State Capitol
Press Release
October 14, 2010
Governor Kulongoski visits site of 10th state park under Park-A-Year program
Cottonwood Canyon State Park is planned as the 10th park of the Governor's Park-A-Year Program and scheduled to open in 2013
(Salem) – Today Governor Ted Kulongoski toured the area of a new state park that could open as early as 2013 as the 10th new state park opened under the Governor’s Park-A-Year initiative.  The Cottonwood Canyon State Park is located along the John Day River and when complete will be one of the largest parks in the Oregon state park system.
“This new park will highlight one of Oregon’s treasures – the John Day River,” Governor Ted Kulongoski said.  “In touring the beauty of this land, the river, streams and the wildlife I know this will become a unique recreational resource place for all Oregonians and our visitors to enjoy today and for generations.”
The new park is located between Wasco and Condon in Sherman and Gilliam counties and covers 8,114 acres of state owned property and an additional 8,000 acres in grazing rights.  The nationally designated John Day Wild and Scenic River– the longest free-flowing river in the West – flows approximately 14 miles through the park.  The vision is to manage the entire 16,000 plus acres as high-quality fish and wildlife habitat.
The Governor’s Park-A-Year initiative was launched by Governor Kulongoski in 2004 to create a new state park each year for ten years. This program ended the span of over 35 years of no new parks in Oregon. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department uses Oregon Lottery funds dedicated by Oregon voters in 1998 to buy, repair and improve state parks. The funds are also used to award grants to local cities and counties to purchase, improve and repair parks in local communities. Prior to the Park-A-Year initiative a new park had not been opened in Oregon in over 30 years.
The state parks created under the Governor’s Park-A-Year initiative include:
2004 – L.L. Stub Stewart, Washington County
2005 – Sunset Beach, Clatsop County
2006 – Fort Yamhill, Polk County
2007 – Thompson’s Mills, Linn County
2008 – Crissey Field, Curry County
2009 – Iwetemlaykin, Wallowa County
2010 – Beaver Creek, Lincoln County
Public planning for the park is underway with meetings held over the summer. The next round of public meetings are set for November 15 in Moro, Oregon, November 16 in Condon, Oregon and November 22 in Portland. Exact locations, times will be posted online at, where public comments are also accepted.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department manages a 100,000 acre state park system serving two million campers and 40 million day visitors. For more information about any of Oregon’s state parks please visit or call toll free 1-800-221-6949.
Images of the park and surroundings
Photos (credit Peter Marbach):     
Location map:    
Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-6169
Jodi Sherwood, 503-378-6496
Chris Havel, 503-986-0722, desk 503-931-2590, cell

Page updated: October 18, 2010

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