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News Releases
Committee to review museum grant applications - 05/13/21

On May 27, 2021 the Oregon Museum Grant committee will meet to score and rank the applications for the Oregon Museum Grant program. The recommendations from the committee will be forwarded to the Oregon Heritage Commission for final review and approval on June 7, 2021. The meeting will be held by teleconference at 9:00 a.m. interested parties may access the meeting by Zoom. The meeting agenda includes the access information.

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.

Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling 503-98600690 at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting. For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov.

Committee meets virtually May 25 to review grant applications for recreation projects - 05/12/21

The County Opportunity Grant Program Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting to review grant applications from 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. May 25 via Zoom.

Applicants to the County Opportunity Grant Program (COGP) will present their proposed projects for acquiring, planning, developing and rehabilitating county-run camping facilities. The committee will evaluate and score all applications and create a priority ranking list of projects to be funded. The list will be forwarded to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission for final review and approval.

A schedule listing applicants and their specific presentation times is posted on the County Opportunity Grant Program web page at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/GRA/pages/GRA-cogp.aspx. A link to view the Zoom meeting will also be posted at the site.

The COGP Advisory Committee consists of seven members who represent counties, recreational vehicle owners, people with disabilities and the general public. They also represent various geographic areas of the state. 

The COGP was established in 1983 to direct a portion of revenue from recreational vehicle registration fees to counties for park and recreation sites and programs. All Oregon counties are eligible to apply. The program is administered by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). 

For more information about the COGP, visit oprdgrants.org.

Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council meets May 20 - 05/12/21

The Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) will meet 1 – 2:30 p.m. May 20 via web conference. The meeting includes a discussion of plans to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Recreation Trails System Act.

The meeting is open to the public. The agenda and link for the meeting is posted on the ORTAC website at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/BWT/Documents/ORTAC-Agenda-May-2021.pdf.

The Oregon Legislature passed the Oregon Recreation Trails System Act in 1971, laying the groundwork for Oregon’s development of a high quality system of non-motorized trails that connect communities and highlight the state’s natural beauty.

The Act included establishing ORTAC to advise Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and its partners in developing and promoting exceptional non-motorized trail systems throughout Oregon.

The council is made up of seven volunteer members representing the five congressional districts and two coastal representatives. Members are appointed by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

For more information, contact Program Coordinator Jodi Bellefeuille at 503-856-6316 or ellefeuille@oregon.gov">jodi.bellefeuille@oregon.gov.

Committee to review historic cemetery grant applications - 05/12/21

On May 26, 2021 the Oregon Historic Cemeteries Grant committee will meet to score and rank the applications for the Oregon Historic Cemeteries Grant program. The recommendations from the committee will be forwarded to the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries for final review and approval on June 4, 2021. The meeting will be held by teleconference at 9:00 a.m. interested parties may access the meeting by Zoom. The meeting agenda includes the access information.

State law established the seven-member Commission to maintain a listing of all historic cemeteries and gravesites in Oregon; promote public education on the significance of historic cemeteries; and help obtain financial and technical assistance for restoring, improving and maintaining their appearances.

Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling 503-98600690 at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting. For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: i.Gill@oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov.

Prineville Reservoir State Park certified as an International Dark Sky Park - 05/07/21

PRINEVILLE, Oregon — Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and the Oregon Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) are pleased to announce Prineville Reservoir State Park is a certified International Dark Sky Park, making it the newest addition to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Dark Sky Places Program. Prineville Reservoir is the first Oregon park and the second place in Oregon to be honored with the designation.

The certification recognizes the exceptional quality of the park’s night skies as well as the park’s efforts to install responsible lighting and educate the public about light pollution. Prineville Reservoir joins only 174 locations worldwide that have followed a rigorous application process for dark sky certification.  

“We are proud to help protect the night skies above Prineville Reservoir from light pollution and share Oregon’s incredible dark sky with visitors who may not be able to see the Milky Way from home,” said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption. “This designation is the result of the hard work of the staff at Prineville Reservoir and builds on their longtime dedication to astronomy education.”

“This designation makes Prineville Reservoir a premier destination for stargazing, driving overnight visitation and drawing tourism dollars to the region while enhancing quality of life for residents,” said Bob Hackett, Associate Director of Travel Southern Oregon.

Prineville Reservoir State Park was selected for its expansive dark skies that connect the growing central Oregon city of Bend and population centers west of the Cascade Mountains to the vast starry skies that envelope southeastern Oregon. As part of the application process, park staff replaced harsh outdoor lights with softer yellow and red lighting that reduces skyglow.

“The park offers a genuine night-sky experience for those coming from light polluted cities,” said Bill Kowalik, chair of the Oregon Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association. “Formal recognition of this International Dark Sky Park, located in rapidly growing central Oregon, will help to educate the public and decision makers about light pollution and the value of the night sky to people and to our greater wild ecosystem.”

The International Dark-Sky Association aims to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. The International Dark Sky Places Program was founded in 2001 as a non-regulatory and voluntary program to encourage communities, parks and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting polices and public education.

Editors: Photos are available in this gallery.

Parking lot closure begins in June at Driftwood Beach State Recreation Site for OSU wave energy project - 05/05/21

NEWPORT, Oregon – The Driftwood Beach State Recreation Site parking area will close as early as June 1 for the first phase of an Oregon State University (OSU) wave energy project. The beach in front of the park and a restroom will remain open to visitors. OSU is holding virtual town halls Monday, May 10 to explain the project.

During the closure, the Driftwood Beach parking lot will be open only to vehicle traffic associated with the project. Visitor parking and beach access are available at multiple nearby state parks including Seal Rock State Recreation Site, Governor Patterson Memorial State Recreation Site and Brian Booth State Park, which are all less than five miles from Driftwood Beach. Although the Driftwood Beach parking area will be closed, an on-site restroom will be available outside the construction area.

The closure is for initial work to connect OSU’s PacWave South wave energy test site to onshore components of the project. The work will include horizontal directional drilling deep beneath the park and ocean shore. Later subsea cable installation work will primarily be between 1 and 7 miles offshore.

The virtual town halls are set for:

Town Hall Meeting #1 on May 10, 2021 at 1 p.m.: https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/93265505728

Town Hall Meeting #2 on May 10, 2021 at 6 p.m.: https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/94557740261

More information about the town halls and how to attend are available at http://pacwaveenergy.org/, under the Construction Update section. The town halls will include construction updates and public question-and-answer sessions.

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OPRD accepting public comments on proposed changes to recreation grant rules - 05/03/21

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is accepting public comments on proposed changes to state rules for a federal grant program that funds outdoor recreation projects.

Comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. June 3 for proposed changes to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) that provides grants to local jurisdictions for acquiring or developing outdoor recreation facilities.

The proposed changes include updating definitions, aligning state rules with federal requirements, raising the minimum federal share on a project and updating application requirements. A full copy of the proposed amendments is available on the Proposed OPRD Rules web page.

A virtual public hearing will be held at 6  p.m. May 26 for anyone who would like to provide comment or learn more about the proposed rule change.  Registration is required to participate at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AC6nH4pESUm3cheBtG84XQ.

Comments may also be submitted any time through 5 p.m. June 3 via:

After reviewing public comments, agency staff will present a final amended rule for consideration by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission at its June 2021 business meeting.

OPRD administers the federally funded grant program, which was last updated in 1997. The LWCF typically awards about $1.5 million to qualified projects every other year. More information is on the LWCF web page.

Individuals who require special accommodations to view the meeting should contact Katie Gauthier at least three days in advance of the meeting at 503-510-9678 or katie.gauthier@oregon.gov.

Camping at Alfred A. Loeb State Park reopens May 17 - 04/29/21

Book reservations starting May 3

BROOKINGS — The campground at Alfred A. Loeb State Park will reopen May 17 after being closed for over a year due to revenue shortfalls and reduced staffing associated with COVID-19, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) announces. Visitors will be able to reserve campsites, cabins and group picnic areas starting at 6 a.m. May 3 for all stays May 17 and beyond.

Five of the 48 electrical sites will be first-come, first-served only, meaning these sites cannot be reserved. Traditionally, all campsites were first-come, first-served due to lack of high-speed connectivity. This created inefficiencies and inconsistencies to the process of administering campground stays, said Coastal Region Manager Dennis Comfort.

“Adding the park to the reservation system has been a long-term goal for OPRD,” Comfort said.  “It brings consistency to agency processes and to the visitor experience. Now anyone can enjoy this beautiful campground, with the peace of mind that you’ll arrive and a campsite will be available.”

Reservations can be made through Sep. 30 starting at 6 a.m. May 3 through OPRD’s partner site, oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling 800-452-5687. Camping is first-come, first-served starting Oct. 1.

Located 8 miles inland from Brookings along the Chetco River, the park features 48 electrical sites, three rustic cabins, three group picnic areas, flush restrooms and showers.  More information is on the Oregon State Parks official website at stateparks.oregon.gov.

Visitors should continue to follow safety protocols while visiting state parks: limit the size of gatherings, wear face coverings in congested areas, give space to others and wash hands often. For more information on what to expect while visiting state parks, visit the Oregon State Parks COVID-19 FAQ page.

Salmonberry Trail virtual meeting set for May 7 - 04/27/21

The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) will meet virtually to discuss the proposed Salmonberry Trail corridor 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. May 7. The public can view the proceedings via https://bit.ly/stiavideo.

On the agenda:

  • STIA 2021 budget
  • Salmonberry Trail Foundation project updates
  • STIA strategic direction

The proposed Salmonberry Trail is an 86-mile corridor that follows the Port of Tillamook Bay Railway and terminates in Banks. The proposed route connects eight cities and two counties, passing by the Oregon coastline, fisheries, farmland and the Oregon Coast Range.  More information is at salmonberrytrail.org.

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

To submit public comment for board members to review during the meeting, send comments to dennis.wiley@oregon.gov at least three days prior to the meeting.

Public invited to comment on federal preservation grant award in Astoria - 04/16/21

The City of Astoria received a grant through the federal Historic Preservation Fund, administered by Oregon State Historic Preservation Office to fund the following local preservation project.

1067 Duane - Install new awning reflective of the original based on historic photos.

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.