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Guide toOregon Historical Markers and Heritage Trees, a 20-page free publication.
Guide toOregon Historical Markers and Heritage Trees, a 20-page free publication.
Free Historical Marker and Heritage Tree maps available (Photo) - 04/13/17

The Oregon Heritage Tree and Historical Marker Programs have updated their most popular and widely distributed biennial publication: "Guide to Oregon Historical Markers & Heritage Trees."

This full color, glovebox-sized 20 page brochure lists all Heritage Tree and Historical Marker sites across Oregon. Each section of the brochure includes maps by region; for example, Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon and the North Coast. The publication makes a perfect companion for a day trip or weekend with the family, and for planning educational activities with students of all ages.

If you would like copies of this free publication, please contact Jessica Carbone at 800-574-9397, or email jessicac@oregonte.com. Non-profit tourism and historical organizations can request shipment of multiple copies, or copies may be picked up in person at Oregon Travel Experience's (OTE) office at 1500 Liberty St SE, Suite 150, Salem, OR, 97302. OTE is open Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (Telephone to arrange pick-up.)

A digital version will be available soon on Oregon Travel Experience's website at www.ortravelexperience.com. The Oregon Travel Information Council (DBA Oregon Travel Experience) is the administrator of the Oregon Heritage Tree and Oregon Historical Marker Programs.

Thumbnail of Deep Roots cover
Thumbnail of Deep Roots cover
2017 Deep Roots free heritage publication now available (Photo) - 04/11/17

The Oregon Travel Information Council (DBA Oregon Travel Experience) is offering a free publication to those interested in Oregon's Heritage Trees and Historical Markers. The 2017 edition of "Deep Roots" is available while supplies last. Deep Roots features historical photographs and is a large tabloid periodical published on quality paper stock--perfect for Oregon ephemera collections.

This year's cover story dives deep into the significance behind a new historical marker slated for dedication (June 3, 2017) in Cave Junction at the Siskiyou Smokejumpers Base Museum. The focus is on the "Triple Nickles," also known as the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion--a segregated all-Black elite division--who in 1945 jumped into Oregon history. The battalion's secret mission was to parachute near forest fires caused by Japanese Balloon bombs, and then disarm and destroy any remaining explosive devices.

Besides the Triple Nickles feature, profiles about the Class of 2017 Oregon Heritage Trees, and the 2017 Maynard C. Drawson Award winner, Paul Ries, illustrate some of Oregon's more interesting botanical wonders and people.

In addition to print copies of Deep Roots, a digital version will be available online soon at www.ortravelexperience.com. To request print copies, please contact Jessica Carbone by email (jessicac@oregonte.com) or telephone 800-574-9397. Copies can be mailed upon request or interested persons may stop by OTE's Salem office at 1500 Liberty St SE, Suite 150, Salem, 97302, from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

****Editors: Please note that the spelling of the "Triple Nickles" was intentional by the 555th. It is not misspelled.

Maynard C. Drawson was the founder of the Oregon Heritage Tree Program. The memorial award was created in his name.
Maynard C. Drawson was the founder of the Oregon Heritage Tree Program. The memorial award was created in his name.
CORRECTED: Oregon Heritage Tree Advocate to be honored (Photo) - 04/05/17

The Oregon Heritage Tree Program is pleased to announce the 2017 Maynard C. Drawson Memorial Award winner. This year's honor goes to educator and arborist Paul Ries. Ries will receive a plaque recognizing his contributions to preserving Oregon's notable trees on Wednesday, April 12th, at 2:00 p.m., on the grounds of the Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State St, in Salem, Oregon.

Ries was a founding member of the Oregon Heritage Tree Program and personal friend to Maynard Drawson. Drawson is considered to be the founding father of the program; the award was created in 2015 as a way to honor his name posthumously and to encourage others to engage in the preservation of Oregon's historically significant trees.

Ries' contributions are innumerable--and Jim Renner, the first state official to help coordinate the Oregon Heritage Tree Program, cited many examples in his nomination of Ries:

"Ries' outstanding work includes his oversight and mitigation of the Governor Withycombe Giant Sequoia during roadside construction. In addition, his advocacy for the Klootchy Creek Sitka Spruce persuaded Clatsop County to maintain the standing remnant of the first tree inducted into the Oregon Heritage Tree Program for its educational value. His persistence to document and nominate the Governor McCall Maple when the only remaining evidence of the governor's ceremonial planting of the tree existed as oral history and eye-witness accounts."

Renner also spoke of Ries' efforts in raising public awareness of significant Oregon trees, and his participation in the restoration of Oregon's Grove of the States (which will be honored as a Heritage Grove this summer).

"Ries made countless trips to inspect and certify the eligibility of nominated heritage trees. He attended every possible tree dedication, and made innumerable presentations about the Heritage Tree Program to public groups. His foresight and commitment to the conservation of worthy trees was also extended to the efforts to save and redevelop the historic Grove of the States."

For over 25 years, Paul Ries' urban forestry experience has encompassed local, state, national, international, non-profit, and academic levels. Ries is an Urban Forestry instructor and Extension Specialist in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University (OSU) and was the manager for the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

At OSU, he teaches online urban forestry courses and is the lead curriculum developer for new undergraduate and graduate degrees in urban forestry. For ODF, he directed a statewide program that provides technical, financial, and educational urban forestry assistance to cities, community groups, and non-profit organizations. Ries sits on the board of directors of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and has maintained ISA certification as an arborist since 1989.

The ceremony is free and open to the pubic. Attendees are invited to gather at the ODF headquarters in front of the Maynard C. Drawson Memorial White Oak Tree. A reception will follow.

The Oregon Heritage Tree Program and the Maynard C. Drawson Memorial Award are administered by the Oregon Travel Information Council (DBA Oregon Travel Experience). Committee members are volunteers who are professionals in their respective fields of history, arboriculture, and heritage.

The arborist work party last November helped move forward the Grove of the States restoration project.
The arborist work party last November helped move forward the Grove of the States restoration project.
Class of 2017 Oregon Heritage Trees officially honored (Photo) - 03/28/17

The Oregon Heritage Tree Program is pleased to announce the Class of 2017 Heritage Trees. This year, three groves of significant Oregon trees will be honored. Two groves located in Central Oregon are slated to be recognized during a ceremony in July, while a collection of state trees near Portland will be honored on their 50th anniversary in late August.

###SUB-HEADER### The A.M. Drake Ponderosa Pines

The Huntington Wagon Road Junipers and the A.M. Drake Homestead Ponderosa Pines grow near the City of Bend. Both groves represent Central Oregon history and a connection to the people who settled or passed underneath their branches. Their survival over the last several hundred years makes them the perfect ambassadors to new generations of Oregon history lovers.

Nate Pedersen, a member of the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee and Community Librarian for the Deschutes Public Library, nominated the Central Oregon trees. He described why the two groves are notable in their own communities as well as connected to the rest of the state.

"So much of Bend life centers around Drake Park, which is kind of Bend's shared living room," said Pedersen. "It's humbling to look at the A.M. Drake Homestead old-growth Ponderosas and think about all they have witnessed. These trees were already old when Alexander and Florence Drake arrived in Central Oregon in 1900 to build their homestead, and they stood tall throughout the entire development of Bend, from its population of a few dozen people to the over 81,000 living here today."

The A.M. Drake Ponderosa Pines are approximately 300 hundred years old and shade the spot where the Drake homestead lodge once stood. After the Drakes moved to California, the lodge was owned by a succession of organizations and prominent Bend citizens. When the original home was demolished in the 1950s several other trees in the grove were lost. However, three trees survived and will receive the award.

###SUB-HEADER### The Huntington Wagon Road Junipers

Pedersen also explained the significance of the other Central Oregon honoree, the Huntington Wagon Road Junipers.

"If you've ever spent time in the high desert of Oregon, you soon discover how easy it is to become disoriented in a wilderness of Western Juniper trees," Pedersen noted. "I began to realize how important these old blazed (marked) trees were for early travelers on the Huntington Wagon Road."

Following the line of a very old Native American trail, the Huntington Wagon Road was marked by J.W. Petit Huntington in 1864 as a route between The Dalles and Fort Klamath. When the road was firmly established, it was used by prospectors, homesteaders, soldiers, and tradesman. Warm Springs Indian scouts frequently used the road in skirmishes with the Paiutes between 1865 and 1867. Much of the original road later became OR Hwy 97.

One Juniper along the historic road is particularly meaningful to Pedersen and to visitors trekking a looping two-mile trail that crosses part of the original Huntington Wagon Road. It is a scrappy specimen known as the "Target Tree," primarily for its notches and scars from bullet holes. The bullets were most likely souvenirs from soldiers who camped nearby and who used the tree for target practice.

"For me history really comes alive when you touch the bullet holes on the Target Tree," said Pedersen. "When I think about those unknown soldiers, lost to history... I have to admit that I experience a visceral connection with the past."

The Huntington Wagon Road Junipers and the A.M. Drake Homestead Ponderosa Pines will be honored this July in Bend. More information on the public ceremony will be posted to on the organizational website, at www.ortravelexperience.com.

###SUB-HEADER### The Grove of the States

The third honoree in the Class of 2017 Heritage Trees is a historic arboretum of state trees. The "Grove of the States" is located at the French Prairie Rest Area on southbound I-5.

In 1967 Oregon Attorney General Robert Y. Thornton hosted the 61st annual conference of the National Association of Attorneys General in Portland. As part of a conference event, Thornton planned for the Grove of the States as a homage to First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and her work fostering the 1965 Highway Beautification Act (HBA).

When Thornton created plans for the Grove, he involved two major Oregon partners: The Oregon State Highway Department (today--the Oregon Department of Transportation) contributed the site, and the Oregon Association of Nurserymen (now known as the Oregon Association of Nurseries) provided tree stock for the original collection.

In 2010 the Oregon Travel Information Council (DBA Oregon Travel Experience) undertook long-term management of the French Prairie Rest Area. However, officials recognized that the Grove of the States suffered serious health issues, and began looking for solutions to restore the Grove.

Local companies, Bartlett Tree Experts, General Tree Service, Treecology, and C&R Reforestation donated their time, expertise, and equipment to help remove dead and hazardous trees and pruned others.

Many volunteers joined OTE and Friends of Trees in planting replacement state trees. Their efforts ensured the project moved forward on schedule, and preserved Oregon's historic arboretum for future generations of travelers to the area.

In conjunction with its 50th Anniversary Celebration August 28, 2017, the Grove of the States will be officially honored as an inductee into the Oregon Heritage Tree Program. This designation recognizes the Grove as an important public space that welcomes and encourages students, heritage tourists, and Oregonians to learn more about our state's history and nature.

About the Oregon Heritage Tree Program:The Oregon Travel Information Council (DBA Oregon Travel Experience) Heritage Programs include the Oregon Heritage Tree Program and the Oregon Historical Marker Program. OTE is a semi-independent state agency charged with promoting public safety, preserving the recreational value of public travel on state highways and promoting economic prosperity by directing motorists into nearby communities. This includes preserving the natural beauty and aesthetic features of rest areas, and providing information regarding and maintaining points of scenic, historic, cultural and educational interest.