region-wide planning efforts. We acknowledge that region-wide planning recommendations are generally beyond the scope of this state parks plan.)


Draft Planning Proposals

 Gorge_All_Park_Proposal_Board_OPRD_2014 Gorge Park Improvement Chart  (1 mb)

Gorge_Proposal_Boards_OPRD_2014_Page_1 Gorge Individual Park Improvements (8 mb)

Gorge_Trail_Proposal_Map_OPRD_2014 Trail Project Map (4mb)

Well, what do you think?

  1. Of the improvements proposed, what do you see as priorities?

  2. If you could see only one of the proposed improvements implemented, which would it be?

  3. Are there proposed improvements that you think should wait?

  4. Is there anything you would like to see that hasn’t been captured in the proposals?


Share your thoughts in the comments below or join up for our meetings next week!

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