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Volunteers needed for State Scenic Waterways Advisory Committee tasked with studying the Nehalem River - 02/23/18

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is seeking volunteers to serve on an advisory committee that will help plan for possible inclusion of a 17-mile segment of the Nehalem River in the State Scenic Waterway Program.

OPRD invites public and private landowners, community members and other interested parties to join the committee. Members will assist OPRD in developing a draft management plan that would go into effect only if the Governor approves designation.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission and Oregon Water Resources Commission will review the draft plan prior to making a scenic waterway designation recommendation. If both commissions recommend this segment for inclusion in the Scenic Waterway program, the recommendation would move forward to the Governor, likely in fall 2018.

The advisory committee will meet twice this spring, and members will be encouraged to attend a public hearing in the early fall. Meeting locations will be in Clatsop or Tillamook County, with the exact location to be determined later.

Those interested in serving on the advisory committee should contact Scenic Waterway Coordinator Alex Phillips at alex.phillips@oregon.gov or 503-986-0631.

The Nehalem River study area starts at Henry Rierson Spruce Run Campground and ends at the boundary of Cougar Valley State Park, near Cook Creek Road. A scenic waterway designation would help protect the scenic, natural and recreation value of this section of river by subjecting some activities within ?1/4 mile of the bank to a review. A map of the Nehalem River study area is at http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/NATRES/scenicwaterways/Documents/NehalemProposed_Sept2017.pdf

OPRD selected the study area after visiting the river in spring 2017 and holding a public meeting and comment period in fall 2017.

OPRD periodically studies candidates for the program, as per the Oregon Scenic Waterways Act (ORS 390.855). OPRD staff select river segments to study with input from the public and based on certain criteria; river segments must be relatively free-flowing and offer exceptional scenery.

For more information on the State Scenic Waterway program, go to http://bit.ly/scenicwaterways.

Lebanon Strawberry Festival Designated an Oregon Heritage Tradition - 02/21/18

The Lebanon Strawberry Festival, a volunteer-powered community-wide event, marks its upcoming 109th year with an Oregon Heritage Tradition designation by the Oregon Heritage Commission.

Other Oregon Heritage Traditions include the Oregon State Fair, Medford's Pear Blossom Festival, the Pendleton Round-Up, and the Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana.

"The designation recognizes those traditions that have helped define the state," said Todd Kepple, the commission's chair. "This event truly celebrates local heritage in Oregon."

The Lebanon Strawberry Festival started in 1909 as a way to showcase Lebanon and promote the berry industry. Today, the county-wide celebration has grown from a parade and shows on the dirt streets of downtown Lebanon to a 4-day festival at Cheadle Lake Park that includes multiple parades, a royalty court, a carnival, a race, and the world's largest strawberry shortcake.

Jami Cate, Chair of the Strawberry Festival Board, acknowledges how the tradition has grown along with the town. "The City of Lebanon is growing and changing, and it's fun to see the contrast between the traditional ways of life for the area--the tractors and log trucks driving through the parade, the generations-old insurance companies and banks still sponsoring the Festival--and the new aspects of Lebanon--the medical college volunteering at the 5k Race, the new breweries and restaurants sponsoring our events, the new city park being named "Strawberry Plaza."

The Lebanon Strawberry Festival wouldn't be possible without countless hours of volunteer work. A 30 member board plans and runs the festival each year along with over 100 additional volunteers. Over 10,000 participants attend from across the county and the state.

"We're really pleased to learn that the Strawberry Festival has earned this honor," Jami said. "We invite all Oregonians to share our tradition and a piece of shortcake by attending the festival." The festival will be held May 31- June 3, 2018.

An Oregon Heritage Tradition must have been in continuous operation for more than 50 years, demonstrate a public profile and reputation that distinguishes it from more routine events, and add to the livability and identity of the state. A list of Tradition designations is available at http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/OHC/pages/oht.aspx .

The Oregon Heritage Commission coordinates efforts to solve statewide heritage issues through grants, education, and advocacy, and also promotes heritage tourism efforts. ###

Nehalem Bay State Park main entrance closed weekdays through March 22 - 02/14/18

Park visitors will be detoured to the Horizon Lane entrance

NEHALEM, Ore. - The Garey Street entrance road leading into Nehalem Bay State Park is closed Mondays-Fridays to vehicles and pedestrians through March 22. The road will be open on weekends and Feb. 19. The park remains open and visitors can enter at the Horizon Lane entrance.

The closure is for visitor safety during a project to remove 20 acres of trees and invasive brush around and immediately north of the Nehalem Bay airstrip. The Nehalem Bay State Airport is also closed except for emergency helicopter traffic.

Local Government Grant Program advisory committee seeks to fill vacancies - 02/09/18

SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is seeking candidates to serve on the Local Government Grant Program (LGGP) advisory committee. The two open positions are for a city representative for cities with a population less than 15,000 and for a citizen representative for the public at large.

The LGGP awards more than $5 million annually to outdoor recreation projects throughout the state. The advisory committee consists of 10 members that meet annually in June to review LGGP applications. Members typically serve four-year terms. The annual application review is a three-day meeting in Salem. Member's travel expenses are reimbursed by OPRD.

Interested candidates must fill out an interest form; contact LGGP coordinator Mark Cowan at mark.cowan@oregon.gov for the form.

The LGGP has awarded more than $50 million in grants to cities, counties, parks and recreation districts, ports and metros since 1999.

Historic Assessment Review Committee to meet February 20th in Salem - 02/08/18

The Historic Assessment Review Committee will meet at 10:00 am on February 20 at the North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer Street NE, Room 124A, Salem. Agenda items will include presentations, deliberation and committee decision on a single appeal of the State Historic Preservation Office decision of an administrative removal of the Bernard Goldsmith House located at 1507 NW 24th Avenue in Portland Oregon from the Oregon Special Assessment of Historic Properties tax benefit program. The committee will invite public testimony.

State law established the five-member Historic Assessment Review Committee to be the review body for appeals from property owners participating in the Special Assessment Property Tax Program for Historic Properties.

Requests for information about the meeting and accessibility may be made to coordinator Joy Sears at 503-986-0688 or by e-mail: Joy.Sears@oregon.gov.

Ecola State Park to be closed for repairs Feb. 13-15 - 02/08/18

CANNON BEACH, Ore. -- Ecola State Park will be closed for repairs to its entrance road Feb. 13 to Feb. 15. The park will reopen Feb. 16 at 8:00 a.m.

Park manager Ben Cox says that erosion, weather and heavy traffic have caused the road to deteriorate. Ecola Park staff will work with members of the Bob McEwan Construction company to complete the repairs.

Learn more about Ecola State Park at oregonstateparks.org.

Oregon's State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation Meets in Carlton - 02/06/18

Oregon's State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation will consider nominations to the National Register of Historic Places in a one-day meeting on Friday, February 16th at the American Legion Post 173 at 158 E Main Street in Carlton, OR, 97111. The committee will take a walking tour of Downtown Carlton and Carlton & Coast Tavern (325 Main Street), Wennerberg Barn (501 S. Park Street), and the Lewis C. and Emma Thompson House (12789 Meadowlake Road). State Historic Preservation Office Staff presentations start at 12:00 PM and nomination hearings will begin at 1:30 PM at the American Legion Post 173. The tours and meeting are open to the public.

The committee will review proposed nominations for the Lewis C. and Emma Thompson House in the Carlton vicinity, Wennerberg Barn in Carlton, Dr. Robert R. and Mary Helen Mooers House in Roseburg, and the Shute-Meierjurgen Farmstead in the Hillsboro vicinity. A meeting agenda is available at www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/NATREG/Pages/nrhp_sachphome.aspx

Nominations recommended by the SACHP go to the National Park Service, which maintains the Register under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Members of the Committee hold credentials in many historic preservation-related fields.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. Special accommodations for the meeting may be made by calling (503) 986-0690. More information about the National Register and Oregon properties listed in the Register is online at www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/SHPO/Pages/index.aspx (click on "National Register" at left of page).

Attached Media Files: Agenda , Press Release
Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will meet Feb. 21-22 in Lake Oswego - 02/06/18

Lake Oswego, Ore. -- The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will hold its first meeting of the year Feb. 21-22, 2018 in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

On Feb. 21, Commissioners will tour parks and historic sites in the south metro area, followed by an afternoon training and work session at Ainsworth House & Garden in Oregon City, 19130 Lot Whitcomb Drive.

On Feb. 22, Commissioners will convene an executive session at 8:15 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lake Oswego, 14811 Kruse Oaks Drive, to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A public business meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the same location. The agenda includes requests to:

>> Approve designation of the Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway.

>> Approve $325,530 in County Opportunity Grants for campground projects. The grant program is funded by a portion of RV registration fees and helps counties improve or build new campgrounds.

>> Approve a draft master plan for central coast state parks -- including South Beach and Beverly Beach -- that will guide recreation and resource management for the next 20 years.

The draft agenda and meeting packet are listed at http://bit.ly/february2018agenda. People who plan to present oral testimony are asked to provide 15 copies of their statement to Commission Assistant Denise Warburton denise.warburton@oregon.gov. Those needing special accommodations to attend should contact Warburton by email or by phone at 503-986-0719 at least three days in advance.

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission (www.oregon.gov/oprd/Pages/commission.aspx) promotes outdoor recreation and heritage by establishing policies, adopting rules, and setting the budget for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The seven members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. They serve four-year terms and meet several times a year at locations across the state.

Heritage Commission Seeks to Fill Current & Future Vacancies - 01/31/18

There are currently three appointed positions on the Oregon Heritage Commission that have expired or will be expiring June 30. Requests for appointment are now being accepted.

The Heritage Commission's nine members represent a diversity of cultural, geographic and institutional interests. The Commission is the primary agency for coordination of heritage activities in the state. This includes carrying out the Oregon Heritage Plan, increasing efficiency and avoiding duplication among interest groups, developing plans for coordination among agencies and organizations, encouraging tourism related to heritage resources, and coordinating statewide anniversary celebrations.

All Oregon residents are encouraged to apply for appointment. The Heritage Commission is especially seeking members with knowledge and experience related to community institutions, communications/marketing, tourism, and education/higher education. It also particularly seeks members who have experience working with diverse cultural groups and/or who live in the Portland metro or coast region.

The group meets four-six times per year in changing locations around the state, including by phone. Commissioners are also asked to occasionally participate in meetings or events in their regions and work on other projects outside of meeting time. Commissioners are reimbursed for their travel and related expenses while conducting official commission business.

More information about the Oregon Heritage Commission is available online at www.oregonheritage.org and from Commission coordinator Beth Dehn at 503-986-0696 or beth.dehn@oregon.gov.

To request appointment, go to Gov. Kate Brown's Boards and Commissions webpage at http://www.oregon.gov/gov/admin/Pages/Boards-and-Commissions.aspx . For full consideration for the one current vacancy, please submit your request by June 1.

Wolf Creek Inn
Wolf Creek Inn
Wolf Creek Inn to reopen April 1 under new management (Photo) - 01/30/18

SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has awarded a management contract to The Public, LLC to operate the Wolf Creek Inn State Heritage Site. The 135-year-old inn, located 18 miles north of Grants Pass, will begin offering full-service dining and overnight lodging April 1, 2018.

"We're delighted to welcome The Public, LLC to the parks community," said local OPRD manager Nathan Seable. "Wolf Creek Inn is an important part of the local tourism industry and a unique piece of Oregon's history."

Wolf Creek Inn has been a popular stop for Oregon travelers since the 1880s, including notable authors and Hollywood film stars. The inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and was acquired by OPRD in 1975. It is the oldest continuously operated hotel in the Pacific Northwest.

The inn offers nine charming guestrooms, all with private baths. The two-story building retains the Classical Revival architectural style typical of early inns in the American west. Furnished with both original and reproduction furniture, the inn is open daily for free guided tours. Visitors can also enjoy lunch and dinner at the inn restaurant.

The Public, LLC was founded in November 2016. Owner Andrew Shroyer previously operated Garden Creek Ranch in Hells Canyon, Idaho. Shroyer says that the opportunity to operate the historic inn was "once in a lifetime," and plans to continue the inn's tradition as a relaxing retreat.

"We're excited to honor the historical significance of the inn and join the great community of Wolf Creek," said Shroyer.

To reserve a room or to learn more about the inn, visit wolfcreekinn.com.

Attached Media Files: Wolf Creek Inn
OPRD ranger assists child with bird feeder
OPRD ranger assists child with bird feeder
23rd Annual Eagle Watch celebration set for Feb 24-25 (Photo) - 01/29/18

CULVER, Ore.- The 23rd annual Eagle Watch celebration will return Feb. 24-25 at Round Butte Overlook Park. The event will feature activities that explore the natural and cultural significance of the eagles and other raptors that inhabit the Lake Billy Chinook area. The free two-day celebration runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Feb. 24 and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday Feb. 25.

"Eagle Watch is a perfect event for the entire family to learn about birds of prey" said event organizer and OPRD Park Ranger Erin Bennet. "Birding is a great hobby that anyone at any age can enjoy. All you need is curiosity."

Eagle Watch is coordinated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) in conjunction with Portland General Electric (PGE), Crooked River Grassland and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS).

Festivities will be held in "Eagle Village" at the Round Butte Overlook Park's visitor center, 10 miles west of Madras. On Saturday, visitors can meet OPRD and PGE mascots, build a bluebird house and view wild eagles. Sunday's activities include bird feeder building, wild eagle watching and a special tribal drumming and dancing presentation by the Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers. A free hot dog lunch will be served both days, with donations supporting the Madras High School JROTC program.

Without a doubt, Saturday's highlight will be the final appearance of Aquila, a rehabilitated 30-year-old golden eagle that has been delighting Eagle Watch visitors since 2010. After this year, she will assume a comfortable life in retirement from public events. Visitors can meet Aquila during Saturday's lunch.

Round Butte Overlook Park is home to an estimated 11 pairs of bald eagles, and nine pairs of golden eagles. With migratory eagles joining the resident population in late winter, the area is one of the largest gathering spots for eagles in Oregon.

Admission and parking at Round Butte Overlook Park is free. Attendees can purchase souvenirs and participate in a daily silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Oregon Eagle Foundation. Indian Fry bread proceeds will support sending local kids to the rodeo. Only cash and checks will be accepted; no ATM is on site.

For more information about the event, call 541-546-3412 or visit oregonstateparks.org.

Eagle Creek fire recovery topic of upcoming presentations - 01/26/18

From the scars left by the Eagle Creek fire, new life is already emerging. This recovery process and the steps land managers are taking to reopen trails will be the topic of an upcoming series of free presentations in the west Gorge, delivered by Oregon State Parks staff.

Titled "Looking Beyond the Ashes," the presentations will include photos and details of the state parks and trailheads affected by the fire. Attendees will learn about the stages of post-forest recovery and how to volunteer to rebuild trails and restore the forest.

Presentations are scheduled as follows:
Saturday Feb. 3: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thunder Island Brewing Company in Cascade Locks
Thursday, Feb. 15: 6:30 -- 8 p.m., Blackberry Hall at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale

Additional presentations will be scheduled in the Gorge for March and beyond. Check the Oregon State Parks Facebook page or the events calendar at oregonstateparks.org for updates.

The Eagle Creek Fire started Sept. 2 and spread quickly, burning a mosaic pattern on nearly 49,000 acres, mostly in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area that is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The burned area included 140 miles of state and federal trails from Bridal Veil Falls to Starvation Creek. Recovery involves cooperation among Oregon State Parks, the Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Transportation, affected communities and stakeholders.