First public meetings April 26-29

Oregon’s new Cottonwood Canyon State Park in central Oregon will open in 2013. The first public discussions about the park’s future will take place April 26 in Moro, April 27 in Condon and April 29 in Portland.

The meetings will launch Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) planning on how to manage the park, which straddles Gilliam and Sherman counties along the John Day River in north-central Oregon. OPRD acquired 2,443 acres for the park using $2.3 million in Lottery funds in September 2009. The property is near Highway 206 between Condon and Moro.

The introductory meetings will be held at:

  • The Sherman County Fairgrounds (4-H Pavilion) in Moro on April 26;
  • Memorial Hall, next to Condon’s city hall, 128 S. Main St., on April 27;
  • Tryon Creek State Park (nature center), 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., in Portland on April 29.

Public comments will be accepted at the meetings, each of which will run from 6-8 p.m. Written comments can be sent to OPRD planning coordinator Mark Davison at 725 Summer Street N.E., Suite C, Salem, Oregon  97301; or by e-mail to

An advisory committee composed of area mayors and representatives of Gilliam County, Sherman County, regional public agencies, area tribes, and friends and neighbors of Cottonwood Canyon State Park will meet in Moro from 2-4 p.m. before the April 26 meeting. The public also is invited to this advisory session, but OPRD will consider comments only from committee members.

At the public meetings, OPRD staff will introduce the property’s natural, cultural, historic and scenic values; discuss ways to protect its wild setting and natural resources, and open a dialogue on its potential for recreation, interpretive and educational uses. More meetings will be scheduled through spring 2011 leading to the development of a draft master plan for managing the park. A final draft of the plan will then be submitted to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The meeting sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Special accommodations may be arranged up to 72 hours in advance by calling 503-986-0655.

5 thoughts on “First public meetings April 26-29

  1. In my opinion the very best way to preserve and protect nature is if we own the land we are trying to protect, so I feel the more the better. I would like to help in the success of procuring the other 5,500-plus acres from the Conservancy to add to the property.

    I am excited about this venture.


  2. I am always glad to see a new park, this one looks like it will be beautiful. But, I don’t understand why we are buying new land when we have land in the park system that just needs development, like Bowers Rock State Park? Wouldn’t the money be better used to develop land that the state park system already owns?

    1. It’s a good question. We are fortunate that a portion of our Lottery funds are dedicated to improving and developing existing parks, just as you say, and some are set aside for new parks in regions surveys show are underserved. The park we opened year before last, for instance, was created by working on land we already owned (Crissey Field down near Brookings).
      Bowers Rock is a challenge. The issue isn’t strictly money, but the fact we don’t own rights to a proper park entrance. Our real estate staff our working on options, but it takes time. Cottonwood Canyon, in the meantime, will fill a very different kind of need on the east side.

      1. Thank you for the explanation. I think the park service does a great job and our parks are a showcase for the rest of the world. I can certainly see that this will be a nice park and very different from Bower’s Rock. When you get ready to develop Bower’s Rock don’t hesitate to ask for local help we will gladly pitch in! Thanks for all you do!

  3. I really feel like the best thing about the John Day area is the total lack of development. I am hoping nothing else like this gets built out there. Honestly, isn’t the appeal of the place to look out and see a landscape untouched?

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