Clark County, Washington
We are located directly across the Columbia River from Portland Ore. We are centrally located here! Stellar shopping, fine dining, theater and hailing Portland's best to offer only a bridge away. We have the best of it all here. No income taxes here in Washington. We have great schools and a great area surrounded by numerous rivers and tall reaching fir trees. A great place to live!
Washington's location in the U.S.
Clark County was the first county of Washington, named after William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was created by the provisional government of Oregon Territory on August 20, 1845, and at that time covered the entire present-day state.
In July 1, 2008, Clark County's population was estimated to be 424,733. Its county seat is at Vancouver, which is also its largest city.
Clark County began as the District of Vancouver on July 27, 1844. It included all the land north of the Columbia River, west of the Rocky Mountains, and south of Alaska. In 1845 the provisional government changed its name to Vancouver County. At that time it stretched from the Columbia River to 54 degrees 40 minutes North Latitude in British Columbia. On June 15, 1846 the United States Senate approved the present boundary between the U.S. and Canada at the 49th Parallel.
On August 13, 1848, President James K. Polk signed an act creating the entire region as the Oregon Territory. On September 3, 1849, the Oregon Territorial Legislature modified the borders again and changed its name to Clarke County in honor of explorer William Clark. At this time it included all of present day Washington and continued to be divided and subdivided until reaching its present area in 1880. It was not until 1925 that the spelling was corrected to its present form.
In September 1902 the Yacolt Burn, the largest fire in state history, began in neighboring Skamania County and swept west along a 12 mile front to Yacolt, nearly engulfing the town. Salvaging the remaining timber was a lucrative industry for a time
Clark County typically votes for the Republican Party by small margins. Clark County voted for both George W. Bush and losing Republican Senate candidate George Nethercutt in 2004.
Unlike the Seattle suburbs, Portland's suburbs often lean conservative. Battle Ground was the only western Washington suburb to give George W. Bush more than 60 percent of the vote in 2004, besides the extremely affluent Seattle suburb of Hunts Point. Most of northern Clark County also voted heavily for Bush, offsetting some significant victories for John Kerry in Vancouver and the unincorporated communities around it.
Clark County's location in the Portland media market often results in the county voting differently on initiatives than the rest of the state. In addition, unlike the fairly socially liberal Seattle suburbs, Clark County is apt to vote for some types of socially conservative legislation (such as against legalising marijuana), which is seen as not appealing to family voters in the area.
 Geography and climate
Clark County is surrounded on two sides by the Columbia River and on the north by the North Fork of the Lewis River. The East Fork of the Lewis River and the Washougal River cut across the county. The largest stream arising solely within the county is Salmon Creek, which terminates at Vancouver Lake before eventually flowing into the Columbia River.
Like most of Oregon and Washington south of Puget Sound into the Willamette Valley the landscape and climate of Clark County are determined by its placement between the volcanic Pacific Coast and Cascade Ranges, where glaciation helped form a U-shaped valley which meets the river valley of the Columbia River as it leaves the Columbia River Gorge. Volcanic andisol soils are common, with fertile mollisols in the lower areas. The central and southwest areas of the county are generally flat floodplains, sculpted by torrents of prehistoric Lake Missoula. A series of dramatic floods known as the Missoula Floods took place 15,000 - 13,000 years ago, as several ice dams melted, forming a series of low steps such as the "Heights", "Mill Plain", "Fourth Plain" and "Fifth Plain". Clark County's Köppen climate classification is "Csa."
Many lakes border the river in the lowlands near Ridgefield, including Vancouver Lake. Eastern and northern Clark County contain forested foothills of the Cascade Mountains, rising to an elevation of 4,000 feet on the border with Skamania County. Larch Mountain is the county's highest free-standing peak.
Flora and fauna of the region include the normal ecological succession from lowland big leaf maple and western red cedar through Garry oak on up through fire-dependent species such as lodgepole pine and Douglas fir, as well as grand fir, silver fir and other species common to Gifford Pinchot National Forest. In addition to a wide variety of birds including great blue heron, raptors such as barred owl, osprey, red-tailed hawk and bald eagle, corvids (raven, crow, scrub and Steller's jay) and others, the native streams are home to various species of salmon and the Vancouver Trout Hatchery. Larger mammals include black-tailed deer, coyote, raccoon, skunk and invasive opossum. Common foods used by the indigenous people such as the Klickitat tribe and Chinook included salmon, huckleberry and Camassia quamash (after which the city of Camas, Washington is named).
Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams are all visible from Clark County, and cold winter winds through the Columbia River Gorge often bring freezing rain and a coating of glaze ice or clear ice known locally as a "silver thaw," especially in southeastern areas of the county closest to the gorge. The counterpart to this are warm winds from the southeast known locally as the "Pineapple Express."
Spring thaws can often swell county waterways, with two of the more destructive floods being those of the Columbia River in June 1894 and May, 1948. The 1948 Memorial Day flood almost topped the Interstate Bridge's support piers and completely destroyed nearby Vanport, Oregon. Construction of the The Dalles Dam and destruction of Celilo Falls are credited with a decrease in such floods.
Significant windstorms in Clark County include the Columbus Day windstorm of October 12, 1962, and an April 6, 1972 tornado which rated F3 on the Fujita scale, striking a local school. A "Friday the 13th" storm in November 1981 brought winds up to 70 miles per hour, with other storms including the inauguration day storm of January 20, 1993, the Guadalupe Day storm of December 12, 1995 (with winds up to 95 miles per hour at Washougal, Washington) and small tornado on January 10, 2008, which destroyed a boathouse at Vancouver Lake and caused damage to buildings in Hazel Dell before dissolving near Hockinson.
In addition to helping shape county policy, the Youth Commission takes on a youth-driven project each year to promote or combat an issue. Past youth-driven projects include a Civil Rights Open House at the Youth House, a benefit concert for Invisible Children, and Freedom's Answer. Each year, the Youth Commission also hosts a Clark County Youth Achievement Celebration at Skyview High School to honor youth around the county.
In 2008, the CCYC plans to be involved in shaping Sustainability Policy.
There were 127,208 households out of which 37.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the county, the population was spread out with 28.70% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 30.80% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 9.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $48,376, and the median income for a family was $54,016. Males had a median income of $41,337 versus $28,537 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,448. About 6.90% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.70% of those under age 18 and 6.80% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and Towns
Clark County ranks among healthiest counties in Washington
The County Health Rankings compare counties within each state by using a standard formula to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. The report is intended to mobilize community leaders to learn what makes residents unhealthy and invest in programs and policies that improve health.
The report also ranks counties according to health factors, such as individual behavior, quality of health care, education and jobs, access to healthy foods, air quality and others. Clark County ranked 18th in the health factors category. This ranking, together with information from other reports, may suggest priority health issues.
"The County Health Rankings is one of six recent studies that offer us information about health in Clark County," said John Wiesman, Director of Clark County Public Health. "These will be very useful as we develop our next four-year strategic plan and look for opportunities to strengthen public health partnerships."
Health in Clark County: common findings and themes from recent reports:
Areas for improvement:
Regional parks to open to vehicles March 1 when services resume
Gates were closed at most regional parks on Jan. 1 to reduce winter operating costs and help balance the county budget with revenues reduced by the slump in construction and retail sales. The parks remained open to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Routine maintenance will resume on March 1. County officials ask visitors to be patient while parks are being cleaned.
"It will be good to get the regional parks up and running again for all users," said Peter Capell, Clark County Public Works Director. "We were faced with difficult budget choices and selected the one expected to have the least impact on our community overall."
To help maintain services, the county has increased some user fees for 2010.
Beginning in May, parking fees at Frenchman´s Bar, Vancouver Lake, Lewisville and Salmon Creek/Klineline Pond regional parks will increase from $1 to $2 for motorcycles, $2 to $3 for cars, $4 to $6 for cars with trailers and $6 to $8 for buses and some RVs.
The same parking fees will be implemented at the Daybreak and Haapa boat launches. Self-pay stations have been ordered and will be installed at the two launches, with collection tentatively set to begin April 1. Self-pay stations also will be installed at the four regional parks and will be used when parking booths are not staffed.
Frequent park users still have the option of purchasing year-round parking passes for $40, which will be available April 1. There will continue to be no charge for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The county budget for 2010 calls for gates at most regional parks to close on Dec. 1 for reduced maintenance and access.
The grant program is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, Clark Public Utilities, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Washington State Energy Match Maker.
Whether you own or rent, live in a single-family home, multifamily housing complex, or a mobile home, you can apply for assistance. To qualify, clients must meet current established Federal income eligibility guidelines.
For further information about the program, including eligibility requirements, please visit Clark County's Weatherization website page or contact County staff Janielle Eveleigh-Tomlin at 360-397-2075 ext 7811.