Skamania officials censure over Broughton

A pair of gorge commissioners and a trio of Skamania County Commissioners are tangling over the proposed Broughton Landing destination project at a former mill site west of Bingen.

March 21, 2008
The Dalles Chronicle

A story in today’s issue of The (Vancouver) Columbian said Skamania County Commissioners denounced Columbia River Gorge Commissioners Jim Middaugh of Portland and Honna Sheffield of Skamania for writing a letter to Washington Department of Ecology chief Jeff Manning requesting a state investigation of possible industrial contamination at the Broughton Mill property.

Middaugh and Sheffield were the only two commissioners to vote against a gorge commission staff report concluding there had been changes in the gorge significant enough to warrant an amemndment to the Gorge Management Plan regarding the proposed Broughton site at the March 11 gorge commission meeting.

The Columbian reported county commissioners said Middaugh and Sheffield “are attempting to derail the ongoing legislative process of the Gorge Commission on the Broughton Landing plan amendment,” the county commissioners said in a statement. Skamania County is on record as favoring the Broughton development.
The press release also:
• called on the full gorge commission to “censor” Middaugh and Sheffield and remobe them from from further deliberations on the subject
• asked for their immediate dismissal by their respective appointing authorities, Multnomah County and Gov. Chris Gregoire
• accused the two of “clear collusion” with the advocacy group Friends of the Gorge, which helped draft the March 18 letter asking for a state investigation.

The gorge commission is scheduled to take action on the Broughton Landing proposal at its April 8 meeting.

The Columbian reproted Middaugh said Wednesday his intention was not to delay the process. He said he wants more complete information about potential contamination of the site before he votes on whether to amend the management plan for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area to allow the development to proceed.