Bingen and White Salmon are small towns in a relatively rural setting, situated in the middle of the uniquely beautiful Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, only 60 miles east of Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA, and the destination for many thousands of visitors and part-time residents each year. All of which contribute to a number of relatively unique issues, including:
- We’re relatively low on the radar of Washington State government,
- Though we have no personal state income taxes, we are just across the bridge from “no sales tax” Oregon, which puts our retail businesses at a disadvantage,
- We have blossoming industries in high tech, wine, tourism and adventure sports, a stable fruit production industry, and a slowly declining forest products industry,
- Education and adequate jobs preparation and availability are persistent problems,
- We have relatively high housing costs and limited affordable housing available,
- Development, housing and industrial options are highly regulated and limited outside city limits by the Columbia Gorge Commission via the National Scenic Area Act, and separately by Klickitat County.
- We lie along a major rail, barge, and truck transportation corridor which somewhat negatively impact the local mobility and environment, but do not provide compensating income for the communities.
Community Partners works closely with the cities, civic organizations, and the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce to help moderate the effects of these issues and to enhance the livability of our communities and region.