Casino Stalker | Opinion
Cecil Andrus: Oppose off-reservation casino

Ed. Note: Cecil D. Andrus is a former secretary of the Interior who served during the Carter administration. He also served as governor of Idaho. (Correction: He was not the governor of Oregon)

"While state and local communities have a say in the decisions affecting the future of the Gorge, it is a truly a National Scenic Area - not just an Oregon or Washington scenic area. An area as spectacular as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks, the Columbia River Gorge was protected for all Americans to appreciate and enjoy - forever.

Unfortunately, the proposal to develop a 600,000 square-foot casino resort and associated parking lots and retail structures in the heart of the Gorge and within one-half mile of the new wilderness boundary poses a serious threat to the future of the Columbia River Gorge. This threat is why I have signed a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar along with eighteen local and national conservation and recreation organizations -groups ranging from the National Audubon Society to the Trails Club of Oregon to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters -- in calling for the Obama Administration and Interior Department to reject once and for all this decade-old casino proposal.

The Bush Administration, certainly no friend to the environment, couldn't bring itself to approve a casino in the Gorge. It would be a terrible legacy indeed for the new conservation-minded Obama Administration to permit the development of a Gorge casino with all its negative impacts on fish, wildlife, water, wildflowers, scenic corridors and outdoor recreation.

What's needed now is real leadership."

Get the Story:
Cecil D. Andrus: More leadership needed to stop casino proposal (The Oregonian 8/9)

Earlier Story:
Groups fight Warm Springs off-reservation bid (8/5)