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Mountain_biking__(1).jpg
Mountain_biking__(1).jpg
Guided Mountain Biking Tours start May 28 at LaPine State Park (Photo) - 05/24/17

LaPine, OR--Experience the thrill of a two-hour mountain biking tour at LaPine State Park this summer. The first of four tours will be from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 28.

Tour guide Patrick Ramirez of Cog Wild Bike Tours will lead participants through the trees and along the Deschutes River on one of the most scenic park trails. The Bend-based company designs a variety of specialized tours for mountain bike enthusiasts.

This event is part of Oregon State Parks' Let's Go Program, a series of outdoor skills workshops designed to introduce new outdoor recreational skills. Participants will learn off-road biking skills and drills, as well as basic information about proper equipment and safety gear.

Tours are also scheduled 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, Thursday, July 20 and Thursday, Aug. 10. The events are free, but limited to eight participants. Registration is required. Call LaPine State Park at 541-536-2428 to register.

Participants can bring their own bikes, or the park has loaner bikes available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants should bring water, snacks and helmets. Sunglasses and gloves are also recommended. All participants must wear bike helmets and be at least 12. Youth ages 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult. Unaccompanied minors must have a waiver form signed by a parent/guardian at the start of the event.

Attached Media Files: Mountain_biking__(1).jpg
plover adult with chick
plover adult with chick
Western Snowy Plover chicks on north coast beach (Photo) - 05/24/17

After more than 50 years, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) wildlife biologists have learned that at least one western snowy plover chick has hatched on a beach at Nehalem Bay State Park. This is the first verified hatchling in the area since the 1960s, and follows three years of increased sightings and species activity, including nesting attempts.

Western snowy plovers are a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, and are protected in all west coast states. Collaborative efforts like OPRD's Habitat Conservation Plan, developed in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is showing results with the expansion of snowy plovers northward. The population is growing along parts of the southern Oregon coast, where areas with signs and nest designations are part of everyday beachgoing in the spring and summer. Yet, species recovery is much more likely to continue if populations can establish themselves along the entire coast.

OPRD asks that visitors keep a cautious eye out. Plovers nest in dry sand, in tiny, shallow scrapes that are almost invisible. Not only are nests easy to miss, or step on, but the bird will abandon its eggs if repeatedly disturbed. Plover chicks are mobile almost immediately after hatching. They freeze in place and hide in small depressions--like footprints--when they perceive danger.

The Nehalem nesting area, like all nesting sites, is clearly designated with signs, and they remain off limits until the nesting season ends.

Maps and more information can be found at bit.ly/wsplover.

Attached Media Files: plover adult with chick
Committee to review historic building grant applications - 05/19/17

Two separate committees will meet to score and rank applications for the Preserving Oregon and Diamonds in the Rough Grant programs. The recommendations from the committees will be forwarded to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation for final review and approval on June 16 in Redmond. Both meetings will be at the North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer Street, NE, and can also be accessed by phone.

The Preserving Oregon Grant committee will meet June 6, 9:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. in room 124B. Call in information is (872) 240-3311, access Code: 630-845-173.

The Diamonds in the Rough Grant committee will meet June 8, 8:30 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m. in room 124A. Call in information is (571) 317-3122, access Code: 824-082-677.

For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov .

Two state heritage boards to meet June 5 - 05/19/17

Two state heritage boards will meet June 6 to make grant awards. The meetings of the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries and the Oregon Heritage Commission are open to the public and their agendas include opportunities for public comment.

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The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet through a teleconference call at 2 p.m. on June 5. A public listening room will be provided in Room 147 of the North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer St. NE, Salem. Its agenda includes approval of Oregon Museum Grants, and other heritage topics.

The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine people representing Oregon's heritage and geographical diversity who have been appointed by the Governor. There are nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. The mission of the Oregon Heritage Commission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon's heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity. For more information, contact coordinator Todd Mayberry at 503-986-0696 or Todd.Mayberry@oregon.gov .

For more information about the commission, visit www.oregonheritage.org

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The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries will meet by conference call at 11 a.m. Its agenda includes approval of Oregon Historic Cemeteries Grants.

State law established the seven-member Commission to maintain a listing of all historic cemeteries and gravesites in Oregon; promote public education on the significance of historic cemeteries; and help obtain financial and technical assistance for restoring, improving and maintaining their appearances. More information about commission activities, contact coordinator Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail at kuri.gill@oregon.gov

For more information about the commission, visit www.oregonheritage.org

Heritage tourism workshop slated for Roseburg - 05/18/17

A half-day workshop custom-designed to help Umpqua Valley area organizations and businesses succeed in heritage tourism will take place June 15 in Roseburg.

The workshop will give you information, examples, working tools, new contacts and networking opportunities to strengthen your own attraction as a draw and build collaborations that create uniquely satisfying visitor experiences. The workshop is titled "Succeeding with Heritage Tourism: Market Information, Resources and Ideas for Attracting More Visitors through Creative Collaboration."

According to past participant, Sarah LeCompte and Oregon Heritage Commissioner, heritage tourism workshops held in eastern Oregon in spring of 2016 paved the way for a stellar year of visitation, with many heritage and cultural sites reporting visitation increases up to 15-20%.

"Looking for opportunities to collaborate and cross market to build new audiences, they learned about the need to start connecting heritage attractions with other activities that might not seem compatible at first glance. Museum and brew pub? Historic sites and street fairs and bicycle rentals? Art gallery to museum to fishing spot?" notes LeCompte, "It's easy to get focused on promoting our own area of interest, and forgetting that most humans generally have more than one favorite past-time, and want a travel and vacation experience to match their unique set of interests."

The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15 at Jasmine's Catering and Event Center, 809 SE Main Street in Roseburg.

The workshop is free, but registration is required. Register online at www.oregonheritage.org .

For more information, contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or kuri.gill@oregon.gov .

The workshop is sponsored by the Oregon Heritage Commission, part of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department using statewide partner funds provided by the Oregon Cultural Trust.



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Heritage tourism workshop slated for Ontario - 05/18/17

A half-day workshop custom-designed to help eastern Oregon area organizations and businesses succeed in heritage tourism will take place June 7 in Ontario.

The workshop will give you information, examples, working tools, new contacts and networking opportunities to strengthen your own attraction as a draw and build collaborations that create uniquely satisfying visitor experiences. The workshop is titled "Succeeding with Heritage Tourism: Market Information, Resources and Ideas for Attracting More Visitors through Creative Collaboration."

According to past participant, Sarah LeCompte and Oregon Heritage Commissioner, heritage tourism workshops held in eastern Oregon in spring of 2016 paved the way for a stellar year of visitation, with many heritage and cultural sites reporting visitation increases up to 15-20%.

"Looking for opportunities to collaborate and cross market to build new audiences, they learned about the need to start connecting heritage attractions with other activities that might not seem compatible at first glance. Museum and brew pub? Historic sites and street fairs and bicycle rentals? Art gallery to museum to fishing spot?" notes LeCompte, "It's easy to get focused on promoting our own area of interest, and forgetting that most humans generally have more than one favorite past-time, and want a travel and vacation experience to match their unique set of interests."

The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 7 at Four Rivers Cultural Center, 676 SW 5th Avenue in Ontario.

The workshop is free, but registration is required. Register online at www.oregonheritage.org .

For more information, contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or kuri.gill@oregon.gov .

The workshop is sponsored by the Oregon Heritage Commission, part of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department using statewide partner funds provided by the Oregon Cultural Trust.



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Oregon Scenic Bikeways Committee Meeting in Salem June 8 - 05/18/17

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department's (OPRD) Scenic Bikeways Committee will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8 at the department's office in the North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer St. NE, room 124, in Salem. The meeting is open to the public.

One of the action items on the agenda is the five-year review of the Old West Scenic Bikeway. Committee members want to gather information on the challenges and accomplishments of the program, share that information with other bikeways volunteer groups, and identify ways for OPRD, the committee, and program partners to build on those accomplishments.

The Scenic Bikeways Committee is an advisory group for the management and designation of routes nominated by the public for state scenic bikeway designation. Its 11 members include citizen representatives, tourism organizations, local governments, and state agencies involved in bicycling recreation or transportation.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. Special accommodations may be arranged up to 72 hours in advance by calling 503-986-0631.

Brookings couple honored as outstanding park hosts - 05/18/17

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has recognized Bob and Gay Treadwell of Brookings as recipients of the 2016 Gen Angdahl Award, honoring outstanding park hosts.

The Treadwells were one of eight nominees for the award. In the last four years, the couple have logged over 11,500 hours of service in ten different locations. Park rangers nominated them for last year's work at Alfred A. Loeb State Park near Brookings.

The staff at Loeb thanked the Treadwells for helping out with projects before being asked and the couple's hard work saving park rangers so much extra time.

Host duties include unloading firewood, moving picnic tables, repairing sprinkler heads and cleaning equipment.

Gen Angdahl was a longtime park host who logged over 10,000 hours of volunteer service. After her death in 1997, OPRD established the award as a way to honor her 10 years of service. It recognizes hosts for their outstanding volunteer contributions, including park maintenance and interpretive work.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department honors outstanding park hosts - 05/18/17

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has recognized Bob and Gay Treadwell of Brookings, and Mel and Mary Magers of Arizona as recipients of the 2016 Gen Angdahl Award, honoring outstanding park hosts.

OPRD is honoring the Treadwells for last year's volunteer work at Alfred A. Loeb State Park near Brookings. The couple have logged over 11,500 hours hosting the last four years at 10 different locations.

The Magers have logged over 3,700 hours of volunteer work, spending last year at Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site near John Day.

Also nominated were Dave and Amy Getzlaff, Ray and Donna Smith, Silvio Castelli, Steve Ostlund, Dennis Kreutel and Bill Wilson.

Volunteer duties include unloading firewood, moving picnic tables, repairing sprinkler heads and cleaning equipment.

Gen Angdahl was a longtime park host who logged over 10,000 hours of volunteer service. After her death in 1997, OPRD established the award as a way to honor her 10 years of service. It recognizes hosts for their outstanding volunteer contributions, including park maintenance and interpretive work.

Map of location south of Monroe on 99W
Map of location south of Monroe on 99W
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department offering unused parcel near Monroe for sale (Photo) - 05/17/17

News release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Department // DRAFT -- DO NOT RELEASE // May 17, 2017

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department offering unused parcel near Monroe for sale

Contact: Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 503-986-0722 (desk), 503-931-2590 (cell)

Monroe OR -- The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will offer an undeveloped 38-acre property near the Benton-Lane County border for sale later this summer. There will be an open house meeting in Monroe on June 5 to present information on the project.

The property on 99W was formerly used as a highway wayside, but the restroom and sewage systems failed ten years ago and the facilities were removed. The property has been considered a candidate for disposal since 2014, and department property staff have been preparing it for sale for more than six months. An appraisal places the estimated value at $356,000. As required by state law, the property was first offered to other public agencies before being considered for public sale, but there were no takers.

If successful, funds from the sale will be placed in a special account used for property transactions that improve the overall state park system. The state park system both acquires and transfers properties out on a fairly regular basis as a way to improve outdoor recreation, protect key natural resources, and preserve important historic sites. The parcel offered for sale was originally acquired in 1926.

More information on the sale is online at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/Pages/monroe-property-disposal.aspx, and an open house meeting will be held in at the Monroe Community Library, 380 N 5th St, Monroe, OR 97456, on June 5, 2017, from 6-8 p.m.

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Salmonberry Trail meeting set June 2 - 05/16/17

Tillamook OR - The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) will meet in Tillamook on June 2, 2017 to discuss issues related to ownership and management of the proposed 84-mile Salmonberry Trail corridor that will connect the cities of Tillamook and Banks. The meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Officer's Mess Hall at the Port of Tillamook Bay, 6825 Officer's Row.

The agenda includes updates on fundraising efforts, a marketing study and a benefit study; status of a proposed rail banking agreement; and review of the upcoming trail planning study for the easternmost 20 miles of the corridor from Banks to Tillamook State Forest Reehers Camp.

The Salmonberry Trail will connect eight cities and two counties, passing by the Oregon coastline, fisheries, farmland and the rugged Oregon Coast Range. The route follows the Port of Tillamook Bay Railway, which closed in 2007 after massive storm damage. The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency was established to promote and facilitate coordinated direction and guidance in the planning, development and maintenance of the multi-use trail.

For more information, contact Dennis Wiley, Salmonberry Trail project manager, at 503-986-0723 or dennis.wiley@oregon.gov.

Committee to review museum grant applications - 05/16/17

On May 24 2017, the Oregon Museum Grant committee will meet to score and rank the applications for the Oregon Museum Grant program. The recommendations from the committee will be forwarded to the Oregon Heritage Commission for final review and approval on June 5, 2017. The meeting will be at the North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer Street, NE, room 124A. at 9:00 a.m. Interested parties may also call into to listen at (224) 501-3412, access Code: 612-353-749.

For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov .

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Committee to review historic cemetery grant applications - 05/16/17

On May 22 2017, the Oregon Historic Cemetery Grant committee will meet to score and rank the applications for the Oregon Historic Cemetery Grant program. The recommendations from the committee will be forwarded to the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries for final review and approval on June 5, 2017. The meeting will be at the North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer Street, NE, room 124A. at 8:00 a.m. Interested parties may also call into to listen at (224) 501-3412, access Code: 612-353-749.

For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov .

Notice of Land and Water Conservation Fund Conversion Analysis - 05/15/17

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is inviting public comment on a proposal to transfer certain federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) requirements from one state park property to another.

The process, known as "conversion," comes about when land used for recreation as defined under the LWCF is converted to a non-recreational use. This occurred in 2008, when two LWCF grants enabled the construction of a cell phone tower on a 7-acre fenced maintenance yard at Maud Williamson State Recreation Site, 11 miles north of Salem. The cell phone tower converted a portion of the land previously used for maintaining the park to a non-recreational use.

OPRD proposes to transfer the contractual obligations from the conversion area at Maud Williamson to approved replacement property at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area (Arizona Beach) that has been "banked" for such purpose.

Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act requires that protected park land converted to a use other than outdoor recreation be replaced with property that is of at least equal fair market value and equivalent recreation utility. The LWCF also requires an environmental assessment and public comment. This assessment can be found at http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/RULES/docs/DRAFT_MaudWilliamson_EA_050917.pdf .

Questions or comments may be directed to Alice Beals, OPRD, 503-986-0761, or by emailing oprd.publiccomment@oregon.gov. Comments will be accepted for 30 days.

Oregon State Historic Preservation Office recommends National Park Service not list Eastmoreland in National Register of Historic Places - 05/15/17

News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. // EMBARGO UNTIL 1 p.m. // May 15, 2017

Media Contact:

Christine Curran, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
Desk: 503-986-0684

Chris Havel, Director's Office, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Desk: 503-986-0722 // Cell: 503-931-2590


Oregon State Historic Preservation Office recommends National Park Service not list Eastmoreland in National Register of Historic Places

Salem OR -- The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has submitted an application to the National Park Service prepared by proponents of the Eastmoreland neighborhood in Portland to create a new National Register Historic District. In the submission, the Oregon SHPO recommends against listing the area on the National Register of Historic Places due to an unresolved problem defining the number of owners in the proposed district boundary.

The number of owners is important, since federal application requirements allow the nomination process to stop if more than 50% of the owners object. Without a total count of owners, it isn't possible for the Oregon SHPO to know whether more than 50% of them object.

The application was received and reviewed by the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation, a volunteer group of people with interest and skill in Oregon history. It recommended listing Eastmoreland on the National Register based on its historic qualities, and in the submission from the Oregon SHPO to the National Park Service, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Christine Curran agrees.

When the original application was submitted for state review in February, the number of owners was based on county tax records and totaled 2,600. State and federal rules don't clearly answer how to resolve complications arising from deceased owners and trusts, among other circumstances, so Oregon SHPO staff sought guidance from federal and county officials. The number of owners dropped throughout the state's 90-day evaluation period, and now stands at 2,074. Owners who object must send in a notarized statement, and as of May 12, 925 had done so.

In Curran's submission to the National Park Service, she says "While the submitted owner list represents our best efforts to date, concerns about it have been raised and unsettled ownership issues remain. As a result, we do not have confidence that the list is indeed complete and accurate. I therefore do not recommend that the Eastmoreland Historic District be listed in the National Register of Historic Places at this time. Should the National Park Service concur with my finding, the Oregon SHPO asks that the nomination be returned to our office with guidance on how to resolve the procedural requirements issue."

"It's important to recognize historic neighborhoods and how they reflect Oregon's history," Curran added. "Listing on the National Register of Historic Places needs to be done correctly and without ambiguity, and since this one is so close to the 50% mark, we need to resolve the ownership issue cleanly before proceeding."

The National Park Service can take up to 45 days to review and respond. Public comment and new objections should be submitted to the National Park Service:

Attn: J. Paul Loether, Deputy Keeper
National Park Service
SUBJECT: Eastmoreland, Portland, Oregon
National Register of Historic Places
1849 C St. NW, Mail Stop 7228
Washington, D.C. 20240

... with a copy to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office at oregon.heritage@oregon.gov.
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Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director decides not to re-open rulemaking for Upper Deschutes State Scenic Waterway - 05/10/17

News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Department // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // May 10, 2017

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director decides not to re-open rulemaking for Upper Deschutes State Scenic Waterway

Contact: Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept., 503-986-0722 (desk), 503-931-2590 (cell)

Bend OR -- Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director Lisa Sumption has decided not to pursue rule amendments on the Upper Deschutes State Scenic Waterway. Sumption made her decision after studying a report summarizing input from an advisory group that reviewed current regulations and comments collected through public meetings and web surveys. The report and other documents related to the review are online at http://bit.ly/upperdeschutesreview .

Aided by a local nonprofit facilitator, Community Solutions of Central Oregon, department staff convened an advisory group and gathered input from the general public to complete a limited review of all rules affecting the 1-mile section of the Scenic Waterway within Bend's southern urban growth boundary. The review focused on the perceived effectiveness of current rules intended to protect fish, wildlife, cultural resources, recreation, and other river values. Scenic Waterway rules cover not just bridges and crossings, but vegetation management, the visibility of structures and recreation facilities, the placement of commercial services, as well as other protections intended to preserve river values.

Community Solutions of Central Oregon summarized comments from the advisory group, three open house public meetings, and more than 300 online comments to produce the May 5, 2017 report. It emphasized several main issues:

+ Demand for recreational opportunities is increasing, putting pressure on natural resources and raising concerns among property owners adjacent to major recreation corridors.

+ Fish, wildlife, recreation, scenic, and other waterway values may receive variable levels of protection by current scenic waterway rules.

+ Continued development pressure means more coordination and cooperation are needed between public agencies, residents, and recreation enthusiasts.

+ The balance between recreation, resource protection, and property rights is strained.

Based on the report, Director Sumption concluded that, while increased coordination with public, private, and other governmental organizations could improve rule effectiveness, she found no reason to pursue a rule amendment specific to the Upper Deschutes.

"I would reconsider amending rules in the future if that would clearly strengthen protection of the waterway," Sumption said. "As important as recreation is to our mission, it has to be balanced with our need to protect resources that make recreation possible. Changing rules, especially in a way that might encourage more visible riverside development, is contrary to the purpose of the scenic waterway system."

Instead, Sumption directed department staff to work with other statewide agencies on ideas to strengthen criteria and standards for protecting resources, especially fish and wildlife, on current and future waterways as part of a broader effort to fulfill the intent of the original 1970 State Scenic Waterway law.

"There is no clear way to gauge how successfully the State Scenic Waterway Program protects our most scenic rivers and lakes," said Director Sumption, "While we've finished looking at this one small portion of the Upper Deschutes and plan no further action there, the review has highlighted an important statewide need for better management of the system."

Landowners along State Scenic Waterways are asked to follow basic rules intended to preserve riparian habitat and mitigate the intrusion of new development on the public's recreational experience of the river. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff review projects and work with landowners to help them develop and care for their property in ways that comply with State Scenic Waterway rules. In rare cases where a compromise can't be found and the property owner receives a denial from the department, the law allows the property owner to set aside the scenic waterway rule after a 1-year waiting period.

More information about the state scenic waterway system is online at http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/NATRES/scenicwaterways/Pages/index.aspx

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OPRD invites public to weigh in on future of Lincoln County state parks - 05/09/17

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will hold two public meetings in May to present the final draft master plan for state parks in Lincoln County, including South Beach and Beverly Beach. The plan guides future development, recreational use and resource management for the next 20-25 years.

The final draft plan culminates two years of work spent analyzing existing conditions and needs at 26 parks and waysides comprising the Beverly Beach and South Beach Management Units. Highlights include:

>> Expanding camping at South Beach State Park.

>>Adding a new disc golf course, parking and trails at the South Jetty Day-use Area at South Beach State Park.

>> Adding pedestrian connections and trail improvements at Yaquina Bay State Park and Beverly Beach State Park.

>>Adding a new campground and making day use improvements at Fogarty Creek State Park.

>> Updating the parking lot and adding a new reservable picnic shelter at Beachside State Park.

>> Accessibility improvements at many of the parks.

The meetings will be held:
>>Wednesday, May 24 at the meeting yurt at Beverly Beach State Park, located on Hwy 101 five miles north of Newport. Public comment will be taken at the public meeting, from 5-7 p.m. The public meeting follows an advisory committee meeting from 1-3 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the advisory committee meeting; however, only comments from the advisory committee will be heard.

>> Wednesday, May 31, 5-7 p.m., in the Rose Room at Wilsonville Public Library, 8200 SW Wilsonville Rd.

Services, programs and activities of OPRD are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If accommodations are needed, please call 503-986-0744 at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

For more information about these meetings or about the draft master plan, contact Ian Matthews, Park Planner, at 503.986.0744 or ian.matthews@oregon.gov.

Communities receiving Oregon Main Street Revitalization grants
Communities receiving Oregon Main Street Revitalization grants
Grants awarded for main streets throughout the state (Photo) - 05/09/17

Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, awarded 27 matching grants worth $2,355,700 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic revitalization. Projects range from fa├žade improvement to elevator access and seismic upgrades and awards range from $17,500-$100,000.

The department funded projects that best conveyed the ability to stimulate private investment and local economic development, and best fit within the community's long range plan for downtown vitality.

Funded projects include:
* Klamath Falls Downtown Association will receive $100,000 to install elevators in two downtown buildings. The project will address the goal of downtown housing and make available 20 units.
* Astoria Downtown Historic District Association will receive $100,000 for a downtown housing project that comprises 40 units and retail space. Housing is a proven need in this community and people living in downtowns support other downtown businesses.
* A $100,000 project in Burns will restore a historic hotel left vacant for decades.
* A $100,000project in Independence will rehabilitate an underused building to be a local brewery.
* Several communities were selected for work to repair or restore their historic theaters: The OK Theatre in Enterprise $100,000, the Rivoli Theater in Pendleton $100,000, the Bungalow Theater in Woodburn $100,000, and the Hill Theatre, now a retail store, in Hillsboro $100,000.
Other communities awarded grants include Baker City, Bandon, Beaverton, Carlton, Corvallis, Florence, John Day, La Grande, McMinnville, Newberg, Oregon City, Port Orford, Portland, Reedsport, St. Helens, Stayton, The Dalles, and Weston.

The grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session, and placed with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. The legislation established a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant, and provided an initial infusion of funds from the sale of lottery bonds. The funds must be used to award grants to participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct buildings to facilitate community revitalization. The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities as defined in the bill.

To learn more about the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant or the Oregon Main Street Network, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at Kuri.gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.



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Prineville Reservoir Star Party set for May 20 - 05/08/17

The King of Planets, Jupiter, will be the highlight of the May 20 annual Star Party at Prineville Reservoir State Park. Jupiter will share the night sky with colorful star clusters, nebulae (interstellar clouds of dust and gasses), and distant galaxies.

"Central Oregon skies are typically clear and generally free of light pollution, the optimum mix for unforgettable views of night sky objects," said Paul Patton, resource specialist with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). "Prineville Reservoir, in particular, is an incredible location for stargazing. The annual star party is a great early-summer activity for everyone to enjoy."

Saturday will kick off at 1 p.m. with a scaled down, guided stroll through the solar system. Young rocketeers can design, build and then safely launch their rockets at 3 p.m. followed by a special presentation about Jupiter at 5 p.m. Events leading up to the main stargazing session include a 7 p.m. presentation on astronomy with binoculars and an 8 p.m. astronomy phone apps review. At 10 p.m. "partygoers" can gather at a permanent observatory housing "Big Doug," a 16-inch telescope, to peer through it and other telescopes provided by professional and amateur astronomers.

A new activity this year is a Virtual Reality Experience Station--goggles provided. Other activities include a solar viewing/solar eclipse information station; a telescope technology display; various children's activities focused on astronomical science; and a Space Art exhibit featuring renowned space artist and photographer John Foster.

Prineville Reservoir State Park offers nearly 70 campsites--both RV and tent sites--and five deluxe cabins in the main campground. All are reservable online at www.oregonstateparks.org or by phone at 1-800-452-5687. Another 26 electrical hookup sites in the park's Jasper Point campground are available first-come, first-served.

The Oregon Observatory at Sunriver and OPRD are co-organizers of the 18th annual Star Party. Prineville Reservoir State Park is located 16 miles southeast of Prineville on Southeast Juniper Canyon Road. More information and directions are available from www.oregonstateparks.org.

Oregon Scenic Bikeways Committee Meeting in John Day May 24 - 05/02/17

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department's Scenic Bikeways Committee will meet from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 24 at the John Day Fire Department, 316 S Canyon Blvd. The meeting is open to the public.

The committee will meet to fulfill the Oregon Administration Rules requirement for conducting a five-year review of the Old West Scenic Bikeway. The agenda includes an overview of the Oregon Scenic Bikeways program. Committee members will also review past successes, discuss challenges and opportunities to improve and promote bikeways, and talk about how to bring greater economic benefit to Grant County.

For more information on the Oregon Scenic Bikeways Program or about this meeting, contact Alexandra Phillips, Bikeways Coordinator, at 503-986-0631 or alex.phillips@oregon.gov.

Historic Preservation Month, 2016, Stuart Light Tank
Historic Preservation Month, 2016, Stuart Light Tank
Preservation Month Fair May 11th at the Oregon State Capitol (Photo) - 04/28/17

May is National Historic Preservation Month and for Oregon communities throughout the state it's an opportunity to reflect on significant places, artifacts, and collections that help tell the stories of our past as well as to recognize contributions that individuals and organizations preserve those stories and places.

Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month with 28 heritage organizations displaying historic military vehicles, artifacts, and engaging exhibits that tell Oregon's story and highlight the contributions of individuals and organizations to local preservation projects.

On Thursday, May 11th, Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, will host the 9th Annual Preservation Month Fair at the State Capitol State Park in Salem. Community organizations and several state agencies will highlight the history of their institutions and their work to preserve important sites related to historic events, persons, and places.

The event will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the grounds of the State Capitol on the north side of Court Street, opposite the Capitol building. It is free and open to the public.

Participating exhibitors include the Willamette Heritage Center; Salem Landmarks Commission; Historic Deepwood Estate; Bush House Museum; Salem Pioneer Cemetery; Oregon State Museum of Mental Health; Lord and Schryver Conservancy; Friends of Timberline Lodge; Oregon Black Pioneers; Hoover Minthorn House Museum; Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House; Daughters of the American Revolution, Newell Pioneer Village and Caples House Museum; Santiam Heritage Foundation; Willamette University Archives; Restore Oregon; University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History; Oregon Military Museum; Oregon State Parks with friends groups from Silver Falls and Champoeg State Parks and the Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Commission; Oregon Cultural Trust; Oregon Department of Forestry; Oregon Department of Transportation; Oregon State Capitol Foundation; Oregon State Archives, and the Oregon State Library.

On display at the event are an operating World War II M3A1 Stuart Light Tank and a Korean War Jeep. A free tour of the Capitol Grounds will begin at 11:30 a.m. from the Capitol steps, and a free tour of the Capitol Building Tower will begin at the information kiosk in the Capitol Building at 12:00.

Damaged Entrance Road Again Closes Ecola State Park - 04/26/17

A hole in the recently-repaired entrance road has forced manager Ben Cox to again close Ecola State Park.

The park had just reopened Thursday, April 20 after contractors removed damaged asphalt sections and replaced them with compacted gravel. Cox was hopeful the temporary repair would last through the summer, but landslides continue to damage the road.

"We expect intermittent closures will be the norm moving forward because the landslides upon which the road is built seem to be more active lately," said Cox. "The road has developed problems suddenly in areas that weren't previously noted to have issues, meaning that it is impractical to simply go in and do the work all at once. We simply do not know where the next problem will occur."

Bob McEwan Construction will be working on the repairs and the closure is expected to last two weeks.