Cottonwood Canyon, Oregon's newest state park, is a smart deal and even better asset

The Oregonian, September 29, 2013



By: The Oregonian Editorial Board

Portlanders can thank an unnamed fishing guide for helping to bring an uncommon patch of desert wilderness to their doorstep -- or at least within a two-hour drive. A few years ago the intrepid guide telephoned the Portland-based Western Rivers Conservancy to say:

"If I were a rich man, this is the piece of river I'd buy."

The "this" he referred to, recalls conservancy Director Sue Doroff, was some 8,000 acres of canyonesque land along the John Day River, one of Oregon's most celebrated waterways for being undammed over its 284 miles and a stronghold for migratory steelhead. But the rugged, arid land was inaccessible mainly owing to private ownership.

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Related Project: John Day River - Cottonwood Canyon