Douglas County, Oregon

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Douglas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. In 2000, its population was 100,399. It is named after Stephen A. Douglas, an American politician who supported Oregon statehood. The seat of the county is Roseburg[1].



The area originally was inhabited by the Umpqua Indians, who belonged to the Chinook tribe. Following the Rogue River Indian War in 1856, most of the remaining natives were moved by the government to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. However, seven families of Umpqua hid in the hills, eluding capture for many decades. They are now Federally recognized as the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. The tribe manages a small reservation in Canyonville, Oregon, and has a Casino/Hotel named Seven Feathers to represent the seven families who refused forced removal to the Grand Ronde Reservation.

Douglas County was created on January 7, 1852, from the portion of Umpqua County which lay east of the Coast Range summit. In 1856 the Camas Valley was annexed to Douglas County from Coos County. In 1862, the rest of Umpqua county was absorbed into Douglas County, some say due to the loss of population following the end of the early gold boom, while others attribute the absorption to politics. Further boundary adjustments were made with Jackson and Lane Counties in 1915.


The entire watershed of the Umpqua River lies within the boundaries of Douglas County. The heavily timbered county contains nearly 1.8 million acres (7,300 kmĀ²) of commercial forest lands and one of the oldest stands of old growth timber in the world. Approximately 25-30% of the labor force is employed in the forest products industry. Agriculture, mainly field crops, orchards, and livestock (particularly sheep ranching,) is also important to the economy of the county. The land of Douglas County is roughly half-publicly and half-privately owned.[2]

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