Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
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Oregon State Fair Council will meet in Salem Nov. 20 - 11/17/14
Salem, OR - The Oregon State Fair Council will meet at the Oregon State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center in Salem on Nov. 20, 2014 starting at 11 a.m. with an Executive Committee meeting that is open to the public.

The full council meeting will begin at 1 p.m., and the agenda includes delegating council authority to Chief Executive Officer Michael Paluszak, who begins Dec. 1. A strategic planning session will follow at 2 p.m. to review goals and next steps.

Council members voted to hire Paluszak on Oct. 8 as part of their charge to create a new, sustainable business model for the Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center. Council members have the authority to execute a business strategy.

Those needing special accommodations to attend should contact Brenda Schorr at 503-986-0788 at least three days in advance.

The full agenda is online at http://oregonstatefaircouncil.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/state-fair-council-agenda-11-20-14.pdf.
Name the Beach Trail: Your Votes Wanted - 11/14/14
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and the City of Gearhart want your vote -- on the name of a trail, that is. The newly-designed trail is adjacent to Gearhart Ocean State Recreation Area at Little Beach. Over the past two years, park officials have worked with City of Gearhart to create a new, single trail that accesses the beach to the north of the shorebird conservation area. It was designed to encourage shorebird nesting near the Necanicum Estuary.

The list of possible names comes from entries dreamed up by children in grades 2-5 at Gearhart Elementary School. OPRD and Gearhart city officials thought that local schoolchildren would be the perfect trail "owners," so they reached out to the principal and teachers at Gearhart Elementary School, and turned the whole thing into a contest. The kids came up with more than 30 names, which were narrowed down to 10.

"It was great fun to meet with the kids and teachers at Gearhart Elementary," said OPRD Visitor Services Coordinator Brian Fowler, who presented information about shorebird habitat in the classrooms, and led a nature walk along the new trail. "We challenged them to come up with names and they came through in a big way," he said. "I have my favorite, but I'm not going to say what it is," he added. "I'm just going to vote like everybody else."

The winner will receive a special memento from OPRD and the City, along with the fame that a new trail marker will bring. To vote on a name, go to http://oprdstewardship.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/name-the-trail. The survey will be open at least until December 1.
Call for volunteers for 2014-2015 Whale Watching program - 11/07/14
Newport, OR - The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is seeking volunteers to help the public spot whales as part of its Whale Watching Spoken Here program.

The program places trained volunteers at 24 whale-watching sites along the Oregon coast each year during winter and spring watch weeks, when Gray whales migrate to and from Alaska. This year, the dates for the whale watching weeks will be Dec. 27-31, 2014 and March 21-28, 2015. The full-day trainings are scheduled as follows:

Dec. 6: OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport. This training is nearly full.
Jan. 10: Harris Beach State Park, Brookings.
Feb. 7: Cape Lookout State Park, Tillamook.

The Dec. 6 training will be delivered by Dr. Bruce Mate, an expert on whales and director of the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute. Marine biologist Carrie Newell will deliver the Jan. 10 and Feb. 7 trainings.

Volunteers who complete the one-day training select two shifts at whale-watching sites where they will assist visitors in spotting Gray whales and maintain a whale count.

Oregon State Parks offer free camping to volunteers the night before training and during their shifts.

For information, call 541-765-3304 or go to www.whalespoken.org and click on the "Training dates, agendas & registration form" link. The form can be submitted electronically, faxed to 541-765-3402, or mailed to WWSH, Beverly Beach State Park, 198 NE 123rd St., Newport OR 97365.
Hikers urged to take precautions when foraging for mushrooms - 11/06/14
Oregon is known for its bounty of fall mushrooms, but foraging for them can become dangerous if you're not prepared. Every fall, hikers get lost hunting for mushrooms.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department advises fall hikers to take the following precautions:

*Use a map to plan your trip and familiarize yourself with the area in advance.
*Inform someone of where you're going and when you plan to return.
*Hike with a companion.
*Carry and drink plenty of water.
*Wind and rain storms are common in the fall and winter. Dress in layers, avoid cotton and carry quality rain gear. Don't go hiking if a storm is forecasted, and turn back in bad weather.
*Carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.
*Also carry with you these essential items: flashlight, matches, first aid kit, whistle, plastic garbage bag and pocket knife.
*Consider joining a guided mushroom hike. Fort Stevens State Park is hosting two this month: Nov. 10 and 30 at 1 p.m., led by Park Ranger Dane Osis. Information: 503-861-3170 or email dane.osis@oregon.gov.
Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will meet November 18-19 in Astoria - 11/06/14
News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // Nov. 6, 2014

Media Contact:
Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Desk: 503-986-0722 // Cell: 503-931-2590

Astoria OR - The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will hold its final meeting of the year November 18-19 in Astoria, OR and address a proposed beach smoking rule and other topics.

On November 18, Commissioners will tour area state parks and the Columbia River Maritime Museum starting at 8 a.m., then attend workshops starting at 2 p.m. at the Loft at the Red Building, 20 Basin Street Suite F, Astoria, OR 97103.

On November 19, Commissioners will convene an 8 a.m. executive session at the Loft at the Red Building to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A public business meeting will begin at 9:15 a.m. at the same location. The agenda includes requests for action on state park contracts, grants to Oregon communities for recreation trails, a proposed beach smoking restriction, and state scenic waterway candidates.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff will ask the Commission to sideline a proposed rule restricting smoking on Oregon's 362 mile public ocean shore. Instead, staff will ask the Commission to direct the department to spend two years focusing on education and a broader campaign to reduce beach litter. The public comment period for the proposed rule closed in August, and a summary is online at http://tinyurl.com/oregonbeachsmoke.

The Commission will also receive three studies on rivers that are candidates for designation under the state scenic waterway program. Department staff studied short sections of the Grande Ronde in Union County, Molalla in Clackamas County, and Chetco in Curry County. After visiting the rivers and holding public meetings, staff will recommend dropping the Grande Ronde segment from consideration. For the portions of the Chetco and Molalla Rivers included in the study, staff will ask the Commission to accept the reports, but wait to make a recommendation for up to a year. The time will be used to allow local proponents to organize and develop management plans that address waterway and adjacent landowner needs. Commission scenic waterway recommendations are made to the governor jointly with the Oregon Water Resources Department, who will also be asked to concur with the reports. More information about the ongoing review of scenic waterways is online at http://tinyurl.com/scenicwaterwaysreview.

The full November meeting agenda is available online at www.oregon.gov/oprd/Pages/commission.aspx, and the meeting packet with information on each agenda item will be posted online by 3 p.m. Friday, November 7. People who plan to present testimony are requested to provide 12 copies of their statement to Commission Assistant Sarah Emery at sarah.emery@oregon.gov for distribution to the Commissioners before the meeting. Those needing special accommodations to attend should contact OPRD at 503-986-0719 to make arrangements 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.
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Nominees Sought for Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards - 11/04/14
Applications are now available to nominate individuals, organizations and projects that have made outstanding contributions to preserving Oregon's heritage for an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award. Nominations are encouraged for exceptional and commendable work with special consideration given to the development of new ideas, approaches and innovations in heritage-related activities. The awards are intended to draw public attention to important heritage efforts in Oregon and to raise the quality of heritage-oriented activities.

The deadline for nominations is January 16. Award information and the nomination application is available online at www.oregonheritage.org or by contacting Mike Gushard at (503) 986-0671 or mike.gushard@oregon.gov

The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards will be presented in the spring at the 2015 Oregon Heritage Conference in Coos Bay. For more information about the awards, and to view a list of past award recipients, visit www.oregon.gov/OPRD/HCD/OHC/award_info.shtml.
Rest Area along Highway 18 closed through Dec. 4 for upgrades - 10/31/14
Lincoln City, OR - Rest Areas on Highway 18 in the H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor near the junction with Highway 101 will be closed through Dec. 4 - a month longer than initially planned due to wet weather. Both North and South Rest Areas will close in order to complete a paving restoration project. The parking areas and restrooms will not be available during this closure.

Road and Driveway Company of Newport will repair and resurface degraded asphalt, replace concrete curbing, improve drainage systems, enhance ADA access and re-stripe the lots.

Funded by Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the estimated $171,000 project is set to be completed by Dec. 4, 2014.