General Department Information
To review the administrative rules that govern our department, click here.
800 NE Oregon Street #28, Suite 965 map/directions
|History and general operations
The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) was created in 1937 as an independent state agency. It has evolved from its early focus on mining to become Oregons major source of information to help Oregonians understand and prepare for the vast array of natural hazards that accompany the states spectacular geology. Mapping the states varied geology and natural hazards is a primary function of the agency. These hazards include earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and coastal erosion.
The department also regulates surface mining, in addition to oil, gas and geothermal resource exploration. DOGAMIs Mineral Land Reclamation Program regulates Oregons mining industry to ensure that mine operators protect the environment while mining and return the land to beneficial use after mines are closed. The Oil and Gas Program has essentially the same responsibilities in regulating natural gas and geothermal exploration and production.
|The most widely recognized product of the department is the creation of geologic maps. These maps are valuable tools for a variety of uses, including describing the general geology and geologic history of an area, locating potential mineral resources, identifying geologic hazards, and providing essential information for groundwater studies.
The ongoing scientific study of hazards and the information generated from those studies is also important in helping Oregonians understand the risks faced from earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and other hazards. This information is shared through traditional paper maps, digital maps, academic reports, exhibits, workshops, conferences, websites, and public presentations.
DOGAMI has also helped develop important partnerships and programs among business, industry, local government and citizens to help reduce the risk Oregonians face from natural hazards. Oregon has been designated a "Showcase State" by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) because of our efforts in understanding and mitigating our hazards.
Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience website
Oregons location on the "Ring of Fire" circling the Pacific Rim makes it vulnerable to dynamic geologic processes that influence the health, safety, and welfare of Oregonians. Recent scientific investigations reveal that large earthquakes and tsunamis have affected Oregon in the past and will again. Other natural hazards in Oregon include coastal erosion, landslides, floods, and volcanic eruptions.
Effective preparation for chronic and catastrophic geologic hazards requires knowledge and understanding of local geology and geologic processes. As part of this hazards mitigation program, the department studies and maps geologic hazards, informs governments and the public about the hazards, and works actively to reduce future loss of life and property.
More information on geologic hazards in Oregon.
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Strategic geologic mapping
In addition to publishing earthquake, tsunami, landslide, and coastal hazard maps, DOGAMI continues to publish traditional geologic maps. The effort includes reconnaissance level mapping for broad areas, more detailed mapping in urban areas, and maps to aid in understanding groundwater. This work is funded in part by the US Geological Survey STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. Maps are produced at a variety of scales and formats appropriate for intended users. We are currently converting current paper maps to digital formats that are more useful for todays needs.
More about the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
In addition, the department has issued reports on a variety of subjects associated with geology and minerals. Our publications are used by geologists, engineers, government agencies, private sector disaster planners, watershed councils, teachers, and others.
The department releases the results of its geologic studies in a variety of ways including CD-ROM disks, computer files, and traditional paper publications.
Our main office in Portland houses a public library of local, regional and national geologic resources, including an extensive collection of geologic reports which have not been formally published, but are important sources of information.
More information on DOGAMI publications
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The Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation Program (MLRR)
Oregons mineral resources are vital to economic growth. In recent years, the annual production of mines has averaged over $275 million. Every Oregon community benefits directly from reliable sources of aggregate (sand and gravel, crushed rock) and secondary products such as concrete and asphalt. Developing aggregate resources near urban areas, where the demand for these materials are the greatest, can be controversial. It can also significantly reduce the overall cost of many construction projects, including taxpayer costs of public projects, by eliminating costly transportation.
Development of local sources of industrial minerals used directly in the manufacturing of other products can also give Oregon businesses a competitive advantage. Oregons favorable geology coupled with the changing market patterns in the Western US and other Pacific Rim nations suggest future opportunities for economic diversification in rural parts of Oregon as the demand for these raw materials also increases in markets outside Oregon. Current production includes bentonite, diatomaceous earth, zeolites, and pumice.
Mineral exploration and production in Oregon is regulated by DOGAMIs Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation office in cooperation with other state, federal, and local agencies to ensure the protection of adjacent natural resources and future beneficial use of mineral lands. Nearly all of the expenses to regulate mining are generated from permit fees paid by miners.
Each year the MLRR office, with an independent panel of experts, selects specific mine sites and operators to receive awards for outstanding reclamation, mine operation and salmon protection. These awards encourage responsible and innovative reclamation and support voluntary reclamation that goes beyond the requirements of the law, and are important incentives for good mining practices.
More information on the Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation Program at DOGAMI.
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Oil, gas and geothermal resources
Private concerns continue to lease lands and explore for natural gas in Oregon. The Mist Gas Field in Columbia County is the only producing natural gas field in the Pacific Northwest and total natural gas production to date has exceeded $120 million. Also, three depleted gas reservoirs at the Mist Gas Field store 14 billion cubic feet of imported pipeline gas during the summer to meet peak demands during colder months.
Oregon also exhibits excellent potential for geothermal energy and department expertise and geologic data are key components in Oregons energy diversification toward environmentally acceptable sources of energy. Records and samples from natural gas and geothermal wells are available at DOGAMI to facilitate future exploration and understanding.
More information on the Oil and gas Program at DOGAMI.
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DOGAMI continues an active outreach and public education program related to earthquake, tsunami and landslide hazards. Intensive public education efforts along the coast of Oregon have resulted in an increased understanding of the earthquake and tsunami threat by local governments, businesses and the general public. DOGAMI and OEM have provided the expertise and hardware for coastal communities to designate and post tsunami evacuation routes. Local workshops, town-hall meetings and press conferences continue to keep coastal residents informed with the latest information on earthquake, tsunami and landslide hazards. DOGAMI has also opened a coastal field office to better serve this vulnerable population.
An earthquake and tsunami educational curriculum has been developed and distributed free for grades K 12 that is appropriate for coastal and inland schools. DOGAMI has partnered with the Red Cross to distribute other educational and informational materials to the general population and DOGAMIs retail outlet, the Nature of the Northwest Information Center, distributes earthquake, tsunami and landslide information free of charge. The Department also co-sponsors with OEM an annual state-wide Drop, Cover and Hold Drill broadcast over the emergency alert system.
DOGAMI staffers continue to present the latest research to private and public sector groups across the state, in venues ranging from campground chats to legislative hearings. Agency publications Oregon Geology and Cascadia provide thousands of people in Oregon and beyond the latest geologic information on earthquakes and tsunamis. News conferences to announce new publications attract substantial media coverage.
More information on publications Oregon Geology and Cascadia
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Governing Board Voice of the public
A five-member Governing Board of citizens, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, oversees the department. The Board sets policy and oversees general operations. Every six years it develops a strategic plan to help guide DOGAMIs mission and objectives.
2009-2015 Strategic Plan
2003-2009 Strategic Plan
Review our annual Performance Measure Report to the Oregon Progress Board
The Board meets quarterly (next board meeting) at sites around the state to encourage participation from the public, local government, industry and other geologists. Board members do more than attend quarterly meetings. DOGAMI Board members traditionally are active in their communities and provide an important link of communication: they hear what Oregonians are interested in and need, and can then help guide the department to the most effective use of limited resources.
Current members are:
Larry Givens, Chair, Milton-Freewater; Douglas W. MacDougal, Vice Chair, Portland; Dennis Luke, Bend; R. Charles Vars, Corvallis; Lisa Phipps, Tillamook
More information on the DOGAMI Governing Board and upcoming meetings
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Although DOGAMI has fewer than 40 full-time, permanent staff members, a wide variety of disciplines are represented, each providing an important skill. There are many registered professionals on staff, in both geology and engineering.
Other professions are also represented, including cartography, editing, accounting, management, and graphic design. Because our department is so small, there is much overlap of responsibilities.
More information on contacting DOGAMI staff members
The Nature of the Northwest Information Center
The same dynamic geologic processes that have made Oregon vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions have created breathtaking scenery, one of the states greatest tourist attractions. Information for tourists and others on Oregons outdoor recreation, geology and scenery is available from the Nature of the Northwest Information Center, operated by DOGAMI in the State Office Building in Portland. Libraries across the state also offer a set of publications.
Each month, hundreds of people contact the Nature of the Northwest, by phone, through the website, or in person. Oregonians can find a variety of outdoor information at the Information Center, including DOGAMI maps and reports; maps from various federal agencies, including the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management; a selection of booklets about places to see from the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department; and information from many other Oregon state agencies.
More information on the Nature of the Northwest Information Center.
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Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
800 NE Oregon Street #28, Suite 965, Portland, OR 97232-2162
(971) 673-1555, FAX (971) 673-1562
email us at DOGAMI
Your best source for outdoor recreation and natural resource information, plus the largest selection of maps in the Northwest.