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Statewide, OR—The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is accepting public comments on proposed changes to the comment process during meetings of the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP), which reviews nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. May 31.

OPRD is proposing updates to the Oregon Administrative Rules that govern how individuals submit comments during public meetings of the SACHP. Under the proposed rule, comments would be submitted to OPRD staff who would share them with committee members during the meeting. Any comments not material to the nomination would not be shared.

The proposed rule is similar to a temporary rule put into place in November 2021 after a virtual meeting of the committee was interrupted when an attendee began typing racial and homophobic slurs directed at members of the committee. Without action, the rule language would revert to its prior form. In order for the temporary rule language to become permanent, the agency must open the proposed amendment for public comment and follow the rule adoption process.

“Under the proposed rule, the committee will continue to hear all comments relevant to the listing criteria,” said Ian Johnson, Associate Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. “The purpose is not to censor comments, but to prevent hate speech from interrupting a meeting.”

OPRD will accept public comments on the proposed changes at a virtual public hearing set to stream on Zoom at 6 p.m. May 23. Register to attend at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jvfmGb...

Comments may also be submitted via the following channels:
• Online: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/pages/PRP-rulemaki...
• In writing: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, attn. Katie Gauthier, 725 Summer St NE, Suite C, Salem OR 97301
• Email: OPRD.publiccomment@oprd.oregon.gov
After reviewing public comments, OPRD staff plan to present a final recommended rule for consideration to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The full text of the proposed change is available online at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/pages/PRP-rulemaki...

The SACHP is a 9-member governor-appointed group of individuals with interest or expertise in history, archaeology, architecture, and other disciplines. Members review all proposed National Register nominations in Oregon. Information is at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/OH/Pages/Commissions.a...

The National Register of Historic Places is the United States' official list of buildings, districts, structures, sites, and objects important to local, state, or national history. The program is run by the National Park Service and administered locally by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. More information is at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/OH/Pages/National-Regi...

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Chris Havel, Associate Director
503-931-2590
chris.havel@oprd.oregon.gov

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