The Southern Oregon Coast Rural Tourism Studio concluded in Coos Bay April 19th 2017. The Studio resulted in the creation of three Action Teams that will carry forward the community’s vision for sustainable tourism development in the region. The Action Teams will be overseen by a Tourism Steering Committee that is responsible for upholding the region’s tourism vision and setting strategic direction for this effort. The Tourism Steering Committee will be convened by Miles Phillips, OSU Extension (miles.phillips@oregonstate.edu). It’s not too late to join the effort to build a thriving tourism economy on the South Coast! Contact an action team convener listed below if you are interested in getting involved in an Action Team.

Southern Oregon Coast Rural Tourism Studio

Southern Oregon Coast Action Team Conveners & Priority Projects

Outdoor Recreation Action Team: Convener – Dave Lacey, Oregon Coast Visitors Association (dave@thepeoplescoast.com)

  • Develop a regional trails inventory and comprehensive trails plan

Culinary & Agritourism Action Team: Convener – Michelle Martin, Neighborworks Umpqua (mmartin@nwumpqua.org)

  • Expand the Wild Rivers Coast Farm Trail to Coos and Douglas County, including seafood and artisans food opportunities

Marketing Action Team: Convener – Marie Simonds, Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (msimonds@wildriverscoastalliance.com)

  • Develop marketing assets through compiling quality data for Travel Oregon’s database and developing a high-quality photography library for the region

Learn more about Travel Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio and access materials from the Southern Oregon Coast workshops here.

Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

The Sitka spruce is a remarkable tree found on Oregon’s coastline. Named for the Sitka Sound in Alaska, this tree typically grows in a narrow strip of the coast from southern Alaska to northern California. It is able to grow in this environment because its needles and bark are resistant to salt spray.

Sitka spruce wood has many unique qualities that allow it to be used in a variety of different ways. Because the wood is very strong for its weight it is frequently used in aircraft frames, racing shells and ladders. The wood is also an excellent conductor of sound and is used in pianos, organs, guitars and violins.

Next time you listen to music or take a flight think about the Spruce tree and take the opportunity to walk among these wonderful trees next time you visit Coastal Oregon.

The Giant Spruce of Cape Perpetua was recently designated an Oregon Heritage Tree. According to Oregon Coast Magazine, this tree is easily accessed by hiking 1 mile along the Spruce Trail from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, which is just off Highway 101, 3 miles south of Yachats.

Port Orford on Oregon's South Coast
Port Orford on Oregon’s South Coast

Why do you want to travel? People travel for interesting and often new and sights, activities and experiences. it might be a new city, a rural setting or a wild lands experience. When we travel we encounter people that live and often speak differently. When we don’t know the language the local people are speaking we look to those people who can understand multiple languages to help us understand and relate to the people and place we are visiting. These people act as our language interpreters.

When when the language is the same as ours there are still many benefits of an personal interpreter who helps us navigate, learn, understand and enjoy new places and experiences. Informally this may be a relative or friend you are visiting who shows you around and shares their local knowledge of place and culture.

Many times though we want a professional to work with us to enhance how we enjoy a new experience or place. Whitewater rafting and other adventure activities, hunting, fishing, visits to parks and historical sites etc. are often when we hire and benefit from professional guides. Interpretive guiding is the process of helping the visitors relate to and understand the topic, place or experience. This is an important element of a professional guides skill set.

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is an organization that provides training and certification in interpretation and in March 2017 I gave a presentation at the International Conference for Interpretation in San Jose del Cabos, Mexico discussing professional guide practices. The conference provided a chance to meet and talk with other professionals to learn and be inspired. They define interpretation as follows; Interpretation: “A mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and meanings inherent in the resource.”

I personally look for and hire professional guides to enhance my travel experience and suggest you may enjoy doing the same on your travels to the Oregon Coast. For our coastal guides the OSU Extension program provides training opportunities upon request.

For more information on NAI see http://www.interpnet.com/

For more information on Coastal Oregon Guides see https://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/Guides-Charters.aspx