New OR state park

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Fri Dec 18 22:25:26 EST 1998


The following article first appeared in The Oregoniwn on Dec. 16, 1998, p C13

Land south of Tillamook is now 224th state park

The 61-acre parcel includes a 300-foot-high waterfall and a 212-foot-tall
Sitka spruce

By JONATHAN BRINCKMAN of The Oregonian staff

	Oregon's newest state park boasts a 300-foot-high waterfall, a
212-foot-tall Sitka spruce and a stream that feeds one of the best
salmon-spawning rivers on the coast.  Munson Creek Falls State Park became
the state's 224th in a ceremony in Portland on Tuesday, when Simpson Timber
Co. and the Paul G. Allen Forest Foundation presented Gov. John Kitzhaber a
61-acre parcel of forest land seven miles south of Tillamook, off U.S. 101.  
     The park is the first addition to Oregon's parks network since the state
bought the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area in Baker County five
years ago.   In addition to the highest waterfall in the Coast Range - the
second-highest falls in the state - the property includes large redwood,
hemlock and Douglas fir. The 212-foot Sitka spruce is the second tallest in
the nation, state officials said.    Simpson Timber has been leasing the
property, valued at $800,000, to Tillamook County for use as a county park.
The company agreed to sell it to the River Conservancy, a Portland-based
conservation group, for $400,000. The money for the purchase was donated by
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, owner of the Trail Blazers. The River
Conservancy then transferred the property to the state.     Kitzhaber, in a
ceremony at the World Trade Center, called protection of the state's natural
beauty a key to retaining its character. "The state has been growing at a
tremendous rate," he said. "What makes Oregon Oregon is slipping away."  Dave
Wright, business and real estate manager for the parks and Recreation
Department, said the state would make only minimal improvements to the site,
rebuilding trails damaged by landslides and perhaps adding toilets     
Munson Creek is a small tributary of the Tillamook River, which empties into
Tillamook Bay. The Tillamook River supports one of the strongest remaining
populations of chinook and coho salmon on the Oregon coast.	"Munson Creek
Falls is a gem, and we had to find a way to protect it," said Phil Wallin,
director of the River Conservancy. "Simpson Timber shared that feeling. When
the Paul Allen Forfest Protection Foundation agreed to help, we knew a new
state park was possible."

Posted as a courtesy by:
Daniel B. Wheeler
http://www.oregonwhitetruffles.com

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