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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.
Update on wildfire in northwest corner of Fort Stevens State Park - 08/04/15
Hammond OR - On Monday, Aug. 3 shortly before 6 p.m., Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff reported a grass fire in Fort Stevens State Park, on the South Jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River. Warrenton Fire Department responded with assistance from local Oregon Department of Forestry units. The fire is currently 15 percent contained. A road along the jetty will remain closed today starting at Parking Lot B.

The fire burned through beach grass, shore pine and driftwood currently covering 27 acres, and no cause has been determined. No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported. The site is more than 2 miles from the campground. Operations at the campground remain normal.

Fire crews responded with ground crews and a helicopter to douse the flames. More than 20 firefighters responded--10 from Warrenton, 10 from the Oregon Department of Forestry and additional help from a Department of Corrections crew. Warrenton crews will be released today as the Oregon Department of Forestry assumes command of the fire with 40 firefighters and equipment operators. For more information on this fire, contact Ashley Lertora, Oregon Department of Forestry PIO, at 503-338-8442 or Ashley.M.Lertora@oregon.gov.

Campfires in designated rings are still permitted in the Fort Stevens State Park campground, but staff remind visitors to attend all fires, and douse them thoroughly when finished. Smoking is prohibited in all state parks except in personal vehicles and in designated campsites.
Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council to meet in Lebanon Aug. 7 - 08/04/15
Lebanon OR -- The Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. August 7 at Samaritan Health Services, 525 N Santiam Hwy, Lebanon. The council invites public comments. The council will hear from many local trail managers and trail advocates on local trail projects and will review the Santiam Wagon Trail as a potential State Scenic Trail.

The Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) was established by the Legislature in 1971 to advise the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and to promote non-motorized trail recreation and development in Oregon. The Council is made up of seven volunteer members appointed by the Oregon Park and Recreation Commission to represent the five Oregon congressional districts. The Council meets four times annually in different locations across the state. For more information about the meeting or about ORTAC, contact Rocky Houston, State Trails Coordinator, at (503) 986-0750, rocky.houston@oregon.gov.
Updated state park campfire restrictions - 08/04/15
Salem OR - State Park campfire restrictions are in place in the Columbia Gorge, middle and southern portions of the Willamette Valley, on southern Oregon coastal beaches, and a few locations east of the Cascades.

++Columbia Gorge++
Where: Ainsworth, Viento, Memaloose, Deschutes River State Recreation Area and all day-use parks.
What: No campfires or charcoal briquettes. Gas stoves OK.

++Willamette Valley++
Where: Detroit Lake, Mongold, Cascadia, Elijah Bristow, Lowell, Jasper, and all parks around Fall Creek Reservoir.
What: No campfires or charcoal briquettes. Gas stoves OK.

++East of the Cascades++
Where: Remote camping locations around Prineville Reservoir (developed campgrounds at Prineville State Park and Jasper Point not restricted).
What: No campfires or charcoal briquettes. Gas stoves OK.

Where: Cottonwood Canyon.
What: No campfires. Charcoal briquettes and gas stoves OK in campground, gas stoves only outside of campground.

++Southern Oregon Coastal Beaches++
Where: All beaches and state park day-use sites from Coos Bay south to the California border. Developed campgrounds not restricted.
What: No fires or charcoal briquettes. Gas stoves OK.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Even where fires are allowed, visitors need to exercise caution. Build fires only in fire rings. Attend all fires. Don't build them larger than necessary. Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby, and douse thoroughly when finished. Smoking is not permitted in state parks except in personal vehicles and designated campsites.

Conditions change rapidly. Before you visit, check oregonstateparks.org for updates.
Comments sought on proposed changes to state park reservation system - 08/04/15
Salem OR - The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is seeking comments on proposed rules that would amend the Oregon State Parks reservation process.

The changes ...

1) Provide better customer service by reducing the reservation window from two days to one day, allowing customers more flexibility;

2) Simplify the reservation cancellation process to provide one point of contact and allow cancellations on the web;

3) Reduce the deadline for cancellations and changes from one month to three days prior to arrival for deluxe cabins, deluxe yurts and horse camps which will reduce financial penalties on customers;

4) Refine the rules for group camping to focus on the groups with the most impact on park resources and improve operational efficiency; and

5) Clean up rule language, removing references to old programs.

OPRD is seeking public comment on these proposed rule changes through August 28, 2015. Comments will be taken by email, and through a series of five public hearings in August.

The proposed rule change will more closely align current cancellation practices, reservation timeframes, and department terminology with rule language. Changes to the cancellation and site change policy for deluxe cabins, deluxe yurts and horse camps will allow customers who use those facilities more flexibility without financial penalties when their plans change. Another rule change is intended to help the department manage large groups who want to camp together in campgrounds designed for individual camping. The major change to the group rules is the elimination of the reservation fee waiver. Other proposed changes for groups are a waiver of the cancellation fee and changing the number of sites that qualify for group camping from ten to twenty. A copy of the proposed rule language and other details regarding the proposed rule changes can be found at: http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/RULES/Pages/Rulemaking Notices.aspx

Public comments will be accepted through August 28th and can be sent to the department through regular mail (Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: Public Comment, 725 Summer St NE, Suite C, Salem OR 97301), by e-mail (oprd.publiccomment@oregon.gov), or in person at one of five public hearings scheduled in August. Those who wish to make public comment at one of the hearings must register with the hearing officer within thirty minutes of the listed start time listed below.

* 8/19/2015 - 6:30 PM - Sunset Bay State Park Meeting Hall, 89814 Cape Arago Hwy, Coos Bay, OR

* 8/22/2015 - 9:00 AM - Tryon Creek State Park - Nature Center, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR

* 8/24/2015 - 6:30 PM - Tryon Creek State Park - Nature Center, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR

* 8/25/2015 - 6:30 PM - Valley River Inn, Alsea Room, 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene, OR

* 8/27/2015 - 6:30 PM - Pine Ridge Inn, 1200 SW Mt. Bachelor Drive, Bend, OR
Curran appointed deputy state historic preservation officer - 08/03/15
Christine Curran, with nearly a quarter-century of experience in historic preservation, has been named Oregon's new deputy state historic preservation officer.

"We are all very excited to have Chrissy on board as the deputy state historic preservation officer," said Lisa Sumption, the state's historic preservation officer and director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. "Chrissy was chosen based on her experience of higher-level management of multi-disciplined programs and her vision for the State Historic Preservation Office and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department programs. We look forward to the great work she will continue to do."

Curran joined the Oregon preservation office 16 years ago and has worked as National Register coordinator, federal and state compliance coordinator, and as associate deputy state historic preservation officer. She has been the acting deputy state historic preservation officer for the past six months.

A native Oregonian, Curran received her undergraduate degree from Lewis and Clark College, and her master of science from the University of Oregon's historic preservation program. She worked for Oregon Department of Transportation and consulting firms in Oregon, Arizona, and Minnesota before landing at the State Historic Preservation Office in 1999.

In her new role, Curran will be responsible for the State Historic Preservation Office and the other state heritage programs located within the Heritage Division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, including the Oregon Heritage Commission, the Oregon Main Street Program, the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries, and others.
Attached Media Files: news release
Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway ride set for Sept. 19-20 - 08/03/15
The Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway is one of the best-of-the-best road bike routes in Oregon. Join a fully supported bicycle tour of the route Sept. 19-20, complete with sag wagons, food and mechanic support.

The fourth annual Blue Mountain Century Ride is hosted by local bikeway leaders and starts Sept. 19 with a shuttle from Heppner to Ukiah where the ride begins. The first day ends back in Heppner with a barbecue dinner. The morning of Sept. 20 the riders head back to Ukiah. At the end of the day, a shuttle will take cyclists and bikes back to Heppner. The ride route allows riders to stay in the same hotel or campsite for Friday and Saturday nights. The Blue Mountain bikeway offers some of the most remote and extreme road riding in Oregon, so riders will be especially glad for the lunch and water supplied and carried by the ride organizers.

The cost, including ride support and barbecue dinner, one lunch and sag support is $75. More information and registration details are available at http://www.heppnerchamber.com/recreation-cycling.

Visit www.rideoregonride.com for information on all Oregon Scenic Bikeways.
Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway inaugural ride set for Sept. 19-20 - 08/03/15
The Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway is one of the best-of-the-best road bike routes in Oregon. Join a fully supported bicycle tour of the route Sept. 19-20, complete with sag wagons, food, mechanic support and luggage shuttles.

The Cascading Rivers inaugural event, hosted by local bikeway leaders, offers 12-mile and 42-mile options, or a 144-mile, two-day option. The 12-mile route is family friendly with most of the route on a paved road closed to motor vehicles. The 42-mile option is an out-and-back ride. The two-day, extreme ride climbs more than 3,000 feet each day, and 3,000 feet of descending. All options leave from Estacada. Cyclists on the two-day event will stay overnight at a Detroit hotel or Detroit Lake State Park (cost not included with registration).

The ride costs are $12 for the 12-mile option and $50 for the 42-mile option. The two-day option includes ride support, two lunches, breakfast and an after ride meal for $85. More information and registration details are available at https://www.athletepath.com/cascading-rivers-ride/2015-08-01.

Visit www.rideoregonride.com for information on all Oregon Scenic Bikeways.
Bates State Park hosts Star Party Aug. 14 - 08/03/15
New moon and Perseids meteor shower pair for perfect night sky watching

Prairie City, OR - The night sky over Bates State Park will set the scene for a Star Party Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Local amateur astronomers and volunteers from Redmond will join the party with telescopes for visitors to view summer constellations, star clusters and planets.

"We are fortunate in rural eastern Oregon to have incredible dark night skies, with little to no light pollution," said Park Manager Dennis Bradley. "Add a new moon and the Perseids meteor shower to the mix, and we have the perfect formula for an unforgettable evening."

The Perseids meteor shower produces up to 60 bright meteors per hour from mid-July through late August, peaking this year Aug. 12-13. The night sky will be darker than usual on Aug. 14 because the new moon will not be visible and thus no moonlight.

That evening, stargazers can also enjoy an old-fashioned campfire and hear stories from folks who lived in Bates when it was still a thriving logging town. Visitors can sing campfire songs, roast marshmallows and munch on s'mores provided by the park. The event and day-use parking are free.

Saturday morning take a tour of nearby Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area and the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Area museum in John Day. Both the dredge and museum are free.
Bates State Park has 28 primitive or "non-hook-up" sites available first-come, first-served. Pitch your tent or sleep under the stars. Bates State Park is 30 miles northeast of John Day located on Middle Fork Lane off Highway 7, one mile north of its intersection with U.S. 26 at Austin Junction. More park information and directions are available at www.oregonstateparks.org/
New state park on the coast between Tierra del Mar and Cape Lookout in Tillamook County.
New state park on the coast between Tierra del Mar and Cape Lookout in Tillamook County.
Date change for meetings to plan new state park near Tierra del Mar (Photo) - 07/31/15
Pacific City OR -- Meetings originally set for August 6 in Pacific City to kick off planning for a new state park on the Beltz property north of Tierra del Mar have been rescheduled to August 27. A desire to avoid overlapping with the Tillamook County Fair prompted the change.

The new meeting date is Thursday, August 27 at the Kiawanda Community Center, 34600 Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City 97135. An advisory committee will meet from 1-4 p.m. The public meeting will follow from 6-8 p.m.. The public may attend and observe the advisory committee meeting, however only comments from the committee will be taken at this meeting. Everyone is welcome to participate in the evening meeting.

A neighborhood meeting on the same topic on August 1 in the Tierra del Mar Meeting Hall will still occur as scheduled.

More information on planning for the unnamed park is available online at http://beltzplan.com/