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Gorge conservation champion Nancy Russell honored

Overlook dedicated to woman who helped fend off subdivision

A new public overlook in the Columbia River Gorge was dedicated on Sunday, Aug. 13, to Nancy Russell, a longtime advocate for gorge protections who passed away in 2008.

The dedication of The Nancy Russell Overlook, in Skamania County on the northern side of the gorge, is the culmination of an effort dating back to the early 1980s, when Russell and the Trust for Public Land effectively halted a planned 16-lot Rim View Estates subdivision at Cape Horn, by securing the empty lots for conservation purposes.

The new overlook is on a site where Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust bought the one developed lot in the subdivision in 2006. The Friends group removed the 5,500-square-foot house and replaced it with native plants.

Ultimately, more than 1,000 acres of the Cape Horn were protected and an eight-mile trail was created.