if fire closures are not honored.
A popular mountain bike trail riding area in Scappoose, a town just 20 miles north of Portland, has been closed due to high fire season brought on by recent record-setting heat. The closure affects hundreds of thousands of acres of private forest land in Oregon and Washington and the timber company that owns the land is threatening to make the closure permanent if the violations of the closure continue.
The trail network in Scappoose (Google Map) offers close singletrack riding opportunities for Portlanders and the area has increased in popularity in recent years.
“This is not public property and is not subject to public hearings or debate on how the land is used. It is strictly up to the landowner to decide who, how, and when their property is used.”
— The Northwest Trail Alliance
Local mountain bike advocacy group, The Northwest Trail Alliance (formerly known as PUMP), is spreading the word and urging riders to obey the closure. The NWTA has released a statement on their website saying they’ve been contacted by the timber company that owns the land — Longview Timberlands — that they have had violations of the posted fire closure signs.
Longview Timberlands has warned the NWTA that they have notified law enforcement officials and citations will be issued. More importantly however, is a direct threat from the logging company that if the closure violations continue, they will permanently close off access to their land currently open for public use. That’s 332,000 acres in Oregon and 321,000 in Washington that includes mountain biking trails in Scappoose, Longview, and Castle Rock.
Here’s more from the NWTA:
“Everyone needs to keep in mind that access to Longview Fibre property is a privilege granted by the landowners. This is not public property and is not subject to public hearings or debate on how the land is used. It is strictly up to the landowner to decide who, how, and when their property is used.”
More info and latest updates on the closure are available at NW-Trail.org.