HB 1601: The Beach Bill

Below is the text of Oregon’s landmark Beach Bill, signed into law by Governor Tom McCall on July 7, 1967. Read it. Read it to your dog. Live it. Love it. Raise a glass to it. Build a driftwood alter to honor it. Sing praise to it around a beach bonfire. Notice those words “forever” and “free” in the text. It is important to remember that 50 years ago, Oregonians, our Governor and our legislature came together to save our beaches from privatization and exploitation. What are we, our Governor and our legislature doing today that will have a similar monumental benefit?

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

Section 1. The Legislative Assembly hereby declares it is the public policy of the State of Oregon to forever preserve and maintain the sovereignty of the state heretofore existing over the seashore and ocean beaches of the state from the Columbia River on the North to the Oregon-California line on the South so that the public may have the free and uninterrupted use thereof.

Section 2. (1) The Legislative Assembly recognizes that over the years the public has made frequent and uninterrupted use of lands abutting, adjacent and contiguous to the public highways and state recreation areas and recognizes, further, that where such use has been sufficient to create easements in the public through dedication, prescription, grant or otherwise, that it is in the public interest to protect and preserve such public easements as a permanent part of Oregon’s recreational resources.