About Oregon

About Oregon

Heart of the Pacific Northwest

Oregon is located between Washington state and California on the West Coast of the United States. Boasting ocean beaches, tall mountains, valleys, deserts, cities, sand dunes, wineries, bike trails, big business, and more, there’s always something to do and just as much to be proud of. Joining the union in 1859, Oregon was part a key part of U.S. history in discovery and invention. The coast marked the end of the Lewis and Clark trail, its history remembers the beginning of Nike, and its land holds the home of Intel.

Whether it is Pinot Noir, the wonders of the Wallowas, or simply the year-round mild weather of the Willamette Valley, Oregon has a lot to offer anyone and everyone. Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the United States. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. The single largest organism in the world, Armillaria ostoyae, lives here. And 95% of domestic hazelnuts are grown here.

Agriculture and Timber

Oregon’s major agricultural industries include logging timber, growing hay, filberts, tulips, peonies, and other flowers.
Greenhouse and nursery plants make up Oregon’s most valuable agricultural products. Oregon is also a leading producer of Christmas trees.

Oregon Timber Trees

Timber

Oregon Hay Bales

Hay

Oregon Filbert Orchard Hazelnut Willamette

Filbert Orchard

Vineyards and Winemaking

Winemaking began in Oregon in 1933. The Honeywood Winery of Salem, Oregon is Oregon’s oldest continuously operating winery marking its foundation in 1933 by Ron Honeyman and John Wood. Vineyards of the Willamette Valley began to produce crops in the 1960’s, and in the Willamette Valley there are a half-dozen nested AVAs with more to be recognized in the coming years. Pinot noir and Pinot gris are the top two varieties produced in Oregon.

Photo courtesy of Willamette Valley Vineyards (by Andrea Johnson)

Cities and communities

The three largest cities in Oregon are Portland, Eugene, and Salem.

Portland Oregon

Portland

Eugene Oregon

Eugene

Salem

Regions

There are seven main regions of Oregon:  the coast, the Willamette Valley, greater Portland, Mt. Hood/the Gorge, central Oregon, southern Oregon, and eastern Oregon.

Coast - Oregon Region

Coast

Willamette Valley - Oregon Region

Willamette Valley

Portland - Oregon Region

Greater Portland

Mount Hood and the Gorge

Mt. Hood and the Gorge

(Many smaller regions exist in Oregon. And, the regions shown here depict only one of many alternative ways to describe the State of Oregon)

Central Oregon

Southern Oregon

Eastern Oregon

Renewable Energy in Oregon

Oregon is among the top five states in the nation for total installed wind capacity renewable energy. And, Oregon is poised to install enough solar farms that solar power may one day surpass wind energy sources. Incentive programs encourage farmers to use renewable energy systems and alternative energy systems. Whether it is an Oregon state agency or a nonprofit dedicated to energy conservation, there are resources out there for farms and businesses that want to save on energy costs and water usage. Learn more about renewable energy in Oregon.

Solar array in the Willamette Valley near Portland Oregon
Oregon Water Laws – Water Rights, Conservation, and Agriculture

The state of Oregon sits on the West Coast where clouds drift over the Cascade mountain range and drop water as rain over large areas of land. Yet, in spite of Oregon’s numerous rivers and aquifers, water is still a precious resource.
Farming and agriculture are important to the people and economy of Oregon. For example, in the United States, Oregon is the top producer of hazelnuts, Christmas trees, grass seed, blackberries, and peppermint. All of this crop production requires water. The availability of water for agricultural use varies for each region of the state. Surface water throughout Oregon is already spoken for and groundwater aquifers aren’t located under each county. Learn more about Oregon water laws, water rights, conservation, and agriculture.

Crown Point on the Columbia River of Oregon