Douglas County Oregon Government Portal Overview
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Douglas County Overview

Douglas County was named for U.S. Senator Steven A. Douglas (1813-1861). Senator Douglas was a Democratic candidate for the Presidency against Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and he was an enthusiastic Oregon supporter in the Congress. When first created on January 24, 1851, the County was part of Umpqua County. On January 7, 1852, the Territorial Legislature created new boundaries and renamed it Douglas County.

The County extends from sea level at the Pacific Ocean to 9,182 foot Mt. Thielsen in the Cascade Mountains. It has the entire Umpqua River watershed within its boundaries, and it contains nearly 2.8 million acres of commercial forest lands.

Approximately 25% of Douglas County's labor force is employed in the forest products industry which includes numerous sawmills and veneer plants, as well as one pulp and one particle board plant, and numerous shingle, shake, pole and other wood products plants. Agriculture is an important factor in the economy with field crops, orchards, and livestock as major products. The County Parks Department, the first in Oregon, has over 50 parks in the system. They range from large facilities with overnight camping to small boat launching access points.

Over 50% of the land area of the County is owned by the Federal Government. These lands are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land management. The 2010 census counted 107,667 people in Douglas County. There are 12 incorporated cities in the County: Canyonville, Drain, Elkton, Glendale, Myrtle Creek, Oakland, Reedsport, Riddle, Roseburg, Sutherlin, Winston, and Yoncalla.

Facts About Douglas County

Established: January 7, 1852
Location: Southwestern Oregon
Square Miles:
Average High Temp:
84 Fahrenheit
48 Fahrenheit
Annual Rainfall: 35 Inches (Roseburg)
Sea level
9,182 Feet
1980 Census
County Seat:
479 Feet
170 to 18,635
Principal Industries:
Forest Products
Points of Interest:
Crater Lake National Park
Diamond Lake
Douglas County Museum
Galesville Dam
Mt. Thielsen
Oakland Historic District
Oregon Dunes Nat'l Rec. Area
Salmon Harbor
Umpqua Lighthouse
Vineyards and Wineries
Wildlife Safari
Scenic Drives:
North Umpqua River and Waterfalls
Upper South Umpqua River
Cow Creek - Glendale to Roseburg
Umpqua River - Elkton to Reedsport

A Profile of Roseburg

Roseburg, Douglas County's largest city, was first visited by settlers and gold seekers in the 1840's, and was originally platted as the town-site of Deer Creek by Aaron Rose in 1851. Three years later the town was officially platted, renamed Roseburg, and became the County seat. A terminal on the stagecoach line between Sacramento and Portland, the community of less than 500 grew rapidly with the advent of the telegraph and the Oregon & California Railroad. From its founding to the present day, the area's greatest wealth has been its forests, which continue to provide rich harvests. At the timber industry's height, following World War II, there were 278 mills operating in the county. The lush valleys of the Umpqua River have long yielded a variety of crops and livestock, making agriculture the area's second largest industry.

Location: Conveniently located on Interstate 5, Roseburg is 67 miles south of Eugene, Oregon's' second largest city, and 96 miles north of Medford. The town lies approximately 80 miles east of the coastal communities of Reedsport and Coos bay, connected to them by State Highways 38 and 42. State Highway 138 follows the North Umpqua River east from Roseburg to Diamond Lake at the summit of the Cascade Mountains, and to nearby Crater Lake National Park.

Trade Area: With a population of 21,181 (2010 census), Roseburg's retail, service, wholesale, and professional firms serve an overall area population of about 65,000.

Form of Government: Roseburg has a Council/Manager form of city government, with a Mayor elected to preside over the Council. Douglas County is governed by a full-time three-member Board of Commissioners, elected at large.

City Area: Roseburg corporate limits cover nearly eight square miles, with an average elevation of 465 feet above sea level. Douglas County is 5,062 square miles in size.

Climate: Roseburg enjoys four distinct seasons, low summer humidity, and a growing season of 217 days. The average rainfall for Roseburg is approximately 34 inches. Snowfall is rare, and the area enjoys one of the lowest wind velocities anywhere in the United States. Low and high temperatures range between 34 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit in January, 39 to 63 in April, 53 to 84 in July, and 43 to 67 in October.

Utilities: Electricity is provided by Pacific Power in and around the city and by Douglas Electric Cooperative in rural areas. Avista is the area's natural gas company. The City of Roseburg Water department serves the city and some outlying areas.

Newspaper, Radio & Television: The News-Review (daily except Saturday) is Roseburg's major newspaper. Several weeklies are published in the smaller surrounding communities. There are four AM and two FM radio stations serving the area. Two television stations are headquartered in Roseburg, and local cable companies provide additional regional and satellite channels.

Hospitals: Two hospitals are located in Roseburg. Mercy Medical Center and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Also available in the area are a specialized cancer treatment center, several fully staffed emergency clinics, an outpatient surgery center, two medical supply firms and accredited convalescent and nursing centers.

Churches: Over 100 churches and assemblies representing 50 denominations or religious organizations serve the Roseburg area.

Conventions & Tourism: The Roseburg area is becoming an increasingly popular vacation destination for both Oregonians and out-of-state visitors. Centrally located to camping, fishing, the high Cascades and Crater Lake, as well as the beautiful Oregon coast, the world-famous Wildlife Safari and activities ranging from white water rafting to just plain relaxing, Roseburg offers something for everyone. Umpqua Community College and the Douglas County Fairgrounds provide meeting, exhibit and convention facilities to complement the smaller meeting areas provided by some of the city's motels. The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce can proved more information.

Professional Services: Roseburg's professional community includes over 130 licensed physicians offering many areas of specialty, more than 35 dentists, and many other medical practitioners such as optometrists, chiropractors and physical therapists. There are many attorneys, accountants, engineers, counselors, and veterinarians, to name just some of the other professionals available.

Employment: Full details regarding job availability can be obtained from the Oregon Employment Division, 846 S.E. Pine Street, Roseburg, Oregon 97470, (541) 440-3344. Personnel services and training are also available through Umpqua Training & Employment, 760 N.W. Hill Place, Roseburg, 672-7761, and several private employment agencies. Don't forget to check our local Jobs Listing page for current openings here at Douglas County.

Transportation: There is no commercial air service to the Roseburg area, but private charters and air freight are available through the Roseburg Municipal airport. Commercial airlines serve Eugene and Medford, both less than two hours from Roseburg. Major bus service is provided by Greyhound. Central Oregon & Pacific offers rail freight services, and the nearest AMTRAK connections are in Eugene. A number of motor freight and truck lines serve the Roseburg area, and moving and storage companies with agents in Douglas County include Bekins, Mayflower, U-Haul and United Van lines.

Cultural Activities: A variety of live theatrical and musical productions are presented throughout the year by UACT (Umpqua Actors Community Theater) and the Umpqua Community College theater department. Additional traveling groups and school performances round out theatergoers' fare. Internationally recognized musical entertainment is provided by the Roseburg Community Concert Association and the Umpqua Symphony Association. Covered bridges, mid-18800 restored homes and the Douglas County Museum of History and Natural History add to the area's rich historic tradition. The Umpqua Valley Arts Center features regular showing with works of local artist for show and sale, as well as various workshops and classes.

Recreational Opportunities: The lakes, rivers and reservoirs of Douglas County provide ample boating and fishing settings, while Roseburg's park system offers everything from biking and running trails to Little League baseball fields. The Central Douglas County YMCA has a wide variety of sports and fitness equipment and activities, including two Olympic sized swimming pools. Golf, bowling, tennis and soccer enthusiasts will find facilities in Roseburg to their liking, too Over a dozen annual fairs, festivals and rodeos, celebrating such events as forestry, wildflowers and grape and melon harvests, are complemented by the Pacific Racing Association's auto racing season, April to September, on the Douglas County Fairgrounds Speedway track.

Agriculture: Douglas County's agricultural production provides a diversity of jobs and income with total annual gross sales of nearly $40 million. The mild climate and rich variety of soil types contribute to the successful cultivation of such crops as grapes, berries, nuts, melons, apples, plums and nurseries growing everything from exotic plants to Christmas trees. The area is a major sheep and cattle producer and other forms of animal production include Arabian and quarter horses, llama, rabbits, pygmy goats, long-eared donkeys, pigs, chinchilla and homing and racing pigeons. Seven wineries produce award-winning varieties as part of Oregon's burgeoning wine industry.

Education: Roseburg area schools have a reputation for excellence and support from their patrons. Roseburg School District No. 4 operates one four-year high school, two middle schools and nine elementary schools. There are several Private schools, nursery and daycare facilities, as well as Phoenix School, a non-profit alternative school for bright under-achievers, grades 7-12. Umpqua Community College is located five miles north of Roseburg on the banks of the North Umpqua River. A two-year public, comprehensive institution, UCC offers educational progress in adult basic instruction, technical, vocational, liberal arts and pre-professional transfer courses. Enrollment is approximately 1,200 full-time and 15,225 part-time students pursuing academic and life-enriching classes.

Industries: The wood products industry has always been Douglas County's mainstay, as some of the nation's largest timber stands continue to grow here. With 19 percent of the total workforce directly employed in forest harvesting and production, it is estimated that another 30 percent owe their jobs to the necessary support services. Diversification of Douglas County's industrial and economic base is being aggressively pursued, and new enterprises provide additional employment for the highly skilled and motivated labor force. Specialty electronics, research and development, business forms, and unique law enforcement rain gear are just some of the items manufactured in the Roseburg area. New firms with manufacturing facilities in Douglas County include a major pleasure boat company, an electrical cable manufacturer, and various secondary wood products firms.

Business Assistance: A wide variety of services for large and small businesses located in or considering a move to the Roseburg area are available through the CCD Business Development Corporation, the UCC Small Business Development Center, Umpqua Training & Employment, the Douglas County Industrial Development Board and the Umpqua Development Corporation.

Industrial Sites: The CCD Business Development Corporation maintains an extensive inventory of available industrial sites in the Roseburg area. A sampling of prime locations is available in the Chamber of Commerce's "Community Profile." A downtown retail space inventory is on file at the Chamber office also. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at (541) 672-2648.

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