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News Releases
Public comments extended through Aug. 31 for updates to state rules for national register program - 08/04/20

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is extending the date to accept public comments on proposed changes to rules governing how the state protects important historical places until 5 p.m. Aug. 31, 2020. The extension comes with a new opportunity on Aug. 18 for local and tribal governments to learn more about the proposed rules and comment on them.

The state is proposing updates to the Oregon Administrative Rules that govern how the state administers the federal National Register of Historic Places Program, which lists buildings, districts and other sites important to local, state or national history. The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) — an office of OPRD — administers the local program, which is run by the National Park Service.

In Oregon, 2,065 properties — including 133 historic districts located across the state’s 36 counties and representing many aspects of the state's rich history — are now listed in the National Register.

In the last several years, several high-profile, controversial nominations exposed problems with the National Register process, including determining owner consent and public involvement. Proposed changes seek to establish a fair and transparent process in alignment with federal requirements.

In addition to extending the comment period, OPRD will have an informational webinar at 10 a.m. Aug. 18 for government staff and leaders to learn more about the proposed rules and potential impact on communities, local governments and tribes. The webinar will be open to the public and end with an opportunity to provide public comment. Register to attend at oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx.

“Local governments and Native American tribes are a critical partner in the national register program,” said Ian Johnson, associate deputy state historic preservation officer.

The Oregon SHPO provides local governments participating in the federal Certified Local Government (CLG) Program grants to list properties in the federal National Register of Historic Places. Using SHPO grant funds, the City of Jacksonville listed the Britt Gardens and the City of Gresham listed the Roy E. and Hildur L. Amundesen House in the National Register. 

Local governments may comment on National Register nominations. Local governments participating in the CLG program may object to a nomination, ending the nomination process unless appealed. The revised rule includes updated procedures for hearing notifications, including specific provisions to notify CLGs, as well as a provision that allows the SHPO to coordinate outreach efforts with local governments. The revised rule also now includes provisions for comments from Oregon’s nine federally-recognized Native American tribes.

OPRD will accept public comments on the proposed changes through 5 p.m. Aug. 31, 2020. Comments can be made online, in writing or via email:

After reviewing public comments, OPRD staff plan to present a final recommended rule for consideration to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The full text of the proposed change is available online: oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx

Properties listed in the National Register are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Eligible for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements.

National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs. State law requires local governments to review the demolition or relocation of all properties listed in the National Register at a public hearing, and allows local governments to add additional regulations following a formal public process. Learn more about the National Register of Historic Places program in Oregon at oregon.gov/oprd/OH/pages/national-register.aspx.

Salmonberry Trail meeting set for August 7, 2020 - 07/27/20

News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Department // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // July 27, 2020

Media Contact:
Dennis Wiley
503-986-0723
dennis.wiley@oregon.gov

Salmonberry Trail meeting set for August 7

SALEM, Ore. - The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) will meet virtually to discuss the proposed Salmonberry Trail corridor from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on August 7. The public can view the proceedings on Youtube at https://bit.ly/stiavideo.

Items to be discussed include updates on the Salmonberry Trail Foundation and status of the current River and Canyon Segment planning study.

The proposed Salmonberry Trail is an 86-mile corridor that follows the Port of Tillamook Bay Railway connecting Tillamook and the city of Banks in Washington County. The proposed route connects eight cities and two counties, passing by the Oregon coastline, fisheries, farmland and through the Oregon Coast Range.

STIA was established to promote and facilitate coordinated direction and guidance in the planning, long-term development and eventual maintenance of the multi-use trail.

For more information or if you’d like to submit public comment for board members to review contact Dennis Wiley, Salmonberry Trail project manager, dennis.wiley@oregon.gov. at least 3 days prior to the meeting.

# # #

Hot weather, cold water raise safety alert - 07/22/20

As people flock to the water to cool off this summer, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) remind people to play it safe at Oregon’s beaches, lakes and rivers.

Be Safe Exploring the Beach

The Pacific Ocean is a powerful force, and all visitors should know how to stay safe and teach children the same. Even the strongest swimmers can be vulnerable to rip currents — fast-moving channels that flow out to sea. Choppy dark water and floating debris serve as warnings of rip currents.

“If you become caught in a rip current, don’t panic,” said Robert Smith, who coordinates OPRD’s safety program. “Swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the rip, then swim back to the beach.”

Climbing or hiking along beachside cliffs can be extremely dangerous. Cliff edges may look stable, but many can crumble easily with the slightest weight. “Taking one step closer to the edge may be all that is needed to crumble a bluff,” Smith said. “Please stay on trails, respect signs and stay behind fences.”

More beach safety tips are at stateparks.oregon.gov.

Safety Tips for Rivers and Lakes

Be aware that rivers fed by snowmelt run cold even on hot days. And swift currents hidden beneath the surface can catch swimmers off guard.

“If you get caught in the current, know how to float with your feet pointing downstream and have your life jacket straps secured to the jacket so they don’t get tangled in any underwater snags,” said Ashley Massey, spokeswoman for OSMB.

Visitors heading out to a lake or river that typically has a life jacket loaner station will need to bring their own. OSMB and OPRD closed all loaner stations for 2020 due to sanitation concerns related to COVID-19.

“The Marine Board supports closing the stations to protect public health, and recommends visitors bring — and wear — their own jackets,” Massey said. “Accidents happen quickly, and there isn’t time to put on a jacket in the middle of an emergency.”

For information on proper fit and caring for your life jacket, visit oregon.gov/osmb/boater-info/Pages/Life-Jackets.

Water Recreation and COVID-19

It is important to follow these safety tips every summer, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when first responders are stretched thin and worry about exposure to the virus.

When selecting a spot to splash, visitors should choose one close to home and be ready to turn back if the parking lot is full. Visitors should bring everything they need to avoid making unnecessary stops.

Additionally, visitors are asked to wear face covers in tight outdoor spaces such as trailheads, docks and boat ramps.

“Help us keep parks and beaches open by following these precautions and ensuring these areas are safer for everyone,” said Jo Niehaus, spokeswoman for OPRD.

For additional tips about safe recreation during the pandemic, visit OPRD’s COVID-19 Day-use Guide. Recreational boating information is at oregon.gov/osmb/info/Pages/COVID-19.

Oregon Heritage Commission to meet August 3 - 07/20/20

The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet via teleconference on August 3 at 9am. The agenda includes Oregon Heritage Tradition discussion, Oregon Cultural Trust partner funds approval, updates on the Oregon Heritage MentorCorps, 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 503-986-0671 or katie.henry@oregon.gov

Commission meetings are open to the public and their agendas include opportunities for public comment. The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. 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 call-in details and the agenda or more information about the commission, visit www.oregonheritage.org.

Public comments accepted through Aug. 14 for updates to state rules for National Register Program - 07/20/20

CORRECTION to 7/17/20 news release: The National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs. 

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Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is accepting public comments on proposed changes to rules governing how the state protects important historical places.                                                  

The state is proposing updates to the Oregon Administrative Rules that govern how the state administers the federal National Register of Historic Places Program, which lists buildings, districts and other sites important to local, state or national history. The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) — an office of OPRD — administers the local program, which is run by the National Park Service.

In the last several years, several high-profile, controversial nominations exposed problems with the National Register process, including determining owner consent and public involvement. Proposed changes seek to establish a fair and transparent process in alignment with federal requirements.

“We’re moving to fix those issues and refine the state rules to work better for Oregonians,” said Ian Johnson, associate deputy state historic preservation officer.

OPRD developed draft rules with the help of a committee of appointed members from state, county and local governments; preservation and natural resource organizations; and citizens with an interest in the National Register program.

OPRD will accept public comments on the proposed changes through 5 p.m. August 14, 2020. Comments can be made online, in writing or via email:

After reviewing public comments, OPRD staff plan to present a final recommended rule for consideration to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The full text of the proposed change is available online: oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx

Properties listed in the National Register are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Eligible for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements.

National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs. Learn more about the National Register of Historic Places program in Oregon at oregon.gov/oprd/OH/pages/national-register.aspx

 

Public invited to comment on federal preservation grant award in Benton County - 07/20/20

Public invited to comment on federal preservation grant award in Benton County

 

Benton County received a grant through the federal Historic Preservation Fund, administered by Oregon State Historic Preservation Office to fund the following local preservation projects.

 

31615 Fern Road - Independent Schoolhouse
Improve ADA access at schoolhouse.

 

27555 Greenberry Road - Willamette Grange
Repair portico and siding.

 

This notice serves to make the public aware of the projects and solicit comments pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The comment period is open for 30 days from the date of this announcement. To provide comments or learn more information about this project visit the federal grant public comment section of our website or contact Kuri Gill at i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

 

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 authorizes a program of federal matching grants, known as the Historic Preservation Fund, to assist the various states in carrying out historic preservation activities. The Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and in Oregon, is administered through the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov.

 

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Great Oregon Steam-up designated an Oregon Heritage Tradition - 07/20/20

Brooks, Oregon

The Great Oregon Steam-up, a long-standing Oregon event, marks its upcoming 50th 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 character of the state,” said Chelsea Rose, the commission’s chair. “The Great Oregon Steam-Up helps us celebrate Oregon’s agricultural history and learn about the early machinery and innovation that modern machines, vehicles, and farm equipment are based on.”

The Great Oregon Steam-up began in 1970 by a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of steam powered equipment and antique farm machinery and implements. The mission is to educate the public about the history and operation of machines. Today the Great Oregon Steam-up continues to serve as a gathering for “steam fiends” and the public. You can see equipment such as an operating gas engine that ran a dredge on the Snake River in the early 1900s and a steam powered sawmill that ran in an Oregon mill. 

“What sets the Steam-Up apart from other events is the scale,” said Steam-up representatives. “Nothing else like this exists in Oregon. Additionally, each of the fourteen partner museums on campus step forward to showcase their museum.”

The Great Oregon Steam-Up wouldn’t be possible without the over 700 volunteers who maintain the site and run the event. The event adds to the impact of heritage tourism in Oregon and was recently named #9 in the 100 Best Fan-Favorite Destinations in Oregon. On average, the event brings in a total of 15,000 people over the course of it’s two weekends.  

This is an unusual year for Heritage Traditions. COVID-19 has forced many events to cancel or restructure for the first time in their 50+ year history. The only other time Oregon Heritage events have canceled has been due to WWI and WWII. This summer the Great Oregon Steam-up will be canceled, but Powerland Heritage Park will present 'Rollin' Thru Steam-Up', a drive through celebration of the innovations, stories, equipment and people that the campus of non-profits celebrates. During three remaining summer weekends guests can drive through Powerland’s sixty-two acre campus and enjoy the sites and features the independent museums and organizations have to offer. The gate fee of $20 per vehicle will help ensure the future of the Great Oregon Steam-Up. Remaining event weekends: July 25th & 26th, August 1st & 2nd, 22nd & 23rd. Gates open 9am-5pm – family friendly.

More information can be found on their website at: www.powerlandheritagepark.com.

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.

Loss of lottery bond sales eliminates funding for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization grant - 07/10/20

Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant funding was part of a 2019 legislature approved lottery bond package scheduled for spring 2021. The sale of the bond package has been canceled due lottery shortfalls from the impacts of COVID-19. Without the $5,000,000 expected from the sale or additional action by the legislature, a new round of grants can’t be awarded.

 

This is a devastating blow to Oregon’s 93 historic downtowns and organizations that participate in the Oregon Main Street Network. They have struggled these past several months to meet the challenges their communities are facing during the pandemic. They have been vital to the preservation of jobs, businesses, and community resilience. Many have already been preparing for the application process slated to open in January, 2021.

 

The grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session, and placed with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. The grant funds building acquisition, rehabilitation, or construction projects that support community revitalization in Oregon Main Street Network communities. The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities as defined in the bill.

 

The legislation established a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant, and provided an initial infusion of funds from the sale of lottery bonds. Subsequent funding through the sale of lottery bonds was approved in 2017 and 2019. While the 2019 approved funding is now unlikely, the fund itself remains and can be replenished by other sources including other government and private funds.

 

The first two grants cycles resulted in awards for 56 projects in 37 communities. Awards were spread all over the state, from Enterprise to Lakeview to Gold Beach to Astoria, and included 30 communities under 30,000 population. Types of projects funded include:

  • Full restoration of several buildings, some decades vacant, including the Central Hotel in Burns, Merwyn Building in Astoria, Mills Garage in Independence, Au Franc Building in Port Orford, IOOF Building in La Grande.
  • Creation of new or improved residential units including eleven new apartments in Coos Bay, six apartments and retail upgrades in Cottage Grove, two projects to support a total of 24 units in Klamath Falls, 40 new units in Astoria, four new apartments in Tillamook, renovation of five apartments in Reedsport, three new spaces in The Dalles, and 10-12 new units in Woodburn.
  • Façade restorations including a model block program coordinated by Revitalize Downtown Stayton that includes improvements on seven of nine properties in downtown. Other facade improvements include the Litch Building in Enterprise, Riviera Building in Astoria, Railroad Avenue buildings and The Coin in Oregon City, Morris Miles & Co Building in Newberg, and Alberta district in Portland.
  • Structural and roof repairs including five properties in Reedsport, two buildings in Baker City, the historic Masonic Building in Bandon, the Hill Theater (antique store) in Hillsboro, the Bungalow Theater & Museum building in Woodburn, and one building each in Dallas and Weston.
  • Historic Theater acquisition and improvements including purchase of the Alger Theater in Lakeview, and improvements to the Liberty Theater in La Grande, Columbia Theater in St. Helens, OK Theatre in Enterprise, and Rivoli Theater in Pendleton.

To learn more about the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant or the Oregon Main Street Network, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

 

Williams Avenue YWCA
Williams Avenue YWCA
National Park Service Lists African American Resources in Portland in the National Register of Historic Places (Photo) - 07/07/20

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two National Register nominations recommended by Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) at their February 2020 meeting have been accepted by the National Park Service and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

These important documents outline the history of African Americans in Portland Oregon. The African American Resources in Portland from 1851- 1973 Multiple Property Document provides a comprehensive history and tool for future listings of other African American properties. The Williams Avenue YWCA building has been a dedicated place over time for African American organizations to gather for socialization, recreation, and activism.

This effort is in line with Oregon’s Statewide Preservation Plan that seeks to diversify the resources listed in the National Register and continue to tell the stories and uplift the voices of those previously marginalized. The African American MPD serves as a tool that also supports Goal 1 of the Oregon Heritage Plan. By including more voices in the stories told of Oregon’s past, Oregonians can think critically about history and work to accurately depict a more complete historical narrative of Oregon. Understanding all aspects of Oregon’s history allows one to reckon with the past and have better conversations about the present.

“Numerous National Register properties are listed in Portland, however, there are many more places that tell the diverse history of Oregon that have yet to be listed,” says Christine Curran, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. “The African American MPD will be a useful tool to increase the diversity of nominations and tell a richer and fuller story of Oregon’s past.”

As part of a Certified Local Government grant, the City of Portland worked with Kim Moreland, Raymond Burrell, and Cathy Galbraith to complete two documents related to Portland’s African American history. The idea was to create a context document that would make it easier to list those places significant for Portland’s African American community.

“The Architectural Heritage Center, Oregon Black Pioneers, Portland African American Leadership Forum, and countless individuals have long called for recognition and designation of important African American historic sites.” Explains Brandon Spencer-Hartle, City Planner in the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability. “The listing of this MPD in the National Register is long overdue and will serve as a model for prioritizing and protecting Portland’s important BIPOC spaces, many of which have been inexcusably and deliberately overlooked by past planning efforts.”

Williams Avenue YWCA – Currently the Billy Webb Elks Lodge #1050 at 6 N. Tillamook St., the building has long been a dedicated place for the African American community. The early history of the property has a special association with African American women’s history, as the site was developed by the African American branch of the YWCA. The Portland branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) located its offices in the basement of the building from 1956 through 1964, and the Oregon Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, Urban League of Portland, and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) also held gatherings in its meeting rooms, auditorium, and lounge space. After more than nine decades of continuous association with Portland’s African American community, the building remains owned and occupied by a historically African American organization (the Billy Webb Elks of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World, or IBPOEW).

African American Resources in Portland, from 1851 to 1973 Multiple Property Document - This document provides an overview of the history of African Americans in Portland through seven different historical contexts and establishes a framework for identifying and listing Portland’s African American resources in the National Register of Historic Places. This thematic document provides resources and guidance for individuals interested in listing properties in the National Register. If anyone is interested in listing a significant African American resource in Portland or would like to learn more about how to use this document, please contact Robert Olguin at obert.olguin@oregon.gov">Robert.olguin@oregon.gov

Thematic Contexts discussed in the document include:

  • African Americans in Early Oregon
  • Business and Employment
  • Entertainment and Recreation
  • Religion and Worship
  • Settlement Patterns
  • Journalism
  • Benevolent and Fraternal Societies
  • Civil Rights

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 lists is online at oregonheritage.org (listed under “Designate”).

Properties listed in the National Register are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state, or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Qualify for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements;
  • Subject to local laws pertaining to the conservation and protection of historic resources.

National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the state or federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs.

Attached Media Files: Williams Avenue YWCA