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The Oregon Portal

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It borders the Pacific Ocean on the west, Washington on the north, Idaho on the east, and California and Nevada on the south. The Columbia and Snake Rivers form, respectively, much of its northern and eastern borders. Between two north-south mountain ranges in western Oregon—the Oregon Coast Range and the Cascade Mountain Range—lies the Willamette Valley, the most densely populated and agriculturally productive region of the state.

Oregon has one of the most diverse landscapes of any state in the U.S. It is well known for its tall, dense forests; its accessible and scenic Pacific coastline; and its rugged, glaciated Cascade volcanoes. Other areas include semiarid scrublands, prairies, and deserts that cover approximately half the state in eastern and north-central Oregon.

Oregon's population in 2010 was about 3.8 million, a 12% increase over 2000. Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene through Salem and Corvallis to Portland, Oregon's largest city.

The origin of the name Oregon is unknown. One account, advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in American Speech, was endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 1700s, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so that there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon".

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Asian Elephants at the Oregon Zoo.
Credit: Cacophony

Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) at the Oregon Zoo. From left to right: Rose-Tu, Sung-Surin ("Shine"), and Tusko. The Oregon Zoo, formerly the Washington Park Zoo, is a zoo two miles west-southwest of downtown Portland, Oregon, in Washington Park. It is Oregon's largest paid attraction, with more than 1.6 million visitors yearly.

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Hayward Field
Bill Hayward (1868–1947) was an American athletic coach in Oregon. Born in Michigan, he grew up in Canada where he was an all-around athlete. He excelled at sprinting, ice hockey, rowing, wrestling, boxing, and played lacrosse on one of the Ottawa Capitals' world championship teams of the 1890s. Hayward began coaching in 1898 as an assistant track coach at Princeton University. He then moved to the University of California before becoming the head track coach at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he coached A. C. Gilbert. In 1903, he took the head job at Albany College (now Lewis & Clark College) for one year before becoming the University of Oregon's first permanent track coach. Hayward would stay as coach for 44 years, and during this time he was a coach for six United States Olympics teams. At Oregon he coached four track world record holders, six American record holders and nine Olympians. In addition to his track coaching duties, he served as the athletic trainer for Oregon's football team, and coached the men's basketball team from 1903 to 1913 and again in 1917-1918, compiling an overall record of 34-29. The track team's home facility is named Hayward Field in his honor. Hayward was an inaugural inductee to both the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2005, he was induced into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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John Jacob Astor Hotel


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Clear-cut area in the range
The Northern Oregon Coast Range is the northern section of the Oregon Coast Range located in the northwest portion of the state. This section of the mountain range, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, contains peaks as high as 3,661 feet (1,116 m) for Rogers Peak. Forests in these mountains are considered to be some of the most productive timber land in the world. The Central Oregon Coast Range is directly south of this section with the Southern Oregon Coast Range beyond the central range. Approximately 40 million years ago the mountain building processes began during the Eocene age. During this time sandstone and siltstone were formed and basalt flows invaded the area from what is now Eastern Oregon. These rock formations were then lifted as part of the fore-arc basin that runs along the Oregon Coast. Heavy precipitation in the range has further shaped the mountains through erosional forces. The moist and mild climate has helped to create a temperate forest with large stands of Douglas-fir, Sitka spruce, western redcedar, and western hemlock.

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American beaver
Western meadowlark
Chinook salmon
Oregon grape
Oregon Swallowtail butterfly
Douglas fir



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FBI wanted poster of D.B. Cooper
Miss, you'd better look at that note. I have a bomb.

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Oregon State Capital rotunda
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Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon


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Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W / 44; -120.5