First Advisor

Sy Adler

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Administration




Policy sciences, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Or. and Wash.) -- Politics and government, Landscape assessment -- Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Or. and Wash.)



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 218 pages)


The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (NSA) was created in 1986 in response to a growing interest in preserving the scenic beauty of the gorge. The creation of the NSA and other areas around the country with a scenic resource emphasis indicates a growing interest in protecting landscapes with diverse scenic qualities that are not showcase areas such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. NSA mandates included the protection and enhancement of scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources (SNCRs) as the primary concern in the consideration of new land uses. The NSA management plan contains a complex mix of management tools for the protection of SNCRs in the gorge. This research was an investigation into how scenic resources policy was developed, with a focus on the scenic resources of the NSA. One issue was the definition of scenic resources, which are undefined in the management plan. Because of the difficulty of identifying scenic resources, other resources may be managed as a surrogate for them. An analysis was made of the scenic resources management schemes of several federal reserve lands with a stated scenic management objective to determine if this was the case, and to compare their management strategies for the NSA. A second issue was the public's understanding of what constitutes a scenic resource and the role that public input had in the development of the management plan. Empirical work suggests that complexity of issues may hinder successful public input processes. A final issue was how identifiable stakeholders in the Columbia River Gorge differed in their views on scenic resources, which may depend on their proximity to and relationship with such resources. Results of data analysis and the interview process reveal that public understanding about scenic resource concepts is low, and that gorge planners were primarily responsible for development of scenic resources policy in the NSA management plan. As expected there were some identifiable differences in the views on scenic resources among various stakeholders. Scenic resources management elsewhere is done primarily through traditional zoning requirements, and the basis of management of scenic resources appears to be for other culturally-defined purposes such as recreation.


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