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“I struggled to find an image that would work well for this column. Intuition said, ‘Nothing sad, no fiery infernos.’ A keyword search for the Gorge brought up this nostalgic image of two toddler friends, nearly 20 years ago at Jackson Park, a reminder of why people choose to live and raise families in the Columbia Gorge. It also reflected my sense of hope about future stewardship of the land, with Sofia Marbach (left), now a wilderness educator and McKenna Walbridge (right), who was on the front line as a firefighter in Cascade Locks. With mentorship and guidance, this young teen, implicated of starting the fire, has a chance to do as much good as these inspiring young women.” — Peter Marbach


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