Hot Spot

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – Painted Hills Unit 2019

Mitchell, OR

In 2014, Painted Hills became one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon as part of a campaign from Travel Oregon. While the Painted Hills are certainly a unique wonder of Oregon, this resulted in a significant increase in visitation. Since then, park staff have noticed a dramatic increase in undesignated trails, unauthorized removal of fossils, and unmanned aircraft.  The fragile nature of the soils comprising the actual painted hills mean a small number of people have huge impacts on the hills, thereby degrading the scenic value of the landscape.  We will be working with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, the nearby town of Mitchell, Travel Oregon, and other local stakeholders to address these impacts through communication workshops, strategic planning, and public educational programming.

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