Oregon tourism grows, generating income and problems

Record number of visits to state parks and federal lands

Crater Lake National Park. (AP/RideCyclingTours.com)
Crater Lake National Park. (AP/RideCyclingTours.com)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is expecting a record number of visits to its state parks and federal lands for the second year in a row.

The Statesman Journal reports that data from multiple agencies shows that the crowds began growing in 2013 and show no signs of slowing down. The Columbia River Gorge and Central Oregon are the fastest-growing recreation areas, but visits to the coast, Crater Lake National Park and John Day Fossil Beds have also increased.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department spokesman Chris Havel says the agency appreciates the tourism but is having problems keeping up with the trash and the wear and tear on parks.

Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism bureau, says the $10.8 billion industry accounts for more than 105,000 jobs. But it has also resulted in damage to ecologically sensitive areas and fatal accidents.