Oregon
Overview
Oregon is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 in the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 region of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is located on the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 coast
Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It runs generally north-south along the Pacific Ocean, forming the western border of the state; the region is bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast stretches approximately from the Columbia River in the north to...

, with Washington to the north, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 to the south, Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 on the southeast and Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 to the east. The Columbia
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

 and Snake
Snake River
The Snake is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest in the United States. At long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean...

 rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries, respectively. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers, and settlers who formed an autonomous government in Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

 in 1843.
Timeline

1792    Mount Hood (Oregon) is named after the British naval officer Alexander Arthur Hood by Lt. William E. Broughton who spotted the mountain near the mouth of the Willamette River.

1846    The United States House of Representatives votes to stop sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom.

1859    Oregon is admitted as the 33rd U.S. state.

1880    The Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow.

1919    Oregon places a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.

1933    Loggers cause a forest fire in the Coast Range of Oregon, later known as the first forest fire of the Tillamook Burn. It is extinguished on September 5, after destroying 240,000 acres (970 km²).

1942    World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by the Japanese against the United States mainland.

1942    World War II: A Japanese floatplane drops an incendiary bomb on Oregon.

Encyclopedia
Oregon is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 in the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 region of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is located on the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 coast
Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It runs generally north-south along the Pacific Ocean, forming the western border of the state; the region is bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast stretches approximately from the Columbia River in the north to...

, with Washington to the north, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 to the south, Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 on the southeast and Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 to the east. The Columbia
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

 and Snake
Snake River
The Snake is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest in the United States. At long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean...

 rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries, respectively. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers, and settlers who formed an autonomous government in Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

 in 1843. The Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. Originally claimed by several countries , the region was...

 was created in 1848, and Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.

Salem
Salem, Oregon
Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood...

 is the state's capital and third-most-populous city; Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

 is the most populous. Oregon's 2010 population is just over 3.8 million, a 12% increase over 2000. Portland is the 29th-largest U.S. city, with a population of 583,776 (2010 US Census) and a metro population of 2,241,841 (2009 estimate), the 23rd-largest U.S. metro area. The valley of
Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley is the most populated region in the state of Oregon of the United States. Located in the state's northwest, the region is surrounded by tall mountain ranges to the east, west and south and the valley's floor is broad, flat and fertile because of Ice Age conditions...

 the Willamette River
Willamette River
The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia River, accounting for 12 to 15 percent of the Columbia's flow. The Willamette's main stem is long, lying entirely in northwestern Oregon in the United States...

 in western Oregon is the state's most densely populated area and is home to eight of the ten most populous cities.

Oregon contains a diverse landscape including the windswept Pacific coastline
Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It runs generally north-south along the Pacific Ocean, forming the western border of the state; the region is bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast stretches approximately from the Columbia River in the north to...

, the volcanoes of the rugged and glaciated Cascade Mountain Range
Cascade Range
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

, many waterfalls (including Multnomah Falls), dense evergreen forests, mixed forests and deciduous forests at lower elevations, and high desert
High Desert (Oregon)
The Oregon High Desert is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon, located east of the Cascade Range and south of the Blue Mountains, in the central and eastern parts of the state. Divided into a southern region and a northern region, the desert covers most of five Oregon counties and averages above...

 across much of the eastern portion of the state, extending into the Great Basin
Great Basin
The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America and is noted for its arid conditions and Basin and Range topography that varies from the North American low point at Badwater Basin to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than away at the...

. The tall Douglas firs
Douglas-fir
Douglas-fir is one of the English common names for evergreen coniferous trees of the genus Pseudotsuga in the family Pinaceae. Other common names include Douglas tree, and Oregon pine. There are five species, two in western North America, one in Mexico, and two in eastern Asia...

 and redwoods along the rainy Western Oregon
Western Oregon
Western Oregon is a geographical term that is generally taken to mean the part of Oregon within 120 miles of the Oregon Coast, on the west side of the crest of the Cascade Range. The term is applied somewhat loosely however, and is sometimes taken to exclude the southwestern areas of the state,...

 coast contrast with the lower density and fire prone pine tree
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 and juniper
Juniperus occidentalis
Juniperus occidentalis is a shrub or tree native to the western United States, growing in mountains at altitudes of 800-3,000 m .-Description:...

 forests covering portions of the eastern
Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon is the eastern part of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is not an officially recognized geographic entity, thus the boundaries of the region vary according to context. It is sometimes understood to include only the eight easternmost counties in the state; in other contexts, it includes...

 half of the state. Alder
Alder
Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the birch family . The genus comprises about 30 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, few reaching large size, distributed throughout the North Temperate Zone and in the Americas along the Andes southwards to...

 trees are common in the west and fix nitrogen for the conifers and aspen
Aspen
Populus section Populus, of the Populus genus, includes the aspen trees and the white poplar Populus alba. The five typical aspens are all native to cold regions with cool summers, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, extending south at high altitudes in the mountains. The White Poplar, by...

 groves are common in eastern Oregon. Stretching east from Central Oregon
Central Oregon
Central Oregon is a geographic region in the U.S. state of Oregon and is traditionally considered to be made up of Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties. Other definitions include larger areas, often encompassing areas to the north towards the Columbia River, eastward towards Burns, or south...

, the state also includes semi-arid shrubland
Shrubland
Shrubland, scrubland, scrub or brush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity...

s, prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

s, desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

s, steppes, and meadows. Mount Hood
Mount Hood
Mount Hood, called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe, is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. It was formed by a subduction zone and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States...

 is the highest point in the state at 11249 feet (3,428.7 m). Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the sixth oldest national park in the United States and the only one in the state of Oregon...

 is the only national park in Oregon.

History

Humans have inhabited the area that is now Oregon for at least 15,000 years. In recorded history, mentions of the land date to as early as the 16th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries, European powers—and later the United States—quarreled over possession of the region until 1846 when the U.S. and Great Britain finalized division of the region. Oregon became a state in 1859 and is now home to over 3.8 million residents.

Earliest inhabitants

Human habitation of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 began at least 15,000 years ago, with the oldest evidence of habitation in Oregon found at Fort Rock Cave
Fort Rock Cave
Fort Rock Cave was the site of the earliest evidence of human habitation in the U.S. state of Oregon prior to excavation of Paisley Caves. Fort Rock Cave featured numerous well-preserved sagebrush sandals, ranging from 9,000 to 13,000 years old....

 and the Paisley Caves
Paisley Caves
The Paisley Caves complex is a system of four caves in an arid, desolate region of south-central Oregon, United States. One of the caves may contain archaeological evidence of the oldest definitively-dated human presence in North America. The site was first studied by archeologists in the 1930s...

 in Lake County
Lake County, Oregon
Lake County is a county in the high desert south central region of the U.S. state of Oregon, so named for the many lakes found within its boundaries, including Lake Abert, Hart Lake Reservoir, and Goose Lake. While Lake is among Oregon's largest counties, it is sparsely populated with 7,895...

. Archaeologist Luther Cressman
Luther Cressman
Luther Sheeleigh Cressman was an American anthropologist. He is known as the father of Oregon anthropology....

 dated material from Fort Rock to 13,200 years ago. By 8000 B.C. there were settlements throughout the state, with populations concentrated along the lower Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries.

European exploration

By the 16th century Oregon was home to many Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 groups, including the Coquille (Ko-Kwell),Bannock
Bannock (tribe)
The Bannock tribe of the Northern Paiute are an indigenous people of the Great Basin. Their traditional lands include southeastern Oregon, southeastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and southwestern Montana...

, Chasta
Shasta (tribe)
The Shasta are an indigenous people of Northern California and Southern Oregon in the United States. They spoke one of the Shastan languages....

, Chinook
Chinookan
Chinook refers to several native amercain groups of in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, speaking the Chinookan languages. In the early 19th century, the Chinookan-speaking peoples lived along the lower and middle Columbia River in present-day Oregon and Washington...

, Kalapuya, Klamath, Molalla
Molala
The Molala were a people of the Plateau culture area in central Oregon, United States. Some consider them extinct, though they are one of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, with 141 of the 882 members in the 1950s claiming Molala descent.-Language:The Molalla language...

, Nez Perce, Takelma, and Umpqua.

The first Europeans to visit Oregon were Spanish explorers who sighted southern Oregon off the Pacific Coast in 1543. No Europeans returned to Oregon until 1778, when British captain James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 explored the coast. French Canadian and metis trappers and missionaries arrived in the eastern part of the state in the late 18th century and early 19th century, many having travelled as members of Lewis and Clark and the 1811 Astor expeditions. Some stayed permanently, including Étienne Lussier, believed to be the first European farmer in the state of Oregon. The evidence of this French Canadian presence can be found in the numerous names of French origin in that part of the state: Charbonneau, Malheur Lake and River, Grande Ronde and Des Chutes Rivers, city of Ontario, etc.

During U.S. westward expansion

The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or ″Corps of Discovery Expedition" was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William...

 traveled through the region also in search of the Northwest Passage. They built their winter fort at Fort Clatsop
Fort Clatsop
Fort Clatsop was the encampment of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the Oregon Country near the mouth of the Columbia River during the winter of 1805-1806...

, near the mouth of the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

. British explorer David Thompson
David Thompson (explorer)
David Thompson was an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker, known to some native peoples as "Koo-Koo-Sint" or "the Stargazer"...

 also conducted overland exploration.

In 1811, David Thompson, of the North West Company
North West Company
The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what was to become Western Canada...

, became the first European to navigate the entire Columbia River. Stopping on the way, at the junction of the Snake River
Snake River
The Snake is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest in the United States. At long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean...

, he posted a claim to the region for Great Britain and the North West Company. Upon returning to Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, he publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area.

Also in 1811, New Yorker
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor , born Johann Jakob Astor, was a German-American business magnate and investor who was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States...

 financed the establishment of Fort Astoria
Fort Astoria
Fort Astoria was the Pacific Fur Company's primary fur trading post in the Northwest, and was the first American-owned settlement on the Pacific coast. After a short two-year term of US ownership, the British owned and operated it for 33 years. It was the first British port on the Pacific coast...

 at the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his Pacific Fur Company
Pacific Fur Company
The Pacific Fur Company was founded June 23, 1810, in New York City. Half of the stock of the company was held by the American Fur Company, owned exclusively by John Jacob Astor, and Astor provided all of the capital for the enterprise. The other half of the stock was ascribed to working partners...

; this was the first permanent European settlement in Oregon.

In the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 gained control of all Pacific Fur Company posts. The Treaty of 1818
Treaty of 1818
The Convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, also known as the London Convention, Anglo-American Convention of 1818, Convention of 1818, or simply the Treaty of 1818, was a...

 established joint British and American occupancy of the region west of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. By the 1820s and 1830s, the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District
Columbia District
The Columbia District was a fur trading district in the Pacific Northwest region of British North America in the 19th century. It was explored by the North West Company between 1793 and 1811, and established as an operating fur district around 1810...

 headquarters at Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver was a 19th century fur trading outpost along the Columbia River that served as the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company in the company's Columbia District...

 (built in 1825 by the District's Chief Factor John McLoughlin
John McLoughlin
Dr. John McLoughlin, baptized Jean-Baptiste McLoughlin, was the Chief Factor of the Columbia Fur District of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. He was later known as the "Father of Oregon" for his role in assisting the American cause in the Oregon Country in the Pacific Northwest...

 across the Columbia from present-day Portland).

In 1841, the expert trapper and entrepreneur Ewing Young
Ewing Young
Ewing Young was an American fur trapper and trader from Tennessee who traveled Mexican southwestern North America and California before settling in the Oregon Country. As a prominent and wealthy citizen there, his death was the impetus for the early formation of government in what became the state...

 died leaving considerable wealth and no apparent heir, and no system to probate
Probate
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under the valid will. A probate court decides the validity of a testator's will...

 his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral at which a probate government was proposed. Doctor Ira Babcock
Ira Babcock
Doctor Ira Leonard Babcock was an American pioneer and doctor in the Oregon Country. A native of New York, he was selected as the supreme judge with probate powers in 1841 in what would become the state of Oregon...

 of Jason Lee
Jason Lee (missionary)
Jason Lee , an American missionary and pioneer, was born on a farm near Stanstead, Quebec. He was the first of the Oregon missionaries and helped establish the early foundation of a provisional government in the Oregon Country....

's Methodist Mission
Methodist Mission
The Methodist Mission was founded in Oregon Country in 1834 by the Reverend Jason Lee. The mission was started to educate the Native Americans in the Willamette Valley and grew into an important center for politics and economics in the early settlement period of Oregon.-Foundation:In 1831, several...

 was elected Supreme Judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg
Champoeg, Oregon
Champoeg is a former town in the U.S. state of Oregon. Now a ghost town, it was an important settlement in the Willamette Valley in the early 1840s. It is positioned halfway between Oregon City and Salem and the site of the first provisional government of the Oregon Country...

 (half way between Lee's mission and Oregon City
Oregon City, Oregon
Oregon City was the first city in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains to be incorporated. It is the county seat of Clackamas County, Oregon...

) to discuss wolves
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 and other animals of contemporary concern. These meetings were precursors to an all-citizen meeting
Champoeg Meetings
The Champoeg Meetings in Oregon Country were the first attempts at governing in the Pacific Northwest by United States European-American pioneers. Prior to this, the closest entity to a government was the Hudson's Bay Company, mainly through Dr...

 in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an executive committee made up of David Hill
David Hill (Oregon politician)
David Hill , was an American pioneer and settler of what became Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. He served in the Provisional Government of Oregon in both the executive and legislative branches, and later as a legislator in the first Oregon Territorial Legislature...

, Alanson Beers
Alanson Beers
Alanson Beers was an American pioneer and politician in the early days of the settlement of the Oregon Country. A blacksmith by trade, he was a reinforcement for the Methodist Mission in what would become the state of Oregon...

, and Joseph Gale
Joseph Gale
Joseph Goff Gale was an American pioneer, trapper, entrepreneur, and politician who contributed to the early settlement of the Oregon Country...

. This government was the first acting public government of the Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

 before annexation by the government of the United States.

Also in 1841, Sir George Simpson
George Simpson (administrator)
Sir George Simpson was a Scots-Quebecer and employee of the Hudson's Bay Company . His title was Governor-in-Chief of Rupert's Land and administrator over the Northwest Territories and Columbia Department in British North America from 1821 to 1860.-Early years:George Simpson was born in Dingwall,...

, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, reversed the Hudson's Bay Company's long-standing policy of discouraging settlement because it interfered with the lucrative fur trade. He directed that some 200 Red River Colony
Red River Colony
The Red River Colony was a colonization project set up by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1811 on of land granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company under what is referred to as the Selkirk Concession. The colony along the Red River of the North was never very successful...

 settlers be relocated to HBC farms near Fort Vancouver, (the James Sinclair
James Sinclair (fur trapper)
James Sinclair was a trader and explorer with the Hudson's Bay Company. He was the son of Hudson's Bay Company factor William Sinclair, from Eastaquoy in Harray, and his Cree wife, Nahovway. He was a brother of William Sinclair. James was born in Rupert's Land and educated in Scotland at Edinburgh...

 expedition), in an attempt to hold Columbia District.

Starting in 1842–1843, the Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

 brought many new American settlers to Oregon Country. For some time, it seemed that Britain and the United States would go to war for a third time in 75 years (see Oregon boundary dispute
Oregon boundary dispute
The Oregon boundary dispute, or the Oregon Question, arose as a result of competing British and American claims to the Pacific Northwest of North America in the first half of the 19th century. Both the United Kingdom and the United States had territorial and commercial aspirations in the region...

), but the border was defined peacefully in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty
Oregon Treaty
The Oregon Treaty is a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. The treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to the Oregon Country, which had been jointly occupied by...

. The border between the United States and British North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

 was set at the 49th parallel
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

. The Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. Originally claimed by several countries , the region was...

 was officially organized in 1848.

Settlement increased with the Donation Land Claim Act
Donation Land Claim Act
The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 was a statute enacted by the United States Congress intended to promote homestead settlement in the Oregon Territory in the Pacific Northwest...

 of 1850 and the forced relocation
Population transfer
Population transfer is the movement of a large group of people from one region to another by state policy or international authority, most frequently on the basis of ethnicity or religion...

 of the native population to Indian reservations in Oregon.

After statehood

Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859. Founded as a refuge from disputes over slavery, Oregon had a "whites only" clause in its original state Constitution.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, regular U.S. troops were withdrawn and sent east. Volunteer cavalry recruited in California were sent north to Oregon to keep peace and protect the populace. The First Oregon Cavalry
1st Oregon Cavalry
The First Regiment, Oregon Cavalry was a regiment in the volunteer Union army that participated in the American Civil War. With many men recruited from California, the regiment primarily served to protect the state of Oregon and surrounding territories in the Pacific Coast Theater of the American...

 served until June 1865.

In the 1880s, the growth of railroads helped market the state's lumber
Lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, and the rapid growth of its cities.

20th and 21st centuries

In 1902, Oregon introduced direct legislation
Direct Legislation League
The Oregon Direct Legislation League was an organization of political activists founded by William S. U'Ren in the U.S. state of Oregon in 1898. U'Ren had been politically activated by reading the influential 1893 book Direct Legislation Through the Initiative and Referendum, and the group's...

 by the state’s citizens through initiatives and referenda, known as the Oregon System
Direct Legislation League
The Oregon Direct Legislation League was an organization of political activists founded by William S. U'Ren in the U.S. state of Oregon in 1898. U'Ren had been politically activated by reading the influential 1893 book Direct Legislation Through the Initiative and Referendum, and the group's...

. Oregon state ballots often include politically conservative proposals side-by-side with politically liberal ones, illustrating the diversity of political thought in the state.

Industrial expansion began in earnest following the construction of the Bonneville Dam
Bonneville Dam
Bonneville Lock and Dam consists of several run-of-the-river dam structures that together complete a span of the Columbia River between the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington at River Mile 146.1. The dam is located east of Portland, Oregon, in the Columbia River Gorge. The primary functions of...

 in 1933–1937 on the Columbia River. Hydroelectric power
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

, food, and lumber provided by Oregon helped fuel the development of the West, although the periodic fluctuations in the U.S. building industry have hurt the state's economy
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 on multiple occasions.

Name

The earliest known use of the name, spelled "Ouragon", was in a 1765 petition by Major Robert Rogers
Robert Rogers (soldier)
Robert Rogers was an American colonial frontiersman. Rogers served in the British army during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution...

 to the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

. The term referred to the then–mythical River of the West (the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

). By 1778 the spelling had shifted to Oregon. In his 1765 petition, Rogers wrote:

"The rout...is from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, and from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon..."


One theory is the name comes from the French word ouragan ("windstorm" or "hurricane"), which was applied to the River of the West based on Native American tales of powerful Chinook wind
Chinook wind
Chinook winds , often called chinooks, commonly refers to foehn winds in the interior West of North America, where the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains meet various mountain ranges, although the original usage is in reference to wet, warm coastal winds in the Pacific Northwest.Chinook is claimed...

s of the lower Columbia River, or perhaps from firsthand French experience with the chinook winds of the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

. At the time the River of the West was thought to rise in western Minnesota and flow west through the Great Plains.

Joaquin Miller
Joaquin Miller
Joaquin Miller was the pen name of the colorful American poet Cincinnatus Heine Miller , nicknamed the "Poet of the Sierras".-Early years and family:...

 explained in Sunset (magazine)
Sunset (magazine)
Sunset is a lifestyle magazine in the United States. Sunset focuses on homes, cooking, gardening, and travel, with a focus almost exclusively on the Western United States...

 in 1904 how Oregon's name was derived:

"The name, Oregon, is rounded down phonetically, from Aure il agua—Oragua, Or-a-gon, Oregon—given probably by the same Portuguese navigator that named the Farallones after his first officer, and it literally, in a large way, means cascades: 'Hear the waters.' You should steam up the Columbia and hear and feel the waters falling out of the clouds of Mount Hood
Mount Hood
Mount Hood, called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe, is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. It was formed by a subduction zone and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States...

 to understand entirely the full meaning of the name Aure il agua, Oregon."


Another account, endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names
Oregon Geographic Names
Oregon Geographic Names is an authoritative compilation of the origin and meaning of place names in the U.S. state of Oregon. , the book is in its seventh edition and is compiled and edited by Lewis L. McArthur, who took over from his father, Lewis A. McArthur, as of the fourth edition...

, was advanced by George R. Stewart
George R. Stewart
George Rippey Stewart was an American toponymist, a novelist, and a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley...

 in a 1944 article in American Speech
American Speech
American Speech is a quarterly academic journal of the American Dialect Society, established in 1925 and published by the Duke University Press...

. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 18th century, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon".

According to the Oregon Tourism Commission (also known as Travel Oregon), present-day Oregonians ˌ pronounce the state's name as "OR-UH-GUN, never OR-EE-GONE".

After being drafted by the Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League , and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and...

 in 2002, former Oregon Ducks
Oregon Ducks
The Oregon Ducks refers to the sports teams of the University of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon. The Oregon Ducks are part of the Pacific-12 Conference in the Division 1 of the NCAA. With seventeen varsity teams, the Oregon Ducks are best known for their football team and Track and Field...

 quarterback Joey Harrington
Joey Harrington
John Joseph "Joey" Harrington, Jr. is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions third overall in the 2002 NFL Draft, where he played for most of his professional career. He ranks third all-time in Detroit history in pass completions, with 986...

 distributed "ORYGUN" stickers to members of the media as a reminder of how to pronounce the name of his home state. The stickers are sold by the University of Oregon Bookstore, which credits the spelling as a joke that is meant "for Oregonians and Oregon fans everywhere who get a kick out of this hilarious mispronunciation of our state."

Geography

ND
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

, MT
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, ID
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, OR, WA
|-
| Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks
Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks
The Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, in the vicinity of the mouth of the Columbia River, commemorate the Lewis and Clark Expedition...

 || Western Oregon, Washington
|-
| Nez Perce National Historical Park
Nez Perce National Historical Park
The Nez Perce National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park comprising 38 sites located throughout the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington which are the traditional aboriginal lands of the Nez Perce. The sites commemorate the history, culture, and stories of the...

 || MT
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, ID
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, OR, WA
|-
| Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

 || MO
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, KS
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, NE
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

, WY
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

, ID
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, OR
|}

Oregon's geography may be split roughly into eight areas:
  • Oregon Coast
    Oregon Coast
    The Oregon Coast is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It runs generally north-south along the Pacific Ocean, forming the western border of the state; the region is bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast stretches approximately from the Columbia River in the north to...

    —west of the Coast Range
    Oregon Coast Range
    The Oregon Coast Range, often called simply the Coast Range and sometimes the Pacific Coast Range, is a mountain range, in the Pacific Coast Ranges physiographic region, in the U.S. state of Oregon along the Pacific Ocean...

  • Willamette Valley
    Willamette Valley
    The Willamette Valley is the most populated region in the state of Oregon of the United States. Located in the state's northwest, the region is surrounded by tall mountain ranges to the east, west and south and the valley's floor is broad, flat and fertile because of Ice Age conditions...

  • Rogue Valley
    Rogue Valley
    The Rogue Valley is a farming and timber-producing region in southwestern Oregon in the United States. Located along the middle Rogue River and its tributaries in Josephine and Jackson counties, the valley forms the cultural and economic heart of Southern Oregon near the California border. The...

  • Cascade Mountains
    Cascade Range
    The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

  • Klamath Mountains
    Klamath Mountains
    The Klamath Mountains, which include the Siskiyou, Marble, Scott, Trinity, Trinity Alps, Salmon, and northern Yolla-Bolly Mountains, are a rugged lightly populated mountain range in northwest California and southwest Oregon in the United States...

  • Columbia River Plateau
    Columbia River Plateau
    The Columbia Plateau is a geologic and geographic region that lies across parts of the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. It is a wide flood basalt plateau between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mountains, cut through by the Columbia River...

  • Oregon Outback
    Oregon Outback
    Oregon Outback is an unofficial term generally used to reference the high desert Basin and Range country of the central southern portion of the U.S...

  • Blue Mountains (ecoregion)
    Blue Mountains (ecoregion)
    The Blue Mountains ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. state of Oregon, with small areas over the state border in Idaho and southeastern Washington...



The mountainous regions of western Oregon, home to four of the most prominent mountain peaks of the United States including Mount Hood
Mount Hood
Mount Hood, called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe, is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc of northern Oregon. It was formed by a subduction zone and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States...

, were formed by the volcanic activity of Juan de Fuca Plate
Juan de Fuca Plate
The Juan de Fuca Plate, named after the explorer of the same name, is a tectonic plate, generated from the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and subducting under the northerly portion of the western side of the North American Plate at the Cascadia subduction zone...

, a tectonic plate
Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere...

 that poses a continued threat of volcanic
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 activity and earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s in the region. The most recent major activity was the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. (Washington's Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is south of Seattle, Washington and northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a...

 erupted in 1980, an event which was visible from Oregon.)

The Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

, which forms much of the northern border of Oregon, also played a major role in the region's geological evolution, as well as its economic and cultural development. The Columbia is one of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

's largest rivers, and one of two rivers to cut through the Cascades (the Klamath River
Klamath River
The Klamath River is an American river that flows southwest through Oregon and northern California, cutting through the Cascade Range to empty into the Pacific Ocean. The river drains an extensive watershed of almost that stretches from the high desert country of the Great Basin to the temperate...

 in Southern Oregon is the other). About 15,000 years ago, the Columbia repeatedly flooded much of Oregon during the Missoula Floods
Missoula Floods
The Missoula Floods refer to the cataclysmic floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge at the end of the last ice age. The glacial flood events have been researched since the 1920s...

; the modern fertility of the Willamette Valley is largely a result of those floods. Plentiful salmon made parts of the river, such as Celilo Falls
Celilo Falls
Celilo Falls was a tribal fishing area on the Columbia River, just east of the Cascade Mountains, on what is today the border between the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington...

, hubs of economic activity for thousands of years. In the 20th century, numerous hydroelectric dams
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

 were constructed along the Columbia, with major impacts on salmon, transportation and commerce, electric power, and flood control.

Today, Oregon's landscape varies from rain forest in the Coast Range to barren desert in the southeast, which still meets the technical definition of a frontier
Frontier
A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary. 'Frontier' was absorbed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"--the region of a country that fronts on another country .The use of "frontier" to mean "a region at the...

.

Oregon is 295 miles (475 km) north to south at longest distance, and 395 miles (636 km) east to west at longest distance. In land and water area, Oregon is the ninth largest state, covering 98381 square miles (254,805.6 km²). The highest point in Oregon is the summit of Mount Hood, at 11239 feet (3,426 m), and its lowest point is sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

 of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 along the Oregon coast. Its mean elevation is 3300 feet (1,006 m). Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the sixth oldest national park in the United States and the only one in the state of Oregon...

 is the state's only national park and the site of Crater Lake
Crater Lake
Crater Lake is a caldera lake located in the south-central region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a nearly deep caldera that was formed around 7,700 years agoby the...

, the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1943 feet (592 m). Oregon claims the D River
D River
The D River is a river in Lincoln City, Oregon, United States. Proclaimed the "shortest river in the world" by the State of Oregon, it was listed in the Guinness World Records as the world's shortest river at . This title was lost in 1989 when Guinness named the Roe River in Montana as the world's...

 is the shortest river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 in the world, though the American state of Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 makes the same claim of its Roe River
Roe River
The Roe River runs between Giant Springs and the Missouri River in Great Falls, Montana, United States. The Roe River is only 201 feet at its longest constant point....

. Oregon is also home to Mill Ends Park
Mill Ends Park
Mill Ends Park is a tiny urban park located in the median strip of SW Naito Parkway, approaching esplanade along the Willamette River near SW Taylor Street in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. The park is a circle across, with a total area of...

 (in Portland), the smallest park in the world at 452 square inch (0.29161232 m²). Oregon's geographical center
Centroid
In geometry, the centroid, geometric center, or barycenter of a plane figure or two-dimensional shape X is the intersection of all straight lines that divide X into two parts of equal moment about the line. Informally, it is the "average" of all points of X...

 is farther west than any of the other 48 contiguous states (although the westernmost point of the lower 48 states is in Washington).

Oregon is home to what is considered the largest single organism in the world, an Armillaria solidipes fungus beneath the Malheur National Forest
Malheur National Forest
The Malheur National Forest is a National Forest in the U.S. state of Oregon. It contains 1.7 million acres in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. The forest include high desert grasslands, sage, juniper, pine, fir, and other tree species. Elevations vary from about 4000 feet to the 9038...

 of eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon is the eastern part of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is not an officially recognized geographic entity, thus the boundaries of the region vary according to context. It is sometimes understood to include only the eight easternmost counties in the state; in other contexts, it includes...

.




Major cities

Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley is the most populated region in the state of Oregon of the United States. Located in the state's northwest, the region is surrounded by tall mountain ranges to the east, west and south and the valley's floor is broad, flat and fertile because of Ice Age conditions...

, which stretches from Eugene
Eugene, Oregon
Eugene is the second largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Lane County. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about east of the Oregon Coast.As of the 2010 U.S...

 in the south (home of the University of Oregon
University of Oregon
-Colleges and schools:The University of Oregon is organized into eight schools and colleges—six professional schools and colleges, an Arts and Sciences College and an Honors College.- School of Architecture and Allied Arts :...

) through Corvallis
Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis is a city located in central western Oregon, United States. It is the county seat of Benton County and the principal city of the Corvallis, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Benton County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 54,462....

 (home of Oregon State University
Oregon State University
Oregon State University is a coeducational, public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees and a multitude of research opportunities. There are more than 200 academic degree programs offered through the...

) and Salem
Salem, Oregon
Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood...

 (the capital) to Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

 (Oregon's largest city).

Astoria
Astoria, Oregon
Astoria is the county seat of Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. Situated near the mouth of the Columbia River, the city was named after the American investor John Jacob Astor. His American Fur Company founded Fort Astoria at the site in 1811...

, at the mouth of the Columbia River, was the first permanent English-speaking settlement west of the Rockies
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 in what is now the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Oregon City
Oregon City, Oregon
Oregon City was the first city in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains to be incorporated. It is the county seat of Clackamas County, Oregon...

, at the end of the Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

, was the Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. Originally claimed by several countries , the region was...

's first incorporated city, and was its first capital from 1848 until 1852, when the capital was moved to Salem. Bend
Bend, Oregon
Bend is a city in and the county seat of Deschutes County, Oregon, United States, and the principal city of the Bend, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and, despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population...

, near the geographic center of the state, is one of the ten fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. In the southern part of the state, Medford
Medford, Oregon
Medford is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2010 US Census, the city had a total population of 74,907 and a metropolitan area population of 207,010, making the Medford MSA the 4th largest metro area in Oregon...

 is a rapidly growing metro area, which is home to The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport
Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport
Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport is a public airport located 3 miles north of downtown Medford in Jackson County, Oregon, USA. In addition to Jackson County, the airport serves seven nearby counties in southwest Oregon. It is owned and operated by Jackson County's Aviation Authority...

, the third-busiest airport in the state. To the south, near the California-Oregon border, is the community of Ashland
Ashland, Oregon
Ashland is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States, near Interstate 5 and the California border, and located in the south end of the Rogue Valley. It was named after Ashland County, Ohio, point of origin of Abel Helman and other founders, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other...

, home of the Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a regional repertory theatre in Ashland, Oregon, United States. The festival annually produces eleven plays on three stages during a season that lasts from February to October...

.

Climate

Oregon's climate—particularly in the western part of the state—is heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. The climate is mild, but periods of extreme hot and cold can affect parts of the state. Oregon's population centers, which lie mostly in the western part of the state, are moist and mild, while the lightly populated high deserts
High Desert (Oregon)
The Oregon High Desert is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon, located east of the Cascade Range and south of the Blue Mountains, in the central and eastern parts of the state. Divided into a southern region and a northern region, the desert covers most of five Oregon counties and averages above...

 of Central and Eastern Oregon are much drier. Oregon's highest recorded temperature is 119 °F (48.3 °C) at Pendleton
Pendleton, Oregon
Pendleton is a city in Umatilla County, Oregon, United States. Pendleton was named in 1868 by the county commissioners for George H. Pendleton, Democratic candidate for Vice-President in the 1864 presidential campaign. The population was 16,612 at the 2010 census...

 on August 10, 1898 and the lowest recorded temperature is -54 F at Seneca
Seneca, Oregon
Seneca is a city in Grant County, Oregon, United States. It is located in the Blue Mountains about 23 miles south of Canyon City, on U.S. Route 395, on the edge of the Malheur National Forest...

 on February 10, 1933.

Law and government

A writer in the Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

 book A Pacific Republic, written in 1839, predicted the territory was to become an independent republic. Four years later, in 1843, settlers of the Willamette Valley voted in majority for a republic government. The Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

 functioned in this way until August 13, 1848, when Oregon was annexed by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and a territorial government was established. Oregon maintained a territorial government until February 14, 1859, when it was granted statehood
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

.

State

Oregon state government has a separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 similar to the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

. It has three branches, called departments by the state's constitution
Oregon Constitution
The Oregon Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Oregon, originally enacted in 1857. As amended the current state constitution contains eighteen sections, beginning with a bill of rights. This contains most of the rights and privileges granted in the United States Bill of...

:
  • a legislative department
    Legislature
    A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

     (the bicameral Oregon Legislative Assembly
    Oregon Legislative Assembly
    The Oregon Legislative Assembly is the state legislature for the U.S. state of Oregon. The Legislative Assembly is bicameral, consisting of an upper and lower house: the Senate, whose 30 members are elected to serve four-year terms; and the House of Representatives, with 60 members elected to...

    ),
  • an executive department
    Executive (government)
    Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

     which includes an "administrative department" and Oregon's governor
    Governor of Oregon
    The Governor of Oregon is the top executive of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon. The title of governor was also applied to the office of Oregon's chief executive during the provisional and U.S. territorial governments....

     serving as chief executive, and
  • a judicial department
    Judiciary
    The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

    , headed by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
    Oregon Supreme Court
    The Oregon Supreme Court is the highest state court in the U.S. state of Oregon. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States. The OSC holds court at the Oregon Supreme Court Building in Salem, Oregon, near the capitol...

    .


Governors in Oregon serve four-year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms, but an unlimited number of total terms. Oregon has no lieutenant governor
Lieutenant governor (United States)
In the United States, 43 of the 50 states have a separate, full-time office of lieutenant governor. In most cases, the lieutenant governor is the highest officer of state after the governor, standing in for that officer when he or she is absent from the state or temporarily incapacitated...

; in the event that the office of governor is vacated, Article V, Section 8a of the Oregon Constitution
Oregon Constitution
The Oregon Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Oregon, originally enacted in 1857. As amended the current state constitution contains eighteen sections, beginning with a bill of rights. This contains most of the rights and privileges granted in the United States Bill of...

 specifies that the Secretary of State
Oregon Secretary of State
The Secretary of State of Oregon, an elected constitutional officer within the executive branch of government of the U.S. state of Oregon, is first in line of succession to the Governor. The duties of office are: auditor of public accounts, chief elections officer, and administrator of public...

 is first in line for succession. The other statewide officers are Treasurer
Oregon State Treasurer
The Oregon State Treasurer is a constitutional officer within the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon, elected by statewide vote to serve a four year term. As chief financial officer for the state, the office holder heads the Oregon State Treasury, and with the Governor...

, Attorney General
Oregon Attorney General
The Oregon Attorney General is a statutory office within the executive branch of the state of Oregon, and serves as the chief legal officer of the state, heading its Department of Justice with its six operating divisions. The Attorney General is chosen by statewide partisan election to serve a term...

, Superintendent
Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Superintendent of Public Instruction, sometimes referred to as the State Superintendent of Schools, is a constitutional office within the executive branch of the Oregon state government, and acts as administrative officer of the State Board of Education and executive head of the Department of...

, and Labor Commissioner
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is an agency in the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is headed by the Commissioner of Labor and Industries, a nonpartisan, statewide elective office. The term of office is four years...

. The biennial Oregon Legislative Assembly consists of a thirty-member Senate
Oregon State Senate
The Oregon State Senate is the upper house of the state-wide legislature for the U.S. state of Oregon. Along with the lower chamber Oregon House of Representatives it makes up the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 30 members of the State Senate, representing 30 districts across the state,...

 and a sixty-member House
Oregon House of Representatives
The Oregon House of Representatives is the lower house of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 60 members of the House, representing 60 districts across the state, each with a population of 57,000. The House meets at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem....

. The state supreme court has seven elected justices, currently including the only two openly gay state supreme court justices in the nation. They choose one of their own to serve a six-year term as Chief Justice. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

.

The debate over whether to move to annual sessions is a long-standing battle in Oregon politics, but the voters have resisted the move from citizen legislators to professional lawmakers. Because Oregon's state budget is written in two-year increments and, having no sales tax, its revenue is based largely on income taxes, it is often significantly over- or under-budget. Recent legislatures have had to be called into special session repeatedly to address revenue shortfalls resulting from economic downturns, bringing to a head the need for more frequent legislative sessions. Oregon Initiative 71, passed in 2010, mandates the Legislature to begin meeting every year, for 160 days in odd numbered years, and 35 days in even numbered years.

The state maintains formal relationships with the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon:
  • Burns Paiute Tribe
    Burns Paiute Tribe
    The Burns Paiute Tribe of the Burns Paiute Indian Colony of Oregon is a federally recognized tribe of Northern Paiute Indians in Harney County, Oregon, United States...

  • Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians
    Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians
    The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians are also known as the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, and are a United States Bureau of Indian Affairs-recognized Native American tribal entity....

  • Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
  • Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
  • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
    Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
    The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is a federally recognized confederation of Native American Tribes who currently live on and govern the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in the U.S...

  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
    Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
    The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is a federally recognized confederation of three Sahaptin-speaking Native American tribes who traditionally inhabited the Columbia River Plateau region: the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla....

  • Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
    Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
    The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, known to the Bureau of Indian Affairs as the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians of Oregon is a federally recognized Native American tribal government based in Canyonville, Oregon, United States. The Cow Creek Band is also known as the Upper Umpqua...

  • Klamath Tribes
    Klamath Tribes
    The Klamath Tribes, formerly the Klamath Indian Tribe of Oregon, are a federally recognized confederation of three Native American tribes who traditionally inhabited Southern Oregon and Northern California in the United States: the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin...

  • Coquille Indian Tribe
    Coquille Indian Tribe
    The Coquille Indian Tribe is the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs-recognized Native American tribal entity of the Coquille people, who have traditionally lived on the southern Oregon Coast.-Treaty with the United States:...



Oregonians have voted for the Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Presidential candidate in every election since 1988. In 2004 and 2006, Democrats won control of the state Senate and then the House. Since the late 1990s, Oregon has been represented by four Democrats and one Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 2009, the state has had two Democratic Senators, Ron Wyden
Ron Wyden
Ronald Lee "Ron" Wyden is the senior U.S. Senator for Oregon, serving since 1996, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1996....

 and Jeff Merkley
Jeff Merkley
Jeffrey Alan "Jeff" Merkley is the junior United States Senator from Oregon. A member of the Democratic Party, Merkley was a five-term member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly representing House District 47, located in eastern Multnomah County within the Portland city limits...

. Oregon voters have elected Democratic governors in every election since 1986, most recently electing John Kitzhaber
John Kitzhaber
John Albert Kitzhaber is the 37th Governor of Oregon. He served as the 35th Governor of Oregon from 1995 to 2003 and became the first person to be elected to the office three times when he was re-elected to a non-consecutive third term in 2010...

 over Republican Chris Dudley
Chris Dudley
Christen Guilford "Chris" Dudley is a retired American basketball player who played 16 years and 886 games in the NBA for five different teams. A journeyman center, he was known primarily for his defensive skill as a rebounder and shot blocker...

 in 2010.

The base of Democratic support is largely concentrated in the urban centers of the Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley is the most populated region in the state of Oregon of the United States. Located in the state's northwest, the region is surrounded by tall mountain ranges to the east, west and south and the valley's floor is broad, flat and fertile because of Ice Age conditions...

. The eastern two-thirds of the state beyond the Cascade Mountains typically votes Republican; in 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 carried every county east of the Cascades. However, the region's sparse population means that the more populous counties in the Willamette Valley usually outweigh the eastern counties in statewide elections.

Oregon's politics are largely similar to those of neighboring Washington, for instance in the contrast between urban and rural issues.

In the 2002 general election, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure
Oregon Ballot Measure 25 (2002)
Ballot Measure 25 of 2002 increased Oregon's minimum wage from $6.50 to $6.90 per hour and required an annual increase to compensate for inflation in future years. Inflation is measured by the consumer price index. , the minimum wage in Oregon is $8.50 an hour. The measure was approved in the...

 to increase the state minimum wage automatically each year according to inflationary changes, which are measured by the consumer price index
Consumer price index
A consumer price index measures changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households. The CPI, in the United States is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as "a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of...

 (CPI). In the 2004 general election, Oregon voters passed ballot measures banning same-sex marriage
Oregon Ballot Measure 36 (2004)
Ballot Measure 36 was a 2004 initiative in the U.S. state of Oregon. It amended the Oregon Constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The initiative passed with 1,028,546 votes in favor, and 787,556 votes against in the November 2, 2004 general election.It is one of a...

, and restricting land use regulation
Oregon Ballot Measure 37 (2004)
Oregon Ballot Measure 37 is a controversial land-use ballot initiative that passed in the U.S. state of Oregon in 2004 and is now codified as Oregon Revised Statutes 195.305. Measure 37 has figured prominently in debates about the rights of property owners versus the public's right to enforce...

. In the 2006 general election, voters restricted the use of eminent domain
Oregon Ballot Measure 39 (2006)
Oregon Ballot Measure 39, passed in the 2006 General Election, is a ballot measure that prohibits the government from condemning property from one private party on behalf of another private party....

 and extended the state's discount prescription drug coverage.

The distribution, sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages are regulated in the state by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission
Oregon Liquor Control Commission
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is a government agency of the U.S. state of Oregon. The OLCC was created by an act of the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1933, days after the repeal of prohibition, as a means of providing control over the distribution, sales and consumption of alcoholic...

. Thus, Oregon is an Alcoholic beverage control state
Alcoholic beverage control state
Alcoholic beverage control states, generally called control states, are those in the United States that have state monopoly over the wholesaling and/or retailing of some or all categories of alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits....

. While wine and beer are available in most grocery stores, few stores sell hard liquor.

In March 2011, Oregon ranked amongst the top seven "Best" states in the American State Litter Scorecard, for overall effectiveness and quality of its public space cleanliness—-primarily roadway and adjacent litter—from state and related debris removal efforts.

Federal

Like all U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s, Oregon is represented by two U.S. Senators
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. Since the 1980 census, Oregon has had five Congressional districts.

After Oregon was admitted to the Union, it began with a single member in the House of Representatives (La Fayette Grover
La Fayette Grover
La Fayette Grover was a Democratic politician and lawyer from the US state of Oregon. He was the fourth Governor of Oregon, serving from 1870 to 1877...

, who served in the 35th United States Congress
35th United States Congress
The 35th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1859, during the first two years of James...

 for less than a month). Congressional apportionment
United States congressional apportionment
United States congressional apportionment is the process by which seats in the United States House of Representatives are redistributed amongst the 50 states following each constitutionally mandated decennial census. Each state is apportioned a number of seats which approximately corresponds to its...

 increased the size of the delegation following the censuses of 1890, 1910, 1940, and 1980. A detailed list of the past and present Congressional delegations from Oregon
United States Congressional Delegations from Oregon
These are tables of congressional delegations from Oregon to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.-United States Senate:-1849 - 1859: One non-voting Delegate:-1859 - 1893: One seat:...

 is available.

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon
United States District Court for the District of Oregon
The United States District Court for the District of Oregon is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the state of Oregon. It was created in 1859 when the state was admitted to the Union...

 hears federal cases in the state. The court has courthouses in Portland
Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse
The Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse is a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon. It is named in honor of former U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield. It is used by the United States District Court for the District of Oregon....

, Eugene
Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse
The Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse is a federal courthouse located in Eugene, Oregon. Completed in 2006, it serves the District of Oregon as part of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. The courthouse is named in honor of former U.S. Senator Wayne Morse who represented Oregon for 24 years in the...

, Medford, and Pendleton. Also in Portland is the federal bankruptcy court, with a second branch in Eugene. Oregon (among other western states and territories) is in the 9th Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a U.S. federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* District of Alaska* District of Arizona...

. One of the court's meeting places is at the Pioneer Courthouse
Pioneer Courthouse
The Pioneer Courthouse is a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, United States. Built beginning in 1869, the structure is the oldest federal building in the Pacific Northwest, and the second oldest west of the Mississippi River. Along with Pioneer Courthouse Square, it serves as the center of...

 in downtown Portland, a National Historic Landmark built in 1869.

Politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2008 40.40% 738,475 56.75% 1,037,291
2004 47.19% 866,831 51.35% 943,163
2000 46.46% 713,577 47.01% 720,342
1996 39.06% 538,152 47.15% 649,641
1992 32.53% 475,757 42.48% 621,314
1988 46.61% 560,126 51.28% 616,206
1984 55.91% 685,700 43.74% 536,479
1980 48.33% 571,044 38.67% 456,890
1976 47.78% 492,120 47.62% 490,407
1972 52.45% 486,686 42.33% 392,760
1968 49.83% 408,433 43.78% 358,866
1964 35.96% 282,779 63.72% 501,017
1960 52.56% 408,060 47.32% 367,402
1956 55.25% 406,393 44.75% 329,204
1952 60.54% 420,815 38.93% 270,579

The state has been thought of as politically split by the Cascade Range
Cascade Range
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

, with western Oregon being liberal
Liberalism in the United States
Liberalism in the United States is a broad political philosophy centered on the unalienable rights of the individual. The fundamental liberal ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion for all belief systems, and the separation of church and state, right to due process...

 and Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon is the eastern part of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is not an officially recognized geographic entity, thus the boundaries of the region vary according to context. It is sometimes understood to include only the eight easternmost counties in the state; in other contexts, it includes...

 being conservative. In a 2008 analysis of the 2004 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

, a political analyst found that according to the application of a Likert scale
Likert scale
A Likert scale is a psychometric scale commonly involved in research that employs questionnaires. It is the most widely used approach to scaling responses in survey research, such that the term is often used interchangeably with rating scale, or more accurately the Likert-type scale, even though...

, Oregon boasted both the most liberal voters and the most conservative voters, making it the most politically polarized state in the country.

During Oregon's history it has adopted many electoral reforms proposed during the Progressive Era
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

, through the efforts of William S. U'Ren and his Direct Legislation League
Direct Legislation League
The Oregon Direct Legislation League was an organization of political activists founded by William S. U'Ren in the U.S. state of Oregon in 1898. U'Ren had been politically activated by reading the influential 1893 book Direct Legislation Through the Initiative and Referendum, and the group's...

. Under his leadership, the state overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in 1902 that created the initiative
Initiative
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote...

 and referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 for citizens to introduce or approve proposed laws or amendments to the state constitution directly, making Oregon the first state to adopt such a system. Today, roughly half of U.S. states do so.

In following years, the primary election
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 to select party candidates was adopted in 1904, and in 1908 the Oregon Constitution
Oregon Constitution
The Oregon Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Oregon, originally enacted in 1857. As amended the current state constitution contains eighteen sections, beginning with a bill of rights. This contains most of the rights and privileges granted in the United States Bill of...

 was amended to include recall of public officials. More recent amendments include the nation's first doctor-assisted suicide
Assisted suicide
Assisted suicide is the common term for actions by which an individual helps another person voluntarily bring about his or her own death. "Assistance" may mean providing one with the means to end one's own life, but may extend to other actions. It differs to euthanasia where another person ends...

 law, called the Death with Dignity law (which was challenged, unsuccessfully, in 2005 by the Bush administration in a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

), legalization of medical cannabis
Medical cannabis
Medical cannabis refers to the use of parts of the herb cannabis as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine...

, and among the nation's strongest anti-urban sprawl
Smart growth
Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a...

 and pro-environment laws. More recently, 2004's Measure 37
Oregon Ballot Measure 37 (2004)
Oregon Ballot Measure 37 is a controversial land-use ballot initiative that passed in the U.S. state of Oregon in 2004 and is now codified as Oregon Revised Statutes 195.305. Measure 37 has figured prominently in debates about the rights of property owners versus the public's right to enforce...

 reflects a backlash against such land use laws. However, a further ballot measure in 2007, Measure 49, curtailed many of the provisions of 37.

Of the measures placed on the ballot since 1902, the people have passed 99 of the 288 initiatives and 25 of the 61 referendums on the ballot, though not all of them survived challenges in courts (see Pierce v. Society of Sisters
Pierce v. Society of Sisters
Pierce v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, , was an early 20th century United States Supreme Court decision that significantly expanded coverage of the Due Process Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case has been cited as a precedent in...

, for an example). During the same period, the legislature has referred 363 measures to the people, of which 206 have passed.

Oregon pioneered the American use of postal voting
Postal voting
Postal voting describes the method of voting in an election whereby ballot papers are distributed or returned by post to electors, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station or electronically via an electronic voting system....

, beginning with experimentation approved by the Oregon Legislative Assembly
Oregon Legislative Assembly
The Oregon Legislative Assembly is the state legislature for the U.S. state of Oregon. The Legislative Assembly is bicameral, consisting of an upper and lower house: the Senate, whose 30 members are elected to serve four-year terms; and the House of Representatives, with 60 members elected to...

 in 1981 and culminating with a 1998 ballot measure
Oregon Ballot Measure 60 (1998)
The U.S. state of Oregon established vote-by-mail as the standard mechanism for voting with Ballot Measure 60, a citizen's initiative, in 1998. The measure made Oregon the first state in the United States to conduct its elections exclusively by mail...

 mandating that all counties conduct elections by mail. It remains the only state where voting by mail
Absentee ballot
An absentee ballot is a vote cast by someone who is unable or unwilling to attend the official polling station. Numerous methods have been devised to facilitate this...

 is the only method of voting.

Under the leadership of Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 John Kitzhaber
John Kitzhaber
John Albert Kitzhaber is the 37th Governor of Oregon. He served as the 35th Governor of Oregon from 1995 to 2003 and became the first person to be elected to the office three times when he was re-elected to a non-consecutive third term in 2010...

 in 1994, Oregon was the first state in the US to set up effective health care programs with the Oregon Health Plan
Oregon Health Plan
- History :The Oregon Health Plan was conceived and realized by emergency room doctor John Kitzhaber, then a state senator, and Dr. Ralph Crawshaw, a Portland activist....

, which made health care available to most of its citizens without private health insurance.

In the U.S. Electoral College, Oregon casts seven votes. Oregon has supported Democratic candidates in the last six elections. Democrat Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 won the state in 2008 by a margin of sixteen percentage points, with over 56% of the popular vote.

Economy

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Oregon in 2010 was $168.6 billion, it is the United States's 26th wealthiest state by GDP. The state's per capita personal income in 2010 was $44,447.
Land in the Willamette Valley owes its fertility to the Missoula Floods
Missoula Floods
The Missoula Floods refer to the cataclysmic floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge at the end of the last ice age. The glacial flood events have been researched since the 1920s...

, which deposited lake sediment from Glacial Lake Missoula
Glacial Lake Missoula
Glacial Lake Missoula was a prehistoric proglacial lake in western Montana that existed periodically at the end of the last ice age between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago...

 in western Montana onto the valley floor.

Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut
Corylus avellana
Corylus avellana, the Common Hazel, is a species of hazel native to Europe and western Asia, from the British Isles south to Iberia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, north to central Scandinavia, and east to the central Ural Mountains, the Caucasus, and northwestern Iran. It is an important component of...

 growing regions, and produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. While the history of the wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 production in Oregon can be traced to before Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, it became a significant industry
Oregon wine
The state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders which are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the...

 beginning in the 1970s. In 2005, Oregon ranked third among U.S. states with 303 wineries. Due to regional similarities in climate and soil, the grapes planted in Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French regions of Alsace
Alsace wine
Alsace wine or Alsatian wine is produced in the Alsace region in France and is primarily white. These wines, which for historical reasons have a strong Germanic influence, are produced under three different Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées : Alsace AOC for white, rosé and red wines, Alsace Grand...

 and Burgundy
Burgundy wine
Burgundy wine is wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France, in the valleys and slopes west of the Saône River, a tributary of the Rhône. The most famous wines produced here - those commonly referred to as "Burgundies" - are red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes or white wines made from...

.
In the Southern Oregon coast commercially cultivated cranberries account for about 7 percent of U.S. production, and the cranberry ranks twenty-third among Oregon's top fifty agricultural commodities. From 2006 to 2008, Oregon growers harvested between forty and forty-nine million pounds of berries every year. Cranberry cultivation in Oregon uses about 27,000 acres in southern Coos and northern Curry counties, centered around the coastal city of Bandon, Oregon
Bandon, Oregon
- Economy :Like many communities on the Oregon coast, Bandon had significant fishing and timber industries, which were greatly diminished by the 1980s, though some remnants still exist. Bandon's current economy revolves around wood products, fishing, tourism, and agriculture...

.

In the northeastern region of the state, particularly around Pendleton
Pendleton, Oregon
Pendleton is a city in Umatilla County, Oregon, United States. Pendleton was named in 1868 by the county commissioners for George H. Pendleton, Democratic candidate for Vice-President in the 1864 presidential campaign. The population was 16,612 at the 2010 census...

, both irrigated and dry land wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 is grown. Oregon farmers and ranchers also produce cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

, sheep, dairy
Dairy
A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...

 products, eggs and poultry.

Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major timber
Lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

 production and logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 states, but forest fires (such as the Tillamook Burn
Tillamook Burn
The Tillamook Burn was a series of forest fires in the Northern Oregon Coast Rangeof Oregon in the United States that destroyed a total area of 355,000 acres of old growth timber in what is now known as the Tillamook State Forest. The fires spanned the years of 1933–1951. By association, the name...

), over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the timber produced. According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute
Oregon Forest Resources Institute
The Oregon Forest Resources Institute is an educational organization based in the U.S. state of Oregon dedicated to forestry issues, including improving public understanding of the state's forest resources and encouraging environmentally sound forest management. It provides education, training...

, between 1989 and 2001 the amount of timber harvested from federal lands dropped some 96%, from 4,333 million to 173 million board feet
Board foot
The board-foot is a specialized unit of measure for the volume of lumber in the United States and Canada. It is the volume of a one-foot length of a board one foot wide and one inch thick....

 (10,000,000 to 408,000 m3), although harvest levels on private land have remained relatively constant.

Even the shift in recent years towards finished goods such as paper and building materials has not slowed the decline of the timber industry in the state. The effects of this decline have included Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world. It is the world's largest private sector owner of softwood timberland; and the second largest owner of United States timberland, behind Plum Creek Timber...

's acquisition of Portland-based Willamette Industries in January 2002, the relocation of Louisiana-Pacific
Louisiana-Pacific
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation , commonly known as "LP", is a United States building materials manufacturer. It was founded in 1973 and is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. LP pioneered the U.S. production of oriented strand board panels. Today, LP is the world’s largest producer of OSB, and...

's corporate headquarters from Portland to Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, and the decline of former lumber company town
Company town
A company town is a town or city in which much or all real estate, buildings , utilities, hospitals, small businesses such as grocery stores and gas stations, and other necessities or luxuries of life within its borders are owned by a single company...

s such as Gilchrist
Gilchrist, Oregon
Gilchrist is an unincorporated community in Klamath County, Oregon, United States on U.S. Route 97 between Bend and Klamath Falls.-History:Gilchrist was the last lumber company town in Oregon. The town was founded in 1938 by the family-owned Gilchrist Timber Company, with Frank and Mary Gilchrist...

. Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in softwood
Softwood
The term softwood is used to describe wood from trees that are known as gymnosperms.Conifers are an example. It may also be used to describe trees, which tend to be evergreen, notable exceptions being bald cypress and the larches....

 lumber production; in 2001, 6,056 million board feet (14,000,000 m3) was produced in Oregon, compared with 4,257 million board feet (10,050,000 m3) in Washington, 2,731 million board feet (6,444,000 m3) in California, 2,413 million board feet (5,694,000 m3) in Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and 2,327 million board feet (5,491,000 m3) in Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

. The slow of the timber and lumber industry has caused high unemployment rates in rural areas.

Oregon occasionally hosts film shoots
Principal photography
thumb|300px|Film production on location in [[Newark, New Jersey]].Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the movie is filmed, with actors on set and cameras rolling, as distinct from pre-production and post-production....

. Movies filmed in Oregon include: Rooster Cogburn, The Goonies
The Goonies
The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure-comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The premise surrounds a band of pre-teens who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon hoping to save...

, National Lampoon's Animal House
National Lampoon's Animal House
National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The film was a direct spin-off of National Lampoon magazine...

, Stand By Me
Stand by Me (film)
Stand by Me is a 1986 American drama film directed by Rob Reiner. Based on the novella The Body by Stephen King, the film takes its title from the Ben E. King song of the same name, which plays over the end credits.-Plot:...

, Kindergarten Cop
Kindergarten Cop
Kindergarten Cop is a 1990 American comedy thriller film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger stars as John Kimble, a tough police detective, who must go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch drug dealer Cullen Crisp , before Crisp can get to his...

, Overboard, The River Wild
The River Wild
The River Wild is a 1994 thriller film directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly, and Joseph Mazzello...

, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (film)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Miloš Forman and based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey....

, Paint Your Wagon
Paint Your Wagon (film)
Paint Your Wagon is a 1969 American musical film starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. The movie was adapted by Paddy Chayefsky from the 1951 stage musical by Lerner and Loewe, set in a mining camp in Gold Rush-era California.-Plot:...

, The Hunted, Sometimes a Great Notion
Sometimes a Great Notion (film)
Sometimes A Great Notion is a 1971 American drama film directed by Paul Newman. The screenplay by John Gay is based on the 1964 novel of the same title by Ken Kesey, the first of his books to be adapted for the screen...

, Elephant, Bandits
Bandits
Bandits is a 2001 American crime-comedy drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett. Filming began in October 2000 and ended in February 2001. It helped Thornton earn a National Board of Review Best Actor Award for 2001...

, The Ring
The Ring (2002 film)
The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts and Martin Henderson. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring....

, The Ring Two
The Ring Two
The Ring Two is a 2005 American psychological horror film, and a sequel to the 2002 film The Ring, which was a remake of the 1998 Japanese film Ring...

, Quarterback Princess
Quarterback Princess
Quarterback Princess is a 1983 fact-based drama film by 20th Century Fox that chronicles the courage and determination of a teenage girl who struggles against sexism and fights to play on her high school football team. It was filmed primarily in McMinnville, Oregon...

, The General
The General (1927 film)
The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase, which happened in 1862. Buster Keaton starred in the film and co-directed it with Clyde Bruckman...

, Mr. Brooks
Mr. Brooks
Mr. Brooks is a 2007 thriller film directed by Bruce A. Evans starring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and William Hurt. It was released on June 1, 2007...

, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is a 1993 American live-action film, the second sequel of the 1990 live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. It was produced by Clearwater Holdings Ltd. and Golden Harvest. This was the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film released by New Line Cinema and...

, Short Circuit
Short Circuit
Short Circuit is a 1986 comedy science fiction film starring Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg and directed by John Badham. Fisher Stevens, Austin Pendleton, and G. W...

, Come See the Paradise
Come See the Paradise
Come See the Paradise is a 1990 film directed by Alan Parker, starring Dennis Quaid and Tamlyn Tomita. Set before and during World War II, the film depicts the treatment of Japanese people in America following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent loss of civil liberties within the...

, The Shining
The Shining (film)
The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. A writer, Jack Torrance, takes a job as an...

, Drugstore Cowboy
Drugstore Cowboy
Drugstore Cowboy is a 1989 crime drama directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Van Sant and Daniel Yost, based on a novel by James Fogle. Matt Dillon stars in the title role, and Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham, and William S. Burroughs are also featured. Drugstore Cowboy was filmed mainly around...

, My Own Private Idaho
My Own Private Idaho
My Own Private Idaho is a 1991 independent drama film written and directed by Gus Van Sant, loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V, and starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves...

, The Postman
The Postman (film)
The Postman is an American post-apocalyptic epic film based on the 1985 novel of the same name by David Brin. It was filmed in northeastern Washington , Fidalgo Island, Washington, central Oregon and Tucson, Arizona, and was directed by Kevin Costner, who also stars in the film...

, Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a 1993 American remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Journey, which was based on the best-selling novel The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. Directed by Duwayne Dunham, it was released on February 3, 1993...

, Free Willy
Free Willy
Free Willy is a 1993 family film directed by Simon Wincer, and released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment label. The film stars Jason James Richter as a young boy who befriends an orca whale, named "Willy."...

, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home is a 1995 family film, directed Dwight H. Little, and released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment banner. It is a sequel to the 1993 film Free Willy, also starring Jason James Richter and August Schellenberg. Free Willy 3: The Rescue, was subsequently...

, 1941
1941 (film)
1941 is a 1979 period comedy film directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, and featuring an ensemble cast including John Belushi, Ned Beatty, John Candy, Toshiro Mifune, Christopher Lee and Dan Aykroyd...

, Swordfish
Swordfish (film)
Swordfish is a 2001 crime-thriller film, directed by Dominic Sena and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle and Vinnie Jones. The film is an action thriller that was also notable for Halle Berry's first topless scene...

, Twilight
Twilight (2008 film)
Twilight is a 2008 American romantic vampire film based on Stephenie Meyer's popular novel of the same name. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the film stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. It is the first film in The Twilight Saga film series...

, Untraceable
Untraceable
Untraceable is a 2008 American thriller film starring Diane Lane, Colin Hanks, Billy Burke, and Joseph Cross. It was directed by Gregory Hoblit and distributed by Screen Gems...

, Mean Creek
Mean Creek
Mean Creek is a 2004 independent film produced by Susan Johnson, Rick Rosenthal, and Hagai Shaham, written and directed by Jacob Aaron Estes and starring Rory Culkin and Josh Peck. The film concerns a group of teenagers and young adults who devise a plan to humiliate an overweight, troubled bully...

, and Wendy and Lucy
Wendy and Lucy
Wendy and Lucy is a 2008 American drama film directed by Kelly Reichardt. Reichardt and Jon Raymond adapted the screenplay from his short story "Train Choir". The film stars Michelle Williams and Will Patton...

. Oregon native Matt Groening
Matt Groening
Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

, creator of The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, has incorporated many references from his hometown of Portland into the TV series.

In late 2008, Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon is a wide canyon located along the border of eastern Oregon and western Idaho in the United States. It is North America's deepest river gorge at and part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area....

 and Oregon's badlands were a set location for an episode of Man vs. Wild
Man vs. Wild
Man vs. Wild, also called Born Survivor: Bear Grylls, Ultimate Survival, or Survival Game, is a survival television series hosted by Bear Grylls on the Discovery Channel. In the United Kingdom, the series was originally shown on Channel 4, but later series were broadcast on Discovery Channel UK...

.
Largest Public Corporations
Public company
This is not the same as a Government-owned corporation.A public company or publicly traded company is a limited liability company that offers its securities for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange, or through market makers operating in over the counter markets...

 Headquartered in Oregon
Corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 
Headquarters Market cap
Market capitalization
Market capitalization is a measurement of the value of the ownership interest that shareholders hold in a business enterprise. It is equal to the share price times the number of shares outstanding of a publicly traded company...

 (million)
1. Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

near Beaverton
Beaverton, Oregon
Beaverton is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, seven miles west of Portland in the Tualatin River Valley.As of the 2010 census, the population is 90,267. This makes it the second-largest city in the county and Oregon's sixth-largest city...

$32,039
2. Precision Castparts Corp.
Precision Castparts Corp.
Precision Castparts Corp. is a Portland, Oregon, United States-based industrial goods and metal fabrication company that manufactures cast metal parts for use in the aerospace, industrial, defense, and automobile industries. In 2009 they ranked 362nd on the Fortune 500 list, and 11th in the...

 
Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

$16,158
3. FLIR Systems
FLIR Systems
FLIR Systems is a thermal imaging systems manufacturer based in Wilsonville, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1978, the company makes thermal imagers, thermal imager components, as well as larger systems containing thermal imagers along with other sensors, for both commercial and military...

Wilsonville
Wilsonville, Oregon
Wilsonville is a city primarily in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. A portion of the northern section of the city is in Washington County. Originally founded as Boones Landing due to the Boones Ferry which crossed the Willamette River at the location, the community became Wilsonville in...

$4,250
4. StanCorp Financial Group Portland $2,495
5. Schnitzer Steel Industries
Schnitzer Steel Industries
Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. is an American steel manufacturing company headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1906, the company deals mainly in recycled steel. In 2004, the company was ranked fourth in The Seattle Times Northwest 100 list of public companies. As of 2006, it was the...

Portland $1,974
6. Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric is an electrical utility based in Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. It distributes electricity to customers in parts of Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Yamhill, Washington, and Polk counties - half of the inhabitants of Oregon...

Portland $1,737
7. Columbia Sportswear
Columbia Sportswear
Columbia Sportswear Company is a United States company that manufactures and distributes outerwear and sportswear. It was founded in 1938 by the late Paul Lamfrom, father of present chairperson Gert Boyle. The company is headquartered in Washington County, Oregon, in an unincorporated part of the...

near Beaverton $1,593
8. Northwest Natural Gas
NW Natural
NW Natural is a publicly traded utility headquartered in Portland, Oregon, United States. Primarily a natural gas distributor, the company services residential, industrial, and commercial customers in Western Oregon and Southwest Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1859, the company...

Portland $1,287
9. Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics, Inc is a US-based multinational corporation dealing in electronic design automation for electrical engineering and electronics, as of 2004, ranked third in the EDA industry it helped create...

Wilsonville $976
10. TriQuint Semiconductor
TriQuint Semiconductor
TriQuint Semiconductor is a semiconductor company that designs, manufactures, and supplies high-performance RF modules, components and foundry services. TriQuint primarily works with the semiconductor gallium arsenide, or GaAs, and is the number-three worldwide leader in GaAs devices and the...

Hillsboro
Hillsboro, Oregon
Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and is the county seat of Washington County. Lying in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area, the city is home to many high-technology companies, such as Intel, that compose what has become known as the...

$938

High technology industries and services have been a major employer since the 1970s. Tektronix
Tektronix
Tektronix, Inc. is an American company best known for its test and measurement equipment such as oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and video and mobile test protocol equipment. In November 2007, Tektronix became a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation....

 was the largest private employer in Oregon until the late 1980s. Intel
Intel Corporation
Intel Corporation is an American multinational semiconductor chip maker corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, California, United States and the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue. It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most...

's creation and expansion of several facilities in eastern Washington County
Washington County, Oregon
- Major highways :* Interstate 5* Interstate 205* U.S. Route 26* Oregon Route 6* Oregon Route 8* Oregon Route 10* Oregon Route 47* Oregon Route 99W* Oregon Route 210* Oregon Route 217* Oregon Route 219-Demographics:...

 continued the growth that Tektronix had started. Intel, the state's largest for-profit private employer, operates four large facilities, with Ronler Acres, Jones Farm and Hawthorn Farm all located in Hillsboro
Hillsboro, Oregon
Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon and is the county seat of Washington County. Lying in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area, the city is home to many high-technology companies, such as Intel, that compose what has become known as the...

.

The spinoffs and startups that were produced by these two companies led to the establishment in that area of the so-called Silicon Forest
Silicon Forest
Silicon Forest is a nickname for the cluster of high-tech companies located in the Portland metropolitan area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Southwest Washington, and most frequently refers to the industrial corridor between Beaverton and Hillsboro in northwest Oregon.The name is similar to...

. The recession and dot-com bust of 2001
Dot-com bubble
The dot-com bubble was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1995–2000 during which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the more...

 hit the region hard; many high technology employers reduced the number of their employees or went out of business. Open Source Development Labs made news in 2004 when they hired Linus Torvalds
Linus Torvalds
Linus Benedict Torvalds is a Finnish software engineer and hacker, best known for having initiated the development of the open source Linux kernel. He later became the chief architect of the Linux kernel, and now acts as the project's coordinator...

, developer of the Linux kernel
Linux kernel
The Linux kernel is an operating system kernel used by the Linux family of Unix-like operating systems. It is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software....

. Recently, biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 giant Genentech
Genentech
Genentech Inc., or Genetic Engineering Technology, Inc., is a biotechnology corporation, founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert Boyer. Trailing the founding of Cetus by five years, it was an important step in the evolution of the biotechnology industry...

 purchased several acres of land in Hillsboro to expand its production capabilities. Oregon is home to several large datacenters that take advantage of cheap power and a climate in Central Oregon conducive to reducing cooling costs. Google has a large datacenter in The Dalles; Facebook is building a datacenter in Prineville; and Amazon is restarting construction of a datacenter in Boardman.

Oregon is also the home of large corporations in other industries. The world headquarters of Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

 are located near Beaverton
Beaverton, Oregon
Beaverton is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, seven miles west of Portland in the Tualatin River Valley.As of the 2010 census, the population is 90,267. This makes it the second-largest city in the county and Oregon's sixth-largest city...

. Medford
Medford, Oregon
Medford is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2010 US Census, the city had a total population of 74,907 and a metropolitan area population of 207,010, making the Medford MSA the 4th largest metro area in Oregon...

 is home to Harry and David, which sells gift items under several brands. Medford is also home to the national headquarters of the Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000 is a reference to a list maintained by the American business magazine Fortune. The list is of the 1000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone...

 company, Lithia Motors
Lithia Motors
Lithia Motors, Inc. is automotive dealership network headquartered in Medford, Oregon, primarily serving the western United States. It is the seventh largest automotive retailer in the United States, and ranks as number 615 on the Fortune 1000 list of the largest companies in the U.S. for 2007...

. Portland is home to one of the West's largest trade book publishing
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

 houses, Graphic Arts Center Publishing
Graphic Arts Center Publishing
Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company is a book publishing company based in Portland, Oregon, United States.Graphic Arts Center is one of the Northwest's largest book publishers, publishing about 40 books annually and selling over 500 titles to the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and Europe...

.

Oregon has one of the largest salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

-fishing industries in the world, although ocean fisheries have reduced the river fisheries in recent years. Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 is also strong in the state; Oregon's evergreen mountain forests, waterfalls, pristine lakes (including Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the sixth oldest national park in the United States and the only one in the state of Oregon...

), and scenic beaches draw visitors year round. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a regional repertory theatre in Ashland, Oregon, United States. The festival annually produces eleven plays on three stages during a season that lasts from February to October...

, held in Ashland
Ashland, Oregon
Ashland is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States, near Interstate 5 and the California border, and located in the south end of the Rogue Valley. It was named after Ashland County, Ohio, point of origin of Abel Helman and other founders, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other...

, is a tourist draw which complements the southern region of the state's scenic beauty and opportunity for outdoor activities.

Oregon is home to many breweries and Portland has the largest number of breweries of any city in the world.

Portland reportedly has more strip clubs per capita than Las Vegas or San Francisco.

Oregon's gross state product
Gross state product
Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state or province...

 is $132.66 billion as of 2006, making it the 27th largest GSP in the nation.

Employment

As of April 2011, the state's unemployment rate is 9.5%.
Oregon's largest for-profit employer is Intel
Intel Corporation
Intel Corporation is an American multinational semiconductor chip maker corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, California, United States and the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue. It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most...

, located in the Silicon Forest
Silicon Forest
Silicon Forest is a nickname for the cluster of high-tech companies located in the Portland metropolitan area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Southwest Washington, and most frequently refers to the industrial corridor between Beaverton and Hillsboro in northwest Oregon.The name is similar to...

 area on Portland's west side. Intel was the largest employer in Oregon until 2008. As of January 2009, the largest employer in Oregon is Providence Health & Services a non-profit.

Taxes and budgets

Oregon's biennial state budget, $42.4 billion as of 2007, comprises General Funds, Federal Funds, Lottery Funds, and Other Funds. Personal income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

es account for 88% of the General Fund's projected funds. The Lottery Fund, which has grown steadily since the lottery was approved in 1984, exceeded expectations in the 2007 fiscal years, at $604 million.

Oregon is one of only five states
Sales taxes in the United States
There is no federal sales or use tax in the United States. 45 states and the District of Columbia impose sales and use taxes on the retail sale, lease and rental of many goods, as well as some services. Many cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts impose additional local...

 that have no sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

. Oregon voters have been resolute in their opposition to a sales tax, voting proposals down each of the nine times they have been presented. The last vote, for 1993's Measure 1, was defeated by a 72–24% margin.

The state also has a minimum corporate tax of only $10 a year, amounting to 5.6% of the General Fund in the 2005–2007 biennium; data about which businesses pay the minimum is not available to the public. As a result, the state relies on property
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

 and income taxes for its revenue. Oregon has the fifth highest personal income tax in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oregon ranked 41st out of the 50 states in taxes per capita in 2005. The average paid of $1,791.45 is higher than only nine other states.

Some local governments levy sales taxes on services: the city of Ashland
Ashland, Oregon
Ashland is a city in Jackson County, Oregon, United States, near Interstate 5 and the California border, and located in the south end of the Rogue Valley. It was named after Ashland County, Ohio, point of origin of Abel Helman and other founders, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other...

, for example, collects a 5% sales tax on prepared food.

Oregon is one of six states with a revenue limit. The "kicker law
Kicker (Oregon tax rebate)
The Oregon tax rebate, commonly referred to as the kicker, is a rebate given to both individual and corporate taxpayers in the U.S. state of Oregon when a revenue surplus exists. The Oregon Constitution mandates that the rebate be issued when the calculated revenue for a given biennium exceeds the...

" stipulates that when income tax collections exceed state economists' estimates by 2% or more, any excess must be returned to taxpayers. Since the enactment of the law in 1979, refunds have been issued for seven of the eleven biennia. In 2000, Ballot Measure 86 converted the "kicker" law from statute to the Oregon Constitution
Oregon Constitution
The Oregon Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Oregon, originally enacted in 1857. As amended the current state constitution contains eighteen sections, beginning with a bill of rights. This contains most of the rights and privileges granted in the United States Bill of...

, and changed some of its provisions.

Federal payments to county governments, which were granted to replace timber revenue when logging in National Forests was restricted in the 1990s, have been under threat of suspension for several years. This issue dominates the future revenue of rural counties, which have come to rely on the payments in providing essential services.

55 percent of state revenues are spent on public education, 23% on human services (child protective services, Medicaid, and senior services), 17% on public safety, and 5% on other services.

Population

As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 of 2010, Oregon has a population of 3,831,074, which is an increase of 409,675, or 12%, since the year 2000. The population density is 39.9 persons per square mile. There are 1,675,562 housing units, a 15.3% increase over 2000. Among them, 90.7% are occupied.

Hispanics or Latinos make up 11.7% of the total population. Among those who aren't Hispanic or Latino, 78.5% is "white alone," 1.7% is "black or African American alone," 1.1% is "American Indian or Alaska native alone," 3.6% is "Asian alone," 0.3% is "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander alone," 0.1% is "another race alone," and 2.9% is multiracial.

Of the state's total population, 22.6% was under age 18, and 77.4% were 18 or older.

The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Oregon is located in Linn County
Linn County, Oregon
Linn County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is named in honor of Lewis F. Linn, a U.S. Senator from Missouri who advocated the American occupation of the Oregon Country. By the 2010 US census the population of Linn county was 116,672 showing a 13.2% growth since the 2000 census...

, in the city of Lyons
Lyons, Oregon
Lyons is a city in Linn County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,008 at the 2000 census. The center of population of Oregon is located in Lyons.-Geography:...

. More than 57% of the state's population lives in the Portland metropolitan area
Portland metropolitan area
The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area , also known as the Portland metropolitan area or Greater Portland, is an urban area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington centered around the city of Portland, Oregon. The U.S...

.

As of 2004, Oregon's population included 309,700 foreign-born residents (accounting for 8.7% of the state population).
The largest ancestry groups in the state are:
  • 22.5% German
  • 14.0% English
    English American
    English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

  • 13.2% Irish
    Irish American
    Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

  • 8.4% Scandinavian: (1.2% Danish, 3.1% Swedish
    Swedish American
    Swedish Americans are Americans of Swedish descent, especially the descendants of about 1.2 million immigrants from Sweden during 1885-1915. Most were Lutherans who affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ; some were Methodists...

    , & 4.1% Norwegian American
    Norwegian American
    Norwegian Americans are Americans of Norwegian descent. Norwegian immigrants went to the United States primarily in the later half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans according to the most recent U.S. census, and...

    )
  • 5.0% American
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  • 3.9% French
  • 3.7% Italian
  • 3.6% Scottish
  • 2.7% Scots-Irish
  • 2.6% Dutch
  • 1.9% Polish
  • 1.4% Russian
  • 1.1% Welsh


The largest reported ancestry groups in Oregon are: German (22.5%), English (14.0%), Irish (13.2%), Scandinavian (8.4%) and American (5.0%). Approximately 62% of Oregon residents are wholly or partly of English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish ancestry. Most Oregon counties are inhabited principally by residents of Northwestern-European ancestry. Concentrations of Mexican-Americans are highest in Malheur
Malheur County, Oregon
Malheur County is a county located in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is included in the eight-county definition of Eastern Oregon. Most of the county observes the Mountain Time Zone, although the southern quarter of the county observes the Pacific Time Zone along with the...

 and Jefferson
Jefferson County, Oregon
Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. In 2010, its population was 21,720. It is named after Mount Jefferson. The seat of the county is Madras.-History:...

 counties.

The majority of the diversity in Oregon is in the Portland metropolitan area.

Future projections

Projections from the U.S. Census Bureau show Oregon's population increasing to 4,833,918 by 2030, an increase of 41.3% compared to the state's population of 3,421,399 in 2000. The state's own projections forecast a total population of 5,425,408 in 2040.

Religious and secular communities

Major religious affiliations of the people of Oregon are:
  • Christian
    Christian
    A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

     — 67%
    • Protestant
      Protestantism
      Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

       — 47%
      • Evangelical — 30%
      • Mainline— 16%
      • Other Protestant — 1%
    • Roman Catholic
      Roman Catholicism in the United States
      The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

       — 14%
    • Latter Day Saint / Mormon — 5%
    • Other Christian traditions — 1%
  • Unaffiliated — 27%
  • Buddhist — 2%
  • Jewish — 1%
  • Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     — 0.5%
  • Other Religions — 2%


The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 with 348,239; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 104,312 (144,808 year-end 2007); and the Assemblies of God
Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God , officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely-associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination...

 with 49,357.

In a 2009 Gallup poll, 69% of Oregonians identified themselves as being Christian. Most of the remainder of the population had no religious affiliation; the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) placed Oregon as tied with Nevada in fifth place of U.S. states having the highest percentage of residents identifying themselves as "non-religious", at 24 percent. Secular organizations include the Center for Inquiry
Center for Inquiry
The Center for Inquiry is a non-profit educational organization with headquarters in the United States whose primary mission is to encourage evidence-based inquiry into paranormal and fringe science claims, alternative medicine and mental health practices, religion, secular ethics, and society...

 (CFI), the Humanists of Greater Portland (HGP), and the United States Atheists (USA).

During much of the 1990s a group of conservative Christians formed the Oregon Citizens Alliance
Oregon Citizens Alliance
The Oregon Citizens Alliance was a conservative Christian political activist organization, founded by Lon Mabon in the U.S. state of Oregon. It was founded in 1986 as a vehicle to challenge then–U.S...

, and unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation to prevent "gay sensitivity training" in public schools and legal benefits for homosexual couples.

Oregon also contains the largest community of Russian Old Believers
Old Believers
In the context of Russian Orthodox church history, the Old Believers separated after 1666 from the official Russian Orthodox Church as a protest against church reforms introduced by Patriarch Nikon between 1652–66...

 to be found in the United States. The Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association is headquartered in Portland, and the New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?
What the Bleep Do We Know!?
What the Bleep Do We Know!? is a 2004 film that combines documentary-style interviews, computer-animated graphics, and a narrative that describes the spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness...

was filmed and had its premiere in Portland. There are an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 in Oregon.

Primary and secondary

As of 2005, the state had 559,215 students in public primary and secondary schools. There were 199 public school districts at that time, served by 20 education service districts
Educational service district
An educational service district or education service district is a type of collective government district in the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon. Organizationally different than a school district, a single ESD may serve dozens of school districts...

. The five largest school districts as of 2007 were: Portland Public Schools (46,262 students), Salem-Keizer School District
Salem-Keizer School District
Salem-Keizer School District is a school district in the U.S. state of Oregon that serves the cities of Salem and Keizer. It is the second-largest school district in the state with more than 40,000 students and nearly 4,000 full-time equivalent employees...

 (40,106), Beaverton School District
Beaverton School District
The Beaverton School District is a school district in suburban Beaverton and Portland, Oregon, United States. The Beaverton Elementary School District 48 was established in 1876, with other elementary districts later merged into the district. The elementary district was later merged with the high...

 (37,821), Hillsboro School District
Hillsboro School District
The Hillsboro School District 1J is a unified school district located in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. The district operates 26 elementary schools, four middle schools, and four high schools. Founded in 1851, the school district covers Hillsboro, Scholls, Reedville, North Plains, West Union,...

 (20,401), and Eugene School District
Eugene School District
Eugene School District is a public school district in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is one of two school districts that serve the city of Eugene.-Demographics:...

 (18,025).

Colleges and universities

Public

The Oregon University System supports seven public universities and one affiliate in the state. The University of Oregon
University of Oregon
-Colleges and schools:The University of Oregon is organized into eight schools and colleges—six professional schools and colleges, an Arts and Sciences College and an Honors College.- School of Architecture and Allied Arts :...

 in Eugene is Oregon's flagship liberal arts institution, and was the state's only nationally ranked university by U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...

. Oregon State University
Oregon State University
Oregon State University is a coeducational, public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees and a multitude of research opportunities. There are more than 200 academic degree programs offered through the...

 is located in Corvallis and holds the distinction of being the state's flagship research university with top ranked programs in science, engineering, and agriculture. The university is also the state's highest ranking university/college in a world survey of academic merit.

The state's urban Portland State University
Portland State University
Portland State University is a public state urban university located in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1946, it has the largest overall enrollment of any university in the state of Oregon, including undergraduate and graduate students. It is also the only public university in...

 has Oregon's largest enrollment. The state has three regional universities: Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University is a public liberal arts college located in Monmouth, Oregon, United States. It was originally established in 1856 by Oregon pioneers as Monmouth University. Subsequent names include Oregon Normal School, Oregon College of Education, and Western Oregon State College...

 in Monmouth, Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University
is a public liberal arts college located in Ashland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1926, it was formerly known as Southern Oregon College and Southern Oregon State College . SOU offers criminology, natural sciences, including environmental science, Shakespearean studies and theatre arts programs...

 in Ashland, and Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Oregon University is one of seven state-funded, four-year universities of higher education in the State of Oregon and belongs to the Oregon University System...

 in La Grande. The Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon Institute of Technology, also known as Oregon Tech or OIT, is an accredited university in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the northwest United States. Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon, it provides undergraduate and graduate degrees in many...

 has its campus in Klamath Falls. The affiliate Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Health & Science University
Oregon Health & Science University is a public university in Oregon with a main campus, including two hospitals, in Portland and a smaller campus in Hillsboro...

 (OHSU) comprises a medical, dental, and nursing school in Portland and a science and engineering school in Hillsboro. It rated 2nd among US best medical schools based on research by The Med School 100.

Oregon has historically struggled to fund higher education. Recently, Oregon has cut its higher education budget over 2002–2006 and now Oregon ranks 46th in the country in state spending per student. However, 2007 legislation forced tuition increases to cap at 3% per year, and funded the OUS far beyond the requested governor's budget.

The state also supports 17 community colleges.

Private

Oregon is home to a wide variety of private colleges. The University of Portland
University of Portland
The University of Portland is a private Roman Catholic university located in Portland, Oregon. It is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross and is the sister school of the University of Notre Dame. Founded in 1901, UP has a student body of about 3,600 students...

 and Marylhurst University
Marylhurst University
Marylhurst University is a private Catholic liberal arts university located in Marylhurst, Oregon, United States, nine miles south of Portland on the Willamette River. It is among the oldest collegiate degree-granting institutions in Oregon, awarding its first degree in 1897...

 are Catholic institutions in the Portland area. Reed College
Reed College
Reed College is a private, independent, liberal arts college located in southeast Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1908, Reed is a residential college with a campus located in Portland's Eastmoreland neighborhood, featuring architecture based on the Tudor-Gothic style, and a forested canyon wilderness...

, Concordia University
Concordia University (Portland, Oregon)
Concordia University is a private, Christian university located in Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. Opened in 1905 as a University-preparatory school, the institution added college classes in 1950 and the high school was split-off in 1977...

, Lewis & Clark College
Lewis & Clark College
Lewis & Clark College is a private institution of higher learning located in Portland, Oregon. Made up of an undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, a School of Law, and a Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Lewis & Clark is a member of the Annapolis Group of colleges with athletic...

, Multnomah Bible College, Portland Bible College
Portland Bible College
Portland Bible College is a private four-year college in Portland, Oregon, USA that offers theological and church ministry degrees. It was founded in 1967 by Dick Iverson and is associated with the City Bible Church. The campus is adjacent to City Bible Church atop Rocky Butte in northeast...

, Warner Pacific College
Warner Pacific College
Warner Pacific College is an urban, Christian liberal arts college located in Southeast Portland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1937, the college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities...

, Cascade College
Cascade College
Cascade College was a private, four-year, liberal arts college associated with the Churches of Christ. Located in Portland, Oregon, United States, it was a branch campus of Oklahoma Christian University. Its mission was to emphasize spiritual growth and career preparation...

, the National College of Natural Medicine
National College of Natural Medicine
National College of Natural Medicine is a school of Naturopathic Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine located in Portland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1956, it is the oldest programmatically of the six accredited naturopathic medical schools in North America. Until July 1, 2006, NCNM was...

 and Western Seminary
Western Seminary
Western Seminary is an evangelical, non-denominational theological seminary with campuses in Portland, Oregon, as well as in San Jose and Sacramento in California. The seminary offers Master’s Degrees in Divinity, Counseling, Intercultural Studies, Leadership and Theology along with Doctoral...

, a theological graduate school, are also in Portland. Pacific University
Pacific University
Pacific University is a private university located in Oregon, United States. The first campus began more than 160 years ago and is located about 38 km west of Portland in Forest Grove...

 is in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove
Forest Grove, Oregon
Forest Grove is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, west of Portland. Originally a small farm town, it is now primarily a bedroom suburb of Portland. Settled in the 1840s, the town was platted in 1850 and then incorporated in 1872 and was the first city in Washington County...

.

There are also private colleges further south in the Willamette Valley. McMinnville has Linfield College
Linfield College
Linfield College is an American private institution of higher learning located in McMinnville, Oregon, United States. As a four-year, undergraduate, liberal arts and sciences college with a campus in Portland, Oregon, it also has an adult degree program located in eight communities throughout the...

, while nearby Newberg is home to George Fox University
George Fox University
George Fox University is a Christian university of the liberal arts and sciences, and professional studies located in Newberg, Oregon, United States. Founded as a school for Quakers in 1885, the private school has more than 3,400 students combined between its main campus in Newberg and its centers...

. Salem is home to two private schools, Willamette University
Willamette University
Willamette University is an American private institution of higher learning located in Salem, Oregon. Founded in 1842, it is the oldest university in the Western United States. Willamette is a member of the Annapolis Group of colleges, and is made up of an undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and...

 (the state's oldest, established during the provisional period) and Corban University. Also located near Salem is Mount Angel Seminary
Mount Angel Abbey
Mount Angel Abbey is a community of Benedictine monks near the city of Mt. Angel, Oregon, United States. It was established in 1882 from the Abbey of Engelberg, Switzerland. The abbey, located on the top of Mount Angel, a 485-foot high butte, has its own post office separate from the city of Mt....

, one of America's largest Roman Catholic seminaries. Eugene is home to three private colleges: Northwest Christian University, Eugene Bible College
Eugene Bible College
New Hope Christian College, formerly known as Eugene Bible College, is a private, four-year Bible college located on a campus in Eugene, Oregon, United States...

, and Gutenberg College
Gutenberg College
Gutenberg College is a private, four-year Great Books college in Eugene, Oregon. The curriculum centers on the most influential primary texts of Western Civilization, which students study with “tutors” in round-table discussions...

.

Sports

Oregon is home to two professional sports teams which are both based in Portland: Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

 of the NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 and the Portland Timbers
Portland Timbers
Portland Timbers may refer to any of four distinct professional soccer teams:*Portland Timbers, a Major League Soccer expansion team that began playing in 2011....

 of MLS
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

.

Until 2011, the only major professional sports team in Oregon was the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the Blazers were one of the most successful teams in the NBA in terms of both win-loss record and attendance. In the early 21st century, the team's popularity declined due to personnel and financial issues, but revived after the departure of controversial players and the acquisition of new players such as Brandon Roy
Brandon Roy
Brandon Dawayne Roy is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. He was selected sixth in the 2006 NBA Draft, having completed four years playing for the Washington Huskies. In 2009, he served as the team's co-captain, along...

, LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Nurae Aldridge is an American professional basketball player with the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. He is a , 240-pound power forward/center and is one of Portland's two team captains, with the other being Brandon Roy....

, and Greg Oden
Greg Oden
Gregory Wayne Oden, Jr. is an American basketball player at the center position. Oden is a member of the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA....

.

The Blazers play in the Rose Garden in Portland's Lloyd District, which is also home to the Portland Winterhawks of the junior-league Western Hockey League
Western Hockey League
The Western Hockey League is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitute the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada...

.

The Timbers play at Jeld-Wen Field, which is just west of downtown Portland. The Timbers repurposed the formerly multi-use stadium into a soccer-only configuration in fall 2010, increasing the seating in the process.

Portland has had minor league baseball teams in the past, including the Portland Beavers
Portland Beavers
The Tucson Padres are a minor league baseball team, representing Tucson, Arizona, in the Pacific Coast League . They are the Triple-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres. The team was formerly known as the Portland Beavers and played its last home game at PGE Park on September 6, 2010...

 and Portland Rockies
Portland Rockies
The Portland Rockies were a minor-league baseball team that played in Portland, Oregon from 1995-2000. They were a rookie league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Their name and logo mimicked the mountain theme of the Colorado club, even though Portland is not located in the Rocky Mountains...

, who played most recently at PGE Park
PGE Park
Jeld-Wen Field is an outdoor sports stadium located in Portland, Oregon, United States that is used primarily for soccer and American football...

. Portland has also actively pursued a Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 team. It was announced in March 2009 that the Portland Timbers will begin MLS play starting in 2011.

Eugene and Salem also have minor-league baseball teams. The Eugene Emeralds
Eugene Emeralds
The Eugene Emeralds is a minor league baseball team in Eugene, Oregon, United States. They are a short-season Class A team in the Northwest League, and have been a farm team of the San Diego Padres since 2001....

 and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are a minor league baseball team in Keizer, Oregon, United States. They are a Short-Season Class A team in the Northwest League, and have been an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants since the Volcanoes' inception in 1997...

 both play in the Single-A Northwest League
Northwest League
The Northwest League of Professional Baseball is a Class A-Short Season minor baseball league. The league is the descendant of the Western International League which ran as a class B league from 1937-1951 and class A from 1952-1954...

. Oregon also has four teams in the fledgling International Basketball League
International Basketball League
The International Basketball League was a short lived professional basketball league in the United States. The IBL was headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The league started in 1999 and ended in 2001.-History:...

: the Portland Chinooks
Portland Chinooks
The Portland Chinooks are a franchise in the International Basketball League based in Portland, Oregon and owned by local businessman Terry Emmert....

, Central Oregon Hotshots
Central Oregon Hotshots
The Central Oregon Hotshots are a team in the International Basketball League based in Bend, Oregon. Coached by JJ Anderson, the Hotshots had a remotely successful inaugural campaign, going 11-11. Hotshot Ashley Champion finished third in scoring at 27.4 ppg...

, Salem Stampede
Salem Stampede
The Salem Stampede are a basketball team from Salem, Oregon that played in the International Basketball League from 2005–2007. The Stampede played home games in the Salem Armory, which seats 3,000 for basketball...

, and the Eugene Chargers
Eugene Chargers
The Eugene Chargers are a team in the International Basketball League based in Eugene, Oregon. The team is coached by Kenya Wilkins and plays home games at Northwest Christian University's Morse Events Center.-2006 Season:...

.

The Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State Beavers
The Oregon State Beavers is a name shared by all sports teams at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. The Beavers are part of the Pacific-12 Conference . Oregon State's mascot is Benny the Beaver...

 and the University of Oregon Ducks
Oregon Ducks
The Oregon Ducks refers to the sports teams of the University of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon. The Oregon Ducks are part of the Pacific-12 Conference in the Division 1 of the NCAA. With seventeen varsity teams, the Oregon Ducks are best known for their football team and Track and Field...

 football teams of the Pacific-12 Conference meet annually in the Civil War
Civil War (college football game)
The Civil War is the colloquial name for an American college football rivalry game played annually by the Oregon Ducks football team of the University of Oregon and the Oregon State Beavers football team of the Oregon State University...

. Both schools have had recent success in other sports as well: Oregon State won back-to-back college baseball championships
College World Series
The College World Series or CWS is an annual baseball tournament held in Omaha, Nebraska that is the culmination of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, which determines the NCAA Division I college baseball champion. The eight teams are split into two, four-team, double-elimination brackets,...

 in 2006 and 2007, and the University of Oregon won back-to-back NCAA men's cross country championships in 2007 and 2008.

Sister states

, Fujian Province
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 - 1984, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 - 1985, Toyama Prefecture
Toyama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Hokuriku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Toyama.Toyama is the leading industrial prefecture on the Japan Sea coast, and has the industrial advantage of cheap electricity due to abundant water resources....

 - 1991, Jeollanam-do Province
Jeollanam-do
Jeollanam-do is a province in the southwest of South Korea. The province was formed in 1896 from the southern half of the former Jeolla province, remained a province of Korea until the country's division in 1945, then became part of South Korea...

 - 1996, Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

 - 2005

See also

  • Outline of Oregon
    Outline of Oregon
    thumb|The location of the [[state of Oregon]] in the [[United States of America]]thumb|An enlargeable map of the [[state of Oregon]]The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S...

  • Index of Oregon-related articles
  • List of people from Oregon
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Oregon


Further reading



External links

  • State of Oregon (official website)
  • Oregon Blue Book, the online version of the state's official directory and fact book
    Oregon Blue Book
    The Oregon Blue Book is the official directory and fact book for the U.S. state of Oregon copyrighted by the Oregon Secretary of State and published by the Office of the Secretary's Archives Division. As Governor Ted Kulongoski notes in his introduction for the 2005–2006 edition, it "provides...

  • TravelOregon.com an official website of the Oregon Tourism Commission
    Oregon Tourism Commission
    The Oregon Tourism Commission, which does business as Travel Oregon, is a semi-independent agency of the government of Oregon based in the state capital of Salem. The agency is run by a nine-member board appointed by the governor, and governs several programs that work to grow the state economy by...

  • Oregon Historical Society
  • Oregon State Databases, an annotated list, in wiki form, of searchable databases produced by Oregon state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association
    American Library Association
    The American Library Association is a non-profit organization based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 62,000 members....

  • Real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Oregon from the United States Geological Survey
    United States Geological Survey
    The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology,...

  • Oregon Quickfacts from the United States Census Bureau
    United States Census Bureau
    The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

  • Oregon State Facts from the United States Department of Agriculture
    United States Department of Agriculture
    The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

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