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State of Oregon
Flag of Oregon State seal of Oregon
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Beaver State
Motto(s): Alis volat propriis (Latin)
before statehood, known as
the Oregon Territory
Map of the United States with Oregon highlighted
Official language(s) De jure: None[1]
De facto: English
Demonym Oregonian
Capital Salem
Largest city Portland
Largest metro area Portland metropolitan area
Area  Ranked 9th in the US
 - Total 98,466 sq mi
(255,026 km2)
 - Width 260 miles (420 km)
 - Length 360 miles (580 km)
 - % water 2.4
 - Latitude 42° N to 46° 18′ N
 - Longitude 116° 28′ W to 124° 38′ W
Population  Ranked 27th in the US
 - Total 3,825,657 (2009 estimate)[2]
3,421,399 (2000 Census)
 - Density 35.6/sq mi  (13.76/km2)
Ranked 39th in the US
Elevation  
 - Highest point Mount Hood[3]
11,249 ft  (3,425 m)
 - Mean 3,297 ft  (1,005 m)
 - Lowest point Pacific Ocean[3]
0 ft  (0 m)
Admission to Union  February 14, 1859 (33rd)
Governor Ted Kulongoski (D)
Lieutenant Governor None[4][5]
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D)
Jeff Merkley (D)
U.S. House delegation 4 Democrats, 1 Republican (list)
Time zones  
 - most of state Pacific: UTC-8/-7
 - most of Malheur County Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Abbreviations OR Ore. US-OR
Website http://www.oregon.gov

Oregon Listeni /ˈɒrɪɡən/ (ORR-i-gən, local pronunciation: /ˈɔrɪɡən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries respectively. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers and settlers; the Oregon Territory was created in 1848, and Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Salem is the state's capital and third-most-populous city; Portland is the most populous. Portland is the 30th-largest U.S. city, with a population of 575,930 (2008 estimate) and a metro population of 2,175,133 (2007 estimate), the 23rd-largest U.S. metro area.

The valley of the Willamette River in western Oregon is the most densely populated and agriculturally productive region of the state, and is home to eight of the ten most populous cities. Oregon's 2000 population was about 3.5 million, a 20.3% increase over 1990; it is estimated to have reached 3.8 million by 2008.[6] Oregon's largest for-profit private employer is Intel, located in the Silicon Forest area on Portland's west side. The state has 199 public school districts, with Portland Public Schools as the largest. There are 17 community colleges, and seven publicly financed colleges in the Oregon University System. Oregon State University in Corvallis and the University of Oregon in Eugene are the two flagship universities of the state, while Portland State University has the largest enrollment.[7]

Major highways include Interstate 5 which runs the entire north-south length of the state, Interstate 84 that runs east-west, U.S. Route 97 that crosses the middle of the state, U.S. Route 101 that travels the entire coastline, and U.S. Route 20 and U.S. Route 26 that run east-west, among many other highways. Portland International Airport is the busiest commercial airport in the state and is operated as part of the Port of Portland, the state's busiest port. Rail service includes Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway freight service, Amtrak passenger service, as well as light rail and street car routes in the Portland metro area.

Oregon enjoys a diverse landscape including a scenic and windswept Pacific coastline, the volcanoes of a rugged and glaciated Cascade Mountain Range, dense evergreen forests, and high desert across much of the eastern portion of the state. The towering Douglas firs and redwoods along the rainy Western Oregon coast provide a dramatic contrast with the lower density and fire prone pine tree and juniper forests covering portions of the Eastern half of the state. The eastern portion of the state also includes semi-arid scrublands, prairies, deserts, and meadows. These drier areas stretch east from Central Oregon. Mount Hood is the highest point in the state at 11,249 feet (3,429 m). Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in Oregon. Oregon is the United States' leader in forest fires; in 2007 the state had over 1,000 of them.[8]

Contents

History

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 12,093
1860 52,465 333.8%
1870 90,923 73.3%
1880 174,768 92.2%
1890 317,704 81.8%
1900 413,536 30.2%
1910 672,765 62.7%
1920 783,389 16.4%
1930 953,786 21.8%
1940 1,089,684 14.2%
1950 1,521,341 39.6%
1960 1,768,687 16.3%
1970 2,091,533 18.3%
1980 2,633,156 25.9%
1990 2,842,321 7.9%
2000 3,421,399 20.4%
Est. 2009 3,825,657 11.8%
U.S. Census Bureau[2][9]

Humans have inhabited the area that is now Oregon for at least 15,000 years. In recorded history, mentions of the land date to as early as the 16th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries European powers and later the United States quarreled over possession of the region until 1846 when the U.S. and Great Britain finalized the division of the region. Oregon became a state in 1859 and is now home to over 3.5 million residents.

Earliest inhabitation

Human habitation of the Pacific Northwest began at least 15,000 years ago, with the oldest evidence of habitation in Oregon found at Fort Rock Cave and the Paisley Caves in Lake County. Archaeologist Luther Cressman dated material from Fort Rock to 13,200 years ago.[10] By 8000 B.C. there were settlements throughout the state, with populations concentrated along the lower Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries.

European exploration

By the 16th century Oregon was home to many Native American groups, including the Bannock, Chasta, Chinook, Kalapuya, Klamath, Molalla, Nez Perce, Takelma, and Umpqua.[11][12][13][14]

The first European explorers were Spanish, during the late 17th century. Further exploration from Alta California took place during the 18th century. British James Cook explored the coast in 1778 in search of the Northwest Passage.

During U.S. westward expansion

The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the region also in search of the Northwest Passage. They built their winter fort at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia River. Overland exploration was also conducted by British explorer David Thompson.

In 1811, David Thompson, of the North West Company, became the first European to navigate the entire length of the Columbia River. Stopping on the way, at the junction of the Snake River, he posted a claim to the region for Great Britain and the North West Company. Upon returning to Montreal, he publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area.

Also in 1811, New Yorker John Jacob Astor financed the establishment of Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his Pacific Fur Company;[15] this was the first permanent European settlement in Oregon.

In the War of 1812, the British gained control of all of the Pacific Fur Company posts. The Treaty of 1818 established joint British and American occupancy of the region west of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. By the 1820s and 1830s, the Hudson's Bay Company dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver (built in 1825 by the District's Chief Factor John McLoughlin across the Columbia from present-day Portland).

In 1841, the master trapper and entrepreneur Ewing Young died leaving considerable wealth and no apparent heir, and no system to probate his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral at which a probate government was proposed. Doctor Ira Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected Supreme Judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg (half way between Lee's mission and Oregon City) to discuss wolves and other animals of contemporary concern. These meetings were precursors to an all-citizen meeting in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an executive committee made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale. This government was the first acting public government of the Oregon Country before annexation by the government of the United States.

Also in 1841, Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, reversed the Hudson's Bay Company's longstanding policy of discouraging settlement because it interfered with the lucrative fur trade. He directed that some 200 Red River Colony settlers be relocated to HBC farms near Fort Vancouver, (the James Sinclair expedition), in an attempt to hold Columbia District.

Starting in 1842–1843, the Oregon Trail brought many new American settlers to Oregon Country. For some time, it seemed that Britain and the United States would go to war for a third time in 75 years (see Oregon boundary dispute), but the border was defined peacefully in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty. The border between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel. The Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848.

Settlement increased because of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, in conjunction with the forced relocation of the native population to Indian reservations in Oregon.

After statehood

The state was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859. Founded as a refuge from the disputes over slavery that were tearing apart other places in the United States, such as Kansas, Oregon had a "whites only" clause in its state Constitution at the time of its admission; the only state thus admitted.[16]

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, regular U.S. troops were withdrawn and sent east. Volunteer cavalry were recruited in California and sent north to Oregon to keep peace and protect the populace. The First Oregon Cavalry served until June 1865.

In the 1880s, the proliferation of railroads assisted in marketing of the state's lumber and wheat, as well as the more rapid growth of its cities.

20th and 21st centuries

In 1902, Oregon introduced a system of direct legislation by the state’s citizens by way of initiative and referendum, known as the Oregon System. Oregon state ballots often include politically conservative proposals side-by-side with politically liberal ones, illustrating the wide spectrum of political thought in the state.

Industrial expansion began in earnest following the construction of the Bonneville Dam in 1933–1937 on the Columbia River. Hydroelectric power, food, and lumber provided by Oregon helped fuel the development of the West, although the periodic fluctuations in the U.S. building industry have hurt the state's economy on multiple occasions.

Name

The origin of the name "Oregon" is unknown. One theory is that the name comes from the French word "ouragan" (hurricane). French explorers called the Columbia River "Hurricane River" (le fleuve aux ouragans), because of the strong winds of the Columbia Gorge. According to the Oregon Blue Book, the source for the earliest written use of the word was Major Robert Rogers, an English army officer. In his 1765 proposal for a journey, Rogers wrote:[17]

The rout . . . is from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, and from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon. . . .

Another account, endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names, was advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in American Speech. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 1700s, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so that there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon".

According to the Oregon Tourism Commission (also known as Travel Oregon), present-day Oregonians Pronunciation: /ˌɒrɪˈɡniɪnz/[18] pronounce the state's name as "OR-UH-GUN, never OR-EE-GONE".[19]

After being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2002, former Oregon Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington distributed "ORYGUN" stickers (sold by the University of Oregon Bookstore, which credits the spelling as a joke[20] "meant for Oregonians everywhere who get a kick out of this hilarious mispronunciation of our state.") to members of the media as a reminder of how to pronounce his home state.[21][22]

Geography

National parks and historic areas in Oregon
Entity Location
Crater Lake National Park Southern Oregon
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Eastern Oregon
Newberry National Volcanic Monument Central Oregon
Cascade–Siskiyou National Monument Southern Oregon
Oregon Caves National Monument Southern Oregon
California Trail Southern Oregon, California
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Western Oregon, Washington
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail IL, MO, KS, IA, NE, SD,
ND, MT, ID, OR, WA
Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks Western Oregon, Washington
Nez Perce National Historical Park MT, ID, OR, WA
Oregon Trail MO, KS, NE, WY, ID, OR

Oregon's geography may be split roughly into seven areas:

The mountainous regions of western Oregon, home to four of the most prominent mountain peaks of the United States including Mount Hood, were formed by the volcanic activity of Juan de Fuca Plate, a tectonic plate that poses a continued threat of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the region. The most recent major activity was the 1700 Cascadia earthquake; Washington's Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, an event which was visible from Oregon.

The Columbia River, which constitutes much of the northern border of Oregon, also played a major role in the region's geological evolution, as well as its economic and cultural development. The Columbia is one of North America's largest rivers, and the only river to cut through the Cascades. About 15,000 years ago, the Columbia repeatedly flooded much of Oregon during the Missoula Floods; the modern fertility of the Willamette Valley is largely a result of those floods. Plentiful salmon made parts of the river, such as Celilo Falls, hubs of economic activity for thousands of years. In the 20th century, numerous hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia, with major impacts on salmon, transportation and commerce, electric power, and flood control.

Today, Oregon's landscape varies from rainforest in the Coast Range to barren desert in the southeast, which still meets the technical definition of a frontier.

Oregon is 295 miles (475 km) north to south at longest distance, and 395 miles (636 km) east to west at longest distance. In terms of land and water area, Oregon is the ninth largest state, covering 98,381 square miles (254,810 km2).[23] The highest point in Oregon is the summit of Mount Hood, at 11,239 feet (3,426 m), and its lowest point is sea level of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon coast.[3] Its mean elevation is 3,300 feet (1,006 m). Crater Lake National Park is the state's only national park and the site of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,943 feet (592 m).[24] Oregon claims the D River is the shortest river in the world,[25] though the American state of Montana makes the same claim of its Roe River.[26] Oregon is also home to Mill Ends Park (in Portland),[27] the smallest park in the world at 452 square inches (0.29 m2). Oregon's geographical center is farther west than any of the other 48 contiguous states (although the westernmost point of the lower 48 states is in Washington).

Oregon is home to what is considered the largest single organism in the world, an Armillaria ostoyae fungus beneath the Malheur National Forest of eastern Oregon.[28]

Major cities

Most Populous Cities[31]
City Population (2008)
1. Portland 575,930
2. Eugene 154,620
3. Salem 154,510
4. Gresham 100,655
5. Hillsboro 89,285
6. Beaverton 86,205
7. Bend 80,995
8. Medford 76,850
9. Springfield 58,005
10. Corvallis 54,880

Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene in the south (home of the University of Oregon, second largest city in Oregon) through Corvallis (home of Oregon State University) and Salem (the capital, third largest) to Portland (Oregon's largest city).[31]

Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, was the first permanent English-speaking settlement west of Rockies in what is now the United States. Oregon City, at the end of the Oregon Trail, was the Oregon Territory's first incorporated city, and was its first capital from 1848 until 1852, when the capital was moved to Salem. Bend, near the geographic center of the state, is one of the ten fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States.[32] In the southern part of the state, Medford is a rapidly growing metro area, which is home to The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, the third-busiest airport in the state. Further to the south, near the California-Oregon border, is the community of Ashland, home of the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Climate

Oregon's climate—especially in the western part of the state—is heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean. The climate is generally mild, but periods of extreme hot and cold can affect parts of the state. Precipitation in the state varies widely: the deserts of eastern Oregon, such as the Alvord Desert (in the rain shadow of Steens Mountain), get as little as 200 mm (8 inches) annually, while some western coastal slopes approach 5000 mm (200 inches) annually. Oregon's population centers, which lie mostly in the western part of the state, are generally moist and mild, while the lightly populated high deserts of Central and Eastern Oregon are much drier.

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures(°F) For Various Oregon Cities[33]
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Precipitation
Astoria 48/37 51/38 53/39 56/41 60/45 64/50 67/53 68/53 68/50 61/44 53/40 48/37 67.1 inches (1,700 mm)
Bend 40/23 44/25 51/27 57/30 65/36 73/41 81/46 81/46 72/39 62/32 46/28 40/23 11.7 inches (300 mm)
Brookings 55/42 56/42 58/42 60/44 63/47 67/50 68/52 68/53 68/51 65/48 58/45 55/41 73.4 inches (1,860 mm)
Burns 35/14 40/19 49/25 57/29 66/36 75/41 85/46 84/44 75/35 62/26 45/21 35/15 10.5 inches (270 mm)
Eugene 46/33 51/35 56/37 61/39 67/43 73/47 82/51 82/51 77/47 65/40 52/37 46/33 50.9 inches (1,290 mm)
Medford 47/31 54/33 58/36 64/39 72/44 81/50 90/55 90/55 84/48 70/40 53/35 45/31 21.1 inches (540 mm)
Pendleton 40/27 46/31 55/35 62/40 70/46 79/52 88/58 87/57 77/50 64/41 48/34 40/28 13.9 inches (350 mm)
Portland 46/37 50/39 56/41 61/44 67/49 79/57 79/58 74/55 63/48 51/42 46/37 43.1 inches (1,090 mm)
Salem 47/34 51/35 56/37 61/39 68/44 74/48 82/52 82/52 77/48 64/41 52/38 46/34 40 inches (1,000 mm)

Law and government

The flags of the United States and Oregon flown side-by-side in downtown Portland.

The Oregon Country functioned as an independent republic[citation needed] with a three-person executive office and a chief executive until August 13, 1848, when Oregon was annexed by the United States, at which time a territorial government was established. Oregon maintained a territorial government until February 14, 1859, when it was granted statehood.[34]

State government

Oregon state government has a separation of powers similar to the federal government. It has three branches, called departments by the state's constitution:

Governors in Oregon serve four year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms, but an unlimited number of total terms. Oregon has no lieutenant governor; in the event that the office of governor is vacated, Article V, Section 8a of the Oregon Constitution specifies that the Secretary of State is first in line for succession.[5] The other statewide officers are Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent, and Labor Commissioner. The biennial Oregon Legislative Assembly consists of a thirty-member Senate and a sixty-member House. The state supreme court has seven elected justices, currently including the only two openly gay state supreme court justices in the nation. They choose one of their own to serve a six-year term as Chief Justice. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States.

The debate over whether to move to annual sessions is a long-standing battle in Oregon politics, but the voters have resisted the move from citizen legislators to professional lawmakers. Because Oregon's state budget is written in two year increments and, having no sales tax, its revenue is based largely on income taxes, it is often significantly over- or under-budget. Recent legislatures have had to be called into special session repeatedly to address revenue shortfalls resulting from economic downturns, bringing to a head the need for more frequent legislative sessions.

Oregon State Capitol
Party registration in Oregon, 1950–2006.      total      Democratic Party      Republican Party      non-affiliated and minor parties

The state maintains formal relationships with the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon:

Oregonians have voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate in every election since 1988. In 2004 and 2006, Democrats won control of the state Senate and then the House. Since the late 1990s, Oregon has been represented by four Democrats and one Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, and, until 2009, by one U.S. Senator from each party. In 2009, Democrat Jeff Merkley became the second Democratic senator, joining Ron Wyden. Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski defeated Republicans in 2002 and 2006, defeating conservative Kevin Mannix and the more moderate Ron Saxton respectively.

The base of Democratic support is largely concentrated in the urban centers of the Willamette Valley. In both 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Presidential candidate won Oregon, but did so with majorities in only eight of Oregon's 36 counties. The eastern two-thirds of the state beyond the Cascade Mountains often votes Republican; in 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush carried every county east of the Cascades. However, the region's sparse population means that the more populous counties in the Willamette Valley usually carry the day in statewide elections.

Oregon's politics are largely similar to those of neighboring Washington, for instance in the contrast between urban and rural issues.

In the 2004 general election, Oregon voters passed ballot measures banning same-sex marriage, and restricting land use regulation. In the 2006 general election, voters restricted the use of eminent domain and extended the state's discount prescription drug coverage.[35]

The distribution, sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages are regulated in the state by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Thus, Oregon is an Alcoholic beverage control state. While wine and beer are available in most grocery stores, comparatively few stores sell hard liquor.

Federal government

Like all U.S. states, Oregon is represented by two U.S. Senators. Since the 1980 census Oregon has had five Congressional districts.

After Oregon was admitted to the Union, it began with a single member in the House of Representatives (La Fayette Grover, who served in the 35th United States Congress for less than a month). Congressional apportionment led to the addition of new members following the censuses of 1890, 1910, 1940, and 1980. A detailed list of the past and present Congressional delegations from Oregon is available.

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon hears Federal cases in the state. The court has courthouses in Portland, Eugene, Medford, and Pendleton. Also in Portland is the federal bankruptcy court, with a second branch in Eugene.[36] Oregon (among other western states and territories) is in the 9th Court of Appeals. One of the court's meeting places is at the Pioneer Courthouse in downtown Portland, a National Historic Landmark built in 1869.

Politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2008 40.40% 738,475 56.75% 1,037,291
2004 47.19% 866,831 51.35% 943,163
2000 46.46% 713,577 47.01% 720,342
1996 39.06% 538,152 47.15% 649,641
1992 32.53% 475,757 42.48% 621,314
1988 46.61% 560,126 51.28% 616,206

The state has been thought of as politically split by the Cascade Range, with western Oregon being liberal and Eastern Oregon being conservative. In a 2008 analysis of the 2004 presidential election, political analyst found that according to the application of a Likert scale, Oregon boasted both the most liberal voters and the most conservative voters, making it the most politically polarized state in the country.[37] The two current U.S senators from Oregon are Ron Wyden (D), and Jeff Merkley (D). The office of governorship is held by Ted Kulongoski (D) who was re-elected to a second term.

During Oregon's history it has adopted many electoral reforms proposed during the Progressive Era, through the efforts of William S. U'Ren and his Direct Legislation League. Under his leadership, the state overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in 1902 that created the initiative and referendum processes for citizens to directly introduce or approve proposed laws or amendments to the state constitution, making Oregon the first state to adopt such a system. Today, roughly half of U.S. states do so.[38] In following years, the primary election to select party candidates was adopted in 1904, and in 1908 the Oregon Constitution was amended to include recall of public officials. More recent amendments include the nation's first doctor-assisted suicide law,[39] called the Death with Dignity law (which was challenged, unsuccessfully, in 2005 by the Bush administration in a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court), legalization of medical cannabis, and among the nation's strongest anti-urban sprawl and pro-environment laws. More recently, 2004's Measure 37 reflects a backlash against such land use laws. However, a further ballot measure in 2007, Measure 49, curtailed many of the provisions of 37.

Of the measures placed on the ballot since 1902, the people have passed 99 of the 288 initiatives and 25 of the 61 referendums on the ballot, though not all of them survived challenges in courts (see Pierce v. Society of Sisters, for an example). During the same period, the legislature has referred 363 measures to the people, of which 206 have passed.

Oregon pioneered the American use of postal voting, beginning with experimentation authorized by the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1981 and culminating with a 1998 ballot measure mandating that all counties conduct elections by mail. It remains the only state where voting by mail is the only method of voting.[40]

In the U.S. Electoral College, Oregon casts seven votes. Oregon has supported Democratic candidates in the last six elections. Democrat Barack Obama won the state in 2008 by a margin of sixteen percentage points, with over 56% of the popular vote.

Economy

A grain elevator in Halsey storing grass seed, one of the state's largest crops

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Oregon in 2008 was $161.6 billion, it is United States's 26th wealthiest state by GDP. The states per capita personal income in 2008 was $38801.[41] Land in the Willamette Valley owes its fertility to the Missoula Floods, which deposited lake sediment from Glacial Lake Missoula in western Montana onto the valley floor.[42] This soil is the source of a wealth of agricultural products, including potatoes, peppermint, hops, apples and other fruits.[citation needed]

Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut growing regions, and produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. While the history of the wine production in Oregon can be traced to before Prohibition, it became a significant industry beginning in the 1970s. In 2005, Oregon ranked third among U.S. states with 303 wineries.[43] Due to regional similarities in climate and soil, the grapes planted in Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French regions of Alsace and Burgundy. In the northeastern region of the state, particularly around Pendleton, both irrigated and dry land wheat is grown. Oregon farmers and ranchers also produce cattle, sheep, dairy products, eggs and poultry.

Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major timber production and logging states, but forest fires (such as the Tillamook Burn), over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the amount of timber produced. According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, between 1989 and 2001 the amount of timber harvested from federal lands dropped some 96%, from 4,333 million to 173 million board feet (10,000,000 to 408,000 m3), although harvest levels on private land have remained relatively constant.[44] Even the shift in recent years towards finished goods such as paper and building materials has not slowed the decline of the timber industry in the state. The effects of this decline have included Weyerhaeuser's acquisition of Portland-based Willamette Industries in January 2002, the relocation of Louisiana-Pacific's corporate headquarters from Portland to Nashville, and the decline of former lumber company towns such as Gilchrist. Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in softwood lumber production; in 2001, 6,056 million board feet (14,000,000 m3) was produced in Oregon, compared to 4,257 million board feet (10,050,000 m3) in Washington, 2,731 million board feet (6,444,000 m3) in California, 2,413 million board feet (5,694,000 m3) in Georgia, and 2,327 million board feet (5,491,000 m3) in Mississippi.[45] The effect of the forest industry crunch is still extensive unemployment in rural Oregon and is a bone of contention between rural and urban Oregon.[citation needed]

Oregon occasionally hosts film shoots. Movies wholly or partially filmed in Oregon include: Rooster Cogburn,The Goonies, National Lampoon's Animal House, Stand By Me, Kindergarten Cop, Overboard, The River Wild, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Paint Your Wagon, The Hunted, Sometimes a Great Notion, Elephant, Bandits, The Ring, The Ring Two, Quarterback Princess, The General, Mr. Brooks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Short Circuit, Come See the Paradise, The Shining, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, The Postman, Homeward Bound, Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, 1941, Swordfish, Twilight, Untraceable, and Wendy and Lucy. Oregon native Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, has incorporated many references from his hometown of Portland into the TV series.[46] Oregon's scenic coastal and mountain highways are frequently seen in automobile commercials.[citation needed]

In late 2008, Hells Canyon and Oregon's badlands were a set location for an episode of Man vs. Wild.[47]

Largest Public Corporations Headquartered in Oregon[48]
Corporation Headquarters Market cap (million)
1. Nike, Inc. near Beaverton $32,039
2. Precision Castparts Corp. Portland $16,158
3. FLIR Systems Wilsonville $4,250
4. StanCorp Financial Group Portland $2,495
5. Schnitzer Steel Industries Portland $1,974
6. Portland General Electric Portland $1,737
7. Columbia Sportswear near Beaverton $1,593
8. Northwest Natural Gas Portland $1,287
9. Mentor Graphics Wilsonville $976
10. TriQuint Semiconductor Hillsboro $938

High technology industries and services have been a major employer since the 1970s. Tektronix was the largest private employer in Oregon until the late 1980s. Intel's creation and expansion of several facilities in eastern Washington County continued the growth that Tektronix had started. Intel, the state's largest for-profit private employer, operates four large facilities, with Ronler Acres, Jones Farm and Hawthorn Farm all located in Hillsboro.[49] The spinoffs and startups that were produced by these two companies led to the establishment in that area of the so-called Silicon Forest. The recession and dot-com bust of 2001 hit the region hard; many high technology employers reduced the number of their employees or went out of business. Open Source Development Labs made news in 2004 when they hired Linus Torvalds, developer of the Linux kernel. Recently, biotechnology giant Genentech purchased several acres of land in Hillsboro in an effort to expand its production capabilities.[50]

Oregon is also the home of large corporations in other industries. The world headquarters of Nike, Inc. are located near Beaverton. Medford is home to two of the largest mail order companies in the country: Harry and David Operations Corp. which sells gift items under several brands, and Musician's Friend, an international catalog and Internet retailer of musical instruments and related products. Medford is also home to the national headquarters of the Fortune 1000 company, Lithia Motors. Portland is home to one of the West's largest trade book publishing houses, Graphic Arts Center Publishing.

Oregon has one of the largest salmon-fishing industries in the world, although ocean fisheries have reduced the river fisheries in recent years. Tourism is also strong in the state; Oregon's evergreen mountain forests, waterfalls, pristine lakes (including Crater Lake National Park), and scenic beaches draw visitors year round. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, held in Ashland, is a tourist draw which complements the southern region of the state's scenic beauty and opportunity for outdoor activities.

Oregon ranks 4th nationally in craft breweries per capita.

Oregon is home to many breweries and Portland has the largest number of breweries of any city in the world.[51]

Portland reportedly has more strip clubs per capita than Las Vegas or San Francisco.[52]

Oregon's gross state product is $132.66 billion as of 2006, making it the 27th largest GSP in the nation.[53]

Taxes and budgets

Oregon's biennial state budget, $42.4 billion as of 2007, comprises General Funds, Federal Funds, Lottery Funds, and Other Funds. Personal income taxes account for 88% of the General Fund's projected funds.[54] The Lottery Fund, which has grown steadily since the lottery was approved in 1984, exceeded expectations in the 2007 fiscal years, at $604 million.[55]

Oregon is one of only five states that have no sales tax.[56] Oregon voters have been resolute in their opposition to a sales tax, voting proposals down each of the nine times they have been presented.[57] The last vote, for 1993's Measure 1, was defeated by a 72–24% margin.[58]

The state also has a minimum corporate tax of only $10 per year, amounting to 5.6% of the General Fund in the 2005–2007 biennium; data about which businesses pay the minimum is not available to the public.[59] As a result, the state relies almost entirely on property and income taxes for its revenue. Oregon has the fifth highest personal income tax per person in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oregon ranked 41st out of the 50 states in taxes per person in 2005.[60] The average paid of $1,791.45 is higher than only nine other states.[60]

Some local governments levy sales taxes on services: the city of Ashland, for example, collects a 5% sales tax on prepared food.[61]

Oregon is one of six states with a revenue limit.[62] The "kicker law" stipulates that when income tax collections exceed state economists' estimates by 2 percent or more, all of the excess must be returned to taxpayers.[63] Since the inception of the law in 1979, refunds have been issued for seven of the eleven biennia.[64] In 2000, Ballot Measure 86 converted the "kicker" law from statute to the Oregon Constitution, and changed some of its provisions.

Federal payments to county governments, which were granted to replace timber revenue when logging in National Forests was restricted in the 1990s, have been under threat of suspension for several years. This issue dominates the future revenue of rural counties, which have come to rely on the payments in providing essential services.[65]

55% of state revenues are spent on public education, 23% on human services (child protective services, Medicaid, and senior services), 17% on public safety, and 5% on other services.[66]

Demographics

Source: Population Research Center[67]
County population cartogram of Oregon.

As of 2005, Oregon has an estimated population of 3,641,056, which is an increase of 49,693, or 1.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 219,620, or 6.4%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 75,196 people (that is 236,557 births minus 161,361 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 150,084 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 72,263 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 77,821 people.

The center of population of Oregon is located in Linn County, in the city of Lyons.[68] More than 42% of the state's population lives in the Portland metropolitan area.

As of 2004, Oregon's population included 309,700 foreign-born residents (accounting for 8.7% of the state population)

Oregon population by decade, 1850–2000 (source: Census data)
Population Growth by County, 2000–2007. Green counties grew faster than the national average, while purple counties grew more slowly or, in a few cases, lost population.
Demographics of Oregon (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 93.45% 2.17% 2.54% 3.75% 0.48%
2000 (Hispanic only) 7.63% 0.17% 0.32% 0.10% 0.05%
2005 (total population) 92.95% 2.38% 2.44% 4.25% 0.50%
2005 (Hispanic only) 9.38% 0.24% 0.34% 0.11% 0.05%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 5.85% 16.64% 2.45% 20.78% 10.87%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 3.63% 13.63% 0.62% 20.75% 10.26%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 30.84% 52.63% 15.25% 21.84% 16.42%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

The largest reported ancestry groups in Oregon are: German (20.5%), English (13.2%), Irish (11.9%), American (6.2%), and Mexican (5.5%). Most Oregon counties are inhabited principally by residents of European ancestry. Concentrations of Mexican Americans are highest in Malheur and Jefferson counties.

The majority of the diversity in Oregon is in the Portland metropolitan area.

Oregon ranks 16th highest for population that is "white alone," with 86.1% in 2006.[69] Over two-thirds of Oregon's African-American population lives in Portland.

6.5% of Oregon's population were reported as less than 5 years old, 24.7% under 18, and 12.8% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.4% of the population.

2000–2003 population trends

Estimates released September 2004 show double-digit growth in Latino and Asian American populations since the 2000 Census. About 60% of the 138,197 new residents come from ethnic and racial minorities. Asian growth is located mostly in the metropolitan areas of Portland, Salem, Medford and Eugene; Hispanic population growth is across the state.

Religious and secular communities

Major religious affiliations of the people of Oregon are:[70]

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 348,239; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 104,312 (144,808 year-end 2007); and the Assemblies of God with 49,357.[71]

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) placed Oregon as tied with Nevada in fifth place of U.S. states having the highest percentage of residents identifying themselves as "non-religious", at 24 percent.[72][73] However, in a Gallup poll, 69% of Oregonians identify themselves as being Christian.[74] Secular organizations include the Center For Inquiry (CFI), the Humanists of Greater Portland (HGP), and the United States Atheists (USA).

During much of the 1990s a group of conservative Christians formed the Oregon Citizens Alliance, and unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation to prevent "gay sensitivity training" in public schools and legal benefits for homosexual couples.[75]

Oregon also contains the largest community of Russian Old Believers to be found in the United States.[76] The Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association, is headquartered in Portland, and the popular New Age film What the Bleep Do We Know!? was filmed and had its premiere in Portland. There are an estimated 6 to 10 thousand Muslims of various ethnic backgrounds in Oregon.[77]

Portland contains a significant Jewish population as well as smaller Jewish populations in Salem, Beaverton and Eugene.

Education

Primary and secondary

As of 2005, the state had 559,215 students in public primary and secondary schools.[78] There were 199 public school districts at that time, served by 20 education service districts.[78] The five largest school districts as of 2007 were: Portland Public Schools (46,262 students), Salem-Keizer School District (40,106), Beaverton School District (37,821), Hillsboro School District (20,401), and Eugene School District (18,025).[79]

Colleges and universities

OSU's Bell Tower.

Public

The Oregon University System supports seven public universities and one affiliate in the state. The University of Oregon in Eugene is Oregon's flagship liberal arts institution,[80] and was the state's only nationally ranked university by U.S. News & World Report.[81] Oregon State University is located in Corvallis and holds the distinction of being the state's flagship in science, engineering and agricultural research and academics. The university is also the state's highest ranking university/college in a world survey of academic merit.[82]

The State's urban Portland State University has Oregon's largest enrollment. The State has three regional universities: Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Southern Oregon University in Ashland, and Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. The Oregon Institute of Technology has its campus in Klamath Falls. The affiliate Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) comprises a medical, dental, and nursing school in Portland and a science and engineering school in Hillsboro.

Oregon has historically struggled to fund higher education. Recently, Oregon has cut its higher education budget over 2002–2006 and now Oregon ranks 46th in the country in state spending per student. However, 2007 legislation forced tuition increases to cap at 3% per year, and funded the OUS far beyond the requested governor's budget.[83]

The state also supports 17 community colleges.

Private

Oregon is home to a wide variety of private colleges. The University of Portland and Marylhurst University are Catholic institutions in the Portland area. Reed College, Concordia University, Lewis & Clark College, Multnomah Bible College, Portland Bible College, Warner Pacific College, Cascade College, the National College of Natural Medicine and Western Seminary, a theological graduate school, are also in Portland. Pacific University is in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove.

There are also private colleges further south in the Willamette Valley. McMinnville has Linfield College, while nearby Newberg is home to George Fox University. Salem is home to two private schools, Willamette University (the state's oldest, established during the provisional period) and Corban College. Also located near Salem is Mount Angel Seminary, one of America's largest Roman Catholic seminaries. Eugene is home to three private colleges: Northwest Christian University, Eugene Bible College, and Gutenberg College.

Sports

The only major professional sports team in Oregon is the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the team was one of the most successful teams in the NBA in terms of both win-loss record and attendance. In the early 2000s, the team's popularity declined due to personnel and financial issues, but revived after the departure of controversial players and the acquisition of new players such as Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Greg Oden.[84][85]

The Blazers play in the Rose Garden in Portland's Lloyd District, which is also home to the Portland Winterhawks of the junior-league Western Hockey League.[86]

Portland has two minor-league sports teams who play at PGE Park: The Portland Timbers of the USL First Division are a very popular soccer team, and the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League are the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.[87] Portland has actively pursued a Major League Baseball team.[88] It was announced in March 2009 that the Portland Timbers will begin MLS play starting in 2011. This will make them the second major professional sports team in the state.[89]

Eugene and Salem also have minor-league baseball teams. The Eugene Emeralds and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes both play in the Single-A Northwest League.[90] Oregon also has four teams in the fledgling International Basketball League: the Portland Chinooks, Central Oregon Hotshots, Salem Stampede, and the Eugene Chargers.[91]

The Oregon State Beavers and the University of Oregon Ducks football teams of the Pacific-10 Conference meet annually in the Civil War, one of the oldest college football rivalries in the United States, dating back to 1894. Both schools have had recent success in other sports as well: Oregon State won back-to-back college baseball championships in 2006 and 2007, and the University of Oregon won back-to-back NCAA men's cross country championships in 2007 and 2008.

State symbols

Sister states

See also

References

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Further reading

  • O'Hara, E. (1911). Oregon. In the Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from New Advent.

External links

Preceded by
Minnesota
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on February 14, 1859 (33rd)
Succeeded by
Kansas

Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W / 44; -120.5


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Map of United States, Oregon highlighted

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers and settlers. The Oregon Territory was created in 1848 after American settlement began in earnest in the 1840s. Oregon became a state (33rd) on February 14, 1859. Oregon is located on the Pacific coast between Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries respectively. Salem is the state's third most populous city and the state capital, with Portland the most populous.

Sourced

  • Representing the people of Oregon's Second District is an honor and a privilege. Covering more than 70,000 square miles in twenty counties throughout eastern, southern and central Oregon, our district is breathtaking and diverse.
  • One of the most important things the United States did in the aftermath of World War II was to help returning veterans with housing. In 1945, in my home state of Oregon, we established the Veterans Home Loan Program, which for over 60 years has provided more than 300,000 loans. This has changed the lives of Oregon veterans and revitalized communities.
  • As long as the sun rises over Ontario and sets over the Pacific, I will dedicate myself to bringing the people of Oregon what they want and need most - an era of hope, change, and economic renewal.
  • Today, I honor the memory of those brave settlers of Oregon, and pay tribute, as well, to the native Americans already inhabiting this land before pioneers like my great-great-grandparents arrived here in the mid-1800’s. Such dreams those pioneers had for this territory. Some instinct drew them here, a fate a pulling, a desire for deep and lasting change in their lives. They embraced that change. They sought it out. Theirs was a quest for new horizons, for new beginnings. For a new homeland. They rode. They walked. They staved. They forge. And they died. But they kept their eyes westward. They gave us Oregon.
  • That's swell. I like ya, Lloyd. I always liked ya. You were always the best of 'em. Best god-damn bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine - or Portland, Oregon for that matter.
  • I might go to Canada eventually, but I think I’ll stop along the Columbia on the way. I’d like to check around Portland and Hood River and The Dalles to see if there’s any of the guys I used to know back in the village who haven’t drunk themselves goofy. I’d like to see what they’ve been doing since the government tried to buy their right to be Indians.
  • Other great rivers add power to you / Yakima, Snake, and the Klickitat, too / Sandy, Willamette and Hood River too / So roll on, Columbia, roll on
  • All around us there are tangible evidences of the industrial activity of our people and the growth and development of our State, and with national legislation not unfavorable to us, the future of Oregon is full of promise of a rich inheritance to its inhabitants.
  • Never before in the history of our State have Oregonians had so much to be congratulated upon. No State in the Union is receiving more attention. Her agricultural products, her mild climate,her great natural resources, invite the immigrant, the capitalist and the pleasure seeker, while the sound basis upon which rest her finances, and the fact that within two years her taxable property has increased more than ten millions of dollars, clearly indicate that the State, in the face of a general business depression throughout the land, is in no danger of deterioration of decay.
  • It must be remembered that our State is but in its infancy. That its population is small, and its material wealth is very limited. That notwithstanding it embraces within its boundaries a large area of territory, which includes extensive districts of productive lands, valuable mines of coal, iron, and precious metals, vast quantities of timber, broad rivers, innumerable bays, harbors, and inlets, abounding in fish of the choicest kind sufficient to supply the markets of the world, yet its resources are comparatively undeveloped. And that while it possesses all the elements of grandeur and magnificence, its greatness can not be successfully achieved without the benefit of a well regulated government, whose foundation is laid upon the broad principles of honesty, economy, and justice.
  • The vast material resources of Oregon furnish a solid and enduring basis for the spirit of enterprise that animates our people, and for that wonderful superstructure of vigorous and thrifty statehood which we are rearing here on this western shore of the continent.
  • We are now entering upon an important period of our development as a State. Our infancy as a Territorial Government has passed into history. Our early struggle as a young State of the Union has already turned the point of successful trial,and we now stand in the threshold of coming strength and power. With a territory ranking among the largest of the sisterhood, with a soil equal to the best, and a climate of a salubrity and healthfulness enjoyed by none other,with resources for the employment of industry of great variety and extent, it would seem difficult to predict for Oregon anything short of a most successful career. In fact, with a creditable management of public affairs, nothing stands in the way of our prosperity.
  • A great system of internal improvement is being inaugurated in our midst, which fostered and encouraged, as it should be, will make Oregon, in the not distant future, one of the finest and most prosperous States in the Republic.
  • Allow me to congratulate you, and, through you, the people of Oregon, that peace and prosperity surround us. The prospects for Oregon were never more promising, save the shadows from the fires of secession which are blazing around our childhood homes. Though we have had a winter of unprecedented severity and devastating floods, no traitorous hand has been raised to tear down our national flag and subvert our beloved institutions.
  • While our common country has been afflicted, and still suffers, from the greatest calamity a people can experience, our own State has been visited by scourges which, though relieved from the horrors of civil war, has resulted in the loss of immense quantities of property, the depriving of many of our citizens of their homes, or the means of support, and seriously crippling, for the present, the Agricultural interests of the State. Indeed, the high waters of December last did more than destroy property, and desolate homes; and many human lives were lost, while attempting to escape the floods, or generously assisting to relieve others from their perils.
  • When the history of Oregon comes to be written the mind of the historian will be impressed by the earnestness and sincerity of character—the unobtrusive, unostentatious conduct of those who formed its population from the first reclaiming of the wilderness—the pioneer epoch—to the more refined advancement into social and political existence.
  • To the Legislative Assembly belongs the consideration of measures which may best tend to the development of the resources of the Territory. Oregon possesses within herself many of these, which with enterprise and industry will most surely render her a wealthy, powerful, and prosperous State. She has a fertile soil, and genial climate; she has [vast] forests and abundant fisheries, unlimited water power, pastures upon which even during winter, innumerable flocks and herds can subsist, with no other care than the mere herding; and prairies which could with only moderate labor, furnish the whole of our Pacific Territories with bread.
  • Having now finished the observations on this, probably, the last occasion I shall have of communicating with you, all me to express the hope, that whatever errors I may have committed, will be attributed to no want of zeal in the discharge of my official duties, and that they may find a correction in the intelligence and patriotism, of the gentleman who will succeed me. And in my retirement, whatever may be my lot, I shall not cease to invoke that Beneficent Being, to whose providence we are so signally indebted for the general prosperity of the Territory; for the continuance of his blessings upon Oregon—upon you—and upon your constituents, from whom I have received uniform kindness and support in the discharge of my duties.
  • This is destined to be a very wealthy portion of the United States, and, if to this we can add the most temperate, nothing will prevent our rising, and becoming a valuable acquisition to the union. Much power now lies in your hands, and, I sincerely hope, we may commence our new career with a law in our statute books, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of ardent spirits in Oregon territory.

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Oregon [1] is an American state in the Pacific Northwest. It features rugged rocky coastlines, dense forests, fun cities, western mountains, and even a desert in the southeastern part of the state.

Oregon Regions
  • Cascade Mountains - Numerous wildernesses, thick forests, fresh air and water which divide western Oregon from Central Oregon
  • Central Oregon - Gateway to the High Desert
  • Columbia Gorge - Wind and beauty
  • Eastern Oregon - Cattle, timber and sage country
  • Oregon Coast - Spectacular and rugged coastline, modest and affordable accommodations
  • Southern Oregon - Beautiful old-growth forests, world-class fishing, breath-taking waterfalls, emerging wine region, gateway to Crater Lake
  • Willamette Valley - Home to Oregon's most populous cities, as well as its breadbasket.
  • California National Historical Trail - The road to California carried over 250,000 gold-seekers & farmers to the gold fields & rich farmlands of California during the 1840's and 1850's as well as those who choose to head north to the Oregon Territory
  • Crater Lake National Park -- Deepest lake in the world above sea level, Oregon's only national park
  • Lewis and Clark National Monument - 12 park sites located on a 40-mile stretch of the Pacific coast located at the western end of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Mount Bachelor -- skiing and snowboarding (November through May)
  • Mount Hood -- snowboarding & skiing (lift serviced year round), snowshoeing, alpine slides, hiking, backpacking, camping
  • Painted Hills -- Part of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, 75 Miles East of Bend, approximately 1000 Ha, 3132 Acres, one of the most photographed areas in Oregon. Colors change as the sun moves in the sky, making an extended visit quite worthwhile. Brilliant yellow wildflowers bloom in rivers of color down the "valleys" of the hillsides in late April/early May.
  • Oregon National Historical Trail -- As the harbinger of America's westward expansion, the Oregon Trail was the pathway to the Pacific for fur traders, gold seekers, missionaries and others.
  • Willamette National Forest -- Offering numerous outdoor recreation activities including hiking, sailing, and camping at Waldo Lake.
  • Wallowa Lake -- One of Oregon's finest lakes. Beautiful scenery, camping, boating, fishing, hiking, eating, and lodging in the quiet town of Joseph.
  • Silver Falls State Park - Located 26 miles East of Salem this state park has 10 waterfalls. Take the canyon trail on a 6.9 mile hike and see all 10. For a shorter hike take the shortcut and see 8 waterfalls in a 5.1 mile loop.

Understand

If driving in Oregon, be aware of a state law that does not allow self-service at gas stations. A gas station attendant must pump the gas.

Also, be aware that the name of the state is pronounced "OR-eh-gun"; a popular saying that is often recited to tourists and newcomers is "if you say 'or-eh-GONE', you should be."

Get in

By plane

The three largest commercial passenger airports in Oregon are:

  • Portland International Airport (PDX) in Portland
  • Mahlon Sweet Field (EUG) in Eugene
  • Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR) in Medford

Scappoose Airport Hillsboro Airport Salem Airport

Portland International is served non-stop by most major airlines and by several international carriers; it is the only international port of entry for Oregon. Mahlon Sweet Field and Rogue Valley Airport are served non-stop by feeder lines to Portland and other regional hubs such as San Francisco, Seattle, and Salt Lake City.

By train

Amtrak [2] offers several ways to enter and travel thorughout Oregon by train:

  • The Empire Builder runs between Chicago and Spokane, Washington, where it then splits, with half of the train continuing to Seattle, and the other half to Portland.
  • The Coast Starlight. Regarded by many as America's most scenic train ride, the Coast Starlight runs between Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, stopping at many Oregon towns including Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Klamath Falls.
  • Amtrak Cascades. The Cascades is a special service that operates between Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), and Eugene using special high-speed Talgo rolling stock. Stops include Portland and Albany. See Amtraks website.

For more information, see Amtrak's website, Wikitravel's article Rail travel in the United States, or the Wikipedia pages on each of this train services.

By car

Oregon has two Interstate Highways:

  • Interstate 5 connects Medford, Eugene, Salem, and Portland, running north to the Canadian border of British Columbia, and south through the Willamette Valley all the way to San Diego, California, therefore connecting Canada and Mexico via 3 west coast states.
  • Interstate 84 connects Portland, The Dalles, and Pendleton, running east to Boise, Idaho.

Federal and state highways effectively serve the remainder of the state, arranged in a grid-like lattice, but warped by mountain ranges:

  • Highway 101 winds along the Pacific coast and goes through the main street of most every town along the way
  • Highway 99 is the predecessor to I-5, but goes through many towns in the Willamette Valley. At Junction City (just north of Eugene), it splits as 99E and 99W which meander along the respective sides of the Willamette River; both terminate in Portland. South of Eugene, it is the same as I-5.
  • Highway 97 is the main Central Oregon north/south route. When I-5 is closed by winter storms, this is usually a good alternate as it is east of the Cascades and subject to much less precipitation.
  • Highway 26 goes from the northern coast through the coast range, through Portland then over the south flank of Mount Hood then generally follows an east-west path tracing the north Oregon border 50-75 miles south almost to the Idaho border at Vale.
  • Highway 20 goes from the north central coast in Newport to the eastern border roughly midway through the state.

Oregon is one of two states in the U.S. (along with New Jersey) where self-serve gasoline stations are not allowed by law. The speed limit along the interstates is generally 65 miles per hour (mph) except in the urban areas of interstate 5 where it is 55 mph. On highways it is generally 55 mph. For more details see Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 811.111 [3] and 810.180 [4].

By bicycle

The Oregon Coast is a premier destination for cycling. Many thousands cycle the entire Oregon Coast each year. In the summer months take Highway 101 north to south starting in Astoria through Lincoln City and onto Brookings to get breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The prevailing winds will be at your back all summer long. For the seasoned cyclist head north in winter months as the winds are out of the SW at that time of year.

By foot

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (which runs from Canada to Mexico) passes through Oregon along the Cascade Mountains. With almost no civilization along its route and very few highway crossings (four in the northern 150 miles of the trail), it is exceptional for experiencing nature while avoiding civilization.

See

Hundreds of species of birds and wildlife in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Do

Southern Oregon has the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, Crater Lake, Rogue River, and Oregon Coast.

  • Raft the Rogue River, Grants Pass, [5]. Spend four days rafting the Class III rapids of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. Camping and lodge trips are available.
  • Enjoy the outdoors by camping at Devil's Lake, Ft. Stevens, Tillamook State Forest or Detroit Lake State Recreation Area.
  • Nearly 40 miles of coastline Dunes at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area between Florence and Coos Bay: get sand in your hair by driving ATVs or dune buggies.
  • Take a Oregon Coast [6] getaway or extended vacation. Visit the 363 miles of coastline and sandy beaches. Enjoy your stay at one of the most romantic places in the world.
  • OHV Riding in Oregon
  • Rock climbing at Smith Rock.
  • Visit Warm Springs Indian Reservation Resort and Casino.
  • Watch a Portland Trail Blazer game.
  • Watch a Portland Timbers game.
  • Watch a Portland Winterhawks game.
  • Go to the Oregon Zoo.
  • Smell the International Rose Test Gardens for free
  • Ski or Snowboard on Mt. Hood. In August if you want.
  • Go Bike Riding on the Spring Water Trail or in downtown Portland.
  • Go to the Beach at Lincoln City, Seaside, or Newport.
  • Visit Saturday Market in downtown Portland for wonderful local food, arts & crafts and music
  • Soak in the natural hot springs at Bagby Hot Springs, Breitenbush Resort, or the edge of Alvord Desert
  • Four star dining in hiking boots and jeans? This is perfectly acceptable (as are suits and tuxedos) at Timberline Lodge's Cascade Dining Room which offers seasonal northwest cuisine year round. Excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner selections. Dinner reservations are helpful most evenings, but a necessity at holidays and nice summer weekends.
  • Visit one of 30 microbreweries within Portland city limits

Drink

McMenamin's has several breweries and pubs throughout the state, including ones in Portland, Bend, McMinnville, and Eugene.

Respect

Oregonians are fanatically proud of the natural beauty of their state; littering or otherwise causing harm to the scenic beauty - including wildlife - found here is bound to draw attention to you that you probably do not want, up to and including that special type which only an officer of the law can give.

That being said, keep in mind that while Portland and the rest of the Willamette Valley is very cosmopolitan and culturally similar to San Francisco and Seattle. Eastern Oregon and Southern Oregon are more akin to Idaho and Nevada; that is to say, quite conservative. Oregonians are generally kind and helpful folk and your chances of having a nasty experience with someone are slim, but it might serve you better in these areas to mind your comments and conduct if you are the left-of-center sort (or anything that would have you perceived as such, e.g. a sexual minority). Contrary to popular belief, not all Oregonians are tree-hugging liberals, a fact which will become abundantly clear to you on a trip to a place such as Burns, La Grande, or Prineville.

Stay safe

Oregonians are known for being exceptionally kind and welcoming people; accordingly, violent crime in Oregon is quite low and visitors are not likely to have any harm come to them during their stay. Be aware, however, that violence has been on the rise in the Portland and Salem areas due to increasing gang activity - troubles which have likely been exacerbated by the state's 10.5% unemployment rate (November, 2009). Property crime is always a problem. The most dangerous neighborhood in the entire state is probably the King neighborhood in Northeast Portland (and even this area is not too risky if traveling in a group at night). The Rockwood district in suburban Gresham is also known for disturbingly high levels of violent and property crime. A casual visitor, however, will not likely have any reason to go to either of these places - in fact, most residents don't, either. For hazards specific to these cities, please see their respective WikiTravel pages.

Natural hazards are also few, but include (very rare) tsunamis on the coast (please make note of the "Evacuation Route" signs); sudden snowstorms in the Cascade Mountains from October to May; the usual perils of desert travel in the Southeastern part of the state; and rattlesnakes, bears and other wildlife(particularly east of the Cascade range). If you venture out of the Willamette Valley during your stay, please ensure that your automobile is well fueled and in suitable condition: while Portland is modern and well-populated, Eastern Oregon includes some of the most sparsely populated areas in the United States (Harney County in the Southeast part of the state, for example, is slightly smaller than Massachusetts but is the home to only about 7,000 people). Breaking down out there will, in best case scenarios, make for a very long and annoying day; at worst, the consequences can be tragic.

Finally, as the subject of the vast emptiness of Oregon has been broached, remember to always have an adequate map (Benchmark Maps makes an exceptionally good one), especially if traveling into the wilderness on foot: each year many hikers go missing and, sadly, some never return. Know where you are going, and make sure someone else does too.

  • Oregon State Police: (503) 378-3720
  • Oregon State University offers a Saferide Program [7] throughout the week.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

OREGON, a North-Western state of the American Union, on the Pacific slope, lying between 42° and 46° 18' N. lat. and 116° 33' and 124° 32' W. long. It is bounded N. by the state of Washington, from which it is separated in part by the Columbia river, the 46th parallel forming the rest of the boundary; E., by Idaho, from which it is separated in part by the Snake river; S., by Nevada and California, and W., by the Pacific Ocean. It has an extreme length, E. and W., of 375 m., an extreme width, N. and S., of 290 m., and a total area of 96,699 sq. m., of which 1092 sq. m. are water-surface.

Table of contents

Topography

The coast of the state extends in a general N. and S. direction for about 300 m., and consists of long stretches of sandy beach broken occasionally by lateral spurs of the Coast Range, which project boldly into the sea and form high rocky headlands. With the exception of the mouth of the Columbia river, the bays and inlets by which the shore is indented are small and of very little importance. Parallel with the coast and with its main axis about 20 m. inland is an irregular chain of hills known as the Coast Range. It does not attain a great height, but has numerous lateral spurs, especially toward the W. Euchre Peak (Lincoln county), probably the highest point in the range in Oregon, rises 3962 ft. above the sea. In southern Oregon the general elevation of this range is greater than in the N., but the individual peaks are less prominent, and the range in some respects resembles a plateau. Its western slope is generally longer and more gentle than the eastern. A number of small streams, among them the Nehalem, Coquille and Umpqua rivers, cut their way through the Coast Range to reach the ocean. For the greater portion of its length in Oregon, in the northern half of the state, the Coast Range is bordered on the E. by the Willamette Valley, a region about 200 m. long and about 30 m. wide, and the most thickly populated portion of the state; here, therefore, the range is easily defined, but in the S., near the Rogue river, it merges apparently with the Cascade and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in a large complex group designated as the Klamath Mountains, lying partly in Oregon and partly in California, and extending from the northern extremity of the Sierra Nevada to the sea. The Klamath Mountains separate topographically southern Oregon from northern California. A number of ridges and peaks bearing special names, such as the Rogue river, Umpqua and Siskiyou Mountains, belong to this group. The Cascade Mountains, the most important range in Oregon, extend parallel with the coast and lie about too m. inland. The peaks of this system are much higher than those of the Coast Range, varying from 5000 to 11,000 ft., and the highest of them are cones of extinct volcanoes. Mount Hood (11,225 ft.), which is the highest point in the state, Mount Jefferson (10,200 ft.), the Three Sister Peaks, Mount Adams, Bachelor Mountain, and Diamond Peak (8807 ft.) all have one or more glaciers on their sides. The Calapooya Mountains, forming the water-parting between the Willamette and the Umpqua rivers, are a lateral spur of the Cascades, and extend westward as far as the Coast Range. The Cascade Mountains divide the state topographically into two sharply contrasted parts. West of this range the country exhibits a great variety of surface structure, and is humid and densely wooded; east of the range it consists of a broken tableland, arid or semiarid, with a general elevation of 5000 ft. This eastern tableland, though really very rugged and mountainous, seems to have few striking topographic features when compared with the more broken area to the W. In the north-eastern part of this eastern plateau lie the Blue Mountains, which have an average elevation of about 6000 ft. and decline gradually toward the N. A south-western spur, about too m. in length, and the principal ridge together enclose on several sides a wide valley drained by the tributaries of the John Day river. South of these mountains lies the northern limit of the Great Basin region. In Oregon this area extends from the Nevada boundary northward for about 160 m., to the head of the Silvies river, and embraces an area of about t 6,000 sq. m. None of its streams reaches the sea, but all lose their waters by seepage or evaporation. On the E., N., and N.W. the Great Basin is bounded by the drainage systems of the tributaries of the Columbia river, and on the S.W. by the drainage system of the Klamath river. Its boundaries, however, cannot be definitely fixed, as they change with the periods of humidity and drought. Goose Lake, for example, lies in the Great Basin at some seasons; but at other times it overflows and becomes a part of the drainage system of the Sacramento river. Many of the mountains within the Basin region consist of great faulted crust blocks, with a general N. and S. trend. One face of these mountains is usually in the form of a steep palisade, while the other has a very gradual slope. Between these ridges lie almost level valleys, whose floors consist partly of lava flows, partly of volcanic fragmental material, and partly of detritus from the bordering mountains. During the wet season the valleys often contain ephemeral lakes, whose waters on evaporating leave a playa, or mud flat, often covered with an alkaline encrustation of snowy whiteness. Some large permanent lakes occupy the troughs between faulted blocks in southern Oregon. The greatest level, or approximately level, area in the Great Basin region of Oregon is the so-called Great Sandy Desert, a tract about 150 m. long and from 30 to 50 m. wide, lying in parts of Crook, Lake and Harney counties. Its surface consists of a thick sheet of pumiceous sand and dust, from which arise occasional buttes and mesas. On account of the small amount of precipitation, the fissured condition of the underlying lava sheets, and the porous soil, the Great Sandy Desert has practically no surface streams even in the wet season, and within its limits no potable waters have been found. The most prominent mountain range in the Oregon portion of the Great Basin is the Steens Mountains in the S.E., which attain an altitude of about 9000 ft. above the sea and of 5000 ft. above Alvord Valley, which lies along the eastern base. This range is a large monoclinal block, with a trend almost N.E. and S.W., presenting a steep escarpment toward the E., and sloping very gradually toward the W. It exhibits much evidence of powerful erosion, having deep canyons in its sides, and it bears evidence of previous glaciers. The region adjoining the Great Basin on the E. is usually known as the Snake River Plains, and embraces an area of about 1200 sq. m. in Malheur county. Here the hills are deeply sculptured and the valleys much carved by streams which often flow through deep canyons. Where the streams cut their way through sheets of basaltic lava their banks are steep, almost vertical cliffs, but where they cut through sedimentary rocks the sides have a more gentle slope. When several alternate layers of hard and soft rock are cut through by a stream its banks sometimes have the form of steps. The destruction of the grasses on the hillsides by overgrazing in recent years has increased the flooding by temporary streams, and consequently has tended to deepen and increase the gulleys and channels of the mountains and valleys.

The state as a whole has an average elevation of 3300 ft.; with 20,300 sq. m. below 1000 ft.; 19,200 sq. m. between woo and 3000 ft.; 33,5 00 sq. m. between 3000 and 5000 ft.; and 23,030 sq. m. between 5000 and 9000 ft.

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The most important stream is the Columbia river, which forms the northern boundary for 300 m. and receives directly the waters of all. the important rivers in the state except a few in the S.W.

and a few in the extreme E. About 160 m. from its mouth are the Cascades, where the river cuts through the lava beds of the Cascade Mountains and makes a descent of about 300 ft. through a canyon 6 m. long and nearly i m. deep. The passage of vessels through the river at this point is made possible by means of locks Fifty-three m. farther up the stream is a second set of rapids known as the Dalles, where the stream for about 2 M. is confined within a narrow channel from 130 to 200 ft. wide. The largest tributary of the Columbia is the Snake river, which for nearly 200 m. of its course forms the boundary between Oregon and Idaho. It flows through a canyon from 2000 to 5000 ft. deep, with steep walls of basaltic and kindred rocks. The powerful erosion has often caused the columnar black basalt to assume weird and fantastic shapes. The chief tributaries of the Snake river in Oregon are the Grand Ronde, Powder, Burnt, Malheur and Owyhee rivers. The principal tributaries of the Columbia E. of the Cascade Mountains and lying wholly within the state are the John Day river, which rises in the Blue Mountains and enters the Columbia 29 m. above the Dalles after pursuing a winding course of about 250 m.; and the Deschutes river, which rises on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains, and after flowing northward for about 320 m. enters the Columbia 12 m. above the Dalles. The Deschutes river drains a region which is less arid than the plateau farther E., and which contains a number of small lakes. A peculiar feature of the stream is the uniformity of its volume throughout the year; the great crevasses in the lava bed through which it flows form natural spillways andcheck any tendency of the stream to rise within its banks. The Willamette river, W. of the Cascade Mountains, is the most important stream lying wholly within the state. It rises on the western slope of the Cascades and enters the Columbia river about 100 m. above its mouth, having with its branches a length of about 300 m. In the western part of the state a number of short streams flow directly into the Pacific Ocean, the most important of these being the Rogue and the Umpqua rivers, which have their sources in the Cascades.

In Southern Oregon, especially in the Great Basin region, there are numerous lakes. Malheur Lake, in Harney county, during the wet, season is about 25 m. long and has an average width of Lakes 5 or 6 m. It is not over 10 ft. deep in any part, and is only a few inches in depth a mile from the shore. In the summer most of its bed is a playa or mud flat. Almost continuous with this body of water on the S.W. is Harney Lake, roughly circular in form and about 7-8 m. in diameter. The waters of both lakes are alkaline, but Malheur Lake is often freshened by overflowing into Harney Lake, while the latter, having no outlet, is growing continually more alkaline. East of the Steens Mountains there is a chain of very small lakes, such as the Juniper, Manns and Alvord lakes, and also a playa known as the Alvord Desert, which in the spring is covered with a few inches, or perhaps I or 2 ft., of water, and becomes a lake with an area of 50 or 60 sq. m. In the summer the dry bed is smooth and very hard, and when the skies are clear the monotony of the landscape is sometimes broken by a mirage. In Lake county, occupying fault-made troughs, are several large bodies of water - Lake Abert (about 5 m. by 15 m.), Warner Lake (50 m. long, 4-8 m. wide), Summer Lake (a little smaller than Abert), and Goose Lake, the one last named lying partly in California and draining into the Sacramento system. The Upper and the Lower Klamath lakes of Klamath county are noted for their scenic beauty. Near the northwestern boundary of Klamath county is the famous Crater Lake, whose surface is 6239 ft. above the sea. This lake lies in a great pit or caldera created by the wrecking in prehistoric times of the volcano Mount Mazama, which according to geologists once had an altitude of about 14,000 ft. above the sea and of 8000 ft. above the surrounding tableland; the upper portion of the mountain fell inward, possibly owing to the withdrawal of interior lava, and left a crater-like rim, or caldera, rising 2000 ft. above the surrounding country. The lake is 4 m. wide and 6 m. long, has a depth in some places of nearly 2000 ft., and is surrounded by walls of rock from 500 to 2000 ft. high. In spite of its great elevation the lake has never been known to freeze, and though it has no visible outlet its waters are fresh.

Fauna and Flora. - Large game has disappeared from the settled areas, but is still fairly abundant on the plains of the east and among the mountains of the west. In the mountain forests of south-western Oregon bears, deer, elk, pumas, wolves and foxes are plentiful. Among the south-eastern plateaus antelope are found at all seasons, and deer and big-horn (mountain sheep), and occasionally a few elk, in the winter. Bears, wolves, lynxes and foxes are also numerous in the east, and there the coyote is found in disagreeable numbers. The pocket-gopher and the jack-rabbit are so numerous as to be great pests. The principal varieties of game-birds are ducks, geese, grouse and California quail. Sage-hens are occasionally seen on the dry plateaus and valleys, especially in Harney county. The Oregon robin (Merula naevia) and the Oregon snowbird (Junco Oregonus) are common in Oregon and northward. On the rocky headlands and islands of the coast nest thousands of gulls, cormorants, puffins, guillemots, surf-ducks (Oedemia), dotterels, terns, petrels and numerous other birds. There, too, the Steller's sea-lion (Eumetopias stelleri) spends the mating season. The marine fauna is abundant and of great economic importance. The river fauna of the coast is of two distinct types: the type of the Columbia fauna in rivers north of the Rogue; and another type in the Klamath and its tributaries. Typical of the Columbia river is Catastomus macrocheilus and of the Klamath, C. rimiculus. Lampreys, sticklebacks, cattoids, sturgeons - the white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) is commonly known as the "Oregon sturgeon" - trout and salmon are the principal anadromous fish, the salmon and trout being the most important economically. The best varieties of the salmon for canning are: the king, Chinook or quinnat (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha), far better than any other variety; and the steel-head, blue back or sukkegh (0. nerka). The total woodland area of the state according to the United States census of 1900 was 54,300 sq. m. or 56.8% of the land area. The Federal government established in 1907 and 1908 thirteen forest reserves in the state, ten of which had an area of more than 1,000,000 acres each; their total area on the 1st of January 1910 was 25,345 sq. m. From the coast to the eastern base of the Cascade Mountains the state is heavily timbered, except in small prairies and clearings in the Willamette and other valleys, and the most important tree is the great Douglas fir, pine or spruce (Pseudotsuga Douglasii), commonly called Oregon pine, which sometimes grows to a height of 300 ft., and which was formerly in great demand for masts and spars of sailing-vessels and for bridge timbers; the Douglas fir grows more commercial timber to the acre than any other American variety, and constitutes about five-sevenths of the total stand of the state. Timber is also found on the Blue Mountains in the north-east and on a number of mountains in the central and south-eastern parts of the state. East of the Cascades the valleys are usually treeless, save for a few willows and cottonwoods in the vicinity of streams. Over the greater part of this region the sage-brush is the most common plant, and by its ubiquity it imparts to the landscape the monotonous greyish tint so characteristic of the arid regions of the western United States. West of the Cascades most of the trees of commercial value consist of Douglas fir. Cedar and hemlock also are commercially valuable. There are small amounts of sugar pine, yellow pine, red fir and silver fir (Abies grandis and A. nobilis) and spruce; and among the broad-leaved varieties the oak, ash, maple, mahoganybirch or mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolia), aspen, cottonwood and balsam are the most common. East of the Cascades the forests consist for the most part of yellow pine. In the south-east the hills and lower slopes of the mountains are almost bare of trees. At higher altitudes, however, the moisture increases and scattered junipers begin to appear. Blending with these at their upper limit and continuing above them are clumps of mountain mahogany, which sometimes attains a height of 20 or 30 ft. Above this belt of mahogany, pines and firs are sometimes found. In this region the mountains have an upper, or cold, timber line, the height of which depends upon the severity of the climate, and a lower, or dry, timber line, which is determined by the amount of rainfall. These upper and lower limits of the timber belt are sometimes very sharply defined, so that tall mountains may be marked by a dark girdle of forest, above and below which appear walls of bare rock. In a very arid region the dry timber line may rise above the cold timber line, and in such a case the mountain will contain no forests. Of this phenomenon the Steens Mountains furnish a conspicuous example. It was estimated that the forests of Oregon contained in 1900 about 150,000,000,000 ft. of Douglas fir or spruce, 40,000,000,000 ft. of yellow pine and 35,000,000,000 ft. of other species - chiefly cedar, hemlock and spruce. In the most heavily wooded region along the Pacific coast and the lower course of the Columbia river are forests of the Douglas fir with stands of 100,000 ft. of timber per acre. The value of the lumber and timber products increased from $1,014,211 in 1870 to $ 6 ,53 0 ,757 in 1890, to $10,257,169 in 1900, and to $12,483,908 in 1905.

Climate

Perhaps no state in the union has such great local variations in its climate as has Oregon. Along the coast the climate is humid, mild and uniform, and, as has often been remarked, very like the climate of the British Isles; in the eastern two-thirds of the state, from which the moisture-laden winds are excluded by the high coastwise mountains, the climate is dry and marked by great daily and annual ranges of temperature. The mean annual temperature varies with the elevation and the distance from the sea, being highest along the western slope of the Coast Range at altitudes below 2000 ft., and lowest in the elevated regions E. of the Cascade Mountains. The temperatures along the coast are never as high as zoo° F. or as low as zero. In the valleys between the Coast Range and the Cascade Mountains the range of temperature is much greater than it is along the coast; the absolute maximum and minimum being respectively 102° and - 2° at Portland, in the N.W., and 108° and - 4° at Ashland, in the S.W. Owing to its greater elevation the southern portion of Oregon experiences greater extremes of temperature than the northern. In that part of the state E. of the Cascades the climate is of a continental type, with much greater ranges of temperature than in the W., although in a few low valleys, as at the Dalles, the extremes are somewhat modified. While flowers bloom throughout the year at Portland, frosts have occurred in every month of the year at Lakeview, in the Great Basin. At Astoria, near the mouth of the Columbia river, the mean annual temperature is 52° F., with extremes recorded of 97° and 10°; but at Silver Lake, in the Great Basin region, while the mean annual temperature is 44°, the highest and lowest ever recorded are respectively 104° and - 32°. These records afford a striking illustration of the moderating influence of the ocean upon climate.

As is the case in all the Pacific states, the amount of rainfall decreases from N. to S., and is greatest on the seaward slopes of the hills and mountains. As the winds from the ocean are deprived of their moisture on reaching the Coast and Cascade ranges, the amount of annual precipitation, which in the coast counties varies from 75 to 138 in., constantly diminishes toward the E. until in the extreme south-eastern part of the state it amounts to only about 8 in. No other state, except perhaps Washington, has such a great variation in the amount of its rainfall. Precipitation on the Coast Range at altitudes above 2000 ft. amounts to about 138 in. annually; in the valleys E. of this range it varies from 20.2 in. at Ashland to 78.2 in. at Portland. On the western slope of the Cascades it varies from 50 in. in the S. to 100 in. in the N.; in the Columbia Valley the amount is from 10 to 15 in.; in the valleys and foothills of the Blue Mountains, 12 to 25 in.; and in the plateau region of central and south-eastern Oregon, 8 to 22 in. In the region W. of the Cascade Mountains there is a so-called wet season, which lasts from October to March, and the summers are almost rainless. In the rest of the state there is a maximum rainfall in the winter and a secondary wet season in May and June, with the rest of the summer very dry. During the winter the prevailing winds are from the S. and bring moisture; during the summer they are from the N.W. and are accompanied by cloudless skies and moderate temperatures. Winds from the N.E. bring hot weather in the summer and intense cold in the winter.

Soils

The state has almost as great a variety of soils as of climate. In the Willamette Valley the soils are mostly clay loams, of a basaltic nature on the foothills and greatly enriched in the river bottom lands by washings from the hills and by deposits of rich black humus. In south-western Oregon, in the Rogue and Umpqua valleys, the characteristic soil is a reddish clay, though other varieties are numerous. In eastern Oregon the soils are of an entirely different type, being usually of a greyish appearance, lacking in humus, and composed of volcanic dust and alluvium from the uplands. They are deep, of fine texture, easily worked and contain abundant plant food in the form of soluble compounds of calcium, sodium and potassium. At times, however, these salts are present in such excess as to render the soils too alkaline for plant growing. Where there is no excess of alkali and the water supply is sufficient, good crops can be grown in this soil without the use of fertilizers.

Agriculture and Stock-Raising.--Oregon has some of the most productive agricultural lands in the United States, but they are rather limited in extent, being confined for the most part to the valleys west of the Cascade Mountains and the counties bordering .on the Columbia river east of those mountains. The other parts of the state are generally too dry or too mountainous for growing crops, but contain considerable areas suitable for grazing. In 1900 only .about one-sixth of the total land surface was included in farms, and a trifle less than one-third of the farm land was improved. There were 35,837 farms, and their average size was 281 acres. Of the whole number 33. o % (11,827) contained less than 100 acres each, 30.5% (11,055) contained from 100 to 175 acres each, and 10.4% (3727), devoted mainly to stock-raising, contained 500 acres or more each. Nearly four-fifths of the farms (28,636) were operated by owners or part owners, 3729 were operated by share tenants, 2637 by cash tenants and 835 by owners and tenants or managers. The principal crops are wheat, oats, hay, fruits, hops, potatoes and miscellaneous vegetables. Sheep and cattle are raised extensively on ranches in the semi-arid regions, large herds of cattle are kept on lands too wet for cultivation in the western counties, and stock-raising and dairying have become important factors in the operation of many of the best farms. The acreage of wheat was 810,000 in 1909 and the crop was 16,377,000 bushels. The oat crop was 10,886,000 bushels. The barley crop was 1,984,000 bushels. The nights are so cool that Indian corn is successfully grown only by careful cultivation, and the crop amounted to only 552,000 bushels in 1909. The hay crop, 865,000 tons in 1909, is made quite largely from wild grasses and grains cut green; on the irrigated lands alfalfa is grown extensively for the cattle and sheep, which are otherwise almost wholly dependent for sustenance upon the bunch grass of the semi-arid plains. Both cattle and sheep ranches in the region east of the Cascade Mountains have been considerably encroached upon by the appropriation of lands for agricultural purposes, and the cattle, also, have been forced to the south and east by the grazing of sheep on lands formerly reserved for them; but the numbers of both cattle and sheep on the farms have become much larger. The whole number of sheep in the state was 2,581,000 in 1910. The number of cattle other than dairy cows was 698,000 and that of dairy cows 174,000. The dairy business is a promising industry in the farming regions, especially in the Willamette Valley. The number of horses in 1910 was 308,000. The small number of swine (267,000 in 1910) is partly due to the small crop of Indian corn. Fruit-growing has been an increasingly important industry in the region between the Cascade and Coast Ranges and (to a less degree) east of the Cascade Range; and the cultivation of apples is especially important. The cultivation of hops was begun in Oregon about 1850; the soil and climate of the Willamette Valley were found to be exceedingly favourable to their growth, and the product increased to 20,500,000 lb in 1905, when the state ranked first in the Union in this industry.

The agricultural resources of the state may be considerably increased by irrigation east of the Cascade Mountains. The irrigated areas, which are widely distributed, increased from a total of 177,944 acres in 1889 to 388,310 acres in 1902. In 1894 Congress passed the "Carey Act" which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, with the approval of the President, to donate to each of the states in which there are Federal desert lands as much of such lands (less than 1,000,000 acres) as the state may apply for, on condition that the state reclaim by irrigation, cultivation and occupancy not less than 20 acres of each 160-acre tract within ten years, and under the operation of this Act the state chose 432,203 acres for reclamation, mostly in the basin of the Deschutes river. Furthermore there is a state association engaged in irrigation projects, and the United States Reclamation Service, established by an Act of Congress in 1902, has projects for utilizing the flood waters of the Umatilla, Malheur, Silvies and Grande Ronde rivers, the waters of the Owyhee and Wallowa rivers and Willow Creek, and the waters of some of the lakes in the central part of the state. Two of these projects had been begun by 1909: the Umatilla project in Umatilla county, to irrigate 20,440 acres with water diverted from the Umatilla river by a dam (98 ft. high, 3500 ft. long) 2 m. above Echo, with a reservoir of 1500 acres, was authorized in 1905 and was 851% finished in 1909; the Klamath project, to irrigate 181,000 acres in Klamath county, Oregon (about 145,000 acres) and Siskiyou and Modoc counties, California, by two canals from Upper Klamath Lake and by a storage dam (33 ft. high, 940 ft. long) in the Clear Lake reservoir of 25,000 acres, was authorized in 1905 and was 38% completed in 1909. It has been estimated that the irrigated and irrigable area under private canals is about 80,000 acres, and that that still undisposed of in 1909, irrigated by the state under the Carey Act, amounted to 180,000 acres.

Fisheries

The Columbia river has long been famous for its salmon, and as the supply seemed threatened with exhaustion for several years following the maximum catch in 1883, the state legislature in 1901 passed an act establishing a close season both early in the spring and late in the summer and prohibiting any fishing, except with hook and line, at any time, without a licence. In 1908 two laws proposed by initiative petition were passed, stopping all fishing by night and fishing in the navigable channels of the lower river, limiting the length of seines to be used in the lower river and abolishing the use of gear by fishermen of the upper river - the mouth of the Sandy river, in Multnomah county, being the dividing line between the upper and lower Columbia. Several hatcheries have been established by the state authorities of Oregon and Washington and by the Federal government for propagating the best varieties: the Chinooks (0. tschawytscha), the bluebacks (0. nerka) and, when the bluebacks became scarce, silversides (0. kisutch). The total catch of salmon on the Oregon side of the Columbia river in 1901 was 16,725,435 lb from this it rose to 24,575,228 lb in 1903, but fell to 18,151,743 lb in 1907 and 18,463,546 in 1908. Salmon are caught in smaller quantities in the coast streams: 4,371,618 lb in 1901 and 8,043,690 lb in 1906, but only 6,738,682 lb in 1907 and 6,422,511 lb in 1908. Some catfish, shad, smelt, halibut, herring, perch, sturgeon, flounders, oysters, clams, crabs and crawfish are also obtained from Oregon waters.

Minerals

Gold was discovered in the Rogue and Klamath rivers in the S. part of Oregon in 1852, and placer-mining was prosecuted here without interruption until 1860, when the metal was found in larger quantities on the streams in Baker and Grant counties in the north-eastern part of the state. Quartz-mining has since very largely taken the place of placer-mining, but the two principal gold-producing districts are still that traversed by the Blue Mountains in the northeastern quarter and that drained by the Rogue river in the southwestern corner, a continuation of the California field. The value of the total output of the state was $2,113,356 in 1894, but only $865,076 in 1908. Silver is obtained almost wholly in the form of alloy with gold, and in 1908 the value of the output was only $23,109. Lignitic dial was discovered on or near the coast of Coos Bay as early as 1855, and this is still the only productive coalfield within the state, although there are outcroppings of the mineral all along the Coast Range N. of the Rogue river, along the W. foothills of the Cascade Range and in the Blue Mountains; this coal is suitable for steam and heating purposes but will not coke. The quantity of the output was 86,259 short tons in 1908. Copper ores are known to be quite widely distributed in the mountain districts, but there has been little work on any except some in Josephine and Grant counties; in 1908 the state's output amounted to 291,377 lb of copper. Iron ore, platinum, lead, quicksilver and cobalt have been obtained in the state in merchantable quantities, and there is some zinc ore in the Cascade Range. In Union county is a great amount of blue limestone, and there is limestone, also, in Baker, Grant, Wallowa, Jackson and Josephine counties. Sandstone is abundant, and there is some granite, in the Coast Range. A variegated marble is obtained in Douglas county, and other marbles are found in several counties. Clays suitable for making brick and tile are found in nearly every part of the state: in 1908 the clay products of the state were valued at $555,768. Soapstone is abundant in both the E. and W. counties. Ochre, or mineral paint, and mineral waters, too, are widely distributed. There is some roofing slate along the Rogue river, natural cement, nickel ore, bismuth and wolframite in Douglas county, gypsum in Baker county, fire-clay in Clatsop county, borate of soda on the marsh lands of Harney county, infusorial earth and tripoli in the valley of the Deschutes river, chromate of iron in Curry and Douglas counties, molybdenite in Union county, bauxite in Clackamas county, borate of lime in Curry county, manganese ore in Columbia county, and asbestos in several of the southern and eastern counties. The total value of all mineral products in 1908 was $2,743,434.

Manufactures

Manufacturing is encouraged both by the variety and abundance of raw material furnished by the mines, the forests, the farms and the fisheries, and by the coal and water-power available for operating the machinery. The total value of manufactures increased from $10,931,232 in 1880 to $41,432,174 in 1890, or 279% in ten years, and although progress was slow from 1890 to 1900 there was a rapid advance again from 1900 to 1905, when the value of factory products increased from $3 6 ,59 2 ,7 1 4 to $55525,123. The manufactures of greatest value are lumber and timber products ($12,483,908 in 1905). Portland and Astoria are the chief manufacturing centres; in 1905 the value of the factory products of these two cities was 57.2% of that of the factory products of the entire state.

Transportation and Commerce

For 110 m. from the mouth of the Columbia river to Portland, 12 m. up the Willamette river, is a channel which in 1909 was navigable (20-22 ft. deep) by large oceangoing vessels, and which will have a minimum depth of 25 ft. at low water upon the completion of the Federal project of 1902. From the mouth of the Willamette river vessels of light draft ascend the Columbia (passing the Cascade Falls through a lock canal, which was opened in 1896 and has a depth of 8 ft., a width of 92 ft. and two locks, each 462 ft. long) to the mouth of the Snake river (in the state of Washington), up that river to the mouth of the Imnaha, in Wallowa county, on the eastern boundary of Oregon, and, when the water is high, up the Imnaha river to the town of Imnaha, 516 m. from the sea. The Willamette river is navigable to Harrisburg, 152 m. above Portland, but boats seldom go farther up the river than Corvallis, 119 m. above Portland, and the depth at low water to Corvallis is only 3 ft. On the coast, Coos Bay, a tidal estuary, is the principal harbour between the mouth of the Columbia and San Francisco; it admits vessels drawing 14 to 16 ft. of water, and both the north and south forks of the Coos river are navigable for vessels of light draft (the depth at low water is only 1.5 ft.) 14 m. from the mouth of that river, and 8.5 m. on each fork. Farther north, Yaquina Bay and Tillamook Bay also admit small steamboats. The Coquille river is navigable for about 37 m., the Yaquina river for 23 m. with a depth of 13 to 15 ft., the Siuslaw river for 6 m. (for vessels drawing less than 6 ft., 15 m. farther for very light draft vessels) and a few other coast streams for short distances. The beginning of railway building in Oregon was delayed a few years by a contest between parties desiring a line on the east side of the Willamette river and parties desiring one on the west side. Finally, on the 14th of May 1868, ground was broken for the proposed line on the west side, and two days later it was broken for one on the east side; that on the east side was completed for 20 m. south of Portland in 1869 and that on the west side was completed to the Yamhill river in 1872. In 1870 the mileage was 159 m. The principal period of railway building was from 1880 to 1890, during which 931.97 m. were built and the state's mileage increased from 508 m. to 1 ,439'97 m. In 1909 the total mileage was 2089.46 m. There is a state railway commission. The principal railways are: that of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company (controlled by the Union Pacific), which crosses the north-eastern corner of the state and then runs along the bank of the Columbia river to Portland; three lines of the Southern Pacific in the Willamette Valley, the main line connecting Portland with San Francisco; the Astoria & Columbia River, connecting Portland and Astoria; the Coos Bay, Roseburg & Eastern Railroad & Navigation Company (owned by the Southern Pacific), connecting Coos Bay with one of the Southern Pacific lines; and the Corvallis & Eastern (owned by the Southern Pacific), connecting Yaquina Bay with all three lines of the Southern Pacific. Throughout the Cascade Mountain Region and the great semi-arid region east of those mountains, which together embrace more than two-thirds of the state's area, there is not a railway.

The state carries on an extensive commerce with the Orient and with the Canadian provinces. Its exports are principally lumber, wheat, live-stock, fish and wool; its imports are largely a variety of products of the Oriental countries. There are four customs districts: southern Oregon, with Coos Bay as the port of entry; Willamette, with Portland as the port of entry; Oregon, with Astoria as the port of_entry; and Yaquina, at the mouth of the Yaquina river.

Population

The population of Oregon was 13,294 in 1850; 52,465 in 1860; 9 0, 9 2 3 in 1870; 174,768 in 1880; 317,70 4 in 1890; 413,536 in 1900, an increase of 30.2% in the decade; and 672,765 in 1 9 10, a further increase of 62.7%. Of the total population in 1900, 347,788, or 84.1%, were native-born, 6 5,748 were foreignborn, 394,582, or 95.4%, were of the white race, and 18,954 were coloured. Of those born within the United States only 164,431, or less than one-half, were natives of Oregon, and of those born in other states of the Union 128,654, or about seventenths, were natives of one or another of the following states: Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, California, New York, Indiana, Kansas, Washington, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Nearly three-fourths of the foreign-born were composed of the following: 13,292 Germans, 9365 Chinese, 9007 Scandinavians, 7508 Canadians, 5663 English and 4210 Irish. The coloured population consisted of 10,397 Chinese, 4951 Indians, 2501 Japanese and 1105 negroes.

The Indians are remnant of a large number of tribes, most of which are aboriginal to this egion, and they represent ten or more distinct linguistic stocks. Mpst of them have been collected under five government schools; the Clackamas, Cow Creek, Calapooya, Lakmiut, Mary's River, Molala, Nestucca, Rogue River, Santiam, Shasta, Tumwater, Umpqua, Wapato and Yamhill, numbering 145 in 1909, under the Grande Ronde school, on the Grande Ronde reservation in Polk and Yamhill counties; the Klamath (658), Modoc (216), Paiute (103), and Pit River or Achomawi (56), under the Klamath school on the Klamath reservation (1362.8 sq. m.) in Klamath and Lake counties; the Alsea, Coquille, Kusan, Kwatami, Rogue River, Skoton, Shasta, Saiustkea, Siuslaw, Tututni, Umpqua and several other small tribes, numbering 442 in 1909, under the Siletz school, on the Siletz reservation (5 sq. m.) in Lincoln county; the Cayuse, Umatilla and Wallawalla, numbering 1205 in 1908, under the Umatilla school, on the Umatilla reservation (124.73 sq. m.) in Umatilla county, and the Paiute, Tenino, Warm Springs and Wasco Indians, numbering 765 in 1909, under the Warm Springs school on the Warm Springs reservation (503.29 sq. m.) in Wasco and Crook counties. Most of the Indians are engaged in farming and stock-raising, but a few still derive their maintenance mainly from fishing and hunting.

Roman Catholics are the most numerous religious sect in the state (in 1906 out of a total of 120,229 communicants of all religious bodies, they numbered 35,317). The rural population (i.e. population outside of incorporated places) is very sparse, only about 21, in 1900, to the square mile, and while it increased from 203,973 in 1890 to 229,894 in 1900, or only 11.3%, the urban (i.e. population of places having 4000 inhabitants or more) together with the semi-urban (i.e. population of incorporated places having less than 4000 inhabitants) increased during the same decade from 113,731 to 183,642, or 61-5%. The principal cities are Portland, Astoria, Baker City and Salem, which is the capital.

Administration

The state is still governed under its original constitution of 1857, with the amendments adopted in 1902, 1906 and 1908. This constitution may be amended: by a majority of the popular vote at a regular general election, if the amendment has been passed by a majority vote of all the elected members of each house of the legislature; or by an initiative petition; or by a constitutional convention, which may not be called, however, unless the law providing for it is approved by popular vote. The right of suffrage is conferred by the constitution upon all white male citizens twenty-one years of age and over who have resided in the state during the six months immediately preceding the election, and upon every white male of the required age who has been a resident of the state for six months, and who, one year before the election, has declared his intention of becoming a citizen and who has resided in the United States for one year and in the state for six months prior to the election. Idiots, insane persons and persons convicted of serious crimes are disfranchised. The clause excluding negroes and Chinese from the suffrage has never been repealed, although it has been rendered nugatory by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Another provision which has been annulled by amendment to the Federal Constitution, but which still remains in the state constitution, is a clause forbidding free negroes or mulattoes, not residing in the state at the time of the adoption of the constitution, to enter the state or to own real estate or make contracts and maintain suits therein, and bidding the legislature provide for the removal of such negroes and mulattoes and for the punishment of persons bringing them into the state, or employing or harbouring them. The constitution provides that no Chinaman, not a resident of the state at the time of the adoption of the constitution, shall ever hold any real estate or mining claim, or work any mining claim in the state.

The chief executive functions are vested in a governor, who is elected for a term of four years, and who must be at least 30 years old and must have been a resident of the state for three years before his election. He is not eligible to the office for more than eight years in any period of twelve years. He has the right of pardon and a veto of legislative acts, which may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the members present of each house of the legislature. The other important administrative officers are the secretary of state (who succeeds the governor if he dies or resigns - there is no lieutenant-governor), treasurer, attorney-general, superintendent of public instruction and labour commissioner. No public officer may be impeached, but for sufficient cause the governor may remove a justice of the supreme court or a prosecuting attorney from office, upon a joint resolution of the legislature adopted by a two-thirds vote in each house. A public official may be tried for incompetence, corruption or malfeasance according to the regular procedure in criminal cases, and if convicted he may be dismissed from office and receive such other penalties as the law provides.

The legislative department (officially called "the legislative assembly") consists of a Senate of thirty 1 members chosen for four years, with half the membership retiring every two years, and a House of Representatives with sixty 1 members elected biennially. A senatorial district, if it contains more than one county, must be composed of contiguous counties, and no county may be divided between different senatorial districts. The sessions of the legislature are biennial. Bills for raising revenue must originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may offer amendments. Until 1902 the legislature was the sole law-making body in the state, but on the 2nd of June of this year the voters adopted a constitutional amendment which declared that "the people reserve to themselves power to propose laws and amendments to the constitution, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislative assembly, and also reserve power at their own option to approve or reject at the polls any act of the legislative assembly." This provision for the initiative and the referendum was made effective by a legislative act of 1903. Eight per cent of the number of voters who at the last preceding election voted for a justice of the supreme court, by filing with the secretary of state a petition for the enactment of any law or constitutional amendment - the petition must contain the full text of the law and must be filed at least four months before the election at which it is to be voted upon - may secure a vote on the proposed measure at the next general election, and if it receives the approval of the voters it becomes a law without interposition of the legislature, and goes into effect from the day of the governor's proclamation announcing the result of the election. A referendum of legislative enactments may be ordered in two ways: the legislature itself may refer any of its acts to the people for approval or rejection at the next regular election, in which case the act may not be vetoed by the governor and does not go into effect until approved at the polls; or 5% of the number of voters at the last election for a supreme court justice may by petition order any act, except such as are "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety," to be referred to the voters for their approval or rejection. Such a petition must be filed within ninety days after the adjournment of the session in which the act was passed. The secretary of state is required to mail to every voter whose address he has a pamphlet containing the text of the laws to be voted upon at the ensuing election. Along with the text of the law, the state will print arguments in its favour if any are submitted by the persons initiating the measure and the cost of the extra printing is paid by the initiators. In like manner, any one who will defray the expense of the printing may submit arguments in opposition to any proposed measure, and these will be included in the pamphlet and distributed by the state at its own expense. This "text-book" for the voters contained 60 pages in 1906 and 126 pages in 1908.

The power of the initiative was first exercised by the people of Oregon in 1904, when they proposed and enacted a local option liquor law and a direct primary law. As a result of the first of these measures, in 1908 nineteen of the thirty-three counties of the state had prohibited the sale of intoxicants since 1905. The most important effect of the direct primary law has been the choice of United States senators by what is practically a popular vote. Candidates for the United States Senate are voted for in the primaries, and between 1904 and 1909 candidates for the state legislature were required to say whether or not they would support the people's choice for United 1 The constitution set 30 as the maximum number of senators, 60 as the maximum number of representatives, and provided for 16 senators and 34 representatives in 1857-1860. It provided for an enumeration and a reapportionment each tenth year after 1865.

States senator regardless of their own preferences.' In the state election in June 1908 a Democrat received the highest popular vote for the senatorship, and as a majority of the legislature of 1909 had committed itself to vote for the people's choice, he was elected by that body, although five-sixths of its members were Republicans.' This was an anomaly in American politics. In June 1906 five laws and five amendments to the constitution, proposed by initiative petitions, and one law on which the referendum was ordered by petition, were submitted to a popular vote. An amendment giving women the right to vote was defeated, and among those adopted was one providing for the initiative upon special and local laws and parts of laws, and another giving cities and towns the exclusive right to enact or amend their own charters, subject only to the constitution and the criminal laws. Oregon was thus the first American state to grant complete home rule to its municipalities. At the election in June 1908 the number of initiative and referendum measures amounted to nineteen, and the ballot required forty-one separate marks and was over 22 ft. long.

The measures to be voted on consisted of eleven laws or constitutional amendments proposed by initiative petition, four constitutional amendments referred to the people by the legislature, and four laws upon which the voters had ordered a referendum. Among the measures defeated were the fourth woman's suffrage amendment voted down in Oregon, a single-tax bill and an "open town" bill designed to defeat the purpose of the local option liquor law. Among the measures adopted were: a'law (of doubtful constitutionality) requiring legislators to vote for the people's choice for a United States senator - this was adopted by a vote of 69,668 to 21,162; a corrupt practices act, regulating the expenditure of moneys in political campaigns and limiting a candidate's expenses to onefourth of one year's salary; an amendment permitting the establishment of state institutions elsewhere than at the capital; an amendment changing the time of state elections from June to November; an amendment permitting the legislature to pass a law providing for proportional representation, i.e. representation for each political party in proportion to its numerical strength, by providing for first and second choice in voting - the system of preferential voting adopted in Idaho in 1909; and the "recall," by which the voters may remove from office after six months' service by a special election any local official.4 Judiciary. - The judicial department of the state consists of a supreme court, circuit courts, county courts (held by a county judge in each county) and the courts of local justices of the peace. The supreme court consists of five (before 1909 the number was three) justices elected for a term of six years, and its jurisdiction extends only to appeals from the decisions of the circuit courts. The judges of the circuit courts were formerly supreme court justices on circuit; they also are chosen for six years, and they have cognizance over all cases, including appeals from inferior courts, not specifically reserved by law for some other tribunal. The judges of the county courts are elected for four years, and their courts have jurisdiction over probate matters, civil cases involving amounts not exceeding $500, and criminal cases in which the offence is not punishable by death or imprisonment in the penitentiary. Each county is divided into a number of districts or precincts, for each of which there is a justice of the peace, elected biennially and having jurisdiction in minor cases.

Local Government

For the purposes of local government the state is divided into thirty-four counties. The constitution provides that no county may have an area of less than 400 sq. m., and that no new county may be created unless its population is at least 1200. County affairs are administered by the county judge acting with two commissioners. Any portion of a county containing as many as 150 inhabitants may be incorporated as a town or city, and as such it possesses complete self-government in all purely local matters, even 2 Before 1904, under a law of 1901, the people voted for candidates for the United States Senate, but the legislative assembly was in no way bound to carry out the decision of the popular vote; and in 1904 the legislature chose as United States senator a candidate for whom no votes had been cast in the popular election.

It is to be noted that the Republican party had not favoured requiring a pledge from members of the legislature that they would vote for the people's choice for senator; that the Democratic candidate for senator (Gov. G. E. Chamberlain) was a prominent advocate of the initiative, the referendum and the direct election of United States senators; and that a wing of the Republican party worked for the choice of the Democratic candidate by the people in the hope that the (Republican) legislature would not ratify the popular choice and so would nullify the direct primary law.

4 At times the two law-making bodies - the legislature and the people - have come into conflict. In 1906, for example, the people by the initiative secured a law forbidding public officers from accepting free passes from railways. In 1907 the legislature repealed all laws on this subject and required railways to furnish free transportation to certain officials. Upon this measure, however, the people ordered a referendum and it was rejected at the polls. In 1908 the people voted against increasing the number of supreme court judges; in 1909 the legislature increased the number.

having the power to revise its own charter. A constitutional amendment of 1906 forbids the formation of corporations by speciial laws (formerly the constitution provided that corporations "shall not be created by special laws except for municipal purposes") and says: "The legislative assembly shall not enact, amend or repeal any charter or act of incorporation for any municipality, city or town." The initiative and the referendum are employed in municipal ordinances as well as in state laws; towns and cities make their own provisions as to "the manner of exercising the initiative and referendum powers as to their own municipal legislation"; but "not more than 10% of the legal voters may be required to order the referendum nor more than 15% to propose any measure by the initiative, in any city or town." Miscellaneous Laws. - The value of the homestead exempt from judicial sale for the satisfaction of liabilities is limited to $1500; the homestead must be owned and occupied by some member of the family claiming the exemption and may not exceed in area one block in a town or city or 160 acres outside of a municipality. The exemption is not valid against a mortgage, but the mortgage must be executed by both husband and wife, if the householder is married. The debtor claims the exemption where the levy is made, but if the sheriff deems the homestead greater in value than the law allows, he may choose three disinterested persons to appraise it and sell any portion that may be adjudged in excess of the legal limit. The constitution provides that the property and pecuniary rights of every married woman, at the time of her marriage, or afterwards, acquired by gift, devise or inheritance, shall not be subject to the debts or contracts of the husband; and that laws shall be passed providing for the registration of the wife's separate property. Marriages between whites and persons of negro descent, between whites and Indians, and between first cousins are forbidden or are void. One year's residence is necessary to secure a divorce, for which the causes recognized are a conviction of felony, habitual drunkenness for one year, physical incapacity, desertion for one year and cruelty or personal indignities.

Education

The public school system (organized 1873) is administered by the state superintendent of public instruction, who exercises a general supervision over the schools, and by the state board of education, which prescribes the general rules and regulations for their management. For the support of the schools there is a school fund,'amounting on the 1st of April 1909 to $5,861,475, and consisting of the moneys derived from the sale of lands donated by the Federal government and of small sums derived from miscellaneous sources. The fund is administered by a board consisting of the governor, the secretary of state and the state treasurer, and the income from it is apportioned among the counties according to the number of children of school age. The counties are also required to levy special school taxes, the aggregate annual amount of which shall be equivalent to at least seven dollars for every child between the ages of four and twenty years. If the total annual fund for a school district amounts to less than $300, the district must levy a special tax to bring the fund up to that sum. Each school district in the state is required to have a school term of six months or more. Special county taxes are levied for the maintenance of public school libraries also. For all children between the ages of nine and fourteen inclusive, school attendance is compulsory.

The total number of teachers in the public schools in 1908 was 4 2 43; the total school enrollment, 107,493; the average daily attendance 94,333. In 1908 there was paid for the support of common schools $3,061,994; the average monthly salary of rural teachers was $49.60, and of school principals, $80.87. The proportion of illiterates is low: in 1900 of the total population 10 years of age or over only 3.3% was illiterate; of the male population of the same age 3.9%, of the female 2.3% and of the native white population only o 8% were illiterate.

In addition to the public schools, the state maintains; the University of Oregon at Eugene; the State Agricultural College (1870), at Corvallis (pop. 1900, 1819), the county-seat of Benton county, and the State Normal School (1882) at Monmouth (pop. in 1900, 606), in Polk county. Among the institutions not receiving state aid are Albany College (Presbyterian, 1867), at Albany; Columbia University (Roman Catholic, 1901), at Portland; Dallas College (United Evangelical, 1900), at Dallas; Pacific University (Congregational, 1853), at Forest Grove; McMinnville College (Baptist, 1858), at McMinnville; Pacific College (Friends, founded in 1885 as an academy, college opened in 1891), at Newberg;. Philomath College (United Brethren, 1866), at Philomath; and Willamette University (Methodist Episcopal, 1844), at Salem.

Charitable and Correctional Institutions

The state supports the following charitable and correctional institutions: a soldiers' home (1894) at Roseburg and a school for deaf mutes (1870), an institute for the blind (1873), a reform school, an insane asylum and a penitentiary at Salem, the capital of the state. These institutions (except the penitentiary, of which the governor of the state is an inspector) are governed each by a board of three trustees, the governor of the state and the secretary of state serving on all boards, and the third trustee being the state treasurer on the boards for the state insane asylum, the state reform school and the institute for the feeble-minded, and the superintendent of public instruction on the boards for the school for deaf mutes and the institute for the blind.

Finance

The constitution forbids the establishment or incorporation by the legislative assembly of any bank or banking company; and it forbids any bank or banking company in the state from issuing bills, checks, certificates, promissory notes or other paper to circulate as money. Except in case of war the legislative assembly may not contract a state debt greater than $50,000. To pay bounties to soldiers in the Civil War a debt of $237,000 was contracted; but in 1870 only $90,000 of it was still outstanding. An issue of bonds (to be redeemed from the sale of public lands) for a privately built canal at Oregon City was authorized in 1870. About $175,000 more of debt was incurred by Indian wars in 1874 and 1878; in the latter year the public debt amounted to more than $650,000, but about $350,000 of this was in 10% warrants for road-building, &c.; the bonds and warrants (with the exception of some never presented for redemption) were speedily redeemed by a special property tax. Revenues for the support of the government are derived from the following sources: the general property tax, the poll tax (the proceeds of which accrue to the county in which it is collected), the inheritance tax, corporation taxes, business taxes and licenses and fees. By far the most important source of revenue is the general property tax, which is assessed for state, county and municipal purposes. The amount of revenue to be raised for state purposes each year by this tax is computed by a board consisting of the governor, the secretary of state and the state treasurer, and it is apportioned among the counties on the basis of their average expenditures for the previous five years. At the close of the year 1907 the state was free from bonded indebtedness; receipts into the treasury during the year were $2,851,471, and the expenditure was $2,697,645.

History

As to the European who first saw any portion of the present Oregon there is some controversy and doubt. It is known that within thirty years after the discovery of the Pacific Ocean the Spaniards had explored the western coasts of the American continent from the isthmus to the vicinity of the forty-second parallel of north latitude, and it is possible that the Spanish pilot Bartolome Ferrelo (or Ferrer), who in 1 543 made the farthest northward voyage in the Pacific recorded in the first half of the 16th century, may have reached a point on the Oregon coast. The profitable trade between the Spanish colonies and the Far East, however, soon occupied the whole attention of the Spaniards, and caused them to neglect the exploration of the coast of north-western America for many years. In 1579 the Englishman, Francis Drake, came to this region seeking a route home by way of the Northwest Passage, and in his futile quest he seems to have gone as far north as 43 0.1 He took possession of the country in the name of Queen Elizabeth and called it Albion. Near the end of the century persistent stories of a North-west Passage caused the Spanish rulers to plan further explorations of the Pacific coast, so as to forestall other nations in the discovery of the alleged new route and thus retain their monopoly of the South Sea (Pacific Ocean). In 1603 Sebastian Vizcaino, acting under orders of the viceroy of Mexico, reached the latitude of 42° N., and Martin Aguilar, with another vessel of the fleet, reached a point near latitude 43° which he called Cape Blanco and claimed to have discovered there a large river. For the next century and a half Spain again neglected this region, until the fear of English and Russian encroachment caused her to resume the work of exploration. In 1774 Juan Perez sailed up the coast as far as 54° N. lat., and on his return followed the shore line very closely, thus making the first real and undisputed exploration of the Oregon coast of which there is any record. In the following year Bruno Heceta landed off what is now called Point Grenville and took formal possession of the country, and later, in lat. 46° 9 ', he discovered a bay whose swift currents led him to suspect that he was in the mouth of a large river or strait. In 1778 Jonathan Carver published in London Travels throughout the Interior Parts of North America, in which, following the example of the Spaniards, he asserted that there was a great river on the western coast, although, so far as is known, no white man had then ever seen such a stream. Whether his declaration was based on stories told by the Indians of the interior, or upon reports of Spanish sailors, or had no basis at all, is not known; its chief importance lies in the fact that Carver called this undiscovered stream the Oregon, and that 1 Some early writers assert that Drake even reached the lat. of 48° N. and anchored in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

this name was eventually applied to the territory drained by this great western river. The name, like the whole story, may have been of Spanish or Indian origin, or it may have been purely fanciful.' The Spaniards made no effort to colonize north-western America or to develop its trade with the Indians, but toward the end of the 18th century the traders of the great British fur companies of the North were gradually pushing overland to the Pacific. Upon the sea, too, the English were not idle. Captain James Cook in March 17 78 sighted the coast of Oregon in the lat. of 44°, and examined it between 47° and 48° in the hope of finding the Straits of Juan de Fuca described in Spanish accounts. Soon after the close of the War of Independence American merchants began to buy furs along the north-west coast and to ship them to China to be exchanged for the products of the East. It was in the prosecution of this trade that Captain Robert Gray (1755-1806), an American in the service of Boston merchants, discovered in 1792 the long-sought river of the West, which he named the Columbia, after his ship. By the discovery of this stream Gray gave to the United States a claim to the whole territory drained by its waters. Other explorers had searched in vain for this river. Cook had sailed by without suspecting its presence; Captain John Meares (c. 1756-1809), another English navigator, who visited the region in 1788, declared that no such river existed, and actually called its estuary "Deception Bay"; and George Vancouver, who visited the coast in 1792, was sceptical until he learned of Gray's discovery.

Spanish claims to this part of North America did not long remain undisputed by England and the United States. By the Nootka Convention of 1790 Spain acknowledged the right of British subjects to fish, trade and settle in the parts of the northern Pacific coast not already occupied; and under the treaty of 1819 (proclaimed in 1821) she ceded to the United States all the territory claimed by her N. of 42°. But even before these agreements had been reached, Alexander Mackenzie, in the service of the North-west Company, in 1793 had explored through Canada to the Pacific coast in lat. about 52° 20' N., and Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, American explorers acting under the orders of President Jefferson, in1805-1806had passed west of the Rocky Mountains and down the Columbia river to the Pacific Ocean. Both British and American adventurers were attracted to the region by the profitable fur trade. In 1808 the North-west Company had several posts on the Fraser river, and in the same year the American Fur Company was organized by John Jacob Astor, who was planning to build up a trade in the West. In 1811 the Pacific Fur Company, a kind of western division of the American Fur Company, founded a trading post at the mouth of the Columbia which they called Astoria, and set up a number of minor posts on the Willamette, Spokane and Okanogan rivers. On hearing of the war between England and the United States, Astor's associates, deeming Astoria untenable, sold the property in October 1813 to the North-west Company. In the following month a British ship arrived, and its captain took formal possession of the post and renamed it Fort George.

Soon after the restoration of peace between England and the United States by the treaty of Ghent (1814), there arose the so-called "Oregon question" or "North-western boundary dispute," which agitated both countries for more than a generation and almost led to another war. As that treaty had stipulated that all territory captured during the war should be restored to its former owner, the American government in 1817 took 1 There have been many ingenious, but quite unsatisfactory, efforts to explain the derivation of the word Oregon. They are enumerated at length in Bancroft's History of Oregon, vol. i. pp. 17-25. It seems that after the publication of Carver's book the word Oregon did not appear again in print until William Cullen Bryant employed it in his poem Thanatopsis, in 1817. It was applied to the territory drained by the Columbia river for the first time, perhaps, by Hall J. Kelley, a promoter of immigration into the North-west, who in memorials to Congress and numerous other writings referred to the country as Oregon.

steps to reoccupy the Columbia Valley. The British government at first protested, on the ground that Astoria was not captured territory, but finally surrendered the post to the United States in 1818. The United States was willing at the time to extend the north-western boundary along the forty-ninth parallel from the Lake of the Woods to the Pacific, but to this the British government would not consent; and on the 20th of October 1818 both nations agreed to a convention providing for the "joint occupation" for ten years of the country "on the north-west coast of America, westward of the Stony [Rocky] Mountains." In the following year, as already stated, Spain waived her claim to the territory north of 42° in favour of the United States. In 1821, however, Russia asserted her claim to all lands as far south as the fifty-first parallel. Against this claim both England and the United States protested, and in 1824 the United States and Russia concluded a treaty by which Russia agreed to make no settlements south of 54° 40', and the United States agreed to make none north of that line. From this time until the final settlement of the controversy the Americans were disposed to believe that their title was clear to all the territory south of the Russian possessions; that is, to all the region west of the Rocky Mountains between 42° and 54° 40' N. lat. In 1827 the agreement of 1818 between Great Britain and the United States as to joint occupation was renewed for an indefinite term, with the proviso that it might be terminated by either party on twelve months' notice. For the next two decades the history of Oregon is concerned mainly with the British fur traders and the American immigrants. The Hudson's Bay Company absorbed its rival, the North-west Company, in 1821, and thus secured a practical monopoly of the fur trade of the North and West. Its policy was to discourage colonization so as to maintain the territory in which it operated as a vast game preserve. Fortunately for the Americans, however, the company in 1824 sent to the Columbia river as its chief factor and governor west of the Rocky Mountains Dr John McLoughlin (1784-1857), who ruled the region with an iron hand, but with a benevolent purpose, for twenty-two years. On the northern bank of the Columbia in1824-1825he built Fort Vancouver, which became a port for ocean vessels and a great entrepot for the western fur trade; in 1829 he began the settlement of Oregon City; and, most important of all, he extended a hearty welcome to all settlers and aided them in many ways, though this was against the company's interests.

In 18 3 2 four Indian chiefs from the Oregon country journeyed to St Louis to obtain a copy of the white man's Bible; and this incident aroused the missionary zeal of the religious denominations. In 1834 Jason Lee (d. 1845) and his nephew, Daniel Lee, went to Oregon as Methodist missionaries, and with McLoughlin's assistance they established missions in the Willamette valley. Samuel Parker went as a Presbyterian missionary in 1835, and was followed in the next year by Marcus Whitman and Henry H. Spalding (c. 1801-1874), who were accompanied by their wives, the first white women, it is said, to cross the American continent. Whitman settled at Wai-i-latpu, about 5 m. W. of the present Walla Walla and 25 m. from the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Walla Walla; and Spalding at Lapwai, near the present Lewiston, Idaho. Roman Catholic missions were established near Fort Walla Walla in 1838. In this year Jason Lee returned to the Eastern states and carried back to Oregon with him by sea over fifty people, missionaries and their families. It is significant, if true, that part of the money for chartering his vessel was supplied from the secretservice fund of the United States government.

As early as 1841 the Americans in Oregon began to feel the need of some form of civil government, as the regulations of the Hudson's Bay Company were the only laws then known to the country. After several ineffectual attempts a provisional government was finally organized by two meetings at Champoeg (in what is now Marion county, north-east of Salem) on the 2nd of May and on the 5th of July 1843. The governing body was at first an executive committee of three citizens, but in 1845 this committee was abolished and a governor was chosen. In the "fundamental laws" of the provisional government were incorporated a number of Articles from the Ordinance of 1787, among them the one prohibiting slavery. The new government encountered the opposition of the missionaries and of the non-American population, but it was soon strengthened by the "Great Immigration" in 1843, when nearly nine hundred men, women and children, after assembling at Independence, Missouri, crossed the plains in a body and settled in the Columbia Valley. After this year the flow of immigrants steadily increased, about 1400 arriving in 1844, and 3000 in 1845.1 Signs of hostility to the Hudson's Bay Company now began to appear among the American population, and in 1845 the provisional government sought to extend its jurisdiction north of the Columbia river, where the Americans had hitherto refrained from settling. A compromise was finally reached, whereby the company was to be exempt from taxes on all its property except the goods sold to settlers, and the officers and employees of the company and all the British residents were to become subject to the provisional government. Meanwhile the western states had inaugurated a movement in favour of the immediate and definite settlement of the Oregon question, with the result that the Democratic national convention of 1844 declared that the title of the United States to "the whole of the territory of Oregon" was "clear and unquestionable," and the party made "Fiftyfour forty or fight" a campaign slogan. The Democrats were successful at the polls, and President Polk in his inaugural address asserted the claim of the United States to all of Oregon in terms suggesting the possibility of war. Negotiations, however, resulted in a treaty, drafted by James Buchanan, the American Secretary of State, and Richard Pakenham, the British envoy, which the president in June 1846 submitted to the Senate for its opinion and which he was advised to accept. By this instrument the northern boundary of Oregon was fixed at the fortyninth parallel, extending westward from the crest of the Rocky Mountains to the middle of the channel separating Vancouver's Island from the mainland, "and thence southerly through the middle of the said channel, and of Fuca's Straits, to the Pacific Ocean." Although President Polk immediately urged the formation of a territorial government for Oregon, the bill introduced for this purpose was held up in the Senate on account of the opposition of Southern leaders, who were seeking to maintain the abstract principle that slavery could not be constitutionally prohibited in any territory of the United States, although they had no hope of Oregon ever becoming slave territory. Indian outbreaks, however, which began in 1847, compelled Congress to take measures for the defence of the inhabitants, and on the 14th of August 1848 a bill was enacted providing a territorial government. As then constituted, the Territory embraced the whole area to which the title of the United States had been confirmed by the treaty of 1846, and included the present states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and parts of Wyoming and Montana. Its area was reduced in 1853 by the creation of the Territory of Washington. The discovery of gold in California drew many Oregon settlers to that country in 1848-1850, but this exodus was soon offset as a result of the enactment by Congress in 1850 of the "land donation law," by which settlers in Oregon between 1850 and 1853 were entitled to large tracts of land free of cost. The number of claims registered under this act was over eight thousand.

In 1856 the people voted for statehood; and in June 1857 they elected members of a constitutional convention which drafted a constitution at Salem in August and September 1857; the constitution was ratified by popular vote in November 1 For many years it was generally believed that the administration at Washington was prevented from surrendering its claims to Oregon, in return for the grant by Great Britain of fishing stations in Newfoundland, by Marcus Whitman, who in1842-1843made a journey across the entire continent in the depth of winter to dissuade the government from this purpose. This story seems to have no foundation in fact; it was not Whitman, but the great influx of settlers in1843-1844that saved Oregon, if, indeed, there was then any danger of its being given up. (See Whitman, Marcus.) 1857; and on the 14th of February 1859 Oregon was admitted into the Union with its present boundaries. The new state was at first Democratic in politics, and the southern faction of the Democratic party in 1860 made a bid for its support by nominating as their candidate for vice-president, on the ticket with John C. Breckinridge, Joseph Lane (1801-1881), then a senator from Oregon and previously its territorial governor. The Douglas Democrats and the Republicans, however, worked together as a union party, and Lincoln carried the state by a small majority. The so-called union party broke up after the Civil War, and by 1870 the Democrats were strong enough to prevent the ratification by Oregon of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. In 1876, after the presidential election, two sets of electoral returns were forwarded from Oregon, one showing the choice of three Republican electors, and the other (signed by the governor, who was a Democrat) showing the election of two Republicans and one Democrat. The popular vote was admittedly for the three Republican electors, but one of the Republican electors (Watts) was a deputy-postmaster and so seemed ineligible under the constitutional provision that "no ... person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States shall be an elector." Watts resigned as deputypostmaster, and the secretary of state of Oregon, who under the state law was the canvassing officer, certified the election of the three Republican electors. On the 6th of December the three met, Watts resigned, and was immediately reappointed by the other two. The Democratic claimant, with whom the two Republican electors whose election was conceded, refused to meet, met alone, appointed two other Democrats to fill the two "vacancies," and the "electoral college" of the state so constituted forthwith cast two votes for Hayes and one for Tilden. The Electoral Commission decided that the three votes should be counted for Hayes - if the one Democratic elector had been adjudged chosen, the Democratic candidate for the presidency, S. J. Tilden, would have been elected. The political complexion of the state has generally been Republican, although the contests between the two leading parties have often been very close. The Indian outbreaks which began in 1847 continued with occasional periods of quiet for nearly a generation, until most of the Indians were either killed or placed on reservations. The Indians were very active during the Civil War, when the regular troops were withdrawn for service in the eastern states, and Oregon's volunteers from 1861 to 1865 were needed for home defence. The most noted Indian conflicts within the state have been the Modoc War (1864-73) and the Shoshone War (1866-68). During the Spanish-American War Oregon furnished a regiment of volunteers which served in the Philippines.

Governors Of Oregon Under the Provisional Government. George Abernethy. .. .. ..1845-1849Under the Territorial Government. Joseph Lane.1849-1850Knitzing Pritchett (acting). 1850 John P. Gaines1850-1852Joseph Lane. 1853 2 George Law Curry (acting) 1853 John W. Davis..1853-1854George Law Curry.. 1854-1$59 Under the State Government. John Whiteaker, Dem..1859-1862Addison Crandall Gibbs, Rep.1862-1866George Lemuel Woods, Rep.1866-1870La Fayette Grover, Dem.1870-1877Stephen Fowler Chadwick (acting)1877-1878William Wallace Thayer, Dem..1878-1882Zenas Ferry Moody, Rep..1882-1887Sylvester Pennoyer, Dem..1887-1895William Paine Lord, Rep..1895-1899Theodore Thurston Geer, Rep..1899-1903George Earle Chamberlain, Dem.1903-1909Frank W. Benson, Rep.1909-19113 Oswald West, Dem. 1911 2 Held office only three days, May 16-19.

3 Secretary of State; succeeded G. E. Chamberlain, who resigned to become a member of the U.S. Senate.

Bibliography

See generally W. Nash, The Settler's Handbook to Oregon (Portland, 1904); and publications and reports of the various national and state departments. For administration: J. R. Robertson, "The Genesis of Political Authority and of a Commonwealth Government in Oregon" in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, vol. i. (Salem, 1901); Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Oregon held at Salem in 1857 (Salem, 1882); C. B. Bellinger and W. W. Cotton, The Codes and Statutes of Oregon (2 vols., San Francisco, 1902); and Frank Foxcroft, "Constitution Mending and the Initiative," in the Atlantic Monthly for June 1906. For history: H. H. Bancroft's History of the North-west Coast (2 vols., San Francisco, 1884) and History of Oregon (2 vols., San Francisco, 1886-1888); William Barrows's Oregon: The Struggle for Possession (Boston, 1883) in the "American Commonwealths" series; J. Dunn's Oregon Territory and the British North American Fur Trade (Philadelphia, 1845); W. H. Gray's History of Oregon, 1792-1849 (Portland, Oregon, 1870); H. S. Lyman's History of Oregon (4 vols., New York, 1903), the best complete history of the state; Joseph Schafer's "Pacific Slope and Alaska," vol. x. of G. C. Lee's History of North America (Philadelphia, 1904), more succinct. On special features of the state's history see W. R. Manning's "The Nootka Sound Controversy," pp. 279-478 of the Annual Report for 1904 (Washington, 1905) of the American Historical Association; F. V. Holman's Dr John McLoughlin, the Father of Oregon (Cleveland, 1907); J. H. Gilbert's Trade and Currency in Early Oregon, in the Columbia University Studies in Economics, vol. xxvi., No. I (New York, 1907); and P. J. de Smet's "Oregon Missions and Travels over the Rocky Mountains in 1845-1846," in vol. xxix. of R. G. Thwaites's Early Western Travels (Cleveland, 1906). For the Whitman controversy see Whitman, Marcus. Much historical material may be found in the publications of the Oregon Historical Society, especially in the Society's Quarterly (1900 sqq.), and of the Oregon Pioneer Association.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Map of US highlighting Oregon

Etymology

Origin unknown; multiple theories persist. See Wikipedia article on Oregon toponym for more information.

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Oregon

Plural
-

Oregon

  1. A northwestern state of the United States of America. Capital: Salem.

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Anagrams


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

State of Oregon
Flag of Oregon State seal of Oregon
Flag of Oregon (front) SealImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Nickname(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: Beaver State
Motto(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: Alis volat propriis (She flies with her own wings)
The Union (de facto)
Map of the United States with Oregon highlighted
Official language(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif (none)[1]
CapitalImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Salem
Largest cityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Portland
Largest metro areaImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Greater Portland
AreaImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked 9thImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total 98,466 sq miImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
(255,026 km²Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Width 260 miles (420 kmImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Length 360 miles (580 km)
 - % water 2.4
 - Latitude 42° N to 46° 18′ N
 - Longitude 116° 28′ W to 124° 38′ W
PopulationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked 27thImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total (2000Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif) 3,421,399
 - DensityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif 35.6/sq mi 
13.76/km² (39th)
ElevationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  
 - Highest point Mount Hood[2]
11,239 ft  (3,425 m)
 - Mean 3,297 ft  (1,005 m)
 - Lowest point Pacific Ocean[2]
0 ft  (0 m)
Admission to UnionImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  February 14, 1859 (33rd)
GovernorImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Ted Kulongoski (D)
U.S. SenatorsImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Ron Wyden (D)
Gordon Smith (R)
Congressional DelegationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif ListImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Time zonesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  
 - most of state Pacific: UTC-8/-7
 - Malheur County Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Abbreviations ORImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Ore.Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif US-ORImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Web site www.oregon.gov

Oregon file— play in browser (IPA: /ˈɒrɨgən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The state lies on the Pacific coast between Washington on the north and California and Nevada on the south; Idaho lies to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers form much of its northern and eastern boundaries, respectively. The valley of the Willamette River in western Oregon is the most densely populated and agriculturally productive region of the state.

Oregon has one of the most diverse landscapes of any state in the U.S. It is well known for its tall, dense forests; its accessible and scenic Pacific coastline; and its rugged, glaciated Cascade volcanoes. Other areas include semiarid scrublands, prairies, and deserts that cover approximately half the state in eastern and north-central Oregon.

Oregon's population in 2000 was about 3.5 million, a 20.3% increase over 1990. It is estimated to have reached 3.7 million by 2006.[3]

Contents

History

See also Oregon pioneer history

Although there is considerable evidence that humans lived in the Pacific Northwest 15,000 years ago, the first record of human activity in present day Oregon came from archaeologist Luther Cressman's 1938 discovery of sage bark sandals near Fort Rock Cave that places human habitation in Oregon as early as 13,200 years ago.[4] By 8000 B.C. there were settlements across the state, with the majority concentrated along the lower Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries.

By the 16th century Oregon was home to many Native American groups, including the Bannock, Chasta, Chinook, Kalapuya, Klamath, Molalla, Nez Perce,Takelma, and Umpqua.[5][6][7][8]

James Cook explored the coast in 1778 in search of the Northwest Passage. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the region during their expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase. They built their winter fort at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia River. Exploration by Lewis and Clark (1805–1806) and the United Kingdom's David Thompson (1811) publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area. In 1811, New York financier John Jacob Astor established Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his Pacific Fur Company.[9] Fort Astoria was the first permanent white settlement in Oregon.

In the War of 1812, the British gained control of all of the Pacific Fur Company posts. By the 1820s and 1830s, their Hudson's Bay Company dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver (built in 1825 by the District's Chief Factor John McLoughlin across the Columbia from present-day Portland).

In 1841, the master trapper and entrepreneur Ewing Young died with considerable wealth, with no apparent heir, and no system to probate his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral at which a probate government was proposed. Doctor Ira L. Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected Supreme Judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg (half way between Lee's mission and Oregon City) to discuss wolves and other animals of contemporary concern. These meetings were precursors to an all-citizen meeting in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an executive committee made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale. This government was the first acting public government of the Oregon Country before American annexation.

Map of Oregon in dispute. Resolved by the Oregon Treaty.

The Oregon Trail infused the region with new settlers, starting in 1842–1843, after the United States agreed to jointly settle the Oregon Country with the United Kingdom. The border was resolved in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty after a period during which it seemed that the United States and the United Kingdom would go to war for a third time in 75 years. Cooler heads prevailed, and the Oregon boundary dispute between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel. The Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848.

Settlement increased because of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, in conjunction with the forced relocation of the native population to Indian reservations in Oregon. The state was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, regular U.S. troops were withdrawn and sent east. Volunteer cavalry were recruited in California and were sent north to Oregon to keep peace and protect the populace. The First Oregon Cavalry served until June 1865.

In the 1880s, the proliferation of railroads assisted in marketing of the state's lumber and wheat, as well as the more rapid growth of its cities.

Industrial expansion began in earnest following the construction of the Bonneville Dam in 1943 on the Columbia River. The power, food, and lumber provided by Oregon helped fuel the development of the West, although the periodic fluctuations in the nation's building industry have hurt the state's economy on multiple occasions.

The state has a long history of polarizing conflicts: Native Americans vs. British fur trappers, British vs. settlers from the U.S., ranchers vs. farmers, wealthy growing cities vs. established but poor rural areas, loggers vs. environmentalists, white supremacists vs. anti-racists, social progressivism vs. small-government conservatism, supporters of social spending vs. anti-tax activists, and native Oregonians vs. Californians (or outsiders in general). Oregonians also have a long history of secessionist ideas, with people in various regions and on all sides of the political spectrum attempting to form other states and even other countries. (See: State of Jefferson, Cascadia and Ecotopia.) Oregon state ballots often include politically conservative proposals (e.g. anti-gay, pro-religious measures) side-by-side with politically liberal ones (e.g. drug decriminalization), illustrating the wide spectrum of political thought in the state.

Name of the state

Main article: Oregon (toponym)

The origin of the name "Oregon" is unknown. One account, advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in American Speech, was endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 1700s, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so that there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon". Other theories find the roots in the Spanish language, from words like Orejón ("big ear") or Aragón.

The pronunciation of the name "Oregon" is a matter of local pride; Oregonians (pronounced IPA: /ˌɒrɨˈgoʊniɨnz/)[10] pronounce the name (in local pronunciation) as [ˈɔɹɨgən], and dutifully correct those from elsewhere, who often change the third syllable.[11][10]

Geography

National parks and historic areas in Oregon
Entity Location
Crater Lake National Park Southern Oregon
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Eastern Oregon
Newberry National Volcanic Monument Central Oregon
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Southern Oregon
Oregon Caves National Monument Southern Oregon
California National Historic Trail Southern Oregon, California
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Western Oregon, Washington
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail IL, MO, KS, IA, NE, SD,
ND, MT, ID, OR, WA
Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks Western Oregon, Washington
Nez Perce National Historical Park MT, ID, OR, WA
Oregon National Historic Trail MO, KS, NE, WY, ID, OR
See also: List of counties in Oregon, List of cities and unincorporated communities in Oregon, Oregon Geographic Names, List of Oregon rivers, List of Oregon mountain ranges, List of Oregon state parks, and Oregon census statistical areas

Oregon's geography may be split roughly into seven areas:

An aerial View of Crater Lake in Oregon

The mountainous regions of western Oregon were formed by the volcanic activity of Juan de Fuca Plate, a tectonic plate that poses a continued threat of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the region. The most recent major activity was the 1700 Cascadia earthquake; Washington's Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, an event which was visible from Portland.

Mount Hood, with Trillium Lake in the foreground.
The Columbia River, which constitutes much of the northern border of Oregon, also played a major role in the region's geological evolution, as well as its economic and cultural development. The Columbia is one of North America's largest rivers, and the only river to cut through the Cascades. About 15,000 years ago, the Columbia repeatedly flooded much of Oregon during the Missoula Floods; the modern fertility of the Willamette Valley is largely a result of those floods. Plentiful salmon made parts of the river, such as Celilo Falls, hubs of economic activity for thousands of years. In the 20th century, numerous hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia, with major impacts on salmon, transportation and commerce, electric power, and flood control.
Southern view of the Oregon coast from Ecola State Park, with Haystack Rock in the distance.

Today, Oregon's landscape varies from rainforest in the Coast Range to barren desert in the southeast, which still meets the technical definition of a frontier.

Oregon is 295 miles (475 km) north to south at longest distance, and 395 miles (636 km) east to west at longest distance. In terms of land and water area, Oregon is the ninth largest state, covering 97,073 square miles (251,418 km²).

The highest point in Oregon is the summit of Mount Hood, at 11,239 feet (3,428 m), and its lowest point is sea level of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon coast.[2] Its mean elevation is 3,300 feet (1,006 m). Crater Lake National Park is the state's only National Park, and the site of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,943 feet (592 m).[12] Oregon claims the D River is the shortest river in the world,[13] though the American state of Montana makes the same claim of its Roe River.[14] Oregon is also home to Mill Ends Park (in Portland)[15], the smallest park in the world at 452 square inches (about 3 square feet, or 0.29 m²).

Major cities and towns

Map of Oregon's population density.
Ten Most Populous Cities in Oregon[16]
City Population
1. Portland 562,690
2. Salem 149,305
3. Eugene 148,595
4. Gresham 97,745
5. Hillsboro 84,445
6. Beaverton 84,270
7. Bend 75,290
8. Medford 73,960
9. Springfield 57,065
10. Corvallis 53,900

Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene (home of the University of Oregon, 3rd largest city) through Salem (the capital, 2nd largest) and Corvallis (home of Oregon State University) to Portland (Oregon's largest city.)[17]

Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, was the first permanent English-speaking settlement west of Rockies. Oregon City was the Oregon Territory's first incorporated city, and its first capital (from 1848 until 1852, when the capital was moved to Salem.) It was also the end of the Oregon Trail and the site of the first public library established west of the Rocky Mountains, stocked with only 300 volumes. Bend, near the geographic center of the state, is one of the ten fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States.[18] To the Southern part of the state, the Medford area is a rapidly growing metro area and culturally rich part of the state. It it home to The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, the third busiest airport in the state. Further to the south, near the California-Oregon border, is the community of Ashland, home of the Tony Award winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Climate

Oregon's climate—especially in the western part of the state—is heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean. The climate is generally mild, but periods of extreme hot and cold can affect parts of the state. Precipitation in the state varies widely: the deserts of eastern Oregon, such as the Alvord Desert (in the rain shadow of Steens Mountain), get as little as 200 mm (8 inches) annually, while some western coastal slopes approach 5000 mm (200 inches) annually. Oregon's population centers, which lie mostly in the western part of the state, are generally wet and soggy, while the high deserts of Central and Eastern Oregon are much drier.

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Oregon Cities[19]
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Astoria 48/37 51/38 53/39 56/41 60/45 64/50 67/53 68/53 68/50 61/44 53/40 48/37
Burns 35/14 40/19 49/25 57/29 66/36 75/41 85/46 84/44 75/35 62/26 45/21 35/15
Eugene 46/33 51/35 56/37 61/39 67/43 73/47 82/51 82/51 77/47 65/40 52/37 46/33
Medford 47/31 54/33 58/36 64/39 72/44 81/50 90/55 90/55 84/48 70/40 53/35 45/31
Pendleton 40/27 46/31 55/35 62/40 70/46 79/52 88/58 87/57 77/50 64/41 48/34 40/28
Portland 46/34 50/36 56/39 60/42 67/48 73/53 79/57 80/57 75/52 63/45 52/40 45/35
Salem 47/34 51/35 56/37 61/39 68/44 74/48 82/52 82/52 77/48 64/41 52/38 46/34

Law and government

The flags of the United States and Oregon flown side-by-side in downtown Portland.

The Oregon Country functioned as an independent republic with a three-person executive office and a chief executive until August 13,1848, when Oregon was annexed by the United States, at which time a territorial government was established. Oregon maintained a territorial government until February 14, 1859, when it was granted statehood.[20] Oregon was the last state to enter the union before the outbreak of the Civil War.

State government

See also: Government of Oregon

Oregon state government has a separation of powers similar to the federal government. It has three branches, called departments by the state's constitution:

Governors in Oregon serve four year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms, but an unlimited number of total terms. The Secretary of State serves as Lieutenant Governor for statutory purposes. The other statewide officers are Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent, and Labor Commissioner. The biennial Oregon Legislative Assembly consists of a thirty-member Senate and a sixty-member House. The state supreme court has seven elected justices, currently including the only two openly gay state supreme court justices in the nation. They choose one of their own to serve a six-year term as Chief Justice. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States.

The debate over whether to move to annual sessions is a long-standing battle in Oregon politics, but the voters have resisted the move from citizen legislators to professional lawmakers. Because Oregon's state budget is written in two year increments and, having no sales tax, its revenue is based largely on income taxes, it is often significantly over- or under-budget. Recent legislatures have had to be called into special session repeatedly to address revenue shortfalls resulting from economic downturns, bringing to a head the need for more frequent legislative sessions.

The state maintains formal relationships with the nine federally recognized tribal governments in Oregon:

Oregonians have voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate in every election since 1988. In 2004 and 2006, Democrats won control of the state Senate and then the House. Since the late 1990s, Oregon has been represented by four Democrats and one Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, and by one U.S. Senator from each party. Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski defeated Republicans in 2002 and 2006, defeating conservative Kevin Mannix and the more moderate Ron Saxton respectively.

The base of Democratic support is largely concentrated in the urban centers of the Willamette Valley. In both 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Presidential candidate won Oregon, but did so with majorities in only eight of Oregon's 36 counties.

File:Salem Oregon.jpeg
Oregon's Capitol

Oregon's politics are largely similar to those of neighboring Washington, for instance in the contrast between urban and rural issues.

In the 2004 general election, Oregon voters passed ballot measures banning gay marriage, and restricting land use regulation. In the 2006 general election, voters restricted the use of eminent domain and extended the state's discount prescription drug coverage.[21]

The distribution, sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages are regulated in the state by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Thus, Oregon is an Alcoholic beverage control state. While wine and beer are available in most grocery stores, comparatively few stores sell hard liquor.

Entering the Union at a time when the status of "Negroes" was very much in question, and wishing to stay out of the looming conflict between the Union and Confederate States, Oregon banned African Americans from moving into the state in the vote to adopt its Constitution (1858). This ban was not officially lifted until 1925; in 2002, additional language now considered racist was struck from the Oregon Constitution by the voters of Oregon.

Federal government

Like all U.S. states, Oregon is represented by two U.S. Senators. Since the 1980 census Oregon has had five Congressional districts.

After Oregon was admitted to the Union, it began with a single member in the House of Representatives (La Fayette Grover, who served in the 35th United States Congress for less than a month). Congressional apportionment led to the addition of new members following the censuses of 1890, 1910, 1940, and 1980. A detailed list of the past and present Congressional delegations from Oregon is available.

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon hears Federal cases in the state. Oregon (among other western states and territories) is in the 9th judicial circuit.

Elections

Oregon voter registration by party, 1950–2006
See also: United States presidential election, 2004, in Oregon and Oregon statewide elections, 2006

Oregon adopted many electoral reforms proposed during the Progressive Era, through the efforts of William S. U'Ren and his Direct Legislation League. Under his leadership, the state overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in 1902 that created the initiative and referendum processes for citizens to directly introduce or approve proposed laws or amendments to the state constitution, making Oregon the first state to adopt such a system. Today, roughly half of U.S. states do so.[22] In following years, the primary election to select party candidates was adopted in 1904, and in 1908 the Oregon Constitution was amended to include recall of public officials. More recent amendments include the nation's only doctor-assisted suicide law,[23] called the Death with Dignity law (which was challenged, unsuccessfully, in 2005 by the Bush administration in a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court), legalization of medical marijuana, and among the nation's strongest anti-sprawl and pro-environment laws. More recently, 2004's Measure 37 reflects a backlash against such land use laws.

Of the measures placed on the ballot since 1902, the people have passed 99 of the 288 initiatives and 25 of the 61 referendums on the ballot, though not all of them survived challenges in courts (see Pierce v. Society of Sisters, for an example). During the same period, the legislature has referred 363 measures to the people, of which 206 have passed.

Oregon pioneered the American use of postal voting, beginning with experimentation authorized by the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1981 and culminating with a 1998 ballot measure mandating that all counties conduct elections by mail.

In the U.S. Electoral College, Oregon casts seven votes. Oregon has supported Democratic candidates in the last five elections. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry won the state in 2004 by a margin of four percentage points, with 51.4% of the popular vote.

Economy

The Oregon State Quarter features Crater Lake.
A grain elevator in Halsey storing grass seed, one of the state's largest crops.

Land in the Willamette Valley owes its fertility to the Missoula Floods, which deposited lake sediment from Lake Missoula in western Montana onto the valley floor.[24] This soil is the source of a wealth of agricultural products, including potatoes, peppermint, hops, and apples and other fruits.

Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut growing regions, and produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. While the history of the wine production in Oregon can be traced to before Prohibition, it became a significant industry beginning in the 1970s. In 2005, Oregon ranked third among U.S. states with 303 wineries.[25] Due to regional similarities in climate and soil, the grapes planted in Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French regions of Alsace and Burgundy. In the northeastern region of the state, particularly around Pendleton, both irrigated and dryland wheat is grown. Oregon farmers and ranchers also produce cattle, sheep, dairy products, eggs and poultry.

Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major timber production and logging states, but forest fires (such as the Tillamook Burn), over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the amount of timber produced. According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, between 1989 and 2001 the amount of timber harvested from federal lands dropped some 96%, from 4,333 million to 173 million board feet (10,000,000 to 408,000 m³), although harvest levels on private land have remained relatively constant.[26] Even the shift in recent years towards finished goods such as paper and building materials has not slowed the decline of the timber industry in the state. The effects of this decline have included Weyerhaeuser's acquisition of Portland-based Willamette Industries in January 2002, the relocation of Louisiana Pacific's corporate headquarters from Portland to Nashville, and the decline of former lumber company towns such as Gilchrist. Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in softwood lumber production; in 2001, 6,056 million board feet (14,000,000 m³) was produced in Oregon, compared to 4,257 million board feet (10,050,000 m³). in Washington, 2,731 million board feet (6,444,000 m³) in California, 2,413 million board feet (5,694,000 m³) in Georgia, and 2,327 million board feet (5,491,000 m³) in Mississippi.[27] The effect of the forest industry crunch is still extensive unemployment in rural Oregon and is a bone of contention between rural and urban Oregon.

Oregon occasionally hosts film shoots. Movies wholly or partially filmed in Oregon include The Goonies, National Lampoon's Animal House, Stand By Me, Kindergarten Cop, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Paint Your Wagon, The Hunted, Sometimes a Great Notion, Elephant, Bandits, The Ring, The Ring 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, Short Circuit, Come See The Paradise, The Shining, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, The Postman, Free Willy, Free Willy 2, 1941, and Swordfish. Oregon native Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, has incorporated many references from his hometown of Portland into the TV series.[28] Oregon's scenic coastal and mountain highways are frequently seen in automobile commercials.

Largest Public Corporations Headquartered in Oregon[29]
Corporation Headquarters Market cap
1. Nike near Beaverton $29,466 million
2. Precision Castparts Corp. Portland $16,688
3. FLIR Systems Wilsonville $3,066
4. StanCorp Financial Group Portland $2,802
5. Tektronix near Beaverton $2,648
6. Columbia Sportswear near Beaverton $2,493
7. Portland General Electric Portland $1,715
8. Schnitzer Steel Industries Portland $1,442
9. Umpqua Holdings Corporation Portland $1,360
10. Northwest Natural Gas Portland $1,246

High technology industries and services have been a major employer since the 1970s. Tektronix was the largest private employer in Oregon until the late 1980s. Intel's creation and expansion of several facilities in eastern Washington County continued the growth that Tektronix had started. Intel, the state's largest private employer, operates four large facilities, with Ronler Acres, Jones Farm and Hawthorn Farm all located in Hillsboro. The spinoffs and startups that were produced by these two companies led to the establishment in that area of the so-called Silicon Forest. The recession and dot-com bust of 2001 hit the region hard; many high technology employers reduced the number of their employees or went out of business. OSDL made news in 2004 when they hired Linus Torvalds, developer of the Linux kernel. Recently, biotechnology giant Genentech purchased several acres of land in Hillsboro in an effort to expand its production capabilities.[30]

Oregon is also the home of large corporations in other industries. The world headquarters of Nike are located near Beaverton. Medford is home to two of the largest mail order companies in the country: Harry and David Operations Corp. which sells gift items under several brands, and Musician's Friend, an international catalog and Internet retailer of musical instruments and related products.Medford is also home to the national headquarters of the Fortune 1000 company, Lithia Motors. Portland is home to one of the West's largest trade book publishing houses, Graphic Arts Center Publishing.

Oregon has one of the largest salmon-fishing industries in the world, although ocean fisheries have reduced the river fisheries in recent years. Tourism is also strong in the state; Oregon's evergreen mountain forests, waterfalls, pristine lakes (including Crater Lake National Park), and scenic beaches draw visitors year round. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, held in Ashland, is a tourist draw which complements the southern region of the state's scenic beauty and opportunity for outdoor activities.

Oregon is home to a number of smaller breweries and Portland has the largest number of breweries of any city in the world.[31]

Oregon's gross state product is $132.66 billion as of 2006, making it the 27th largest GSP in the nation .[32]

Taxes and budgets

Oregon's biennial state budget, $42.4 billion as of 2007, comprises General Funds, Federal Funds, Lottery Funds, and Other Funds. Personal income taxes account for 88% of the General Fund's projected funds.[33] The Lottery Fund, which has grown steadily since the lottery was approved in 1984, exceeded expectations in the 2007 fiscal years, at $604 million.[34]

Oregon is one of only five states that have no sales tax.[35] Oregon voters have been resolute in their opposition to a sales tax, voting proposals down each of the 9 times they have been presented.[36] The last vote, for 1993's Measure 1, was defeated by a 72–24% margin.[37]

The state also has a minimum corporate tax of only $10 per year, amounting to 5.6% of the General Fund in the 2005–2007 biennium; data about what businesses pay the minimum is not available to the public.[38] As a result, the state relies almost entirely on property and income taxes for its revenue. Oregon has the 5th highest personal income tax per person in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oregon ranked 41st out of the 50 states in taxes per person in 2005.[39] The average paid of $1,791.45 is higher than only nine other states.[39]

Some local governments levy sales taxes on services: the city of Ashland, for example, collects a 5% sales tax on prepared food.[40]

Oregon is one of 6 states with a revenue limit.[41] In 2000, Ballot Measure 86 converted the "kicker" law from statute to the Oregon Constitution, and changed some of its provisions.

Federal payments to county governments, which were granted to replace timber revenues when logging in National Forests was restricted in the 1990s, have been under threat of suspension for several years. This issue dominates the future revenue of rural counties, which have come to rely on the payments in providing essential services.[42]

Most of state revenues are spent on public education.[43]

Demographics

Oregon population by decade, 1850–2000 (source: Census data)

As of 2005, Oregon has an estimated population of 3,641,056, which is an increase of 49,693, or 1.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 219,620, or 6.4%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 75,196 people (that is 236,557 births minus 161,361 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 150,084 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 72,263 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 77,821 people.

The center of population of Oregon is located in Linn County, in the city of Lyons.[44]

As of 2004, Oregon's population included 309,700 foreign-born residents (accounting for 8.7% of the state population) and an estimated 90,000 illegal aliens (2.5% of the state population). {{US DemogTable|Oregon|03-41.csv|= | 93.45| 2.17| 2.54| 3.75| 0.48|= | 7.63| 0.17| 0.32| 0.10| 0.05|= | 92.95| 2.38| 2.44| 4.25| 0.50|= | 9.38| 0.24| 0.34| 0.11| 0.05|= | 5.85| 16.64| 2.45| 20.78| 10.87|= | 3.63| 13.63| 0.62| 20.75| 10.26|= | 30.84| 52.63| 15.25| 21.84| 16.42}} The largest reported ancestry groups in Oregon are: German (20.5%), English (13.2%), Irish (11.9%), American (6.2%), and Mexican (5.5%).

Most Oregon counties are inhabited principally by residents of European ancestry. Concentrations of Mexican-Americans are highest in Malheur and Jefferson counties.

6.5% of Oregon's population were reported as less than 5 years old, 24.7% under 18, and 12.8% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.4% of the population.

See also: List of people from Oregon, List of Portlanders, and Oregon locations by per capita income

Religion

Of the U.S. states, Oregon has the third largest percentage of people identifying themselves as "non-religious" (tied with Colorado at 21 percent), after Washington and Vermont.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag and was the state's only nationally ranked university by US News & World Reports.[45] Oregon State University is located in Corvallis and holds the distinction of being the state's flagship in science, engineering and agricultural research and academics. The university is also the state's highest ranking university/college in a world survey of academic merit.[46]

The State has three regional universities: Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Southern Oregon University in Ashland, and Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. Portland State University is Oregon's largest. The Oregon Institute of Technology has its campus in Klamath Falls. The affiliate Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) comprises a medical, dental, and nursing school in Portland and a science and engineering school in Hillsboro.

Oregon has historically struggled to fund higher education. Recently, Oregon has cut its higher education budget over 2002–2006 and now Oregon ranks 46th in the country in state spending per student. However, 2007 legislation forced tuition increases to cap at 3% per year, and funded the OUS far beyond the requested governor's budget.[47]

Private

Oregon is home to a wide variety of private colleges. The University of Portland and Marylhurst University are Catholic institutions in the Portland area. Concordia University, Lewis & Clark College, Multnomah Bible College, Reed College, Warner Pacific College, Cascade College, and the National College of Natural Medicine are also in Portland. Pacific University is in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove.

There are also private colleges further south in the Willamette Valley. McMinnville has Linfield College, while nearby Newberg is home to George Fox University. Salem is home to two private schools, Willamette University (the state's oldest, established during the provisional period) and Corban College. Eugene is home to two private colleges: Northwest Christian College and Eugene Bible College.

Community colleges

Lane Community College, Building 1

The state supports seventeen regional community colleges around the state. They offer community education as well as two-year degrees. Colleges belonging to the state are:

Sports

See also: Sports in Portland, Oregon

The only major professional sports team in Oregon is the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. Traditionally, they have been one of the most successful teams in the NBA in terms of both win-loss record and attendance. However, the team has run into personnel and financial issues in recent seasons, and the team's popularity has declined. The Blazers play in the Rose Garden in Portland's Lloyd District. The Rose Garden's other tenants include the Portland Winter Hawks, a longstanding and popular Western Hockey League team, and the Portland LumberJax, an expansion National Lacrosse League team.

In addition to the Winter Hawks and LumberJax, Portland has two more minor-league sports teams who play at PGE Park. The Portland Timbers of the USL First Division are a very popular soccer team, and the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League are the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Portland has actively pursued a Major League Baseball team.

Eugene and Salem also have minor-league baseball teams. The Eugene Emeralds and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes both play in the Single-A Northwest League. Oregon also has four teams in the fledgling International Basketball League: the Portland Chinooks, Central Oregon Hotshots, Salem Stampede, and the Eugene Chargers.

The Oregon State Beavers and the University of Oregon Ducks football teams meet once a year at the Civil War which has been an ongoing tradition since 1894.

State symbols

The Oregon-grape, Oregon's state flower.
Columbia River Gorge near Crown Point, looking upstream into the gorge, past the Vista House, from Portland Women's Forum Viewpoint (Chanticleer Point)

Oregon has 22 official state symbols.[48] They are:

State flower: Oregon-grape (since 1899)
State song: "Oregon" (written in 1920 and adopted in 1927)
State bird: Western Meadowlark (chosen by the state's children in 1927)
State tree: Douglas-fir (since 1939)
State fish: Chinook salmon (since 1961)
State rock: Thunderegg (like a geode but formed in a rhyolitic lava flow; since 1965)
State animal: American Beaver (since 1969)
State dance: Square dance (Adopted in 1977)
State insect: Oregon Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio oregonius; since 1979)
State fossil: Metasequoia (since 2005)
State gemstone: Oregon sunstone, a type of feldspar (since 1987)
State nut: Hazelnut (since 1989)
State seashell: Oregon hairy triton (Fusitriton oregonensis, a gastropod in the ranellidae family; since 1991)
State mushroom: Pacific Golden Chanterelle (since 1999)
State beverage: Milk (since 1997)
State fruit: Pear (since 2005)
State motto: Alis Volat Propriis, Latin for "She Flies With Her Own Wings" (since 1987; This was the original motto of Oregon, but had been changed to "The Union" in 1957.)[49]
State hostess: Miss Oregon (since 1969)
State team: Portland Trail Blazers of 1990–1991 (since 1991)
State father: Dr. John McLoughlin (since 1957)[50]
State mother: Tabitha Brown (since 1987)[50]
Statehood pageant: Champoeg Historical Pageant (since 1987)

References

  1. ^ Calvin Hall (January 302007). English as Oregon's official language? It could happen. [[Oregon Daily Emerald|]]. Retrieved on 2007-05-08.
  2. ^ a b c Elevations and Distances in the United States. U.S Geological Survey (29 April 2005). Retrieved on November 7, 2006.
  3. ^ U.S. Census Bureau - State & County QuickFacts - Oregon. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  4. ^ Robbins, William G. (2005). Oregon: This Storied Land. Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0987595-286-0. 
  5. ^ Oregon History: Great Basin. Oregon Blue Book. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
  6. ^ Oregon History: Northwest Coast. Oregon Blue Book. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
  7. ^ Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde: Culture. Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
  8. ^ Oregon History: Columbia Plateau. Oregon Blue Book. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
  9. ^ Loy, Willam G.; Stuart Allan, Aileen R. Buckley, James E. Meecham (2001). Atlas of Oregon. University of Oregon Press, 12–13. ISBN 0-87114-102-7. 
  10. ^ a b Oregon (English). Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved on 2006-09-14.
  11. ^ Occurs among speakers where the [[horse-hoarse merger|]] has occurred, which include the majority of native Oregonians.
  12. ^ {{cite web | title = Crater Lake National Park | publisher = [[U.S. National Park Service|]]
  13. ^ D River State Recreation Site. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  14. ^ World's Shortest River. Travel Montana. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  15. ^ Mill Ends Park. Portland Parks and Recreation. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  16. ^ Population Research Center. Portland State University (June 17, 2007).
  17. ^ {{cite web | title = 2004 Population Report | publisher = [[PDF|]]
  18. ^ 50 Fastest-Growing Metro Areas Concentrated in West and South. U.S. Census Bureau 2005. Retrieved October 16 2007.
  19. ^ Oregon Weather. US Travel Weather.com. Retrieved October 16 2007.
  20. ^ Oregon Secretary of State. A Brief History of the Oregon Territorial Period. State of Oregon. Retrieved on 2006-08-09.
  21. ^ See Summary of 2006 ballot measures
  22. ^ State Initiative and Referendum Summary. State Initiative & Referendum Institute at USC. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.
  23. ^ {{cite web | title = Eighth Annual Report on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act | publisher = Oregon Department of Human Services | date = March 9, 2006 | url = http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/docs/year8.pdf | format = [[PDF|]]
  24. ^ McNab, W. Henry; Peter E. Avers (July 1994). "Pacific Lowland Mixed Forest (chapter 24)", Ecological Subregions of the United States. U.S. Forest Service and Dept. of Agriculture. 
  25. ^ {{cite web |title=Industry Facts |publisher = Oregon Winegrowers Association |url=http://oregonwine.org/press/StateWineFacts2005.pdf |format=[[PDF|]]
  26. ^ Oregon Forest Facts: 25-Year Harvest History. Oregon Forest Resources Institute. Retrieved on 2007-03-07.
  27. ^ Forest Economics and Employment. Oregon Forest Resources Institute. Retrieved on 2007-03-08.
  28. ^ Don Hamilton (2002-07-19). Matt Groening’s Portland. The Portland Tribune. Retrieved on 2007-03-07.
  29. ^ {{cite news | first = Julie | last = Tripp | title = The Oregonian Top 50 | publisher = [[The Oregonian|]]
  30. ^ Genentech Selects Hillsboro. Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved on 2007-03-21.
  31. ^ Oregon's Beer Week gets under way.. Knight-Ridder Tribune News Service (2005-07-05). Retrieved on 2007-10-22.
  32. ^ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State, 2006. Bureau of Economic Analysis - U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
  33. ^ Government Finance: State Government. [[Oregon Blue Book|]]. Retrieved on 2007-06-20.
  34. ^ Har, Janie. "Your loss is state's record game", [[The Oregonian|]], [[2007-06-20|]]. Retrieved on 2007-06-20. 
  35. ^ Hammond, Betsy; Hogan, Dave (March 9, 2007). House gets behind rainy day fund. Sales Tax Institute. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
  36. ^ 25th Anniversary Issue : 1993. [[Willamette Week|]]. Retrieved on 2007-06-11.
  37. ^ Initiative, Referendum and Recall: 1988–1995. Oregon Blue Book. State of Oregon. Retrieved on 2007-06-11.
  38. ^ "As Maryland Goes, So Should Oregon", Salem News, March 27 2007. Retrieved on 2007-06-10. 
  39. ^ a b {{cite web | title = Oregon ranks 41st in taxes per capita| publisher = [[Portland Business Journal|]]
  40. ^ Food and Beverage Tax. City of Ashland. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
  41. ^ {{cite web | title = Oregon's 2% Kicker | Oregon State Leglislative Review Office | url = http://www.leg.state.or.us/comm/lro/rr02-07.pdf | format = [[PDF|]]
  42. ^ Cooper, Matt. "County may scrub income tax", [[The Register-Guard|]], March 9, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-09. 
  43. ^ 2006 Oregon full-year resident tax form instructions
  44. ^ {{cite web | title = Population and Population Centers by State: 2000 | publisher = [[U.S. Census Bureau|]]
  45. ^ [1]
  46. ^ Top 500 World Universities. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
  47. ^ Higher Education Get Higher Priority. Retrieved on July 8, 2007.
  48. ^ Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 186. Retrieved on 2006-05-14.
  49. ^ Oregon State Motto Timeline. Oregon State Legislature. Retrieved on 2006-11-23.
  50. ^ a b Oregon Legislature Kids Page. Oregon State Legislature. Retrieved on 2006-12-08.

Further reading

External links

All wikimedia projects
Articles on this topic in other Wikimedia projects can be found at: Oregon


CoordinatesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: 44° N 120.5° W

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Oregon. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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Simple English

State of Oregon
File:Flag of File:Seal of
Flag of Oregon (front) Seal of Oregon
Also called: Beaver State
Saying(s): Alis volat propriis
Official language(s) None
Capital Salem
Largest city Portland
Area  Ranked 9th
 - Total 98,466 sq mi
(255,026 km²)
 - Width 260 miles (420 km)
 - Length 360 miles (580 km)
 - % water 2.4
 - Latitude 42°N to 46°15'N
 - Longitude 116°45'W to 124°30'W
Number of people  Ranked 28th
 - Total (2010) {{{2010Pop}}}
 - Density {{{2010DensityUS}}}/sq mi 
{{{2010Density}}}/km² (39th)
Height above sea level  
 - Highest point Mount Hood[1]
11,239 ft  (3,425 m)
 - Average 3,297 ft  (1,005 m)
 - Lowest point Pacific Ocean[1]
0 ft  (0 m)
Became part of the U.S.  February 14, 1859 (33rd)
Governor Ted Kulongoski (D)
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D)
Jeff Merkley (D)
Time zones  
 - most of state Pacific: UTC-8/-7
 - Malheur County Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Abbreviations OR Ore. US-OR
Web site www.oregon.gov

Oregon is a state in the United States. Salem is the capital (where most of the state government works), and Portland is the city with the most people. Oregon was the 33rd state to join the United States, in 1859.

Contents

Geography

The state of Washington is to the north of Oregon, and California and Nevada are to its south. The state of Idaho is to the east, and the Pacific Ocean is to the west.

The Columbia River flows along most of the border with Washington. The Snake River flows along much of the border with Idaho. The highest mountain is Mount Hood (11,237 feet, or 3,426 metres), part of the Cascade Range of mountains. Another famous Cascade Mountain in Oregon is Mount Mazama, better known as Crater Lake.

History

Oregon was a long way from the United States of America, which was east of the Mississippi in the 1830s and 1840s. To get to Oregon, many settlers had to cross the Great Plains, which were empty except for a few forts and Indians. Most people thought that it was impossible to farm there. They called it the "Great American Desert", because crossing it was long and dangerous; however, thousands did, anyway.[2]

Mountain men had found a pass way over the Rocky Mountains, and they named it the South Past. This path helped many wagons to reach the west coast. In 1836 a missionary named Marcus Whitman crossed through the pass with his wife to Oregon. This made proof that it was possible for others with women and families to go too, and because of this, suddenly Oregon became the place pioneers wanted to make a trip to.

Most of the settlers that came by the Oregon Trail had a very difficult trip. The Trail began in Missouri, and they went in covered wagons. They could only travel 100 miles in one week, and so the whole trip would take half a year.[2] But still, lots of pioneers traveled so much that it is still available to see the wagon ruts in some places today.

Life on the trail was very hard for the pioneers.[2] Every day, they would break up and camp, travel all day, and set up camp again. Food was usually beans and coffee, for every single days. The travelers always searched for water, wood for fires, and something to catch and eat fresh. But these were hard to find, and so sometimes they got mad at each other and fought with fists and guns.

The Trail was also dangerous. Rivers would flood, washing away people and other things. Indians may attack, oxen or horses could die, and diseases and injuries would strike.

By 1840, due to all the hard work of the pioneers, there were thousands of Americans in Oregon. Towns and farms had been set up. But the British, however, only had a few hundred settlers in Oregon. Because of this, the Americans began to plan to take over the whole land.[2]

Many Americans wanted this as well. They made up the slogan, "Fifty-four Forty or Fight!" and wanted all of Oregon up to latitude 54 celcius forty or they would go to war with Britain to get it. They were so eager to have Oregon all for themselves, they supported James Polk as president because he claimed to have similar thoughts with them as well.[2]

However, after President Polk was elected, he began to be more sensible. He did not want to wage war with Britain, if it could be avoided. The British also realized that the Americans would soon have enough settlers in Oregon to easily drive out the British defenders. In 1846 the British offered to divide Oregon by giving most of the border between the USA and Canada.[2] President Polk accepted this, and so now the Americans had power over Oregon as well as the other countries.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Elevations and Distances in the United States". U.S Geological Survey. 29 April 2005. http://erg.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/elvadist/elvadist.html#Highest. Retrieved 2006-11-7. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 History and Geography. [17 to 18 LIFEPAC]. Alpha Omega Publications. ISBN 978-1-58095-155-5. 17 to 18. 

Other websites

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