Critical Areas Ordinance Update

The County’s critical areas regulations (Skamania County Code Title 21A) address wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas, critical aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas, and geologically hazardous areas throughout the County. All critical areas must be designated and their functions and values protected using the best available scientific information – known as best available science or BAS.

Skamania County first adopted its Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) in July 1997. Minor amendments were adopted in May 2005. A review of the ordinance was last completed in December 2014 which did not make any changes to the ordinance and the ordinance remains largely the same is when first adopted. As part of this review, the County anticipates the adoption of a revised Critical Areas Ordinance.

Why is the County updating its Critical Areas Ordinance now?

The Growth Management Act (GMA) sets forth various land use planning requirements for Washington's 39 counties.  As a partially planning county, Skamania County is required to address critical areas and natural resource lands in its GMA planning. The County is currently undergoing its periodic review of its Critical Areas Ordinance, and is required to review, and if necessary, update its critical areas regulations by June 2019.

Project Updates

Skamania County requests your comments on the draft Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) update. Copies of the draft code are available at the Courthouse Annex or may be downloaded below.

Written comments can be submitted a number of ways:

  • Submit this completed comment form at the open house
  • Submit or mail written comments to the Skamania County Community Development Department offices: Skamania County Community Development, P.O. Box 1009, Stevenson, WA 98648
  • Email written comments to Alan Peters, Skamania County Assistant Planning Director, at:

Comments on the draft CAO must be submitted by January 31, 2019. Comments will be reviewed, summarized, and taken into consideration by County staff during the CAO update.

Draft Critical Areas Ordinance

A draft of the proposed Critical Areas Ordinance update is available for your review and comment:

Chapter 19.01 General Critical Area Provisions (10/2018 Draft)

Chapter 19.02 Definitions (10/2018 Draft)

Chapter 19.03 Wetlands (10/2018 Draft)

Chapter 19.04 Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas (10/2018 Draft)

Chapter 19.05 Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Areas (10/2018 Draft)

Chapter 19.06 Frequently Flooded Areas (10/2018 Draft)

Chapter 19.07 Geologically Hazardous Areas (10/2018 Draft)

Staff Contact

The project manager for this review is Alan Peters, Assistant Planning Director. Please contact him at with any suggestions or concerns or if you would like to be added to a mailing list for periodic updates. 

Skamania County is updating its Critical Areas Ordinance.
Office Location:
Courthouse Annex
170 NW Vancouver Ave.
PO Box 1009 
Stevenson, WA 98648


Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 5:30pm Closed Fridays & Holidays

Phone Number: (509) 427-3900




UCD Handbook

Underwood Conservation District's Handbook

UCD News

2019 Annual Plant Sale

The Underwood Conservation District is accepting orders for low-cost tree seedlings and flowering shrubs through its annual native plant sale which runs thru February 28th. Visit or call (509)-493-1936 for more information.