Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Emergency Messages as of 7:13 am, Fri. Jan. 15
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Primary email address for a new account:

  


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee meets Jan. 26 - 01/12/21

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Advisory Committee will hold a business meeting from 1-4 p.m. Jan. 26 via web conference. The committee will review data from recent RTP grant cycles and discuss adjustments to RTP project scoring criteria and whether to establish a maximum grant request amount.

View the agenda online: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/GRA/Documents/RTP-Committee-Meeting-1.6.2021.pdf

The meeting is open to the public, but there will not be time for public comments during the meeting. Register online to watch the meeting live at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jb_t-HpLQ4mmgR_cp_sl9w.

RTP is an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. The program provides funds to states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized trail uses, including hiking, bicycling, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving and using other off-road motorized vehicles. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) administers Oregon’s program. The RTP Advisory Committee consists of 10 volunteer members who represent various user groups and land managers.

For more information, contact Program Coordinator Jodi Bellefeuille at 503-856-6316 or ellefeuille@oregon.gov">Jodi.bellefeuille@oregon.gov, or visit OPRD’s RTP web page.

Oregon Heritage Commission to meet January 25 - 01/12/21

SALEM, Oregon – The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet via online meeting on January 25 at 9am. The agenda includes the results of the first of three COVID-19 impact to heritage organizations survey, results of the Volunteer impact survey, and updates from commissioners. The meeting is open to the public and the agenda includes an opportunity for public comment.  

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 Katie Henry at 503-877-8834 or katie.henry@oregon.gov.

Commission meetings are open to the public and their agendas include opportunities for public comment. Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling (503) 986?0690 at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting.

For a link to the meeting, call-in details, the agenda, or more information about the commission, visit www.oregonheritage.org.

# # #

State parks reservation booking window changes to six months beginning Jan. 14 - 01/11/21

Note: added the word "out" in the first sentence.

SALEM, Oregon – Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will accept new reservations from one day to six months out beginning Jan. 14, 2021. The change is the latest step in managing future reservations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early last summer, the reservation booking window temporarily changed from one day to two weeks, then to 30 days, while OPRD slowly re-opened camping after a two-month closure. In normal times, the reservation window is one day to nine months.

“A shorter reservation window helps us deal with the uncertainty posed by state management of the COVID-19 emergency, and the financial hit of changing, canceling and refunding reservations,” said Lisa Sumption, director of OPRD. 

State parks are funded by revenue from park visitors, a small share of the Oregon Lottery, and a portion of state recreational vehicle registrations.

“Although revenue stopped during the two-month closure and continues to be less than what we’ve earned in past years, we’ve adjusted our operations and now are comfortable extending the reservation booking window,” she said. “All of us extend a heartfelt thank you to our visitors as we continue to evaluate our operations to better serve campers and day-use visitors as we head into the spring and summer.”

In addition to the reservation booking window change, all new campsite, yurt and cabin openings will become available at 6 a.m. each day rather than midnight. This minor change is being made to improve customer service.

“No more staying up to midnight to make an online reservation,” Sumption said. “If you try to reserve a site beyond the 30-day window at midnight Jan. 14, you will see the sites marked with an ‘X’ for unavailable. All available sites will be marked with an ‘A’ at 6 a.m., Jan. 14, and each day going forward.

More changes to the reservation window are possible as the year goes on.

Oregon State Parks reservations are accepted online, and by phone at 800-452-5687, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed holidays).

# # #

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department holds online town hall on proposed State Capitol State Park Vietnam War memorial - 01/11/21

News release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Department // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // Release Date: January 11, 2021

Media Contact: Chris Havel, 503-931-2590

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department holds online town hall on proposed State Capitol State Park Vietnam War memorial

SALEM, Oregon – The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will hold an online question-and-answer session at 6 p.m. on January 20 to collect public feedback on a nonprofit organization’s proposal to construct a Vietnam War Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol State Park in Salem. The session will include a presentation by the proposer, the Vietnam War Memorial Fund (http://vietnamwarmemorialfund.org).

To participate in the event, free registration is required at http://bit.ly/oregoncapitolvietnam.

The deadline for comment is January 22, 2021.

The project proposes to install sculptures, plaques, benches, and walkways to memorialize different aspects of the war and military service. It would be just southwest of the World War II memorial, the Parade of Animals play structure, and a gazebo. Nearly all the trees in this area would be incorporated into the proposed design. Three trees would be removed (details online). One part of the memorial honors Gold Star Families using a standard design, and the nonprofit has identified three possible locations in the park for its installation. One option would require moving the Parade of Animals to a different part of Willson Park. A Gold Star Family is one that has lost an immediate family member in the line of duty during military service.

A draft plan of the memorial is online as is a  video walkthrough.

After collecting public feedback, a committee will submit a report to OPRD Director Lisa Sumption with recommendations. After the Director's review, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission could act on the proposal at its February 25, 2021 meeting.

# # #

Public invited to comment on draft ADA Transition Plan - 01/11/21

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is accepting public comments on a draft Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan that will guide the agency in removing physical barriers to park access over the next 25 years.

The ADA Transition Plan identifies barriers and provides a roadmap for removing them in order to provide access to parks and park programs for people with disabilities. Identified barriers range from inaccessible picnic areas and restroom facilities to parking lots with limited accessible parking. In the process of creating this plan, OPRD surveyed 277 unique facilities and identified 5,078 individual barriers, then grouped them into categories defined by the level of complexity.

“OPRD has already made great strides in providing access for people with disabilities, but there’s much more to be done,” said ADA Coordinator Helena Kesch. “The ADA Transition Plan moves the agency forward in improving parks so people with disabilities can enjoy them to the fullest. This aligns us with the law, and it’s also the right thing to do.”

OPRD will accept public comments on the proposed change through 5 p.m. Feb. 15, 2021. Comments can be made online, in writing or via email:

The draft plan is available online at oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-ADA-Transition-Plan

After reviewing public comments, OPRD will incorporate feedback into a final ADA Transition Plan. Remediation efforts will begin in July 2021.   

Lost Creek Lake marina planned to re-open in Spring 2021 - 01/06/21

(note the version from just a few moments ago identified this as a draft; it is the final release)

News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Department // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // Release Date: January 6, 2020

Media Contact: Chris Havel, 503-986-0722

Lost Creek Lake marina planned to re-open in Spring 2021

Shady Cove, Ore. – The marina at the Joseph Stewart boat ramp on Lost Creek Lake is currently closed just for the winter and is planned to re-open in spring. Some boats are still tied up at the marina, even though the business operating the facility reached the end of its lease December 31, 2020 and has left the site. Boats still moored at the marina will be allowed to stay until water levels rise enough to make the boat ramp usable.

Joseph Stewart State Recreation Area is open year-round. Access to the lake at the park boat ramp will resume as usual when water levels rise. Basic marina services are planned to resume in Spring 2021, and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Jackson County Parks are coordinating on the details. Anyone with a boat still moored at the marina can contact park manager Nathan Seable at Nathan.seable@oregon.gov with questions.

# # #

 

 

State audit shows Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is advancing constitutional goals for state parks and natural resources through Grants programs - 01/05/21

SALEM, Oregon – A recent audit by the Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division showed that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is appropriately evaluating, awarding, monitoring and tracking grant expenditures. The findings are outlined in the report By Appropriately Administering Measure 76 Funds, Oregon Is Advancing Constitutional Goals for State Parks and Natural Resources.

OPRD manages a wide range of grant programs to help communities provide and improve local outdoor recreation and protect heritage resources. While some rely on federal or state gas tax funds, voters twice approved dedicating a share of the Oregon Lottery to support parks, most recently through Measure 76 in 2010. Auditors found OPRD appropriately administers Oregon Lottery funds (Measure 76 funds) and had no recommendations to offer. While new grant awards were suspended in 2020 due to an expected revenue shortfall prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, more than $6.5 million in Lottery funds were awarded to communities in 2019.

“I’m extremely proud of our Grants program staff and their work to be accountable with Lottery Funds and uphold the public trust,” said Lisa Sumption, director of OPRD. “The audit findings are well-earned. It’s rare that an audit returns to a state agency with a positive review and no recommendations for improvements.”

Sumption credited Grants and Community Programs Manager Michele Scalise, Grant Coordinator Mark Cowan, Financial Services Manager Rebecca Jasso, Accountant Svetlana Evans and Budget Manager Tanya Crane with their work during the audit. The process began in January 2020 and included interviews and submitting reams of documentation. Typically, auditors come to the office and set up for a month or so, but the pandemic forced a virtual approach.

"The audit affirms that we are evaluating, awarding and monitoring grants effectively. This means that the processes we have in place are working as intended by Measure 76 — we’re effectively getting grants out to local communities for outdoor recreation purposes,” Scalise said. “This is due to our grant staff, committees and application process.”

Under Measure 76, the Parks and Natural Resources Fund receives 15% of net Lottery proceeds to support parks projects and natural resource protection and restoration and is distributed among six agencies, including OPRD and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

###

sutton_beach_container_3.jpg
sutton_beach_container_3.jpg
Bags of chia seeds wash ashore on central coast (Photo) - 12/23/20

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is cleaning up several bags of chia seeds that washed ashore near Florence and Newport this week.

Unusual commercial-sized bags of “sludge” were reported just north of Nye Beach the morning of Dec. 22. Later that day, another beachgoer discovered the likely source just north of Florence: a battered chunk of a shipping container and two bags of seeds nearby.

Although the seeds are not toxic, they do expand when they come into contact with water.

“The bags were too heavy to move by hand. We had to cut them up to remove them, or use equipment to haul them out,” said ranger Jason Hennessey.

At least four bags have sprouted ashore so far. OPRD is still tracking down information about the source. People can help the agency by reporting any additional bags — as well as any other beach debris — to each.debris@oregon.gov">beach.debris@oregon.gov. For safety reasons, it’s best for individuals to avoid moving debris themselves.

This situation is a good reminder to all to pack out your own trash. Some beach access parking lots have cleanup bags, but it’s good practice to carry some from home. For information on keeping Oregon’s beaches clean, go to solveoregon.org or surfrider.org.

Simulated view of element honoring wartime nurses
Simulated view of element honoring wartime nurses
Seeking public feedback on proposed Vietnam War Memorial at State Capitol State Park (Photo) - 12/22/20

News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Department // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // Release Date: Dec. 22, 2020

Media Contact: Chris Havel, 503-931-2590

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department seeks public feedback on proposed Vietnam War Memorial at State Capitol State Park

 

SALEM, Oregon – The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is seeking public feedback on a proposal from a nonprofit, the Vietnam War Memorial Fund, to construct a memorial in the southwest corner of the State Capitol State Park in Salem. The site is just south of the World War II memorial and west of the Capitol building in an area called Willson Park. The deadline for public feedback is January 22, 2021.

The project proposes to install sculptures, plaques, benches, and walkways to memorialize different aspects of the war and military service. It would be just south of the World War II memorial, the Parade of Animals play structure, and a gazebo. Nearly all the trees in this area would be incorporated into the proposed design. Three trees would be removed (details online). One part of the memorial honors Gold Star Families using a standard design, and the nonprofit has identified three possible locations in the park for its installation. One option would require moving the Parade of Animals to a different part of Willson Park. A Gold Star Family is one that has lost an immediate family member in the line of duty of military service.

A draft plan of the memorial is online as is a  video walkthrough.

OPRD is collecting feedback through January 22, 2021. You can comment by email, or attend a virtual open house at 6 p.m. on January 20, 2021 (free registration required). After collecting public feedback, a committee will submit a report to OPRD Director Lisa Sumption with recommendations. After the Director's review, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission could act on the proposal at its February 25, 2021 meeting.

# # #

Boats moored at Lost Creek Lake marina
Boats moored at Lost Creek Lake marina
Marina concession lease at Lost Creek Lake ending Dec. 31, 2020 (Photo) - 12/18/20

News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Department // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // Release Date: December 18, 2020

 

Media Contact: Chris Havel, OPRD, 503-986-0722

Marina concession lease at Lost Creek Lake ending Dec. 31, 2020

 

Shady Cove, Oregon – A lease allowing a private business to operate the public marina at Joseph Stewart State Park on Lost Creek Lake will end Dec. 31, 2020. The lease ran for two 20-year periods, the maximum allowed under its terms, and began in 1981. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) manages the lease and park through an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The business changed hands over the course of the lease, and is currently held by Lewis Resorts, LLC.

OPRD is exploring options for service in 2021 that include requesting businesses to submit proposals to operate the public facility, or working with other public partners. A public announcement will explain decisions for 2021.

Owners with boats moored at slips near the marina will be contacted to explain next steps. In the meantime, owners can send questions to Park Manager Nathan Seable at OPRD, Rogue Management Unit, 3792 N River Rd Gold Hill, OR 97525 or by email to le@oregon.gov">Nathan.seable@oregon.gov.

# # #