Memorials, Plaques, Commemorative Monuments

Horsetail Falls viewing plaza and rockwork on rainy dayAt times we recieve requests for placing private memorials or similar forms of remembrance on National Forest System within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Forest Service completely understands the emotion associated with losing a close friend or family member, and the desire to memorialize an individual or event. We recognize that such memorials may help individuals through the loss of a loved one, but they generally only hold significance to those familar with a specific person or event. Many times, others feel such memorials intrude on their experience. For this and other reasons, the placement of monuments or memorials on National Forest System lands is prohibited. Further, any ad hoc monuments or memorials created on National Forest System lands will be removed and disposed of when discovered.

In lieu of placing a monument or memorial on public land, the Forest Service asks that you consider honoring the person or event in ways that do not have a lasting impact on the landscape or other visitors’ experiences. The Plant-A-Tree program is one such program which enables individuals, groups and businesses to have trees planted on National Forests to memorialize loved ones, commemorate births, weddings, anniversaries, or other events. 

At times, a memorial may be appropriate to mark a nationally significant event or to provide the general public with local history. In these instances, it may be acceptable to permit a memorial on National Forest System lands. These requests would have to be examined on a case-by-base basis.

By contrast, there are no rules or regulations within the Forest Service addressing scattering the ashes of loved ones. However, some states (California, for example) regulate or prohibit the scattering of ashes. It is important you check local and state regulations and laws pertaining to this activity.