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Conservancy reports Land Rovers drove on Forest Park trails

Posted by on April 7th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

PUMP's Forest Park Mountain Bike Tour

In Forest Park, near location where Land
Rovers were spotted.
(Photo Β© J. Maus)

Back in February, dogged by intense media attention and reprimand from Portland Parks & Recreation, mountain bike advocates were forced to defend an illegal trail that was discovered in Forest Park.

Now comes word that a pair of Land Rover SUVs were caught illegally driving on a trail in Forest Park and it’s likely that you haven’t even heard about it.

According to Stephen Hatfield with the Forest Park Conservancy, on March 17th one of their board members, Barbara Nelson, was running on the upper section of the Saltzman Road fire lane when she heard a strange sound. Hatfield says, “She happened to hear some activity over the side of the trail and she looked over the edge and there were two Land Rovers on a connector trail – a short piece of single track.”

Hatfield says the Land Rovers must have gotten around the closed gate on Saltzman Road just below Skyline Blvd. and they were trying to drive down the trail. “As to why they were trying to do it I have no idea.”

Hatfield thinks one of the vehicles got stuck in a hole and the second one was trying to winch it free. He also says that Nelson tried to engage the drivers and they initially tried to lie to her. “Their initial response was, ‘It’s cool, we’re with Friends of Forest Park and we’re doing maintenance and there’s nothing to worry about.”

Nelson called them on the lie (not only is she a board member of the Conservancy, but they haven’t been known as the Friends of Forest Park for years), and they quickly admitted they were busted. According to Hatfield, Nelson called the Conservancy office and they dispatched their trail crew to check it out. Meanwhile, another runner called the cops.

But, says Hatfield, “By the time our trail crew got back and over there they [the Land Rovers] were gone and the cops weren’t able to find them.”

Portland Parks & Recreation says they’re still waiting to confirm that the incident actually occurred. As of this morning, Parks spokesperson Beth Sorensen says “We only have reports of those vehicles as hearsay, third-hand. We don’t have any specifics. We’d love to have more info.”

Hatfield says a police report was filed in the case. When I mentioned that to Sorensen she hadn’t heard of it and checked with Parks’ security director Mark Warrington. He said it hadn’t come across his desk yet.

Dan Moeller, the natural resource supervisor for the Parks bureau says he didn’t notice any major damage from the incident. He also pointed out that Parks trucks sometimes travel near there so it would be difficult to distinguish those tracks from the illegal Land Rover tracks.

In the end, Hatfield says, “It just further indication of the lack of enforcement and lack of full-time staff in the park able to enforce this kind of thing.”

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you β€” Jonathan

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Racer X
Guest
Racer X

Those 12 [bike] lane wide trails will always attract more car traffic. πŸ˜‰

Rich, Your Neighbor
Guest

Nobody thought to get a license plate number? Hey, where were the fellas from Rubicon-Orbea on this day?! πŸ˜›

Jackattak
Guest
Jackattak

OK wait a second this Conservancy board member, Nelson, took the time to engage these idiots and didn’t get the plates? I’m assuming she didn’t anyway as these fools would’ve been arrested/apprehended, right?

matt picio
Guest

There are still people out on the trail without a cellphone camera?

I don’t want to cast aspersions on Ms. Nelson – I’ve not met her to my knowledge, and I don’t know how the Forest Park Conservancy operates – but it seems like there’s a lot of reports suddenly about illegal trail use, right when discussion is happening about access to the park.

I’ll take this opportunity to reiterate a point I made in a prior story on Forest Park. A park is intended for accesss and public use – the proper designation for land reserved for conservation is a refuge. Portland has them, and if the city wants to preserve the natural character of some or all of Forest Park, they need to designate part or all of it as a refuge, and manage the rest of the park AS A PARK.

These classifications exist for a reason, and they should be used rather than creating special-case scenarios or encouraging those who live adjacent to the property to consider it as their own private backyard.

Stig10
Guest
Stig10

Why is this being posted on BP? Land Rovers are not bikes. Have there been any studies that show that cars do more damage to trails than bikes?

/s

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Mr. Picio, how have you come to the notion that ‘park’ precludes the ability of land set aside within city limits, to allow both access and public use, and provide for refuge and conservation as well?

The words ‘park’, ‘refuge’, and conservation are not mutually exclusive terms when the land so designated is deliberately intended to be a natural area. There are certain kinds of human activity allowed by the public on these lands on a case by case basis.

Boneheads driving their Land Rover SUV’s onto trails not marked for motor vehicle use are not part of that deal.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Amazing. I can understand thinking you’d get away with poaching a trail on your mtb, and I can almost understand thinking you’d get away with building a trail out in the nw end of the park, but driving a LR down saltzman? That’s ballsy.

Wonder what they were in exactly – some of the true off-road capable LR’s are pretty rare anymore. Might be entirely possible to track them down just on descriptions of the two vehicles.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Stig10,

i posted this because I thought it would make for an interesting comparison to the illegal mtb trail incident. Also, it speaks to an issue that is gaining steam in the Forest Park advocacy community that they need more money for enforcement (a big part of that thought also has to do with bike access).

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

See, illegal driving will continue on forest park trails until politicians and land use wonks wake up and realize that Portland needs to provide facilities for these folks so they can drive around up in forest park. Try and tell me that doesn’t sound fun.

Besides, off leash dogs are a bigger problem anyway, so the point is mute.

beth h
Guest

@ #4:

“There are still people out on the trail without a cellphone camera?”

Yes.

Some of us still live without a cell phone, a Twitter or Facebook account, and are happy to do so. Amazingly, some of us don’t even watch television anymore. Crazy, huh?

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

#7

If you get a SUV stuck on Saltzman… it is not anything close to an off road vehicle. As the article says, they send work trucks up it.

Jen
Guest
Jen

but were they wearing helmets?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

“mountain bike advocates were forced to defend an illegal trail that was discovered in Forest Park. ”

How was anybody forced to defend an illegal trail?

From what I saw, the majority of mountain bikers did anything but defend the trail.

Jason VH
Guest

Great post. I love how the media went crazy over a social trail and rocks placed in a stream, but homeless individuals living by and peeing and crapping in said stream isn’t worth reporting on. And now SUVs are driving in this “Pristine” park, and it doesn’t even get a nod.

Is it just me, or are there strong anti-mountain bike interests at work here? Apparently they own the local mainstream media.

Burk
Guest
Burk

“Yes.

Some of us still live without a cell phone, a Twitter or Facebook account, and are happy to do so. Amazingly, some of us don’t even watch television anymore. Crazy, huh?”

So your posting about your rejection of technology…. on the internet? I support your choices but for some reason my brain hurts now….

Blah Blah Blah
Guest
Blah Blah Blah

They must have been mt bikers shuttling that illegal trail.

thumb
Guest
thumb

um, a land rover on the short piece of connector singletrack off saltzman??? how does a large motor vehicle fit in between those trees?
and just how did said motor vehicles get past the gate? does not compute. pictures don’t lie, too bad there aren’t any.

thumb
Guest
thumb

um, a land rover on the short piece of connector singletrack off saltzman??? how does a large motor vehicle fit in between those trees?
and just how did said motor vehicles get past the gate? does not compute. pictures don’t lie, too bad there aren’t any.

lIsa
Guest
lIsa

Jason at #14: What is a “social trail” and is it different from an unapproved and illegally built trail?

nigl groundwater
Guest
nigl groundwater

Hey Burk,

I side with Beth(#10). She doesn’t claim to reject technology but appears to intelligently be selective about the technology she allows to intermediate her interaction with the rest of the world. BP may be bannered with an increasing number of advertisements but it still bears no relation to television. And cell phones…Well the idea of this being a necessity escapes me as well.

Barney
Guest
Barney

Jason #14

Great to point out the double standards in play here. Wait, I ride Lief Ericson occasionally and have pee’d in the stream too. I guess I can make an exception for myself though!

trackback

[…] a social trail in Forest Park, (although it is apparently easy to poach trails in the park in an SUV. We’ve got Police on the search for mountain bikers with hoodies for putting rocks in a […]

Frank Selker
Guest
Frank Selker

I want to support and work the the FPC, but this story reinforces the impression that I have reluctantly come to over the past 18 months: Their primary focus is protecting their pedestrian-member-contributors’ experience.

Sure the wacko’s driving there should be busted, but this bizzare and flukey incident isn’t a threat to the park! They can’t even identify tracks among all the tracks already there from ‘friendly’ trucks.

It’s part of the recent patter to justify more enforcement of the status-quo – which incidentally does not include bikes getting time on trails. Instead of spending to improve the park, they would spend the next $85,000 per yr – from a WOEFULLY underfunded Parks department (capitalized, that’s like devoting over $2,000,000 of bond money) -keeping “the gem that is Forest Park” firmly and exclusively on their own finger. They would turn away support – ivy-pullers, trail-workers, money, new people enthusiastic about Parks bonds – rather than see it change.

Let me share a little story. Soon after starting this effort, I confided to Stephen at the FPC that the lumber at the intersection of Leif and Saltzman was fun for cyclists. Although it had been there for a very long time, it suddenly dissapeared. Did it hurt the park or anyone that we would stop for a few minutes of balancing fun in a gravel clearing where roads meet? No, but it’s not the right kind of fun for Forest Park.

They have done TONS of great stuff over the years and they have great people on thier staff and Board. But I would like them to be user-neutral and more focused on the health and condition of the park (experts put invasive plants at the top of the list, not rogue cyclists or Land Rovers) than on a particular and non-inclusive vision for how it should be enjoyed.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“i posted this because I thought it would make for an interesting comparison to the illegal mtb trail incident. …” maus #8

Let’s see how it might compare:

How common might it be for people to be illegally driving their SUV’s onto Forest Park trails? How common might it be for people to be illegally taking their bikes onto Forest Park trails?

Which of the two types of illegal usages might be tend to be greater in number than the other?

I’m going to guess that instances of illegally taking bikes onto park trails number greater than SUV’s on park trails. Anyone else want to guess?

People shouldn’t be operating vehicles on trails unauthorized for such use in the park. How about a policy to deal with that?

‘Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the park results in automatic forfeiture of said vehicle, to be sold at auction with proceeds deposited into the city general fund.’

Snagging a couple newer Land Rovers could drop a nice little pot of cash into the general fund. Got to hold them though, once they’ve been spotted. Parks didn’t do so good on that count with this incident.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

@23 amen to that Frank, I gave money when you started forward on it but as I started to interact with folks it became clear that they really aren’t interested in any kind of compromise. It was to the point where when the mountain biking trail thing came out my initial suspicion was that one of the hikers only folks built the trail to disrupt the process for bikes, in the end I think the trail was probably built by bikers, but found much earlier than when the info was released. They sat on it until they could make the biggest splash/disruption with it because they don’t want anyone else to touch what they view as their private park.

a.O
Guest
a.O

Re #23 & #25: Exactly. I’m glad people are finally willing to call a spade a spade on this. The FPC people hate mtn bikers and cannot even be honest about it. Their passive-aggresiveness and lies are shameful.

RWL1776
Guest
RWL1776

#24 wsbob: they don’t have the resources to write tickets for humans allowing their dogs to run offleash; the revenue in one week from these tickets would easily cover the yearly salary of an enforcement officer. How would they find the resources to track down the rare vehicle encroachment?

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

beth h: you might wish you had a cell phone if you ever got lost or injured in the woods.

wsbob: You must admit that a 4-wheel drive truck is going to do more damage to a singletrack trail than the occasional MTB illegal trail user.

Jason VH
Guest

Lisa @#19:
A social trail is the term land managers use for any trail that was not designed previous to being created. Social trails can be started by animals walking through the bushes, and further developed by the users that follow. For example, if you were to hike off trail, and enough people followed your tracks, you just created a social trail.

lIsa
Guest
lIsa

Thanks for the clarification of the term.

Have you seen the unauthorized trail in question? I wonder if you would continue to call it a social trail.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…the revenue in one week from these tickets would easily cover the yearly salary of an enforcement officer. …” RWL1776

RWL…forward your thought about this to Parks Commissioner Fish and the Forest Park Conservancy. I think that’s an excellent idea. Resources to track down the rare vehicle encroachment? The resources were there in the form of park users with watchful eyes. That’s a very inexpensive resource. The problem was that someone did not think to get a license number or a cell phone pic of the SUV illegally on the trail.

“… wsbob: You must admit that a 4-wheel drive truck is going to do more damage to a singletrack trail than the occasional MTB illegal trail user. …” SkidMark

No question about that, and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen. One point of the comparison I suggested was that it seems that instances of SUV tresspass onto park trails are very rare, while the same by bikes on park trails aren’t.

Some of you other folks seem to have a very bad case of sour grapes. Portland Parks, The Forest Park Conservancy, and countless private individuals and groups represent the general interest of the public with respect to maintaining the park’s health and beauty so that it can be used by everyone.

You’re apparently determined not to be happy unless the park is divided to serve your own particular special interest. As you wish.

Frank Selker
Guest
Frank Selker

Maybe we should have the city confiscate cars when their meter expires, confiscate dogs that are off-leash, and confiscate people’s shoes and clothing if they walk on the unauthorized trails in the park. Why not go after their houses too? The potential is endless, really.

Stephen Hatfield - Forest Park Conservancy
Guest
Stephen Hatfield - Forest Park Conservancy

@Frank: Jonathan opted to write this article, not FPC. In any case, yes – we are certainly concerned when Land Rovers are found driving on single track trails in Forest Park. Unfortunately, it illuminates one of the greatest challenges facing Forest Park right now: current enforcement efforts are woefully underfunded, and therefore quite inadequate. Portland Parks has only one full-time ranger for their entire system of 250+ parks. Forest Park is merely 1 of 250 parks, and at 5,000 acres you can imagine the inherent difficulty in enforcing existing regulations.

What FPC has said all along is this. If, after formal evaluation, there is wide agreement that it makes sense to increase single-track mountain biking access in Forest Park (and it is important to note that this is not FPC’s decision to make – we are not able to establish, alter or enforce any regulations for Forest Park), FPC’s strong preference would be to see a new trail constructed – a sustainable single-track trail that is designed and built with mountain bikes in mind, sited in an area of Forest Park that makes sense with consideration for the ecological health/sensitivity and overall biodiversity. For a variety of reasons too long to list here, we have never been in support of trail sharing the Wildwood or Maple trails. We made this very clear in the white paper, and our position has never changed. It is not about “protecting (the) pedestrian-member-contributors’ experience”, as Frank suggests. Our primary interest lies not with any recreational user group, but with the natural resource first and foremost – that is absolutely our first priority, which is not to say that recreational use cannot be compatible. Hopefully, all of our members – mountain bikers included – would agree with that approach.

Frank and others are quick to express disappointment in our efforts, but we have been working with Tom Archer and other NWTA efforts for more than three years to work toward a compromise. We launched the white paper effort in an attempt to engage mountain bikers, to sit down at the table together and work in partnership. Regardless of what many will think and say, we have come a long way in that time – and the work is not yet finished. I have been telling folks for years that any progress is going to require a long-term concerted effort. Forest Park remains an incredibly unique natural resource – we must adhere to the Forest Park Natural Resource Management Plan, and beyond that, the precautionary principle must apply. Any and all change in Forest Park, not just that related to mountain biking, often takes many years – including pre-approved projects. Unfortunately, many mountain bike advocates (I certainly don’t include Tom in this) have not been willing to listen or fully engage with a long-term approach. Rather, they only appear to be interested a short-term fix, even if it is against the best long-term interests of the natural resource, and anything less is viewed as a disappointment. Apparently, it is much easier to paint FPC and others as obstructionist. I’ll say it again: this has never been about any particular user group – it is about Forest Park. We would not endorse expansion of the recreational footprint for any user group without careful consideration.

If anything, I would argue that Frank’s insistence on pursuing trail sharing on the Maple Trail – against the interests of the vast majority of the committee members representing other user groups from the outset – diverted much of the committee’s energy toward the most contentious topic, rather than applying it toward solutions. Now that trail sharing isn’t going to happen, it is convenient to point the finger of blame at FPC – despite the fact that our position has never changed. And beyond that, the off-road cycling committee is in fact recommending that a new single-track trail several miles in length be constructed, along with opportunities to narrow and re-green several firelanes to improve the user experience. In other words, there is a very good chance that we will be adding to the 27 miles of trail/road currently open to bicycles in Forest Park, and, significantly increasing the single-track mileage at the same time. Instead of celebrating this progress, which represents the full consensus of all committee members, Frank and others want to focus on disappointment and revert to the tired old approach of labeling FPC, Portland Parks and Audubon as obstructionist. It is unfortunate, to say the least.

One final note for Frank: the removal of the lumber had nothing to do with your mention of it as a source of fun – I never mentioned that to anyone. The lumber is periodically stored there for trail projects, and was used in the repair of a number of bridges.

@a.O. and @Bjorn: Your comments, in regard this this article and numerous others I have about mountain biking in Forest Park on bikeportland.org, are ridden with assumptions – which isn’t generally helpful for moving the dialogue forward. I’m sorry you are so entrenched in your views, and I imagine there is little hope of changing your minds. In any case, I don’t expect to be able to do it with a blog comment. As such, I welcome you – and anyone else – to contact me directly. My number is below.

Thanks,
Stephen Hatfield
Stewardship Director
Forest Park Conservancy
503-223-5449 x. 104

matt picio
Guest

wsbob (#6) – My opinion, mostly. You are, of course, welcome to disagree. While the terms are not mutually exclusive, the common interpretation of “park” prioritizes recreation. One could also argue that since a “refuge” has specific legal connotations requiring the prioritization of conservation over recreation, that “park” should prioritize recreation over conservation. I would in fact argue that very point. While a park needs to be managed to preserve recreational characteristics for future users, conservation of wildlife should not be the primary concern.

If conservation is the priority for Forest Park, then it should be given a designation that reflects that. Park in my opinion isn’t it.

matt picio
Guest

“Park” in the last sentence should be in quotes.

a.O
Guest
a.O

@ #33:

Stephen, Why would I want to contact you directly? So you can say you are “engaging” mtn bikers in your “process” and have more evidence to support your false assertions that you are “moving the dialogue forward”? No thanks. I am not interested in continuing to enable your obstructionism.

You and the FPC are a joke. You have delayed and distracted on this issue for years. You have disingenuously engaged stakeholders and have negotiated and discussed this issue in bad faith all to show advocates of mtn bike access that, no matter what tactics they try, no matter what requests they make, you will study and study it to death, talk about it endlessly, without any concrete action. Any change in the status quo is always put off. Your hope that people will get fed up with your endless “process” has worked, as you point out. People call you obstructionist because that is exactly what you have been.

And you have done a great job of giving the impression to those who are not intimately fammiliar with the 20-year ongoing “process” of getting mtn bike access in FP that you are the ones who are open to talking and just want to engage in a dialogue and fully understand the issues and impacts. But all those who get involved see the same thing: The dialogue you invite is actually a tactic well-designed to produce endless delay until people realize that you have no interest nor intention of being part of a real process or a real solution.

I am sorry you are so entrenched in your tactics and unwilling to admit your real views on this issue. When there is single-track mtn bike access in FP, it will be in spite of you and not because of you.

And I am looking forward to that day not only because I will finally be able to engage in another sustainable, low-impact use of my park but also because I will not have to listen to your passive-aggressive BS any more.

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

Stephen Hatfield says:

“If anything, I would argue that Frank’s insistence on pursuing trail sharing on the Maple Trail – against the interests of the vast majority of the committee members representing other user groups from the outset – diverted much of the committee’s energy toward the most contentious topic, rather than applying it toward solutions.”

So you’re saying the problem with trail sharing is that a majority of the committee members don’t want to share.

I’m glad everyone can agree on that!

Stephen Hatfield
Guest
Stephen Hatfield

@#36

a.O., those are some pretty strong assertions from someone who isn’t even willing to attach their own name and take responsibility for what amounts to a character attack via blog post. As far as I know, you and I have never met – and certainly haven’t worked together extensively; so for you to draw conclusions and make public accusations about me and/or my work based on second hand accounts speaks volumes about your character.

Perhaps you didn’t read the entirety of my post. It is likely that single-track access in Forest Park will be expanded, soon, a decision that was a consensus agreement of all committee members – myself included.

I’ll repeat my earlier comment here. In other words, there is a very good chance that we will be adding to the 27 miles of trail/road currently open to bicycles in Forest Park, and, significantly increasing the single-track mileage at the same time. Instead of celebrating this progress, which represents the full consensus of all committee members, Frank and others want to focus on disappointment and revert to the tired old approach of labeling FPC, Portland Parks and Audubon as obstructionist. It is unfortunate, to say the least.

a.O
Guest
a.O

Stephen, my name is Chris Heaps. I have followed this process quite closely since I moved to the Portland area in 1999 and I know several people involved in the process. You do not know me, but I have talked with you in-person and I have been to various meetings where you and your ilk pretend to give mtn bike access a fair shake. ***deleted by moderator***


a.O, please knock off the personal attacks on Stephen. Your disagreements are fine, but there’s no need for the profanity and other direct stuff going on. I’ve had three complaints made to me about this already. Thank you for your continued participation in this discussion. — Jonathan

Brian
Guest
Brian

I think the words “there’s a very good chance” is what most of us are concerned about. It’s been 20 years in the making. Without trailsharing, I don’t see this happening. Altering firelanes will not create singletrack for two reasons-
1. ATV’s still need to get through
2. $$

Creating new singletrack won’t happen unless there is a huge private donation. The money for completing the environmental impact studies, and actual trail creation, isn’t going to come from a strapped PP & R. I, for one, am hugely disappointed that the one easy way to quickly accommodate all trail users, and benefit the park, is to share. If FPC wants what is best for the park, then I am disappointed that all of the resources that come with the mountain bike community are not being utilized. Instead, it feels like we are begin turned away-again. You will have to excuse those of us looking for a short term fix (in addition to long term solutions), but we we told that that was what will be happening when Nick Fish began this process. Unfortunately, the committee is not sticking to finding that promised short term fix. I am blown away that a few people on this committee cannot agree to a day specific, trail-sharing compromise on the Maple Trail. I have spent many hours riding in the park over the last 12 years. I have never seen a single person on the Maple Trail.

redhippie
Guest
redhippie

Amen a.O.

Another question. How do we know that they were actually “Land Rovers”? Most rover owners I know either can afford the $50 to $80k for a newer one, or are afficiando’s who spend a lot of time and money to maintaine and restore their babies. Not the typical demographic to do something so highly stupid and irresponsible.

I would more visualize some kids in jeeps or other SUVs. I do notice that some folks tend to classify all SUVs as Land Rovers or Land Cruisers.

a.O
Guest
a.O

Jonathan, the problem is that Stephen’s and other FPC members’ dishonesty and bad faith discussion with respect to mtn bike access, unfortunately, is the issue. It is the issue raised by Frank, Bjorn, and, as Stephen says, many others. And it is the issue that Stephen himself responded to. So when he comes here and defends himself against those accusations, it is perfectly on topic and not a personal attack to say that my considered opinion, based on talking with and listening to Stephen Hatfield, is that he has been dishonest, intentionally obfscutory, and not genuinely interested in allowing mtn bike access in FP. If that suits you better if I say it that way rather than saying he is full of it, then that’s fine by me.

Stephen Hatfield
Guest
Stephen Hatfield

Chris, I don’t expect to be able to please everyone, and it’s obvious that I won’t be able to live up to your expectations. Beyond that, I make an easy target for your frustration and disappointment. So be it.

You and others are frustrated – I hear that loud and clear. The effort to gain single-track may go back 20 years, but my direct involvement with FPC only goes back 4+ years – so I can’t speak to the previous history, beyond hearing anecdotal reports from both sides. All I know is that when I came on with FPC I made a concerted effort to wipe the slate clean. I have spent a lot of time on this issue over the past few years – reaching out, trying to move past any adversarial history and ideally, working together to find solutions. And, though you clearly don’t want to believe it, being an obstructionist has never been on my agenda.

I personally secured permits for the Firelane 5 extension, and coordinated all funding, design and construction efforts for the trail, which was built by FPC’s field crew with some great help from IMBA (Ric Balfour) and PUMP volunteers. Once the trail was completed, FPC has coordinated regular work parties for PUMP and NWTA volunteers. And soon, we shifted our focus to the white paper effort – which led to Parks implementing the off-road cycling committee.

Progress is slow, I will grant you that – but we are finally gaining some traction. And while the short-term solutions may not match up with your expectations, it seems a bit odd to hold me personally responsible for that. I never framed any expectations for you, and I certainly don’t hold the keys to Forest Park policy. Again, that responsibility lies with Nick Fish and Portland Parks & Recreation.

In any case, I would love to know what your definition of a fair shake looks like. From your posts, it would appear that anything less than opening up existing trails to mountain bikes equates to obstructionism. That is an odd standard to measure progress by. If this was truly about gaining additional single-track access in Forest Park, the end result of the committee’s work should be seen as a step forward. It doesn’t need to be the final step, unless you and others choose to walk away in disappointment. The choice is yours.

a.O
Guest
a.O

Yeah, whatever Stephen. Actions speak louder than words. Quit talking and get something done, or at least do us the favor of getting out of the way. The choice is yours.

Aaronf
Guest
Aaronf

Filibustering works!

Brian
Guest
Brian

Stephen,
Thank you for your willingness to come here and participate in the discussion. Can you explain to me how you see singletrack happening in FP in the near future given the constraints I have outlined above if sharing is off the table?
Thanks,
Brian

Kris
Guest
Kris

A couple yahoos in Land Rovers are caught where they shouldn’t be, causing zero incremental damage? Yup, round up the lynch mob and demand more spending/enforcement.

Self preservation is the FPC modus operandi. Sign of the times. Wrap it any way you choose (obstructionist v. conservation first, etc.), but economics always has been and always will be the first priority. I, for one, am excited about the renaming of Forest Park to Paul Allen Off-Road Vehicle Park.

matt picio
Guest

Stephen (#43) – What’s the likelihood of a paved multi-use trail through Forest Park from the St. John’s bridge to Skyline? Or widening of the existing roads through Forest Park to accommodate bicycles on bike lanes or a shoulder?

Speaking as a commuter who lives in north Portland and works in Hillsboro, I don’t see the FPC, Portland P&R, or any other agency supporting something like that. There will be some uses that the majority will disapprove of that should go forward anyway. The majority opinion should hold sway the majority of the time, not the entirety of the time, and I think that’s a big part of the complaints about the process.

If this were talk about opening the park up to women, or Catholics, or minorities, or gay men, this wouldn’t be an issue. I’m not trying to equate bicycling directly to those struggles, just using them to illustrate that the majority opinion is not always the correct one. There are other uses of the park, and while I’m reasonably certain people’s requests and views are being heard, I’m less convinced that they are being addressed.

Stephen Hatfield
Guest
Stephen Hatfield

a.O.: again, FPC is not empowered to make policy changes. As to my own actions, I’ll stand them, thanks. You can spin it any way you want, if it makes you feel better.

What about you? What have you done to help move the effort forward, apart from posting comments here to perpetuate the myth that FPC is solely interested in maintaining the status quo, and to assert that I have lied and been deceptive, among other unsavory accusations?

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[…] Forest Park. A report on recent talks about that issue is forthcoming (but you can get a preview by reading the comments on the Land Rover story published […]