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Historic Preservation Plan
About the plan
Thompson's Mills State Heritage Park, near Shedd
Historic sites attract tourist interest
A historic preservation plan to guide preservation activities in the state until 2016 emphasizes integrating cultural resource management into the planning processes of state and local jurisdictions and agencies across Oregon.
 
“It is time for preservation to be taken for granted – by developers, by city planners, by legislators, by the public,” says Chrissy Curran, associate deputy for the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). “It is ready to stand on its own merits. It has proven itself to be an enduring, collective value.”
 
While the plan is a requirement of the National Park Service, which provides a substantial portion of the SHPO’s funding, it is also a valuable tool for the SHPO and for preservation constituents throughout Oregon.
 
The plan spotlights overarching issues, sets goals for the state and its preservation partners, and details a series of objectives to be collectively met over the next five years. The plan emphasizes:
      
The plan emphasizes:
  • Identification and surveying of historic resources, and expanding public access to survey data;
  • disaster preparedness;
  • outreach and education;
  • property types most at risk;
  • heritage partnerships and networking;
and reinforcement of the overall goal, which is to integrate cultural resources management into the planning processes in Oregon.
 
A public comment period this past spring concluded the plan’s public process, which began in 2010 with a series of regional workshops and a heritage needs assessment survey that together garnered close to 700 responses. The National Park Service approved the plan earlier this year.
 
So, grab Oregon’s updated historic preservation plan and learn more about how preservation efforts across the state are faring, how to better leverage each other’s work, what preservation products get the best results, and how best to promote excellent stewardship of this state’s irreplaceable cultural resources.
 


Cultural resources by numbers
 
 

52,000
Number of resources in the Oregon SHPO’s master historic sites database. Tens of thousands more historic resources remain to be inventoried statewide.
61
Percentage of inventoried resources that are from 1900-1940
19
Percentage of inventoried resources that are from 19th century.
16
Percentage of inventory that are post World War II resources.
77
Percentage of resources that are buildings. Other resources include trails, boats, airplanes, locomotives, markers, landmarks, and sites.
131
Number of designated historic districts.
32,000
Number of identified archaeological sites, including at least one in every county.
 

Cultural resources in words
There are two basic categories of cultural resources – archeological and historic – covered by the plan.
 
Archaeological
In general, archaeological resources are at or below ground level, and they are usually remnants rather than intact features. While they are most often prehistoric Native American sites, there are also historic-period archaeological resources.
 
Archaeological resources, especially those in remote areas, are subject to looting and vandalism, so their precise locations must be kept confidential. Native American sites are of special interest to Oregon’s indigenous tribes, so coordination with the tribes is an important aspect of any dealings with these types of archaeological sites.
 
Historic 
Historic resources are primarily intact above-ground features that postdate European contact. Their location and details are usually promoted as expressions of community or neighborhood pride, and often as part of heritage tourism and economic development efforts.
 
Rehabilitation and adaptive use are key elements in historic resource preservation. There are financial incentives and extensive “how-to” information to encourage and guide rehabilitation efforts.  They are usually subject to local zoning and building regulations, so coordination with local planning entities is a critically important part of any preservation effort.


Research resources

County histories
National Register database