Skamania County, Washington

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Skamania County administrative offices are located at 240 Vancouver Avenue NW, Stevenson, WA 98648; phone: 509-427-3770.

The county was established in 1854; the name comes from a Chinook Native American term meaning swift waters.

Skamania County [1] is richly rooted in cultural and historic resources that date back thousands of years. Native Americans have been in the area since time immemorial. Lewis and Clark came through Skamania County on their expedition with the Corps of Discovery in 1804-1806, as well as Skamania County was a heavy timber producing county in the early 1900's. Knowledge of Skamania County's history can provide a context to understand current growth and development trends, as well as a sense of continuity and community.

The Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakima Indian tribes signed treaties with Congress in 1855. In the year 2000 the Cowlitz Indian tribe was acknowledged as a tribe by the federal government. These treaties ceded to the United States legal title to millions of acres of land. They also reserved and guaranteed certain aboriginal rights exercised by Native American people since time immemorial. These legally protected rights belong to each Indian tribe and are regulated and enforced by the respective Native American tribal governments. The Native American tribal governments exercise inherent sovereign powers, as limited by treaty or act of congress. Skamania County must observe Native American treaty rights and recognize that these tribes have many archaeological and cultural resources within the county.

  1. County of Skamania, Washington, Comprehensive Plan, 2007,, accessed August, 2015.

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