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50 years as the People’s Beach
Salem, OR—It's the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Oregon Beach Bill, and the Oregon State Archives is celebrating! We invite you to drop in for a visit to view 54 scenic and historic beach photos spanning the 1930s to the 1970s. These images encompass a wide variety of activities enjoyed by Oregonians, ranging from horseback riding, running and playing in the surf, to hiking, camping and fishing. The exhibit is presented as a gigantic scrapbook designed to encourage photographic excursions along our beautiful coast - from Curry County to Clatsop County.

In 1913, Oregon Gov. Oswald West signed into law a bill that made the state's tidelands public highways, thereby guaranteeing unencumbered public access to the coastline. A 1966 challenge to this law exposed a flaw in the bill which protected only the wet sands as being publicly owned. Gov. Tom McCall took up the mantle to bring public awareness of this loophole. The flaw was corrected during the 1967 legislative session by House Bill 1601, widely known as the Oregon Beach Bill. This law finally established public ownership of the land along the Oregon coast by declaring “free and uninterrupted use of the beaches” between the low-water mark and the vegetation line. This action resulted in many of the most beautiful sea landscapes in America being protected from development. Our majestic ocean beaches are among the most popular picturesque and recreational attractions in the state. With most of the shoreline in America being privately owned, Oregon stands out with its unique public access to all our beaches. Visitors to the Oregon coast do not have to confront “No Trespassing” signs, fenced resort areas, private docks, or traverse a labyrinth of lounge chairs. There are simply vast beautiful beaches, sea treasures and ocean waters to enjoy. Our unspoiled beaches are open to all.

The untouched pristine beauty of our coast is unlike any place on Earth. The 363-mile stretch of Oregon coast will always be the People's Coast. From Fort Stevens State Park in the north to Harris Beach State Park in the south, our beautiful beaches are a tribute to Oregonians' commitment to a vigilant stewardship of an extraordinary natural environment, and it belongs to everyone.

The Oregon State Archives is located at 800 Summer St. NE, Salem:

Debra Royal, Chief of Staff / 503-986-2361 * 503-507-0082 (cell) /



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