David Hedges, a native Oregonian whose great-grandparents crossed the Plains in 1850 and 1852, is a poet, essayist, and activist. He served as president of the Oregon State Poetry Association for six years and has edited OSPA's annual anthology, Verseweavers, since 1999. He has been a board member of the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission since 1988. He received the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award in 2003 for contributions to the state's literary life. In 1997 he was instrumental in preventing development of Canemah Bluff, above Willamette Falls. Currently he is leading an effort to restore Celilo Falls.
Canemah, once the bustling terminus of navigation on the upper Willamette River, is located on the river’s east bank just above Willamette Falls. The name is Chinookan for “the canoe place,” descriptive of the sandy beach and natural harbor that attracted thousands of Native Americans, over many millennia, during annual …