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Oregon Parks and Recreation Department seeks public comment on proposed updates to State Natural Area Program rules

May 3, 2019

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is proposing updates to the State Natural Area Program rules and creating guidelines for provisional registrations. OPRD is accepting public comments on the proposed updates—which would require amendments to Oregon Administrative Rule—through May 31.

OPRD is proposing updating program rules to allow for a new designation: provisional registration. It would apply to natural areas under active or proposed restoration. Provisionally registered properties would be given five years to design and execute an OPRD-approved restoration management plan to meet the criteria for full registration under the program.

Other proposed changes would clarify language related to technology changes, establish nomenclature of State Natural Areas versus State Natural Area Reserves, and improve alignment of program operation direction with current goals.

Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. May 31, 2019 and can be made online, in writing or via email.

  • Online: oregon.gov/oprd/RULES/Pages/Rulemaking
  • In writing: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, attn. Katie Gauthier, 725 Summer St NE, Suite C, Salem OR 97301
  • Email: OPRD.publiccomment@oregon.gov.

After reviewing public comments, agency staff plan to present a final recommended rule for consideration by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission at its June 2019 business meeting.

The Oregon Legislature established the Oregon State Natural Areas Program in 1979 as a way to protect high quality native ecosystems and rare plant and animal species.

In 2010, the Oregon Natural Areas Plan was developed which defines the full range of Oregon's natural heritage and guides the selection of priority areas for the establishment of natural areas.  The plan was updated in 2015 and guides the department’s actions in the program.

The full text of the proposed amendments to the program’s Oregon Administrative Rules, 736-045-0011 to 736-045-0505, is available online at oregon.gov/oprd/Rules/pages/index.aspx.