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State park fire restrictions continue one more week, tighter in Eastern and Central Oregon - 09/01/15
The statewide state park ban on open flames will continue for another week. While temperatures have moderated in some areas and a little rain has fallen, especially on the Willamette Valley and coast, conditions have not improved enough to warrant relaxing the restriction. Fire crews are still heavily engaged in combating blazes in Central and Eastern Oregon, and resources in many local communities are stretched thin.

Propane stoves for cooking and charcoal briquettes for cooking are not covered by the statewide ban, but some parks have more restrictive bans in place that do cover briquettes. Before traveling, visitors should verify what's allowed at their destination by calling the park, calling the state park toll-free information line at 800-551-6949 (Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), or looking up the park online at http://oregonstateparks.org/

The restriction will be reviewed again next week.
Bikeways groups to meet Sept. 23 in Klamath Falls - 09/01/15
The rating subcommittee of the State Scenic Bikeway Committee will meet with the applicants of the Volcanic Legacy Proposed Bikeway from 3-4 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Discover Klamath Conference room in the South Portal Building, 205 Riverside Drive, in Klamath Falls. The meeting is open to the public. Anyone attending can ask questions or give comments.

The subcommittee will field rate the proposed Scenic Bikeway on Sept. 24. The trip will be conducted by bicycle, and while the route is open to the public, ride support is provided for committee members and staff only. Comments on the route will not be taken during the field rating ride. A map of the proposed bikeway can be found at http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7276033

There are 14 designated State Scenic Bikeways in Oregon. The State Scenic Bikeway Committee periodically accepts applications and rates the routes based on a variety of factors including scenic value, strength of the local proponent group, and support of governing bodies for all road jurisdictions. This rating trip and meeting is one of the first steps towards possible designation, which can take up to several years to complete. A chart of the designation process can be viewed at http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/BIKE/docs/Designationprocess.pdf

A link to all the designated Bikeways can be found at www.OregonScenicBikeways.org More information about the meeting and rating trip is available from bikeways program coordinator Alex Phillips at 503-986-0631 or alex.phillips@oregon.gov

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Attached Media Files: News release
Recreational fire ban continues at Oregon State Parks - 08/27/15
The statewide campfire and open flame ban in Oregon State Parks remains in place for at least one more week. Conditions have not improved since the ban began Aug. 19.

Fires are not allowed on properties owned and managed by Oregon State Parks, including the ocean shores. The ban includes but is not limited to fire pits, tiki torches and candles.

Although the state park ban doesn't apply to propane cooking stoves and/or charcoal briquettes for cooking, there may be fire restrictions local to a specific area that do limit propane cooking stove and briquette use. Visitors planning a trip should check with park staff for the most current information, or call the state park information line at (800) 551-6949 or visit www.oregonstateparks.org.

The ban will be re-evaluated next week based on current wildfire status, weather and guidance from state and local fire officials.
Archaeologists return to Fort Rock Cave - 08/24/15
Joint Release: University of Oregon/Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Fort Rock OR -- Archaeologists from the University of Oregon (UO) will be returning to the site of the 1938 discovery of the oldest known footwear in the world.

Fort Rock Cave in northern Lake County is famous for dozens of approximately 10,000-year-old sagebrush bark woven sandals that were found there by the "Father of Oregon Archaeology" Luther S. Cressman, who was on the UO faculty from 1929 until his retirement in 1963.

Scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 4, archaeologists will follow up on Cressman's investigations.

Cressman discovered the sandals beneath a layer of volcanic ash produced by the 7600-year-old eruption of Mt. Mazama - the same eruption that created Crater Lake. The age of the sandals was confirmed in the 1950s through radiocarbon dating. In 1966, Cressman returned to the site with graduate student Stephen Bedwell who uncovered a hearth in Pleistocene (Ice Age) gravels. Charcoal from the fire pit was radiocarbon dated to roughly 15,800 years before present, the oldest reputed hearth in Oregon.

"As important as the site is to the human story of North America, the archaeological work there was done more than half a century ago. We still have important questions about the site that might be answered with recovery methods and analytical techniques that were not available to Cressman and his students," said Tom Connolly, project leader and director of archaeological research for the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History. "Our excavation will not be extensive, but will focus on the chronology and dating of the site deposits, and drawing critical samples for later analysis."

Limited public access to the site will be provided by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) in partnership with UO. If interested in visiting Fort Rock Cave during the archaeological excavation, please contact OPRD staff at 541-923-7551 x21 to make arrangements. Fort Rock Cave became part of the OPRD system in 2000 and is accessible only by guided tour.
Campfires and open flames prohibited in all Oregon State Parks - 08/19/15
(Updated with new contact telephone information for news media. Chris Havel, 503 986-0722)

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is prohibiting all campfires in Oregon State Parks and other properties owned and managed by the department beginning Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. The ban includes but is not limited to designated fire pits, tiki torches and candles. The ban also extends to fires on ocean beaches.

"Our goal is to avoid any accidental fires on OPRD property that would further tax limited firefighting resources," said MG Devereux, OPRD Deputy Director. "Most communities have sent local firefighters and equipment to help with wildfires throughout the state. An unintentional fire in a state park would add an unnecessary burden to firefighting efforts."

The state park ban doesn't apply to propane stoves and/or charcoal briquettes for cooking, but there may be local fire restrictions that do limit propane stoves and briquettes. Visitors planning a trip should check with park staff for the most current information, or by calling the state park information line at (800) 551-6949 or visiting www.oregonstateparks.org.

This ban will remain in effect for at least one week and will be re-evaluated based on fire status, weather, and guidance from state and local fire officials.
Low water prompts Prineville Reservoir boat ramp closure - 08/18/15
Prineville OR -- Beginning Friday, Aug. 21, the last developed boat ramp on Prineville Reservoir will be closed for the year to trailered boat launching. The ramp is unsafe to launch boats because the water level has receded to the end of the ramp. The low water level on the reservoir prompted early closure of two other developed boat ramps mid-summer this year.

The reservoir has plenty of water for other recreational watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and small portable motorized boats. These can still be launched manually from any accessible, walk-in beach. This is a good option for those looking to get out and enjoy the reservoir throughout the rest of the summer.

The main campground and day use area will remain open year round, while the Jasper Point campground will close Sept. 30. For information, call the park office between 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 541-447-4363.
Collier Memorial State Park to Host Overnight Guided Camping Trip - 08/13/15
Klamath Falls, OR - Collier Memorial State Park welcomes beginning or out-of practice campers to join in an overnight guided camping excursion August 28-30, part of the statewide "Let's Go Camping" program hosted by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD).

For $30 per family, OPRD provides tents, sleeping bags and other gear. Volunteers will help campers set up tents, build campfires, prepare meals in the campsite and more.

Activities will include two nights of camping at the confluence of the scenic Spring and Williamson Rivers, tours of the historic logging museum, prime fishing opportunities and plenty of s'mores. Register online at oregonstateparks.org (Click on "Things to Do")or by calling 888-953-7677.
Show off your skill in South Beach Sand Castle Competition - 08/13/15
Newport OR -- South Beach State Park will host a Sand Castle Competition from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday Aug. 22. at the park's day-use area.

Participants can compete individually or as a team, and all ages are welcome. Participants should bring their own supplies. An awards ceremony and prizes will follow.

For information call 541-867-7451 or stop by the campground registration booth.
Portland home that served as hub during Civil Rights era listed in National Register of Historic Places (Photo) - 08/12/15
An Albina bungalow that served as a family home and support center for civil rights causes for more than half a century has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The house is believed to be the first historic property in Oregon listed in the National Register primarily for its association with the Civil Rights era.

Otto and Verdell Rutherford led the Portland branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during the 1940s and 1950s as the organization pressed for equal opportunity and the end of racial discrimination in public accommodation, employment, education and housing.

The Rutherfords were among a group of activists that pushed for decades for Oregon's Public Accommodations Act which, with the help of some legislators such as Rep. Mark O. Hatfield, was passed by the Oregon Legislature in 1953. The place where much of the organizing took place, the Rutherford's house, was listed in the National Register this week.

"Our house was home for my two brothers and me," said Otto and Verdell's daughter Charlotte Rutherford. "But for years it also served as the office for the NAACP here. In the mid-50s the NAACP Federal Credit Union was also started in our dining room. My Dad made the speeches, but my Mom was doing the work. The mimeograph machine in the basement and her typewriter were the foundation for the organization and other groups, too."

Otto moved into the house at 833 NE Shaver St. with his parents and siblings in 1923. In 1936, he married Verdell Burdine and in the house they began married life of 64 years, decades of civil rights activism, and the documentation and preservation of Portland's African American history.

The Rutherfords' contributions to the civil rights movement came while they held full-time jobs, raised a family, were active in their church and social organizations, and held office in several organizations, including the NAACP. In 2000, the state's largest newspaper The Oregonian published a feature on Oregon's 150 most influential people from 1850-2000. The list included Otto Rutherford and was accompanied by a photo of Otto and Verdell.

In the 1990s and onward, Otto and Verdell Rutherford spent considerable time filling in details about many people and places in Portland's African American history until their passings.

Verdell Rutherford preserved documents, family papers, memorabilia and photographs that provide a snapshot of an African American family and community in Portland during more than a 60-year period. The collection is housed at the Portland State University Library Special Collections Division and is available to the public.

The National Register nomination of the Rutherford House followed the second Cornerstones inventory publication that honored the contributions of the Rutherford family to Portland's and Oregon's history and its African American heritage in particular. Cathy Galbraith, executive director of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation/Architectural Heritage Center, submitted the nomination. The organization's ongoing "Cornerstones" initiative documents Portland's African American building heritage.

Oregon's State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the building's nomination. The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings is online at www.oregonheritage.org (click on "National Register" at left of page).
Attached Media Files: News release , Rutherford House
Three hiker/biker camping areas now boast modern luxuries - 08/12/15
Major improvements at hiker/biker areas in Milo McIver State Park, Champoeg State Heritage Area and Bullards Beach State Park are making life easier for people bicycle touring. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department recently added gear and food storage lockers, phone charging stations, bicycle fix-it stations and group shelters to the three parks.

A hiker/biker site is a camping area for people that are traveling by bicycle or foot without a support vehicle. Cyclists can set their tents anywhere in the area, and share communal picnic tables and fire pits. Reservations are not accepted or needed.

The Bullards and Milo McIver hiker/biker sites were re-located to better spots. Solar powered phone charging stations and fix-it stations were added in the move. The Champoeg fix-it station is located in the main campground so all park visitors have easy access to it. Fix-it stations have a bike stand, basic bike tools and a floor pump.

Most of the improvements at Milo McIver were made possible by a grant from Clackamas County Tourism. Scout Troup 107 volunteered hours to help build the new site. TE Connectivity through its work with the Oregon State Parks Foundation contributed funding and volunteer hours for the improvements at Champoeg State Heritage Site. Cycle Oregon's grant program contributed funds for improvements at Bullards Beach State Park.

Milo McIver State Park is just outside of Estacada and adjacent to the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway. Champoeg State Heritage Area is 30 miles north of Salem and the northern terminus of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. Bullards Beach State Park is located on the southern Oregon coast near Bandon just off of U.S. 101.

There are a total of 31 hiker/biker campsites within the 52 State Parks that have campgrounds. For a complete list of hiker/biker sites go to http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=visit.dsp_find and click the box for hiker/bikers then click "find".
North Bend resident appointed to Oregon historic cemeteries commission - 08/06/15
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director Lisa Sumption has appointed Mark Petrie of North Bend to the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries.

"I am happy to have been accepted onto the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries and look forward to working with the other accomplished commissioners and staff to protect and preserve our heritage," said Petrie, an enrolled Coos tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. "Protecting, respecting and honoring our ancestors is something I feel very strongly about. I am eager to contribute all I have to offer to the commission and its programs."

"I am looking forward to Petrie joining the commission," stated Kuri Gill, coordinator for the state historic cemeteries program. "His interest and cultural knowledge will be an asset to our work."

The seven-member Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries supports OPRD historic cemetery preservation efforts by offering training, educational resources, coordination and grants. Its other members are Diane Elder of Paisley, Mike Leamy of Astoria and Charlotte Lehan of Wilsonville. OPRD will be seeking additional commissioners in the fall.

For more information about the commission and the historic cemeteries program visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Historic Cemeteries Program Coordinator, Kuri Gill at Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov or (503) 986-0685.
Advisory Committee Meeting Aug. 24 for the proposed Molalla River Scenic Waterway - 08/06/15
Salem OR -- The potential designation of a portion of the Molalla River as a State Scenic Waterway is the topic of an Aug. 24 advisory committee meeting hosted by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. via conference call or in person in room 124 at OPRD's Salem office, 725 Summer St. NE.

The advisory committee will review public comments relating to the nonbinding final draft management plan for the Molalla. Members of the public are welcome to attend in person or call in and listen to the meeting. The public will not have an opportunity to comment at the meeting; however, comments are being accepted by email and mail through Aug. 19. To join the meeting by teleconference, contact Sara Griffith at 503-986-0737 or by email at sara.griffith@oregon.gov for the phone number and access code.

Scenic waterways staff will incorporate public comments into a report for OPRD Commissioners to review. The governor will make the final decision on designation in December. If the river is designated, OPRD will host additional meetings to gather public comments before finalizing a management plan and initiating rule-making.

The State Scenic Waterways Program seeks to balance protection of natural resources, scenic value and recreation. Scenic waterway designations do not affect existing water rights.

Comments can be submitted through Aug. 19 by email to scenic.waterways@oregon.gov or mailed to OPRD Scenic Waterways Program, 725 Summer St. Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.

The draft plan, meeting materials and other information are available at http://bit.ly/scenicwaterways. For more information, contact Laurel Hillmann at 503-986-0700 or laurel.hillmann@oregon.gov or Rocky Houston at 503-986-0750 or rocky.houston@oregon.gov.
Advisory Committee Meeting Aug. 17 for the proposed Chetco River Scenic Waterway - 08/06/15
The potential designation of a portion of the Chetco River as a State Scenic Waterway is the topic of an Aug. 17 advisory committee meeting hosted by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. via conference call or in person in room 124 at OPRD's Salem office, 725 Summer St. NE.

The advisory committee will review public comments received at the July 14 public meeting and during the public comment period relating to the nonbinding final draft management plan for the Chetco. Members of the public are welcome to attend in person or call in and listen to the meeting. The public will not have an opportunity to comment at the meeting; however, comments are being accepted by email and mail through Aug. 13. To join the meeting by teleconference, contact Sara Griffith at 503-986-0737 or by email at sara.griffith@oregon.gov for the phone number and access code.

Scenic waterways staff will incorporate public comments into a report for OPRD Commissioners to review. The governor will make the final decision on designation in December. If the river is designated, OPRD will host additional meetings to gather public comments before finalizing a management plan and initiating rule-making.

The State Scenic Waterways Program seeks to balance protection of natural resources, scenic value and recreation. Scenic waterway designations do not affect existing water rights.

Comments can be submitted through Aug. 13 by email to scenic.waterways@oregon.gov or mailed to OPRD Scenic Waterways Program, 725 Summer St. Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.

The draft plan, meeting materials and other information are available at http://bit.ly/scenicwaterways. For more information, contact Laurel Hillmann at 503-986-0700 or laurel.hillmann@oregon.gov or Rocky Houston at 503-986-0750 or rocky.houston@oregon.gov.