Oregon Economy


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Land in Oregon’s Willamette Valley owes its fertility to the Missoula Floods, which deposited lake sediment from Lake Missoula in western Montana onto the valley floor. This soil is the source of a wealth of agricultural products, including potatoes, peppermint, hops, and apples and other fruits.

Oregon is one of four major world hazelnut growing regions, and produces most of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. While the history of the wine production in the state can be traced to before Prohibition, it became a significant industry beginning in the 1970s. In 2005, Oregon ranked third in the nation with 303 wineries. Due to regional similarities in climate and soil, the grapes planted in the state are often the same varieties found in the French regions of Alsace and Burgundy. In the northeastern region of Oregon, particularly around Pendleton, both irrigated and dryland wheat is grown. The state’s farmers and ranchers also produce cattle, sheep, dairy products, eggs and poultry.

Vast forests have historically made the state one of the nation’s major timber production and logging states, but forest fires (such as the Tillamook Burn), over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the amount of timber produced. 

Oregon occasionally hosts film shoots. Movies wholly or partially filmed in Oregon include The Goonies, National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Hunted, Sometimes a Great Notion, Elephant, Bandits, The Ring, The Ring 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, Short Circuit, Come See The Paradise, The Shining, Stand By Me, Kindergarten Cop, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Paint Your Wagon, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, The Postman, Free Willy, Free Willy 2, 1941, and Swordfish. 

The state has one of the largest salmon-fishing industries in the world, although ocean fisheries have reduced the river fisheries in recent years. Tourism is also strong in the Oregon. The state’s evergreen mountain forests, waterfalls, pristine lakes (including Crater Lake National Park), and scenic beaches draw visitors year round. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, held in Ashland, is a tourist draw which complements the southern region of Oregon’s scenic beauty and opportunity for outdoor activities.

The state is home to a number of smaller breweries and Portland has the largest number of breweries of any city in the world.







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