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Campfire at Minam State Recreation Area
Campfire at Minam State Recreation Area
Six tips to keep campfires safe and enjoyable this season (Photo) - 05/25/23

SALEM, Oregon – Gathering around the campfire is a highlight for many visitors at Oregon State Parks. If you follow some basic guidelines, you can enjoy this tradition safely and reduce the risk of injury and wildfires. 

Wildfire is a real danger in Oregon despite the wet and snowy spring. That’s why the No. 1 precaution you can take is to follow posted fire restrictions. At times, campfires and other open flames may be banned in campgrounds or on the beach.  

Restrictions can happen at any time and with little warning, depending on conditions. Be sure to research conditions for the area near where you’re camping just before you head out. Fire restrictions may be in place at the park, county or state level. The Oregon State Parks website will post the latest information about campfires in state parks.

Restrictions may be in place even though the park is far from any wildfires. When wildfires rage, emergency responders and firefighters need to be on the front lines. We ask campers to do their part to make sure an emergency at the campground doesn’t pull resources from the statewide firefighting effort. 

“If you’re camping with children or others who are new to outdoor recreation, it’s particularly important to review campfire safety practices,” said Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) associate director. “If you have a question or a concern, talk with a park ranger or camp host.”

OPRD offers these six tips for a safe and enjoyable campfire:

  1. Maintain campfire flames at knee height (no more than 2 feet high). A smaller flame helps prevent embers from rising into the trees or dry vegetation. If you see the wind stirring up embers, play it safe and put the fire out. 
  2. In a state park campground, only build campfires in the existing fire ring in your campsite. Fire rings are placed in areas with buffer zones and away from vegetation. 
  3. Always keep plenty of water on hand to safely put out the campfire. Douse the flames with water and stir the embers to make sure everything is wet. The stirring step is important: ash and wood debris often maintain heat. Repeat these steps until the fire no longer emits heat.
  4. Beach campfires should be on open sand and away from driftwood or vegetation and use only natural wood, rather than pallets or anything else that might have hidden nails or screws. Slowly pour water on your beach fire to put it out. Pouring water too quickly can cause hot sand to fly up. Don’t use sand to put out a beach fire. Covering the fire with sand will insulate the coals, keeping them hot enough to burn someone hours or days later. 
  5. For propane fire rings, follow the same safety precautions you would with a log-based campfire. The use of propane fire rings may be restricted depending on local conditions.
  6. Make sure everyone in your campsite is familiar with campfire safety, including children. Always keep an eye on your campfire; many accidental fires are started because campers left their fire unattended for “just a minute.” 

In addition to keeping your campfire safe, it’s also important to make sure your wood is free from invasive insects to keep our forests safe from the deadly emerald ash borer and other pests. Please do not bring firewood from outside the local area. Buy local firewood within 10 miles of your destination or buy certified heat-treated firewood.

During May, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, the Office of Emergency Management, Keep Oregon Green, the U.S. Forest Service, OPRD and other federal, state and local emergency and response agencies are encouraging the public to work together in their local communities to prevent the risk of wildfire.

Information about recreation and wildfire safety is at keeporegongreen.org. Visit stateparks.oregon.gov for information about Oregon State Parks including fire restrictions and safety guidelines


Committees to review historic property and archaeology grant applications - 05/17/23

Two separate committees will meet to score and rank applications for the Preserving Oregon and Diamonds in the Rough Grant programs. The recommendations from the committees will be forwarded to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation for final review and approval June 15, 2023. 

Both meetings will be online and in-person at 725 Summer St NE, Salem, Oregon. 

The Diamonds in the Rough Grant Review Committee will meet May 31, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Please see the agenda for access details. 

The Preserving Oregon Grant Review Committee will meet June 7, 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Please see the agenda for access details. 

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 information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: Kuri.Gill@oprd.oregon.gov

Frenchglen Hotel room
Frenchglen Hotel room
One historic hotel seeks its perfect match -- could it be you? (Photo) - 05/16/23

Nestled in the upper end of the Blitzen Valley with Steens Mountain in the distance, the Frenchglen Hotel awaits its perfect match – a concessionaire with business savvy to run its hotel and restaurant.

Are you the one? 

Do you enjoy the charms of rural Eastern Oregon surrounded by the high desert and mountain lakes or gazing upon glittering night skies untouched by city lights? 

Maybe you’re tempted by the proximity to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge or to the many hot springs nearby? Or is it seclusion you seek? The town of Frenchglen has a population of 12 with the next closest community, Burns, at least an hour away. 

This historic hotel has a lot to offer the winning proposal.

A little history: Built in 1917, the eight-room hotel served up accommodations and hot meals to travelers and ranch visitors. Now, 106 years later, the hotel has earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places and is welcoming even more guests with the addition of Drover’s Inn, which includes 4 additional rooms to rent with private bathrooms for a total of 12 reservable rooms on the property. There is also a caretaker’s house. 

Business is booming for the majority of the season (March 15 through October) followed by a closed season for quieter pursuits. 

This historic hotel and adjoining properties are turnkey ready for this season. All it needs is a new concessionaire after the retirement of its longtime operator. 

Still interested?

Here is what Frenchglen is seeking:

  • 3 years business background and experience in restaurants and hotels
  • designated business as S-corporation or limited liability corporation to meet land lease requirements
  • a modern touch to grow the business online with digital reservations
  • management experience as they will likely need 1 to 2 employees to help with the restaurant and hotel

Frenchglen is accepting proposals online. Candidates will need to register with Oregon Buys or submit completed proposals to Winona.Butler@oprd.oregon.gov. The deadline is 2 p.m. June 2, 2023. Don’t miss your chance with this historic gem. 

You can also make a visit during an open house 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 26. 

Disclosure: If this is a match made in heaven, the matchmaker and property owner, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, seeks 5% of revenue and $2,400 a month to maintain the historic property and its infrastructure. Last year the business reported $418,770 in revenue. 

Scenic Bikeways Committee to meet May 24 to discuss rules, plans and routes - 05/15/23

SALEM, Ore— The Scenic Bikeways Committee will meet 1- 3 p.m. May 24 via to discuss rulemaking updates, strategic planning, and route discussion. 

The meeting is open to the public. The agenda and link for the meeting is posted on the Scenic Bikeways website at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/BWT/Documents/2023-05-SBW-May-agenda.pdf  

The Scenic Bikeways program was established in 2009 by Cycle Oregon, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation. It now includes the state’s best 17 designated mostly-roadway bicycle routes to showcase our breathtaking landscapes, cultural treasures, and western hospitality. The program is currently managed under a partnership agreement between Cycle Oregon and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. 

The Scenic Bikeways committee is an advisory group for the management and designation of routes nominated by the public for state scenic bikeways designation. Its members include citizen representatives, tourism organization, local governments, and state agencies involved in bicycle recreation or transportation. 

For more information, contact program manager Clint Culpepper at 971-235-5994 or clint@cycleoregon.com. 

Veteran's Powwow at Valley of the Rogue in 2022. The event is open to all veterans
Veteran's Powwow at Valley of the Rogue in 2022. The event is open to all veterans
Free camping, day-use and activities to celebrate State Parks Day June 3 (Photo) - 05/15/23

Celebrate State Parks Day with free parking and free RV and tent site camping at all Oregon State Parks June 3 as well as special events at selected parks.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will waive day-use parking fees at the 25 locations that charge them June 3 and June 4. OPRD will also waive camping fees for all tent, RV and horse campsites June 3. 

State Parks Day has been a tradition since 1998 as a way to thank Oregonians for their support of the state park system over many decades.

“Oregon has one of the best state parks systems in the country, and it’s because you have invested in parks, cared for them and preserved them for everyone to enjoy. Thank you,” said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption. 

State Parks Day Events

Several free special events and service projects are planned June 3 to celebrate State Parks Day: 

  • Cove Palisades: Festival of the Land is a free festival that celebrates the diverse history, food and culture of Central Oregon 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes: archeology hikes, kids’ games and activities, petting “zoo”, mini farmers market, pollinator, wildfire and fish displays, fry bread and more.
  • Smith Rock: Trail Keepers of Oregon will lead a group of volunteers on some trail maintenance projects on trails in the park 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bring snacks, lunch, water and work gloves. Free. Registration required. 
  • Valley of the Rogue: Veteran’s Powwow 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 3 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4. The event includes a powwow ceremony with gourd dancing and vender booths. It is open to all veterans, tribal members or not.
  • Honeyman: An educational film screening will be held at the Amphitheater located in B loop overnight campground from 1 to 3 p.m. Park at the Sand Dunes Day use parking area and walk to the amphitheater, or find limited parking by the campground registration booth. This event is weather dependent.
  • L.L. Stub Stewart: The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park will have booths and tables set up all around the Welcome Center building dedicated to local fire departments, state forestry agencies and volunteer organizations. Free snacks and refreshments provided by the friends group, in addition to arts and crafts activities and interpretive displays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Luckiamute: Discover the birds that call Luckiamute Natural Area home by participating in Bird Bingo 9 a.m. to noon. Register online. Participants who pre-register will receive a bingo card on the day of the event that consists of birds and plants that are common in the park. The activity begins with a Ranger led casual stroll along the North Luckiamute Trail. We will supply Binoculars to all registered participants. 
  • Sitka Sedge: Join Park staff for a guided hike at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area to learn about the local plants and wildlife 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at the Sitka Sedge State Natural Area Parking Lot off of Sandlake Road. Dress for the weather, bring water and a snack. The first half mile is flat on packed gravel that is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.

Fishing is also free statewide June 3 and 4, courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Learn more at https://myodfw.com/articles/2023-free-fishing-days-and-events

For camping availability, please check oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com or visit first-come-first served sites: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=reserve.first-come

About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks comprising more than 100,000 acres. Learn more at stateparks.oregon.gov

New festival celebrates diverse history, food & culture of Cove Palisades June 3 (Photo) - 05/15/23

The Festival of The Land will celebrate the diverse history, food and cultures from Central Oregon 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 3. 

Since time immemorial people have traveled to the Crooked River and the Deschutes River canyons to hunt, trap, fish or grow food. Many cultures have made this area home, and each brings a diversity of experiences to share. This multicultural event looks at the food and resources that drew many cultures to this area and what inspires us all now to steward this land for the future.

This festival is part of State Parks Day, an annual celebration that offers free camping and day-use the first Saturday in June at Oregon State Parks. It is one of seven events on June 3 this year in addition to free camping and day use. 

Festival of the Land visitors will have an opportunity to learn about the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, vaqueros who rode and roped on cattle ranches, wheat farmers who came from Grandview and Geneva and the cove’s orchard that once was the primary source of fresh fruit for Central Oregon. Oregon State University now uses the land for research of best practices. 

The event includes:

  • History, culture and wildlife displays
  • Dutch oven cooking demonstrations
  • Archeology hikes
  • Kids’ games and activities
  • Petting “zoo”
  • Mini farmers market, pollinator, wildfire and fish displays, fry bread and more

Parking is free but will be limited. Additional parking will be available with a shuttle service from the Crooked River Campground area.

The event was made possible through the generous support of PGE and the Rotary Club of Jefferson County as well as several community groups, organizations and nonprofits. Learn more about the event on the facebook page or event page.

Two sinkholes at Cape Kiwanda
Two sinkholes at Cape Kiwanda
Second sinkhole forms at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, please use caution (Photo) - 05/09/23

PACIFIC CITY, Ore— Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is asking visitors to use caution and to stay away from the area where a second sinkhole has formed at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. 

The second sinkhole was discovered Monday about 10 inches away from the first, which appeared in January. The new sinkhole measures about 10 feet across and about 30 feet deep and developed within the safety fence of the first sinkhole in the northwest corner of the lower dune.

Park staff learned about the additional sinkhole late Monday evening when a photo was posted on social media. They expanded the safety fence early Tuesday around both sinkholes to keep park visitors at a safer distance. 

"We ask that visitors respect this barrier and all park safety barriers and that they keep pets on leashes and children away from the edges. We are monitoring the site daily, but it’s a dynamic environment. The soft sandstone cliffs can give way without warning, which is why it’s important to respect safety fences everywhere in the park,” said Park Ranger Supervisor Travis Korbe.

The second sinkhole appeared sometime between 10 a.m. when a park ranger checked on the safety fencing and 7:30 p.m. when a photo of the second sinkhole was posted on social media. 

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is working with a geologist to help determine the best location for a permanent safety fence to keep visitors away from the sinkholes. The soil appears to be falling into large, unstable voids beneath the cliff caused by strong ocean waves. The first sinkhole measures about 25 feet across and 15 feet deep.

Cape Kiwanda is a sandstone outcropping, which is naturally much weaker and prone to sudden changes compared with hardier rock like basalt. While any natural area carries risk, enjoying Cape Kiwanda safely requires visitors to pay special attention.

Even though the spot is marked with barriers, the sinkholes could change at any moment, and others could appear. If you see something that concerns you, leave the area and report it to Cape Lookout State Park staff at 503-842-4981. In an emergency, call 911.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is continuing to monitor the situation. We will share additional details as they become available. 

All-Terrain Vehicle Grant Subcommittee meets May 18-19 in Salem - 05/09/23

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s All-Terrain Vehicle Grant Subcommittee will meet May 18 and 19 at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Headquarters in Salem, 725 Summer St. NE, room 124A. 

The meetings are open to the public with the option of attending in person or via Zoom Webinar as an “attendee.”

The subcommittee will review 22 grant requests related to ATV Program Funding throughout Oregon for Law Enforcement, Safety Education, Development and Planning Projects. 

May 18

May 19

View the full agenda and schedule online: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/GRA/Documents/ATV-ACGrants-Agenda-May-2023.pdf

The subcommittee will provide recommendations on grant funding to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director for referral to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The ATV Grant Program provides funding statewide for All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) recreation. Grant funds come from ATV user permit sales and a percentage of gasoline tax money.  

More information about the state ATV program is available at www.OregonATV.gov

Special accommodations may be arranged up to 72 hours in advance to improve accessibility by emailing ian.caldwell@oprd.oregon.gov.

Oregon Heritage Commission to meet online May 22 - 05/09/23

SALEM, Oregon – The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet May 22 online. The business meeting will include museum grant recommendations, an update on Northwest Digital Heritage projects to help improve access to digitization of collections, a presentation by OSHA on a federal museum collections initiative, a presentation by the State Librarian on the State Library of Oregon strategic plan, and a special presentation on Constructing Hope Pre-Apprenticeship Program’s Oregon Heritage Grant project: Building Legacy: BIPOC Construction Trailblazers in Oregon. To view the full agenda and/or to register for the virtual meeting visit here

The Heritage Commission’s nine members represent a diversity of cultural, geographic, and institutional interests. The Commission is the primary agency for coordination of heritage activities in the state. This includes carrying out the Oregon Heritage Plan, increasing efficiency and avoiding duplication among interest groups, developing plans for coordination among agencies and organizations, encouraging tourism related to heritage resources, and coordinating statewide anniversary celebrations.

The group meets four-six times per year in changing locations around the state and will offer virtual options to attend meetings. Commissioners are also asked to occasionally participate in meetings or events in their regions and work on other projects outside of meeting time. Appointed Commissioners are reimbursed for their travel and related expenses while conducting official commission business.

More information about the Oregon Heritage Commission is available online at www.oregonheritage.org and from Commission Coordinator Katie Henry at 503-877-8834 or katie.henry@oprd.oregon.gov. 


Historic cemeteries commission to meet May 22 - 05/08/23

The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries will meet via online meeting on May 22 at 1:00 p.m. The primary agenda item is approval of the 2023 Oregon Historic Cemeteries grants. The meeting is open to the public and the agenda includes an opportunity for public comment. Register for the meeting to receive online 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. For more information about commission activities, contact coordinator Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail at kuri.gill@oregon.gov

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.

Private and state partners announce completion of electric vehicle chargers in Oregon State Parks - 05/05/23

Installations will improve zero-emission recreation 

SUBLIMITY, Ore.— The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), electric vehicle maker Rivian, nonprofit Adopt A Charger (AAC), and manufacturer Entec Polymers have unveiled four Rivian Waypoints Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers at Silver Falls State Park. The chargers offer park visitors an historic opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while using zero-emission vehicles to reduce air pollution and protect Oregon’s natural beauty. 

In addition to Silver Falls, 17 other chargers have been installed among the following parks: 

  • Banks-Vernonia State Trail
  • L. L. Stub Stewart State Park
  • Cape Lookout State Park
  • William M. Tugman State Park
  • Prineville Reservoir State Park
  • The Cove Palisades State Park

Additional information about the OPRD program including charging station locations and charging etiquette is available on the department website.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Rivian, Adopt A Charger and Entec Polymers. These public-private partnerships allow for innovative projects that help improve state park infrastructure and achieve a shared vision for a cleaner, greener future,” said Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director Lisa Sumption. 

Rivian, working through AAC, donated the installation design, construction costs and EV chargers placed in the parks. Fundraising by AAC brought plastics manufacturer Entec Polymers as a private donor to cover the cost of visitor charging electricity for a limited time.

The Level 2 chargers are compatible with all electric vehicles and are powered by 100% renewable energy via Rivian’s energy matching program. This collaborative effort extends the electric charging infrastructure grid to new areas for EV drivers to explore. The chargers will improve recreational access for all EV drivers, not just Rivian owners. 

“We’re proud to support the Oregon State Park mission to provide safe and equitable access to state parks with these electric vehicle chargers,” said Trent Warnke, senior director of Energy and Charging Solutions at Rivian. “Our Rivian Waypoints chargers are compatible with any EV and through our energy matching program, can provide zero-emission energy to any EV driver who might need it—peace of mind in terms of getting where you need to go whether that’s home or onto another one of Oregon’s beautiful state parks.”

Kitty Adams Hoksbergen, executive director of Adopt a Charger added, “the installation of EV charging stations at Oregon State Parks supports OPRD’s environmental stewardship by enabling zero emission travel to these popular destinations. It complements The Oregon Electric Byways and the West Coast Electric Highway, which provide the framework for EV tourism, by closing the gaps in the infrastructure. I am forever grateful to OPRD, Rivian, and Entec for recognizing the need to provide car charging at these parks to help give visitors the confidence to purchase a plug-in vehicle.”

“Entec Polymers is excited to partner with OPRD, Rivian, and Adopt a Charger to improve access to EV charging stations, and to offer visitors a sustainable transportation choice,” said Steve Tomaszewski, senior vice president and general manager of Entec Polymers. “We continue to work with our customers and partners to provide both innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, and to help make e-mobility safe and reliable.” 

The new state parks EV chargers join the nearly 1,700 public Level 2 chargers throughout Oregon. More public charging options will help convince more drivers to consider an EV for their next vehicle. Transitioning Oregon’s cars, trucks and SUVs to electric vehicles is part of the state’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.



Media Advisory: 'Inaugural Charge' event unveiling electric vehicle chargers in Oregon State Parks - 05/02/23


Celebration of Rivian Waypoints Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers installed at seven state parks in central and western Oregon. Event will include speakers representing partners and state and local officials.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian, working through the nonprofit Adopt A Charger (AAC), donated the installation design, construction costs and EV chargers placed in the parks. Fundraising by AAC brought plastics manufacturer Entec Polymers as a private donor to cover the cost of visitor charging electricity for a limited time.

The Level 2 chargers are compatible with all electric vehicles and are powered by 100% renewable energy via Rivian’s energy matching program. This collaborative effort extends the electric charging infrastructure grid to new areas for EV drivers to explore. The chargers will improve recreational access for all EV drivers, not just Rivian vehicle owners.  


Formal event 11 a.m.-noon, Friday, May 5, 2023. Media welcome to arrive at 10:30 and stay beyond noon.  


Silver Falls State Park, South Falls Day-use parking lot at electric vehicle charging stations (west side of main lot)
20024 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity, OR 97385


Chris Havel, deputy director of government relations, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Kelly Brooks, transportation advisor to Governor Tina Kotek
Hannah J. Steinweg, public policy manager, Rivian
Kitty Adams Hoksbergen, executive director of Adopt-A-Charger
Steve Tomaszewski, senior vice president & general manager of Entec Polymers


Jo Niehaus, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 503-580-9210  
Miranda Jimenez, communications manager, Rivian, 949-394-3460
Kitty Adams Hoksbergen, executive director of Adopt-A-Charger, 310-766-7160
Benjamin Houriez, Entec Polymers sustainability manger, 323-762-0991


Partner executives will be available for questions after the inaugural charge.


Demonstration of electric vehicle charging station use after formal event. Rivian Electric Adventure Vehicle onsite. Vehicle ride and drive planned for interested media and attendees after formal event.


Committee to review museum grant applications - 05/02/23

On May 16, 2023 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 May 22, 2023. The hybrid meeting will be held by teleconference at 8:30 a.m. interested parties may access the meeting by registering through Zoom or in person at 725 Summer Street NE, Room 124A in Salem. The meeting agenda also 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 503-986-0690 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: Kuri.Gill@oprd.oregon.gov