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High technology industries

High technology industries and services have been a major employer since the 1970s. Tektronix was the largest private employer in Oregon until the late 1980s. Intel's creation and expansion of several plants in eastern Washington County continued the growth that Tektronix had started. The spinoffs and startups that were produced by these two companies led to the establishment of the Portland metropolitan area as the Silicon Forest. The recession and dot-com bust of 2001 in the Silicon Valley has led to similar results in the Silicon Forest; many high technology employers have either reduced the number of their employees or gone out of business. OSDL made news in 2004 when they hired Linus Torvalds, developer of the Linux kernel. Oregon also is the home of non-technology-based companies such as shoemaker Nike, whose world headquarters is located in Beaverton. Medford is home to two of the largest mail order companies in the country: Bear Creek Corporation which sells gift items under several brands, and Musician's Friend an international catalog and Internet retailer of music gear.

Agriculture/Food Processing

The Willamette Valley is very fertile and, coupled with Oregon's famous rain, gives the state a wealth of agricultural products, including cattle, dairy products, potatoes, peppermint, and apples and other fruits. Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut growing regions, and produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. While the history of the wine production in Oregon can be traced to before Prohibition, it became a significant industry beginning in the 1970s and Oregon is home to at least four wine appellations. Due to regional similarities of climate and soil, the grapes planted in Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French region of Alsace

Forest Products

Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major timber production and logging states, but forest fires, over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the amount of timber produced. According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, timber harvested from federal lands dropped some 96% from 1989 from 4,333 million to 173 million board feet (10,000,000 to 408,000 m) in 2001. Even the shift in recent years towards finished goods such as paper and building materials has not slowed the decline of the timber industry. Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in softwood lumber production.


Oregon'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 near its Californian border which complements the area's scenic beauty and opportunity for outdoor activities.

Entertainment Industry

Oregon has also contributed to the entertainment industry. Movies wholly or partially filmed in Oregon include The Goonies, National Lampoon's Animal House, Stand By Me, Kindergarten Cop, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Paint Your Wagon, The Hunted, Sometimes a Great Notion, Elephant, Bandits, The Ring 2, Short Circuit, Come See The Paradise, The Shining, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho and The Postman. Oregon native Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, has incorporated many references from his hometown of Portland into the series.

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