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Value 2: Natural + Recreation Overlap

We value Oregon’s landscape, its natural character, and the enjoyment it brings to the lives of those who experience it through personal, hands-on interactions.

Benefit 2.1. Key opportunities for the canyon to teach us that we are all part of one natural system will be developed.

Benefit 2.2. The ongoing cycle of nature will be revealed by exploring geology, plants, wildlife, etc. and how they interact.

Benefit 2.3. Site planning will accentuate and preserve the canyons’ natural beauty.

Benefit 2.4. The varied natural beauty of the canyon landscape will take center stage and be appreciated.

Action 2.1.1

A family with two grade schoolers learn of a new way to experience the John Day River at the newly established Cottonwood Canyon State Park through magazine and web site ads.  They‘ve always wanted to raft or take a pack trip down a wild river, or hike into a remote outpost but have never done any of these things before.  Oregon State Parks, they learn, now provides journeys to wild places with people who can show them the way, from the city and back again…in ways that can connect them with nature, the stars, the water and the weather and still be comfortable along the way.

Action 2.1.2

Conservation Projects:  Recognizing the types of native plant restoration projects planned, it is possible to set up work parties for volunteers interested in conservation work. These projects can be enhanced with an interpretive presentation on the native plants in the area and the need for the conservation work.

Action 2.1.3

Build in a Leave No Trace program from the ground up.

Action 2.1.4

Wildlife viewing days include watching and photographing bighorn sheep or other big critter from a wildlife blind. Or, bird watching along a trail for burrowing owls.

Action 2.1.5

Working with partners to restore wetlands in formerly drained pasture.

Action 2.1.6

Community members from Grass Valley, Hood River and Portland team up with park staff and agency partners to reintroduce T&E species working and improve watershed management. The students create a curriculum to teach other kids about their activities.

Action 2.1.7

Thirty volunteer scientists, taxonomists, and interns contributed over 2,000 hours to the Cottonwood Biodiversity Inventory project in the Canyon flatlands, This “BioBlitz” is held over the summer with volunteers processing over 5,000 specimens and identifying more than 500 species. The program provided outreach educational services to teachers and students through creative media and teaching materials as well as site visits to the canyon for personal discovery of the world around them. The research projects were published on the “live park” website.

Action 2.2.1

Build a significant photographic library across all seasons of the year and document what’s there in a web based nature survey of plants and wildlife.

Action 2.2.2

“Alien Invaders,” a 3D film for middle school science classes about invasive species s that harm the ecosystem and water quality of the John Day was produced by the park staff and their partners. Students participated in the filming, which will be available on DVD and through the local school television station.

Action 2.2.3

A canyon bottom environment monitoring station is installed in at Hay Creek to document the impacts of climate change on river activity, alpine plants, and animals.

Action 2.3.1

Taking a day trip to the park a visitor can easily access landscape viewing opportunities. They are able to take short hiking opportunities that may be guided with designated resting areas for photo opportunities.

Action 2.3.2

Jr. Ranger learns fish names and how to identify them on the “Live Park” site for a ranger badge.

Action 2.4.1

Areas of outstanding natural beauty within the park will be delineated and protected.

Action 2.4.2

Workshops with Guest Speakers: Outdoor skills workshops could be coordinated to encourage the public to experience the park. A few examples include fly fishing, artist-in-residence and photography.

Action 2.4.3

Five Elders/Kids workshops were conducted in local communities during shoulder season. Elders/Kids teaches “youth through youth” to create educational products such as video casts, plays, and postcards to share with community members and town visitors.

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