What to Know Before Donating to A Charity in Oregon?

Oregon (/ˈɒrɪɡən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the western United States. The Columbia River forms much of Oregon's northern border with Washington, while the Snake River forms much of its eastern border with Idaho. 42°N marks the southern border with California and Nevada. Oregon has been home to many indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Early European traders, explorers, and settlers began exploring what is now the Pacific Coast of Oregon in the early to mid-16th century. As early as 1564, the Spanish began sending ships to the northeastern Philippines, sailing up the Kuroshio Current in a circular course through the northern part of the Pacific. In 1592, Juan de Fuca made detailed surveys and maps of ocean currents in the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon coast and the strait now named after him. The Spanish ships, 250 in as many years, normally did not land until they reached Cape Mendocino in California, but some did land in present-day Oregon or were wrecked. Nehalem stories tell of strangers and the discovery of items such as beeswax fragments and a silver-lidded jar, possibly related to the sinking of the San Francisco Xavier in 1707. In 1843, Oregon Country was formed as autonomous state and in 1848 the Oregon Territory was formed. Oregon became the 33rd state of the United States on February 14, 1859. Today, 4 million people live in 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2). Oregon is the 9th largest state and the 27th most populous state in the United States. The capital, Salem, is the second largest city in Oregon with 169,798 residents. Portland ranks 26th among US cities with a population of 647,805. The Portland metropolitan area, which includes the city of Vancouver, Washington to the north, ranks 25th among metropolitan areas in the country with a population of 2,453,168. Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the United States, characterized by volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, high deserts, and semi-arid scrublands. At 11,249 feet (3,429 m), Mount Hood, a stratovolcano, is the highest point in the state. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park encompasses the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. The state is also home to the world's largest organism, Armillaria ostoyae, a fungus found on 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of Malheur National Forest. Because of its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon's economy is largely powered by various forms of agriculture, fishing, and hydroelectricity. Oregon is also the leading producer of lumber in the contiguous United States, and the lumber industry dominated the state's economy into the 20th century. Technology is another of Oregon's biggest economic strengths, beginning in the 1970s with the founding of Silicon Forest and the expansion of Tektronix and Intel. Beaverton-based sportswear company Nike, Inc. is the state's largest public company with annual revenues of $30.6 billion.

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