News and Updates

PRESS RELEASE: New oil train rules fail to protect communities or the Columbia River Gorge
May 1 - On Friday, the U.S. DOT released new oil train rules that fail to protect our communities and special places like the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
Energy center emissions could cause fatalities, FAA models show
April 28, Gresham Outlook - Friends of the Columbia Gorge will enter evidence they say makes it clear plans to build the Troutdale Energy Center near the Troutdale Airport should be stopped.
PRESS RELEASE: Power plant proposal would create high risk of fatal crashes at the Troutdale, Oregon Airport
April 22 - A Federal Aviation Administration-approved modeling program shows that thermal plumes from the proposed Troutdale Energy Center (TEC) would create a 1 in 100 risk of severe turbulence for the light aircraft that predominately use the Troutdale Airport.
Pilots say plans for a natural gas-fired power plant include a fatal flaw
April 22, Willamette Week - A report by the Federal Aviation Administration says that a proposed power plant at the western boundary of the Gorge Scenic Area poses a serious safety risk to aircraft.
Klickitat County rezone plan reaches WA appeals court
March 30, the Columbian - Environmental groups Friends of the White Salmon River and Friends of the Columbia Gorge have said the proposal would lead to sprawl and threaten the sensitive watershed.
Oil terminal foes granted full voice in review
March 26, the Columbian - The state panel reviewing a proposed oil terminal in Vancouver will allow more than a dozen parties, including Friends, to take part in the upcoming adjudication process surrounding the controversial project.
PRESS RELEASE: As the Gorge springs to life, so does Friends of the Columbia Gorge’s spring-summer hike program
Feb. 28 - From March 15-July 18, Friends of the Columbia Gorge will host over 65 hikes, outings, and land stewardship events as it celebrates the organization’s 35th anniversary.
Funding brings Bridge of the Gods pedestrian bridge into range of possibility
Jan. 20 - Funds have been raised for a feasibility study regarding the addition of a pedestrian bridge on the Columbia River-spanning Bridge of the Gods.
Foe restates opposition to state money for dock project
Jan. 15, Portland Tribune - "If we pollute the Columbia River, we pollute our future," says 10-year-old Daeuthen Dahlquist of White Salmon, Wash., who was among those representing Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and the youngest to testify.
PRESS RELEASE: Friends, Power Past Coal stands with Lummi Nation opposing coal exports
Jan. 5, Power Past Coal - The Lummi Nation today sent a formal request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking that permits for the proposed Cherry Point coal export facility be denied in consideration of treaty rights.
Coal and oil transport: What's up for 2015
Dec. 17 - It's been a great year for Gorge protection. Let's keep it going.
Friends again participates in Willamette Week's Give!Guide
Nov. 19 - Friends is once again a proud participant in Give!Guide, Willamette Week's annual charitable giving program.
Histories & Mysteries: The Grand Prize Winner Is...
Nov. 19 - The grand prize drawing for finishers of the Histories & Mysteries 2014 hike challenge was held last night at Friends' Gorge on Tap event in Portland.
PRESS RELEASE: Legal action prompts Feds to analyze risks to Northwest's endangered species during oil spill cleanups
Nov. 18 -- In response to a notice of intent to sue from the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Columbia Gorge, the Coast Guard and EPA will analyze the risks that oil-spill cleanup and containment actions pose to salmon, whales, sturgeon and other endangered species in the Pacific Northwest.
Oil train hearing in Olympia draws 750 people mostly opposed to Northwest oil shipments
Oct. 31, the Oregonian - More than 750 people turned out for a Thursday night public hearing in Olympia, Wash., on the safety of oil train shipments through Washington. Most of the crowd was opposed to increased oil train traffic in the state.
Friends to Make Rare Appearance Before Washington Supreme Court
Oct. 23 - For only the third time in Friends of the Columbia Gorge's thirty-four year history, we have a case pending before the Washington Supreme Court.
PRESS RELEASE: Friends, allies move to defend Oregon’s denial of coal terminal on Columbia River
Oct. 9 - Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club have intervened to defend Oregon’s denial of a key permit for the proposed Morrow Pacific coal export facility on the Columbia River in Boardman, OR.
PRESS RELEASE: Oregon denies Wyoming appeal of coal terminal
Oct. 2, Power Past Coal - The Oregon Department of State Lands denied the state of Wyoming’s appeal of the denial of the Morrow Pacific coal export terminal proposed on the Columbia River. The denial was based on Wyoming’s lack of standing to appeal due to their failure to provide comments on the proposal during the comment period.
PRESS RELEASE: Friends calls for ban on puncture-prone rail cars carrying volatile crude oil
Sept. 30 - Friends, the Center for Biological Diversity and Adirondack Mountain Club filed comments today calling for an immediate ban on puncture-prone tank cars involved in several explosive accidents.
Why I'm including Friends of the Columbia Gorge in my estate plan
Sept. 24 - Gorge resident Lydie Boyer explains her decision to name Friends as a beneficiary in her estate plan.
Friends files suit to protect Gorge air quality
Sept. 5, Gresham Outlook - Friends has filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality over an air pollution permit the state agency issued earlier this year for the proposed Troutdale Energy Center at the former Reynolds Aluminum site in Troutdale.
Friends and Center for Biological Diversity file intent to sue federal agencies over oil spill plan
Sept. 4, The Oregonian - The groups intend to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that the agencies address spill risks to salmon and other endangered species.
Lessons From the Rowena Fire
Aug. 28 - Executive Director Kevin Gorman writes about the recent Gorge blaze, which affected a Friends Land Trust property near The Dalles.
Oregon denies coal terminal on the Columbia River
Aug. 18 - In a major victory for Friends and Power Past Coal, regulators ruled the proposal inconsistent with river protection.
Commission sounds alarm on coal, oil transport
Aug. 8, Portland Tribune - ...Nathan Baker, staff attorney at Friends of the Columbia Gorge, which sent a press release in support of the commission, said health and environmental threats from an increase in coal and oil trains are already occurring in the Northwest.
Hiking the Gorge With Kids
July issue of MetroParent magazine - Friends staff member and parent Stan Hall writes about taking his young son hiking in the Gorge and recommends five Gorge hikes for kids.
WA Gov. Inslee issues oil train directive
June 12, the Columbian - Gov. Jay Inslee directed state agencies Thursday to tackle mounting public safety concerns and develop an oil spill response plan as train traffic continues to increase, particularly in Southwest Washington.
PRESS RELEASE: Port of Vancouver oil terminal would violate state and local laws
May 28 - Local residents, groups cite incomplete application and potential hazards; call for more study, greater public involvement
PRESS RELEASE: Northwest job creators urge Gov. Kitzhaber to oppose coal exports, reject Ambre Energy proposal
March 20, Power Past Coal - Business leaders and economic experts from Oregon and Washington today...called for a full economic analysis of proposals in the Northwest, citing the economic risks that the proposed terminals would have for local industry like agriculture, recreation, and fishing.
PRESS RELEASE: Broad scope for Longview coal terminal evaluation announced
February 12, Power Past Coal - Today, the Washington State Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County announced a broad scope of their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed coal export terminal in Longview in southwest Washington State.
PRESS RELEASE: “Coal Train Blues” Music Video Calls Attention to Threat of Coal Export Proposals
January 22 - Today, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, in coordination with the Power Past Coal coalition and the Portland-based Johnny Cash tribute band Counterfeit Cash, released an online music video called “Coal Train Blues.”
Rock smashes through Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls
The Oregonian, January 9 - The iconic Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls will remain closed indefinitely after a large rock crashed through the bridge deck and damaged the handrail, forest service officials said Thursday.
Port of Vancouver oil terminal plan draws 31,000 comments
The Columbian, December 18 - "People of Vancouver have a real choice here in what their future looks like and what direction they want to go in," said Michael Lang, conservation director with Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
PRESS RELEASE: Oregonians call on Gov. Kitzhaber to use state authority to deny coal export project planned in Oregon
Power Past Coal Coalition, October 3 - Conservation, public health, and faith-based groups say federal inaction now requires the Governor to get tough on coal exports plans on the Columbia River
PRESS RELEASE: New poll - Oregonians oppose coal exports through the Columbia Gorge
Portland, June 27, 2013 - In a new poll of 725 Oregon voters, a six-point statewide plurality initially opposes coal exports through the Columbia River Gorge, and opposition grows to a double-digit majority as voters hear more information on both sides of the issue.
PRESS RELEASE: BNSF Railways, coal shippers sued in federal court for water contamination violations
Seattle, June 5 - Today, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and its partners filed suit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) and several coal companies for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
Kinder Morgan drops plans to build coal terminal at Port of St. Helens
May 8, the Oregonian - Terminal developer Kinder Morgan will not go forward with a proposal to export coal to Asia from the Port Westward industrial park on the Columbia River, a company spokesman said this morning.
PRESS RELEASE: Friends and partner groups file intent to sue notice over coal dust in waterways
Seattle, April 2 - The Sierra Club and its partners sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and several coal companies for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
Port's coal project grinds to a halt
April 1, Coos Bay World - A project aiming to ship U.S. coal to Asia through the Port of Coos Bay is dead, after an exclusive negotiating agreement between the port and a California terminal operator expired Sunday.
PRESS RELEASE: Skamania County Decision Leaves Thousands of Acres of Land Unzoned and Unprotected
September 20, Stevenson, WA - Conservation groups Save Our Scenic Area and Friends of the Columbia Gorge have filed suit challenging a Skamania County Commission decision to lift a development moratorium from thousands of acres of unzoned land in Skamania County.
Opposition to coal exports grows
July 25 - This month, a statement signed by 130 physicians was released opposing proposed coal export facilities. The statement cites serious health concerns in five major areas:
Friends advocates for enforcement of laws after Gorge clearcut
June 26, Daily Journal of Commerce - When a tree falls in the forest, it can make a lot of noise regardless of who is around to hear it, especially when zoning codes are called into question post harvest. That’s the story behind a 110-acre clear cut near the city of Mosier that is causing some rumblings among citizens who believe the land was logged illegally. But whether those complaints are accurate is open for debate and interpretations vary widely.
Illegal Logging Destroys Gorge Landscape
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and SDS Lumber Company have clearcut 110 acres of forest on steep slopes near the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. The clearcut reaches from top of the ridge to within 200 feet of the trail, creating a tremendous scar on the landscape visible from four designated key viewing areas in the Gorge.
Anti-Coal Rally Draws Hundreds to Downtown Portland
May 7 - Prominent environmental lawyer and advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. addressed a rally today at Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, urging people of the Northwest to fight coal exports. "Opening up Oregon and Washington to coal trafficking is insane," said Kennedy. "Coal is the dirtiest fuel on Earth and our nation is counting on the Pacific Northwest to do the right thing."
PRESS RELEASE: Appeal Challenges Washington Governor’s Approval of Controversial Wind Energy Project
April 5 - Yesterday Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Save Our Scenic Area filed a petition for judicial review in the Thurston County Superior Court, challenging Washington Governor Christine Gregoire’s approval of the Whistling Ridge Energy Project, the most controversial wind energy project ever proposed in Washington State.
Localite TV Interviews Friends' Executive Director Kevin Gorman
July 20, 2011 - Kevin speaks on his time at Friends and the history and successes of 25 years of the National Scenic Area Act.
Friends and Allies Secure PGE Boardman Closure, Pollution Controls, $2.5 Million Restoration Fund
July 19, 2011 - The groundbreaking agreement assures the end of coal-burning at the Boardman, OR plant by 2020, as well as major reductions in haze-causing pollutants before then.
Columbia Gorge Scenic Area Protection Marks 25th Anniversary
June 20, 2011, Portland Examiner - The Gorge might be dotted with McMansions, resorts, marinas, casinos and trailer parks if it were not for federal legislation enacted 25 years ago.
Grant's Getaways: Columbia River Gorge 25th Anniversary Video
May 5, 2011 - KGW's Grant McOmie pays tribute to 25 years of Gorge protection with this beautiful and entertaining video.