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OREGON — The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is accepting public comments on proposed changes to rules governing how the state protects important historical places.

The state is proposing updates to the Oregon Administrative Rules that govern how the state administers the federal National Register of Historic Places Program, which lists buildings, districts and other sites important to local, state or national history. The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office — an office of OPRD — administers the local program, which is run by the National Park Service.

In the last several years, proponents nominated several high-profile, controversial properties that exposed discrepancies between federal and state laws and rules governing the National Register Program and gaps in administrative processes. Proposed changes will better align state rules with the federal requirements.

“We’re moving to fix those issues and refine the state rules to work better for Oregonians,” said Ian Johnson, associate deputy state historic preservation officer.

OPRD developed draft rules with the help of a committee of appointed members from state, county and local governments; preservation and natural resource organizations; and citizens with an interest in the National Register program.

OPRD will accept public comments on the proposed changes through 5 p.m. Aug. 14, 2020. Comments can be made online, in writing or via email:

After reviewing public comments, OPRD staff plan to present a final recommended rule for consideration to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The full text of the proposed change is available online: oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx

Learn more about the National Register of Historic Places program in Oregon at oregon.gov/oprd/OH/pages/national-register.aspx

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