Community volunteer project welcomes motorists
Oregon’s official Heritage Tree Program helps educate Oregonians and our visitors about important events, people, cultures, or other aspects of a particular region. Oregon Travel Experience oversees the program along with a full volunteer committee. Committee members are true professionals with backgrounds ranging from forestry and botany to history and cultural diversity.
Roger Brandt, a volunteer from Cave Junction Oregon, was recently appointed Chair of the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee. Since he joined a couple of years ago, Brandt has been responsible for bringing two trees into the program fold; the Camp Oregon Caves Port Orford Cedar and the Smokejumper Pine. Both nominations were successful largely due to Brandt’s research and commitment to his Cave Junction community.
While trees are a major interest of Brandt, they’re not his only passion. Brandt is well known by other historians, naturalists, and other local and state government officials for his work in community development. Brandt has tirelessly spearheaded a movement to drive motorists from Hwy 199 towards little known historic sites or points of interest in the Illinois Valley region.
Brandt’s most recent project has connected him to OTE’s shared partners, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oregon State Parks. His latest idea involves the revival of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) era “Welcome to Oregon” signs, framed in cedar logs.
“The original signs were designed by the US Forest Service Region 6, located in Portland,” said Brandt. “They were used at both Forest Service and National Parks in both Oregon and Washington. The last surviving sign of this type is located at the entrance of the Oregon Caves National Monument.”
Brandt told OTE that plans are in the works to install the old-school styled signs along the Oregon Caves Highway. The US Forest Service has contributed needed engineering studies to determine the placement and installation of the timber frames.
In the final leg of the CCC revival sign project, Brandt is partnering with Oregon State Parks to install a similar sign at the entrance to the Illinois River Forks State Park.