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Saturn, Jupiter and Venus to make stunning appearances during 16th annual Prineville Reservoir Star Party on May 16 - 05/06/15
Prineville, OR - Viewings of three brightly lit planets will be the highlight of a free Star Party at Prineville Reservoir State Park on Saturday, May 16. Saturn, with its striking rings, will be almost fully tilted towards earth and illuminated by the sun, making this mystical planet the brightest in eight years. Massive Jupiter will showcase its cloud bands and four bright moons, and Venus will appear as a brilliant thin crescent.

The Star Party begins at 1 p.m. in the day-use area with a variety of astronomy-related exhibits and activities for all ages. Visitors will be able to peer through "Big Doug," the park's 16-inch telescope. Solar telescopes will also be available during the day, allowing safe viewing of solar flares on the surface of the sun. Both professional and amateur astronomers will be on hand starting at dusk to help guide viewers in using the different types of telescopes and to point out significant features in the night sky. In addition, viewers will get a chance to witness colorful star clusters, nebulae (interstellar clouds of dust and gases), distant galaxies and a host of deep sky objects.

Volunteers from the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver are returning to co-sponsor the annual Star Party along with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The date was selected due to the combination of these nighttime phenomena and the fact that May's new moon will be just two nights later.

"With no moonlight to interfere with viewing, visitors can take full advantage of the starry night skies that are so well-known in this area," said Jill Nishball, OPRD Visitor Experiences Coordinator for the eastern half of the state. "Prineville Reservoir State Park--a prime spot along the lake surrounded by low mountains--is particularly well-known by astronomers as an excellent location for stargazing."

For visitors wishing to stay through the night, Prineville Reservoir State Park offers nearly 100 campsites for both RVs and tents, as well as five deluxe cabins at the main campground. All can be reserved online at www.oregonstateparks.org or by phone at 1-800-452-5687. Another 30 electrical hookup sites in the park's Jasper Point campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The park is located 16 miles southeast of Prineville on Southeast Juniper Canyon Road. More park information and directions are available at: www.oregonstateparks.org/
Preservation Month Fair May 28 at State Capitol - 05/04/15
May is National Historic Preservation Month and for Oregon communities throughout the state it's an opportunity to reflect on significant places, artifacts, and collections that help tell the stories of our past as well as to recognize contributions that individuals and organizations preserve those stories and places.

Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month with 28 heritage organizations displaying historic military vehicles, artifacts, and engaging exhibits that tell Oregon's story and highlight the contributions of individuals and organizations to local preservation projects.

On Thursday, May 28, Heritage Programs, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, will host the 7th Annual Preservation Month Fair at the State Capitol State Park in Salem. Community organizations and several state agencies will highlight the history of their institutions and their work to preserve important sites related to historic events, persons, and places.

The event will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the grounds of the State Capitol on the north side of Court Street, opposite the Capitol building. It is free and open to the public.

Participating exhibitors include the Willamette Heritage Center; Salem Landmarks Commission; Historic Deepwood Estate; Bush House Museum; Salem Pioneer Cemetery; Salem Museum of Mental Health; Oregon Military Museum and Historical Outreach Foundation; Oregon Aviation Historical Society; Philip Foster Farm National Historic Site; Friends of Timberline Lodge; Friends of the Oregon Caves Chateau; Oregon Black Pioneers; Hoover-Minthorn House Museum; Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House; Restore Oregon; University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History; Oregon State Parks with friends groups from Silver Falls and Champoeg State Parks and the Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Commission; Oregon Cultural Trust; Oregon Department of Forestry; Oregon Department of Transportation; Oregon State Capitol Foundation; Oregon State Archives, and the Oregon State Library.

The displays will include an operating World War II M3A1 Stuart Light Tank and a Korean War Jeep. A free tour of the Capitol dome will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the information kiosk in the Capitol.
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Attached Media Files: news release
Open house set to discuss special designation for the Peterson Ridge West Trail - 04/21/15
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is hosting an open house on May 6 to seek public comments on the designation of the Peterson Ridge West Trail in Sisters as a State Designated Regional Trail. The open house will be from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Aspen Lakes Golf Course Clubhouse, 16900 Aspen Lakes Drive, Sisters.

The State Trail Designation program was established in 1971 as part of the Recreational Trails Act to help promote Oregon's exceptional scenic beauty and excellent outdoor recreation opportunities. Oregon Scenic Trails are non-motorized trails that provide access to national, state or regionally significant scenery and showcase Oregon's natural gems. Scenic trails are longer than a mile, open to the public, substantially complete and lie on public lands or public rights-of-way or easements.

The Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council will use public comments gathered to assist in their recommendation to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission. For more information or to comment on the designation please contact Rocky Houston, State Trails Coordinator, at 503-986-0750 or rocky.houston@oregon.gov.
Several Heritage Conference sessions free to the public - 04/20/15
Several sessions Friday at the Oregon Heritage Conference will be free and open to the public. The conference is taking place at The Mill Hotel, 3201 Tremont Ave., North Bend.

The Oregon Heritage Conference brings together staff and volunteers from historical societies, historic landmark commissions, schools and universities, humanities groups, local and state agencies, museums, tourism and economic development organizations, federal agencies and tribal governments.

The three sessions free and open to the public are:
10 - 11:15 a.m. "Using Digital and Historic Maps in Storytelling" by Matthew Hampton, chief cartographer at Oregon Metro. Learn how GIS mapping experts take old maps and historic information and spin them into interesting and exciting interactive displays.

1 - 2:15 p.m. "Oregon's Underwater Heritage," by underwater archaeologists Jerry Ostermiller and Chris Dewey. Heritage is everywhere, even at the bottom of the ocean. Learn from two longtime archaeologists about artifacts and shipwrecks found off Oregon's coast as well as the methods and techniques used to discover and research these items

2:30 - 3:45 p.m. "Oregon's Heritage Fellows." Three Oregon university students who have been named Oregon Heritage Fellows by Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, will present on their topics. The Fellows, their schools and topics are:

Gennie Nguyen, University of Oregon. "Revisiting Vanport and Albina's Multicultural History."

David-Paul Hedberg, Portland State University. "Wilson Charley, protector of the 20th century Columbia River: Indigenous Leader, Environmental Activist and Conservationist."

Cayla Hill, Oregon State University. "The Expansion of Catholicism: An Archeological Exploration of St. Joseph's College, the first Catholic boarding school for boys within the Oregon Territory."

The conference is organized by Oregon Heritage and is co-sponsored by the Coquille Indian Tribe. For more information about the conference, visit www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/OHC/Pages/conference.aspx

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Diverse history presentations set by Oregon university students - 04/20/15
Three Oregon university students will present research findings April 24 at the Oregon Heritage Conference in North Bend. The presentations will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Salmon Room of the The Mill Hotel, 3201 Tremont St., and are free and open to the public.

The three students have been named Oregon Heritage Fellows by Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, based on the strength of both their scholastic achievement and their research topics. The fellowships encourage the thoughtful inquiry of Oregon's heritage by emerging scholars.

"The Fellows conduct original research into the diverse history of Oregon, often on topics that have drawn less attention from more-experienced historians," explains Chrissy Curran, assistant director with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. "We believe it is important that their research is presented to the public."

The Fellows, their schools and topics are:

Gennie Nguyen, University of Oregon. "Revisiting Vanport and Albina's Multicultural History."

David-Paul Hedberg, Portland State University. "Wilson Charley, protector of the 20th century Columbia River: Indigenous Leader, Environmental Activist and Conservationist."

Cayla Hill, Oregon State University. "The Expansion of Catholicism: An Archeological Exploration of St. Joseph's College, the first Catholic boarding school for boys within the Oregon Territory."

Eliza Canty-Jones, editor of the Oregon Historical Quarterly, will moderate the session.

The Oregon Heritage Conference April 23-25 brings together staff and volunteers from historical societies, historic landmark commissions, schools and universities, humanities groups, local and state agencies, museums, tourism and economic development organizations, federal agencies and tribal governments. To find more information and register for the conference, visit www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/OHC/Pages/conference.aspx

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Yellowtail jack, believed to be the variety from the western Pacific.
Yellowtail jack, believed to be the variety from the western Pacific.
Final update on disposal of suspected tsunami debris boat recovered off Oregon coast (Photo) - 04/14/15
News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // April 14, 2015

Media contact: Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept, Cell 503-931-2590

Final update on disposal of suspected tsunami debris boat recovered off Oregon coast

Newport OR -- A portion of a derelict boat towed into Newport, Oregon on April 9, 2015 was disposed of on Monday, April 13. Please refer to previous releases (http://tinyurl.com/derelictboat1 and http://tinyurl.com/derelictboat2) for details on the original sighting and recovery.

+ After being towed to the South Beach Marina in Newport on April 9, the boat was re-towed to Riverbend Marine Services on the Yaquina River upstream from the harbor April 10.

+ While still moored at the South Beach Marina, a group of yellowtail jacks and banded knifejaw fishes were removed from the boat's holding tanks and are in quarantine at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Preliminary examination indicates they are a variety of yellowtail jack from the western Pacific. A final determination about the origin of the yellowtail jacks will come through genetic testing. The knifejaw is also a species found in the waters around Japan, but not in the eastern Pacific near Oregon. After the quarantine period is over, the Oregon Coast Aquarium will move the fish to the Open Sea exhibit in Passages of the Deep for public display.

+ The debris was examined by Radiation Protection Services, part of the Public Health Division of the Oregon Department of Health. The survey did not find any signs of radiation above the normal, background level.

+ After emptying the holding tanks of water, the wreck was hoisted out of the river and most of the attached plants and animals were scraped off. Researchers with Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center collected additional samples of wood, plants, and animals for study.

+ This is the bow (front) section of a larger boat.

+ The entire object was taken in one piece to a landfill on Monday, April 13, and weighed 8,550 pounds.


Contact information for the Oregon Coast Aquarium:
Erin Paxton
Public Relations Coordinator
Oregon Coast Aquarium
a Non-Profit Organization
2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd / Newport, OR 97365
541.867.3474 x 5224 / 541.867.6846 (fax)
www.aquarium.org | oceanscape.aquarium.org

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Advisory Committee meets April 20 for the proposed Molalla River Scenic Waterway - 04/14/15
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is responsible for administering the State Scenic Waterways Program, which is designed to protect the existing scenic, natural and recreation values of 20 designated waterways throughout the state. OPRD is directed by statute (ORS 390.855) to periodically study new waterways for potential inclusion in the program. OPRD completed a study of a reach of the Molalla River in 2014. Based on the study's evaluation of eligibility and public input finding, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission directed OPRD to pilot test a draft management plan prior to forwarding their recommendation of the Molalla River to the governor.

The draft scenic waterway management plan advisory committee is meeting to kick off the draft management plan on April 20, 2015 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Molalla Public Library (201 E.5th St, Molalla). This is an advisory committee work session, but the public is invited to observe. The draft scenic waterway management plan will review the existing conditions of the proposed portion of the Molalla River and recommend the assignment of scenic waterway classifications for segments of the river. There are (6) types of scenic waterways classifications. The definition allows for management goals to be established for each segment based off of classification and other management recommendations.

For more information about the meeting or about the proposed Molalla River Scenic Waterway, please contact Rocky Houston at (503) 986-0750 / rocky.houston@oregon.gov or Laurel Hillmann at (503) 986-0700 / laurel.hillmann@oregon.gov.
Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards to be given to eight - 04/10/15
Individuals, organizations and projects that have made outstanding contributions to preserving Oregon heritage will receive Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards April 23 in North Bend. The public is invited to attend the presentation with pre-ticketing required.

"The award recipients represent the diversity of efforts to preserve Oregon's heritage," said Kyle Jansson, coordinator for the Oregon Heritage Commission. "They also serve as models for others for how to make the most out of available resources."

The recipients will be:

-- Whilamut Passage Bridge Project, Eugene and Springfield, for the Oregon Department of Transportation's community heritage approach to design and naming.

-- Balch Gulch Bridge Project, in recognition of the dedication and work by the Portland Bureau of Transportation to restore this historic 1905 bridge.

-- Morrow County, for the creative and important restoration of its historic courthouse tower and clock in Heppner.

-- Gayle Caldarazzo-Doty, Doug Doty and others for their vision, dedication and success in rehabilitating the Roth-McGilchrist Building in Salem.

-- Pop Up Museum Poster Project, for the creative and cooperative approach to making history publicly available by the Lane County Historical Society and the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House in Eugene.

-- Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archives, for its outstanding work to digitize and place online its audiovisual collections.

-- Shirley and Milt Nelson, in recognition of their 20 years of developing heritage resources on the South Coast.

-- Rosemary Johnson, for more than 25 years of outstanding work in preserving and developing heritage resources in Astoria and Clatsop County.

The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards are a project of Oregon Heritage, part of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. This year's awards are being presented in conjunction with the Oregon Heritage Conference.

Tickets for the awards presentation are available by completing the registration form at www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/OHC/Pages/conference.aspx. For more information, contact Kyle Jansson at 503-986-0673 or kyle.jansson@oregon.gov
Attached Media Files: News release
Update on derelict tsunami debris boat found off Oregon's coast - 04/10/15
News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // APRIL 10, 2015

Media Contact: Chris Havel, Director's Office, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Cell: 503-931-2590

Update on derelict tsunami debris boat found off Oregon's coast

Newport OR - A 25-30' section of a fiberglass boat spotted off Oregon's coast April 9 has been safely towed to Newport in Lincoln County. Dave Debeloy Enterprises of Newport hooked up to the object, suspected to be debris from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, late in the evening April 9 and returned to the harbor in the middle of the night.

The fragment is moored at a marina in Newport Bay. Biologists with the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center inspected the debris while it was still at sea and, after consulting with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, determined it posed a low threat of carrying invasive species.

Several live yellowtail jack fish, native to the west Pacific, will be removed later today and delivered into the care of the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The debris will be dewatered, inspected further by OSU researchers, then dismantled and disposed of in a local landfill.

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Note to assignment editors: The debris will be available for a video opportunity from 9-Noon today, April 10, at the South Beach Marina, near J Dock, next to the public launch. A map of the facility is online at http://www.portofnewport.com/rv-parks/map.pdf.pdf . Your contacts at the site are J.R. Collier, Operations Support Manager for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (cell 541-270-8235), and Caren Braby, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (cell 541-961-5352), and Erin Paxton, Public Relations Coordinator Oregon Coast Aquarium (desk 541-867-3474, ext. 5224, cell 541-283-3111, media@aquarium.org).
Several live fish (yellowtail jack) are present
Several live fish (yellowtail jack) are present
Suspected derelict tsunami debris boat located offshore near Seal Rock (Photo) - 04/09/15
News Release // Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. // FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // APRIL 9, 2015

Media Contact: Chris Havel, Director's Office, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Cell: 503-931-2590

Suspected derelict tsunami debris boat located offshore near Seal Rock

Waldport OR - A chunk of a fiberglass boat 25-30' long was spotted off the Oregon shore west of Ona Beach in Lincoln County around 9:30 a.m. April 9, 2015. The debris appears to be half to two-thirds of a larger vessel, possibly damaged and set adrift during the earthquake and tsunami that struck the east coast of Japan in 2011. As of 5 p.m. April 9, the debris was a few miles offshore. A team of Oregon state agencies are coordinating to retrieve the object in the next 24 hours before it reaches land.

Biologists with the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center inspected the low-floating object and, after consulting with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, determined the organisms still attached posed a low threat to the Oregon coast ecosystem. They did find several live specimens of a variety of yellowtail jack fish found in the coastal waters of Japan.

Using funds set aside for responding to tsunami debris, Riverbend Marine Services of Newport will attempt to retrieve the debris today and tow it to the Port of Newport, where port officials immediately offered their cooperation to temporarily store it. The debris will eventually be removed from water, studied by OSU researchers, then dismantled and disposed of in a local landfill. The surviving fish will be removed and delivered into the care of the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided mapping to predict the location of the object based on sightings. The U.S. Coast Guard broadcast a notice to boaters, and marked it with a life ring, and placed a data-transmitting buoy to help track the debris.

Agencies coordinating on this response include the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of State Lands, Oregon State University, Oregon State Police, Office of the Governor, U.S. Coast Guard, and NOAA.

Beach visitors and marine boaters are reminded to be on the lookout for any debris floating at sea. In an emergency, call 911. For less urgent reports, call 211 from any coastal county.

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Well-camouflaged eggs in plover nest on the Nehalem Spit
Well-camouflaged eggs in plover nest on the Nehalem Spit
Western Snowy Plovers Nesting on Nehalem Spit (Photo) - 04/08/15
A surprise sighting of a pair of western snowy plovers nesting on the spit south of Nehalem Bay State Park has Oregon State Parks staff on "bird alert." It also means some changes for beachgoers on the two-mile stretch of beach south of the park's day-use area.

"This is early in the year for snowy plovers to be nesting," said Oregon Parks and Recreation (OPRD) Wildlife Biologist Vanessa Blackstone, who discovered the nest April 3. "It's exciting news. This is the first time in 30 years that we have a confirmed nest here, and supports all the hard work Oregonians have done to help this species survive." Other adult male and female plovers have been seen along the spit in recent days as well.

The western snowy plover is a species protected by both federal and state statute. They nest in dry open sand, in tiny, shallow scrapes that are very well camouflaged. Not only are nests easy to miss (or step on), but the bird will abandon its eggs if disturbed too frequently.

Sightings of nests prompt special precautions in designated snowy plover management areas such as the southern portion of the Nehalem spit. Visitors will see signs on the dry sand in these shorebird conservation areas. This also means that all activities on the dry sand will be curtailed until the end of the nesting season September 15. People and horseback riders are welcome to walk along the wet sand on the entire spit, but dogs, even on leash, must use the three miles of beach north of the park's day-use area. Driving is already prohibited on the spit. As with dogs, bicycles--a kind of non-motorized vehicle under Oregon law-- are only allowed north of the area during the nesting season.

OPRD spokesperson Chris Havel said, "We're asking the public to respect any directions they may get from rangers, or from signs and designated areas." He emphasized that public recreation restrictions happen only in those areas targeted as special plover habitat, and only in nesting season. "If a plover pair nests outside the targeted beaches, we protect the nest, but public use of the beach doesn't change." On the north coast, approximately 5?1/2 miles of riverside or ocean beach divided among three areas are part of a snowy plover management area. The Nehalem Spit management area is approximately 2 miles long. The other two areas are portions of the Necanicum and Clatsop spits. More details can be found at bit.ly/wsplover. Videos, photos, and other updates of the new nest will be posted online. The park will present interpretive programs about plovers through the summer.

OPRD is legally responsible for managing recreation on Oregon's ocean shore. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) oversees the Endangered Species Act, and thus the status of the western snowy plover. OPRD's legal agreement with the USFWS, the Habitat Conservation Plan, spells out how to help the plover population recover.

In 2014, 338 adult plovers called Oregon home, an increase of approximately 10 percent over 2013's estimate of 304 adults. 2014 was also a promising year for fledglings, with 272 chicks surviving to learn to fly.