The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act turned 25 years old on this past November. This hour-long Oregon Field Guide, “Columbia Gorge: The Fight for Paradise,” examines how the Scenic Act has balanced the stresses of tourism, recreation, wind energy development and a population boom in the Gorge. Tune in to OPB TV on Thursday, May 17 at 8:30pm.
President Ronald Reagan signed the Scenic Act on November 17, 1986. From that moment on, Gorge land managers had a dual mandate: protect an 85-mile stretch of incredible scenery and encourage economic development in the Gorge.
The Field Guide team looks at the path to getting the law passed by Congress, the race to save prized parcels of land from bulldozers, the rise of high-tech and recreation, and new threats from wind development and haze that obscure the beauty of the Gorge.
Policy and land-use controversies are part of life in the Columbia Gorge. But for the tribes the issues run much deeper. The program also examines the evocative Confluence Project by artist Maya Lin that spans the Scenic Area, and what the Gorge Act means to the tribes that have long called it home.
Videos of the stories featured on Field Guide are available at opb.org/programs/ofg/ or watch entire programs at watch.opb.org.
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About OREGON FIELD GUIDE
In its 23nd season, Oregon Field Guide remains a valuable source of information about outdoor recreation, ecological issues, natural resources and travel destinations. Oregon Field Guide airs Thursday evenings at 8:30pm on the television stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting and repeats on Sundays at 1:30am and 6:30pm. In the Mountain Time zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9:30pm Thursdays, and at 7:30pm Sundays.
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