Introduction by Oregon Film's Executive Director, Vince Porter
Companies Immersive Video - "Southern Oregon"
Crew
Shot in Oregon - "Coraline"
Production Incentives
Oregon Film - Green Guide
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Put it on the Screen (continued)
by Vince Porter, Executive Director

Clearly everyone is feeling the effects of the recession and you all are being asked to stretch every dollar you have for each project.  In Oregon you can be assured that your money will be spent on the screen and not on unnecessary expenses.  Our incentive programs are easy to access and there are no hidden fees or loopholes.  Our crews have a wealth of experience and work at a reasonable rate, and our locations are virtually untapped resulting in low fees and few restrictions. 

We decided to begin our first issue by featuring Southern Oregon.  We feel the area has a lot to offer producers and the area is worthy of consideration.  We also wanted to feature a relatively young company based in Portland called Immersive Media.  The group at Immersive has created a cutting edge production technology which will no doubt become a useful tool for future story tellers and marketers.  Immersive has been kind enough to provide location footage of Southern Oregon for this newsletter and I would encourage you to check out the link to the footage as well as their website.

Lastly, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about doing business in Oregon.  As the entire media business continues to evolve and change before our eyes, Oregon is poised and ready to become a bigger factor in the future. (back to top)

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Immersive Media'sCompanies:
Immersive Media (continued)

Original content, behind-the-scenes, bonus features; the opportunities afforded by this new web medium are limited only by the imagination.  Companies like Google have already begun to change the way we interact with our world online by employing stills from Immersive Video in its revolutionary Street View feature on Google Maps and Google Earth.  It’s the kind of innovation that Oregon has become known for.

Oregon says that it loves dreamers, and David McCutchen, Immersive Media’s Chief Technology Officer, has certainly found the state’s motto to be true.  His early career as a technical director in special effects and his knowledge of mathematics helped him develop the original designs for spherical video recording at his Portland studio.  His unique approach is still the basis for the compact and versatile Dodeca 2360 camera in use today by im360 Studios, TXi, 360 View Productions, and other Immersive Media Agents worldwide.  With innovative ad campaigns, music videos, and location profiles, these early adopters are grabbing the audience’s attention and holding it with inherent interactivity.

With an online player developed on the Adobe Flash® platform, viewers control their experience while watching an Immersive Video.  As if they are actually in the scene, they can click and drag on the player frame to follow action, respond to directional cues, or simply explore.  When the video is paused, the image becomes even clearer, and there is zoom control to allow them a closer look at anything of interest. 

This natural perspective, with almost supernatural abilities, provides the viewer with the sense that they are actually part of the experience.  Because that experience is never quite the same thing twice, viewers tend to watch the Immersive Videos multiple times, providing that crucial “sticky” factor that advertisers covet.  As viewers click and drag on the IM Flash Player’s window to “look around”, they are providing input that can be measured.

Immersive Media is actively seeking creative partners in the entertainment industry to co-produce original Immersive productions, either in support of standard productions or on their own merit.  Producers also see the value in exploring bonus feature applications with Immersive Video for DVD and Blu-ray™ Disc formats.

Today’s Net Generation audience, raised on Red Bull, video games and the web, challenges the industry to engage them on their terms.  Immersive Video provides a bridge between the big screen and the new small screen to bring viewers inside the narrative, all-encompassing experiences the film industry has always endeavored to share.

To experience a variety of Immersive Videos and learn more about Immersive Media, please visit www.immersivemedia.com.  Email at info@immersivemedia.com or call toll-free at 866.333.8817.
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Shot in Oregon:
"Coraline"

Combining the visionary imaginations of two premier fantasists, director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and author Neil Gaiman (Sandman), CORALINE is a wondrous and thrilling, fun and suspenseful adventure. Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) is a girl of 11 who is feisty, curious, and adventurous beyond her years. She and her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) have just relocated from Michigan to Oregon. Missing her friends and finding her parents to be distracted by their work, Coraline tries to find some excitement in her new environment. She is befriended – or, as she sees it, is annoyed – by a local boy close to her age, Wybie Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.); and visits her older neighbors, eccentric British actresses Miss Spink and Forcible (Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French) as well as the arguably even more eccentric Russian Mr. Bobinsky (Ian McShane). After these encounters, Coraline seriously doubts that her new home can provide anything truly intriguing to her…but it does; she uncovers a secret door in the house. Walking through the door and then venturing through an eerie passageway, she discovers an alternate version of her life and existence. On the surface, this parallel reality is similar to her real life – only much better. The adults, including the solicitous Other Mother (also voiced by Teri Hatcher), seem much more welcoming to her. Coraline is more the center of attention there – even from the mysterious Cat (Keith David). She begins to think that this Other World might be where she belongs. But when her wondrously off-kilter, fantastical visit turns dangerous and Other Mother schemes to keep her there, Coraline musters all of her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.
 
A Focus Features presentation of a LAIKA production in association with Pandemonium. CORALINE is produced by Bill Mechanic, Claire Jennings, Henry Selick, and Mary Sandell. Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, CORALINE is written for the screen and directed by Henry Selick.
 
About LAIKA:  Fueled by the vision of its owner, Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, LAIKA (www.laika.com) is an animation studio specializing in feature films, commercials, music videos, broadcast graphics and short films.  It is located in Portland, Oregon.
 
In addition to its entertainment division, LAIKA has a commercial division, LAIKA/house, which produces some of the most ionic animated spots in the advertising industry.  The company has a 30-year animation history presenting the artistry of award-winning filmmakers, designers and animators.  In addition to numerous international honors, the company has won two Academy Awards, 11 Emmy Awards, 11 Clio Awards, three London International Advertising & Design Awards, five Mobius Advertising Awards and two Cannes Lion International Advertising Festival awards.
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Coraline Screenshot 1Coraline Screenshot 2Coraline Screenshot 3
Photos courtesy of LAIKA

Featured Location:
Southern Oregon (continued)

In Southern Oregon, accessible and rugged rivers provide some of the wildest white water rafting to be found in the state. The Upper Klamath River cuts a steep wilderness canyon through the Cascades of Southern Oregon, providing class IV rapids with many big standing waves and turbulent drops. The Umpqua River lends itself to world class fly fishing, as well as rafting and kayaking. The Rogue River, with its scenic Hellgate Canyon provides quiet pools and eddies for fishing.

The southern part of the state offers some locations unique within Oregon itself. The live oak groves and rolling hills, very like those found in California’s Santa Barbara and Kern Counties and long a favorite for car commercials, only exist in this area of Oregon.  The 1350 acres of redwood stands in Curry County, while not equal in size to those of northern California, are unique to Oregon.  With an 11' diameter, the largest of these ancient trees stands on Peavine Ridge in the Chetco Ranger District of the scenic and dramatic Siskiyou National Forest.

Vineyards and Wineries in Southern Oregon and the Umpqua Valley are fast becoming some of the finest wine producing regions in the country. The temperate climate varies from cool and wet to warm and dry and coupled with the range of soil types makes this a premium wine making region.  An excellent selection of wines can be found, such as Claret and Pinot Noir, Mescolare, Chardonnay, Merlot, Viognier, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The beauty of the rugged Southern Oregon coast with its rock “stacks”, sweeping beaches and rocky shores provides many versatile looks that have been successfully used as locations for many parts of the world.
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Crew (continued)
by Charles Carlsen - IATSE Local 488

Covered classifications include: Art Department, Craft Service, Costumers, Electrics, First Aid, Grip, Greens, Make up and Hair, Paint, Plaster, Office Production, Propmakers, Props, Set Decoration, Script Supervision, Sound and Video, Special Effects, and Studio Teachers.

Local 488 prides itself in our spirit of cooperation. Members of every classification work cohesively to create a positive production atmosphere.

We have two production centers, Seattle and Portland, in which any of the 400 members residing in our jurisdiction can work as a local hire under the Non-Maryland area standard rates.

Local 488 is unique with a reciprocal agreement with Vancouver’s Local 891. Under this agreement, productions signatory to both Locals can travel 20% of their crew into each jurisdiction. This helps maintain continuity and greatly reduces time issues with immigration.

Local 488 also has agreements with every Stage and Wardrobe IATSE Local throughout Alaska, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon that allows for members of those locals to work as permits under any Local 488 contract.

There are two on-call 488 Business Agents; Bob Riggs in Seattle (206)448-0668 bobriggs@iatse488.com, and Charles Carlsen in Portland (503)232-1523 charlie@iatse488.com. Together we represent over 60 years of IATSE experience and can answer most jurisdictional and contractual questions. As the IATSE has national contracts to fit every budget level, we will readily provide the applicable numbers to help in your early budgeting process.
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Southern Oregon Resources
by Gary Kout

It is widely known that the southwest corner of Oregon is home to startling natural beauty and tremendous cultural activities.  What isn’t so well known is how perfect the region is for filmmaking. With a lengthy filmography that belies its tucked-away location, cameras have been rolling in the region since the birth of cinema, from Passengers Alighting and Drinking Water made in 1903, when audiences marveled at the mere sight of a train pulling into the station, right up to the recently filmed independent film Calvin Marshall (2009). Since 2000, Southern Oregon has played host in part or in full to no less than 40 full-length narrative, documentary, and television productions, in addition to the countless commercial, corporate, educational and shorts.

The gorgeous scenery has a lot to do with it. You just can’t point a lens and not get a great shot. Weather-wise, the southern Oregon region actually shares weather patterns more similar to southern California; technically termed a semi-arid desert, summers are hot and dry, and winters are cool and wet with snow at the higher elevations. But it’s the in-betweens that really set it apart from the heart of Hollywood – a spring that bursts with vibrant colors and an autumn of deep rich hues. With its four distinct seasons, all of them beautiful and none too extreme, Southern Oregon allows for excellent year-round filmmaking opportunities.

Just about any script can find its locations in Southern Oregon. Due to its long history, rich heritage and modern sensibility, filmmakers will find every look but urban and any time period but a sci-fi future. Contemporary suburban neighbors are right down the road from sprawling fruit orchards. Small-town Main Street is just a few clicks from the big shopping mail. Modern mountain estates lie within a short drive of hundred-year old farmhouses. Clubs, restaurants, hotels, offices, bowling alleys, stores and more are available for filming, as well as providing great amenities and activities to any visiting production. Want to build your location? A 6000 square foot sound stage with a 2-wall cyc, full set building facility and props and set dressing warehouse, and production support space, can be found in Medford. Local and community television stations can also provide stage space.

Great Oregon filming incentives only add to the low cost, easy permitting and very film-friendly attitude of local governments, businesses and residents. When a recent feature film wanted to capture the Winter Parade, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce handled permissions and releases from all the parade’s participants at no charge. The City of Medford provided no-cost Community Service Officers to close a multi-block section of its downtown to facilitate a street scene. The airport allowed a private jet to park in the prized jet-way parking spot all day so it could be a background element for a scene. Anecdotes of community assistance, both public and private, are just too many to relate.

One final element that makes Southern Oregon such a prime place for filmmaking – the great crews. With filmmaking as frequent as it is, and due to its proximity and ease of travel to the larger markets of Portland, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles, the area is home to many experienced technicians, from producers to directors, directors of photography to camera assistants, sound mixers, grips, gaffers, vanities, transpo, etc. A producer can bring whomever they want, but they don’t need to bring anyone! High-definition camera equipment, grip and lighting trucks, sound gear, and post-production services for video and audio round out the full-service value of southern Oregon. For in front of the camera, filmmakers will have no problem filling leading or supporting roles, as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and many other local theaters both incubate and attract high-level talent with strong on-camera experience.

Southern Oregon Film & TelevisionA non-profit film association, Southern Oregon Film and Television, has recently been formed, providing a strong, unified presence for filmmaking within the region and working to promote the region beyond its borders. Through its website at www.filmsouthernoregon.org and online member directory, SOFaT can provide information to interested filmmakers, give assistance in scouting, extend introductions to public and private interests, and help find local crew and cast. SOFaT also hosts social events and educational seminars, collaborates with the other film and media associations around the state, and advocates for the film industry both locally and statewide.

With all that it has to offer - the geography, the infrastructure, the people and the professionalism - the list of films made in Southern Oregon is sure to get even longer.
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Southern Oregon Talent:
Can You Cast in Southern Oregon?
by Bruce A. Hostetler

So, you’re a feature producer searching for the site to shoot your newest project.  You come to scout Southern Oregon and find all the locations you could ever want, a warm and friendly community, professional crew, and all the support facilities you need.  But your budget will not allow you to transport and house the entire cast.  Can you cast effectively in Southern Oregon, both SAG and non-SAG roles, and keep those costs within your budget?  Absolutely.

Southern Oregon contains a large and diverse casting pool, whether you are searching for a lead, a critical supporting role, or a featured extra.  The town of Ashland is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the largest regional theatre in North America, and is the year-round home to over 100 seasoned professional actors.  And beyond the Festival itself, the talent pool is deep and broad.

Gary Lundgren, the writer/director of “Calvin Marshall” (starring Steve Zahn, shot in Southern Oregon November/December 2007), raved about the casting in Ashland. “Our local casting sessions were very comparable to the ones we had in LA. In fact, we had several good local options for each role.  That was a surprise in such a small town!”   The Calvin Marshall team cast five crucial SAG roles and numerous featured extras with local talent, saving thousands in transportation and housing.  And once they had been cast, the local actors did their work. “The local talent were pros in every way.” Gary remarked, “They showed up on time, enthusiastic, relaxed and ready to work.  They had a good time and each one is excellent in the film.”

Doug Rowe & Catherine E. CoulsonAnd there are a few wonderful surprises in Southern Oregon as well. “I was a huge Twin Peaks fan back in the day” Gary remembers, “and I was shocked to hear Catherine (Coulson, who played “The Log Lady”, and who now works for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival) was coming in to read for Tori's mom.   She gave a fantastic reading but wasn't quite right for that part.   It gnawed at me for a few days until I got the idea to change the male bartender into a woman.  We approached Catherine with the idea and she took it and ran with it.”

Bruce Campbell’s most recent feature (“My Name is Bruce”, shot in Jacksonville in 2006) also drew heavily on the local talent pool finding both leading roles, Bruce’s love interest and her high school son.

Southern Oregon is also home to a population who are thrilled to be part of a film.  The extras in the valley are enthusiastic and dedicated, and willing to commit to a film for the entire shoot if they are needed. “Extras were a real surprise too.”  Gary remembers  “The days were extremely cold so we were thrilled to have so many people come out and work full days.  In the editing process it's been fun discovering the level of commitment going on in the background.  Especially the enthusiastic crowds at the volleyball game.”

When you are scouting your next project, remember to visit us in Southern Oregon.  We have what you need; locations, crew, support, and a local talent pool second to none, and a professional casting service ready to bring that talent to your film. “Bruce was connected and knew what he was doing.” Gary pointed out. “He is a pro.  He didn't cast a wide net which I appreciated.  He thought about who would be good for each role and brought in a short list of quality options.  It made our job so easy.”

Bruce A. Hostetler is a Casting Director working in Southern Oregon.  He has cast cinematic features, theatre, and commercials.  As a former Producer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a working professional Theatrical Director, Bruce has an intimate knowledge of the talent pool in Southern Oregon.  541-601-9841 or hostetler.casting@earthlink.net
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Gary Kout - Southern Oregon Producer
by Gary Kout

Gary Kout - ProducerThe epiphany hit me in the spring of 2003. After 16 years in Hollywood, it was time for a change. My career as a Line Producer of television commercials and independent films was going strong, but I just couldn’t take living in Los Angeles anymore. Moving quickly and decisively, a trait honed after years of producing in the ever-changing creative environment of filmmaking, the family relocated to Ashland, Oregon, a beautiful mountain town of 20,000 in southern Oregon, just a short direct flight or a long one-day drive to LA. I found the quality of life I was looking for, but found something else that surprised me greatly: A local film community, and a prolific and sizable one at that!

Besides a thriving local advertising and corporate film market, a group of seasoned Hollywood ex-pats (some of the many that have been moving to Ashland for decades) were in development on a feature film. I flashed my LA credentials and got hired as Unit Production Manager. We shot in the winter of 2005 in Ashland and Medford, giving me my first taste of working in Oregon. I was very impressed by the film-friendly locations, the local infrastructure, and the highly skilled local cast and crew. The process was far more professional than I had expected, and much more enjoyable than I had ever experienced.

With the help of introductions from fellow crewmembers that lived in Portland, I soon began freelance producing for several Portland-based commercial production companies. In summer of 2006, I line produced my second film in Southern Oregon, directed by and starring film icon and local resident Bruce Campbell, followed in the winter of 2007 by another independent film by a Los Angeles-based producer and director team starring familiar actor and comedian Steve Zahn.

There really is something special about filming in Oregon. In a continuing effort to do it more often, I’m spreading the gospel of Oregon far and wide. I’ve become actively involved with the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, helping to increase the state’s film incentives. I founded the film association, Southern Oregon Film and Television to strengthen and promote my local film community in southern Oregon. My own company, Elsewhere Films, is positioned to provide production services for qualifying out-of-state productions in order to maximize their rebate potential.

After three films in Southern Oregon, with combined budgets of over $6 million, and many commercials both in southern Oregon and Portland, I have made strong inroads into the Oregon film community. I know highly qualified crew from all over the state, have forged strong relationships with vendors and support services, and best of all have fallen into the Oregonian groove of working with a determined but calm focus and a heartfelt connection to my colleagues and community. Even frequent trips to LA for commercial work haven’t shaken me from my new style.  Perhaps I’ll even rub off a little on Hollywood.
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Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF)
by Tom Olbrich - Executive Director, AIFF
 
The 8th Annual ashland independent film festival (AIFF), April 2-6, 2009 presents a spectacular program of independent film over five eventful days, in Ashland, Oregon...a locale hailed one of "1000 Places to See Before You Die," and deemed "a dream you'll never want to leave" by The Washington Post.

Over 6000 cinema lovers gather each year and filmmakers of the documentaries, features and shorts come from around the world to engage with the audience. The AIFF features filmmaker Q/A after screenings, festival parties and the nightly afterLOUNGE at a local pub.

Most of the 80 high quality independent films play at the art-deco Varsity Theatre located in the heart of historic downtown Ashland.  Special events are held at the Historic Ashland Armory nearby.

Year after year, over 90% of AIFF's screenings sell out to enthusiastic, arts-oriented audiences. Juries have included representatives from Sundance, AFI, the San Francisco Chronicle, LA Weekly, and International Documentary Association.  Emerging filmmakers and industry icons alike repeatedly place Ashland at the top of their festival experiences. Tom Quinn (“The New Year Parade”) said, "This festival was absolutely incredible; add it to your circuit!!"  Director Henry Jaglom called Ashland, “the dream festival of all time. In 30 years I have never come across one as productive, stimulating or as much fun."

The 2009 Ashland Independent Film Festival includes a gala Opening Night Bash, Thursday, April 2. The event is held at the Ashland Springs Hotel and features “Savor the Rogue,” a specialty food and wine tasting presented by the Rogue Creamery with regional gourmet offerings including the Creamery’s award winning cheeses, area chocolates, meats and more as well as Southern Oregon’s internationally famous wines and ales.

Sunday evening, April 5, juried and Audience Awards will be presented at the annual Awards Celebration party and dinner at the Historic Armory. At the Celebration festival’s juried and audience award winning filmmakers are presented their statuettes alongside industry legends. Past honorees include Henry Jaglom, Bruce Campbell, Helen Hunt, and Albert Maysles.

Hunt and Maysles received their awards last April at the 7th annual festival, which was the largest ever AIFF with over 6,000 filmgoers purchasing 16,000 tickets.  Helen Hunt received the festival’s Rogue Award for her directorial debut “Then She Found Me,” a film she also wrote and starred in. After her visit to the festival she said, “Ashland is paradise and the film festival is a rich, delightful thing to be a part of. Albert Maysles was honored with the Ashland Independent Film Festival’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, on which he commented, “I have received many honors; none of them have touched me as deeply and soulfully as what I’ve received here. I want to come back again.”

As Ernest Hardy of the LA Weekly summarizes, "[The AIFF is] well on its way to being one of my favorite American film festivals, period. It's the almost perfect blend of programming, audience and location."

Ashland Independent Film Festival passes are available now at www.ashlandfilm.org. Individual tickets go on sale to all AIFF members by March 14 and to the general public March 18 online and at the AIFF box office on the plaza in Ashland.
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The Southern Oregon Lifestyle
from Ashland Chamber’s "Living & Doing Business Guide, 2008-09"
 
Experience the Entertainment.
A third of the visitors to Ashland each year partake the rich, cultural opportunities that Ashland’s theatres offer. With an active and varied theatre community, it attracts travel writers from around the world. Though most widely know for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland also boasts other theatre groups, which perform a wide variety of productions, including musicals, comedies and experimental theatre, all year long.
 
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is the nation’s oldest and largest regional theater company that offers plays in rotating repertory. Because the plays are staged in rotating repertory, audience members have the opportunity to come for two days and see four different plays or at the peak of the season—to see nine plays in five days. Actors are cast in two or more roles each season, so it’s possible to see an actor in two very different characters in one visit to Ashland. OSF employs more than 450 company members (including about 85 actors), many of whom call Ashland home. In July of 2008, OSF hosted its’ first Festival Latino, to celebrate the Hispanic/Latino culture on campus. 
 
As diverse as the art in Ashland is, so is its music. On any given evening in Ashland, live music can be found. Whether it’s bluegrass, folk, opera, reggae, or chamber music, this town has it all. The Rogue Valley Symphony offers outstanding performances in Ashland and the Rogue Valley. The Britt Festival offers concerts under the stars in two locations: the Britt Pavilion in nearby historic Jacksonville and the Lithia Motors Amphitheater in Central Point. Britt features a collection of world class artists in classical music, dance, jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, world, pop, and country music. www.brittfest.org
 
Experience the Taste.
Here in Southern Oregon we have an abundance of locally grown produce, locally picked fresh fruit and vegetables, and locally caught fish from our rivers. Here we celebrate the Northwest with its incredible variety of regional foods, cuisines and wines by promoting local sustainable, multiple collaboratives that stretch from nearby farms and ranches directly to your table. Food providers search out local producers to partner with in many of our local restaurants.
 
The Rogue Valley is rich in agriculture from pear, apple and peach orchards to our fast growing wine industry. Rolling hills, microclimates and the commitment to open space and organic practices all lead to a nourishing experience for the senses. These appellations are characterized by the unique geography, climate and growing conditions of Southern Oregon. The Southern Oregon Wine Association, comprised of four appellations, now boasts a membership of thirty six wineries. The rugged mountain valleys and diverse climates allow for a wide variety of intensely flavored wine grapes to be grown. The cooler areas of Southern Oregon produce wonderful Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay while the warmer more arid regions ripen big reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Syrah. Many other unique varieties such as Viognier are also produced here, making Southern Oregon one of the most diverse winegrowing regions in the world.
 

Experience the Outdoors.
Each season brings its own magic and pleasure. World-class white water rafting, kayaking and fishing can be found in southern Oregon. Or if you’d like to keep on land and see what is under the evergreen canopies, there is mountain biking, trail running, hiking and birding. If golfing is your passion, there are multiple golf courses. But the summer isn’t the only time to get outdoors. Fall, Winter and Spring provide a colorful canvas of adventure. Winter sports include alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and backcountry adventures. There are a great selection of tour companies to guide you to the type of adventure you prefer.
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