"The fire is out, the court has spoken. Now is the time to focus on the healing process to help the Gorge recover," said Friends Conservation Director Michael Lang.
Contact: Burt Edwards, communications director | 971.634.0595 (Office) | 703.861.8237 (Cell) | email@example.com (email)
PORTLAND, OR – Today, at a hearing at the Hood River County Circuit Court, the Vancouver teenager responsible for starting last year's Eagle Creek fire pleaded guilty to 12 counts and received 1,920 hours of community service and five years of probation under a plea deal. Michael Lang, conservation director for Friends of the Columbia Gorge, said in response:
"The fire is out and the court has spoken. Now is the time to focus on the healing process. The Eagle Creek fire was tragedy all around – creating significant hardship for Gorge communities and businesses, placing firefighters and first responders in harm's way, and scorching thousands of acres of pristine forest. There's a long road ahead but the Gorge is a resilient place.
"This spring will be a key time in the healing and rebuilding process for the Gorge. And a lot of help will be needed from mobilizing volunteers to help stop invasive species from spreading in the burned areas to identifying funding to help the U.S. Forest Service and its partners in assessing and rebuilding trails damaged by the fire."
Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a nonprofit organization with over 8,000 members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Friends maintains offices in Portland, OR as well as in two locations based in the Gorge -- Hood River, OR and Washougal, WA. Learn more: gorgefriends.org