Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Citing environmental concerns, City says no to mountain biking at River View Natural Area

Posted by on March 2nd, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Riding and working at Riverview property-1

Allowed until March 16th.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A memo released today by Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish, laid out a new future for River View Natural Area.

And that future, we’re sorry to report, does not include mountain biking.

The City of Portland does not think that mountain bike riding is compatible with their conservation goals and says all biking at River View must cease on March 16th. This is a stunning blow to off-road bicycling advocates who had set their sights on River View as a key trail-riding area that would also feature a family-friendly skills course.

The memo references several environmental concerns that led to the decision, including endangered fish species that rely on the 146-acre parcel’s seven streams that flow into the Willamette River.

Here are the key parts of the memo:





Deferring advocates to the Off-Road Cycling Plan isn’t likely to assuage their frustration — especially since many of them see the plan itself as nothing more than a stall tactic that is unlikely to result in new singletrack riding opportunities.

The Portland Parks & Recreation bureau (which Fritz heads up) and the Bureau of Environmental Services (run by Fish), teamed up to buy the 146 acre wooded parcel in May 2011. Since the day the sale went through, off-road biking advocates have assumed the area would be developed to include bike trails. People have been riding the dirt trails at River View for several decades, and it seemed that, especially after being snubbed at Forest Park, mountain biking would be a natural fit at this location.

Even city staff were publicly open to the idea. In August 2012, Emily York, a policy coordinator for Commissioner Fish, said biking and conservation efforts could co-exist. “Our team is open to those two things happening at the same time,” she said, “they’re aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Portland’s legions of off-road biking lovers have been pushing the city for years to provide more access to close-in trails that don’t require local residents to drive up to an hour away just to ride.

To help make the case that mountain bike access should remain once River View got developed, volunteers have donated many hours of their time at several work parties to clean up the area and restore and maintain existing trails.

Just last year, the Northwest Trail Alliance came out with a plan to build six new bike trails and a family-friendly skills area.

We’ll have more on this story later this week. Download the memo here (PDF).

– Learn more by browsing our River View Natural Area story archives.

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  • VTRC March 2, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Coastal run fish. HA!

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    • abomb March 3, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Does anyone know how much the ticket/fine is if you get caught riding on closed trails?

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    • Jon March 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

      According to the Oregonian BES dumped 300,000 gallons of chlorinated wastewater in October and was fined $25,000 by the state government. According to the article “”Chlorine is highly toxic to fish and aquatic life at very low concentrations,” DEQ said in a press release.” Great work protecting coastal fish runs BES!


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  • Michael Whitesel March 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I guess it should be closed to all human access then.

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    • rick March 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      I think it should be closed to all dogs unless a disabled person truly needs it to access the bus service on SW Terwilliger or Highway 43.

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:34 am

        A disabled person needs to climb a steep dirt/mud 400 foot hill?

        Is anyone in the area actually using these trails for accessing the bus (disabled or not)?

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  • John R. March 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    No community outreach/engagement around this? Seems odd to have a decision that impact a change to current users come out in a memo…

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    • Brian March 2, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      Not to mention the fact that the Public Advisory Committee that was set up to help facilitate the process was totally abandoned in favor of a top-down, unilateral approach after the PAC had already spent hours of their own lives volunteering to participate in said process. Total incompetence and disregard.

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:34 am

        Didn’t they cancel the open houses?

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      • Zimmerman March 4, 2015 at 9:56 am

        Here are Amanda Fritz’ own words concerning the futility of public input in governmental decision making, as published on her personal blog in 2007:

        “after I had given my three minutes of input, I had driven home exhausted, and read that the committee had voted contrary to the urging of all those testifying, I realized it had, in fact, been a Fake Public Hearing. The votes had been lined up ahead of time, and ten times the testimony would still not have made any difference. “Why don’t they just post ‘Token Public Hearing’ on the announcement, so working people don’t waste their time going?”, I muttered to my friends.”

        I wonder how she feels about those words now that she’s in a position of power and is instituting the same policies that exasperated her back then?

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        • davemess March 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

          That sounds like most of the “outreach” things city hall is doing in Portland!

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        • was carless March 5, 2015 at 8:55 am

          Well yeah, when nothing is legally binding! Democracy doesn’t work by putting in the minimum of effort, folks. Thats just the way things work.

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  • Brian March 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Hilarious. Hiking and salmon-> ok. Cycling and salmon-> not ok. Wildlife viewing -> ok for wildlife. Cycling -> not ok for wildlife. The anti-mtb bias continues.

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    • rick March 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      How about the off-leash dogs?

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      • Brian March 2, 2015 at 5:51 pm

        Hell, I’ll add the on-leash dogs too. The decision-makers must be dog owners.

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  • velograph March 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I think a number of us saw this coming, but it’s still a huge disappointment.

    Way to go City of Portland, you continue to disappoint me and my fellow citizens who really just want a fair shake at recreational opportunities inside my city.

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  • invisiblebikes March 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I challenge Amanda Fritz to go one month with out her car! And lets see how she gets to her beloved “hiking only” trails then? by Bike? doubt it…she’d probably call a limo service before actually using her feet!

    she is to much of an ***portion of comment deleted – no name calling please*** ! She needs to go the way of the DoDo!

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    • caesar March 2, 2015 at 8:21 pm


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  • Eric March 2, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Bikers, we have been bamboozled.
    I would like to call on all of you to come to the River view area on Sunday March 15th for the “RVNA Freedom Ride!” Come and enjoy the last day to legally ride the steep, narrow, Ivy laced trails. Take it all in, because you are no longer welcome!

    But really, Bikers, its your own fault, you ruffians.
    Your terrible rubber tires, energy drinks and incessant “whooping!” and “Gnar!” calls pollute the serene fish tributary waters that are so incredibly important to the fish that are yanked out of the river ever year by hoards of “Sportsmen” in boats. Just look at what MTB’s have done to the creeks in the Sandy Ridge Mountain biking area. Just look in those streams, past the crystal clear waters and you will see…ummm, well something bad I am sure!

    But what about the multi-year construction project that is rebuilding the Sellwood Bridge just yards away? Well, your bikes are much worse than any multi-gazillion dollar river bank construction project could ever do! So dont even go there!

    The advanced technology in trail construction techniques just does not exist in a way that makes it possible to build trails in sensitive areas without utter destruction all around. I mean, we are talking advanced stuff here, like rocks, dirt and sticks and water. Imagine the horror a trail can do to the surrounding wildlife! Slugs would be found dead on the trail, spider webs forcefully removed by smiling faces, and the bunnies! oh lord, the bunnies!

    So there, put away your fish habitat destroying 2-wheeled full suspension destruction weapon and get out your walking stick, binoculars and AARP membership card and enjoy the freaking forest in a quiet, civilized manner. You ruffians!

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    • rick March 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Is there something bad about walking trails?

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      • DL King March 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm

        Well, it’s approximately 26lbs less bad than riding trails…so there’s that.

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        • Bill Walters March 3, 2015 at 9:35 am

          Unless you’re carrying your toddler in one of those kid-carrying backpacks. Then it’s all out the window. Especially if you scuff your feet.

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        • Eric March 3, 2015 at 10:15 am

          I would be totally stoked if my bike was down to 26lb….

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    • abomb March 3, 2015 at 6:30 am

      I call on everyone to come join my group ride on March 16 for some good old fashion civil disobedience. Just ride the trails anyway. Nothing will get fixed until there is a confrontation. I’ve been riding in those woods for 26yrs. Portland open up some MTB trails.

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      • Brian March 3, 2015 at 8:14 am

        Love this idea. It will take some effort to get it off the ground. I am hopeful people will rally and make it happen, in a big way.

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      • Manville March 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm

        I’m in but need details. I say we do it in Forrest Park though. We shouldn’t give up until we get 15miles min in Forrest Park

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    • Drew March 4, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      I notified KGW about the proposed rides on the 15th and 16th.
      Matt Zaffino and storm team 8 will be there in full spandex to tell the story as it unfolds.

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      • was carless March 5, 2015 at 8:58 am

        That would be awesome. I would watch our local news team just to see them in spandex.

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  • MaxD March 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Emily Roth is the project manager for this, and she was the project manager for the NOPO Greenway trail. For both projects, she appeared very dismissive of the recreational needs of bicyclists. For the NP Greenway project she advocated for a route along Greeley, and a route behind the MODA center in the face of pleanty of objections and without bothering to address those objections. IMO, she does not value bicycling as a means of transportation or as a recreational activity. I have had a few conversations with her, and the repeated impression I get is she is a strident environmentalist (a keep people out-type) who does not value getting more people into our natural areas within the City, doing more types of activities, to foster a love of the environment and sense of stewardship among a broader spectrum of people. I have concerns about mt biking, and I have had some unpleasant encounters, but I am positive that biking and hiking trails can coexist with healthy streams and healthy forest eco-systems with careful planning, designing, construction and maintenance.

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    • Middle of the Road guy March 2, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      It is the job of the PM to implement the requirements (and priority) of the project as determined by the stakeholders. They don’t assign their own values to what makes up a project. Expecting a PM to have the same emotional values as you is not productive.

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      • MaxD March 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

        I am not expecting her to share my values, but as a stakeholder, I do expect her to address my concerns (and the shared concerns of dozens of other stakeholders). Concerns about the route changes that challenged the direction the design team had chosen were routinely swept under the rug, not addressed, and in many cases not even printed in the summaries even though they were submitted orally, in writing AND via email.

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      • CJ March 2, 2015 at 9:57 pm

        They don’t what?!!!! This story is all about staff implementing personal agendas using the city as a front, from the top all the way down to PPR and BES PMs; its been going on for like … ever.

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    • Mark McCall March 3, 2015 at 10:41 am

      I think what some of you are missing is that the City has a legal obligation to protect salmon and watersheds within City limits. In this case, that trumps having bikes in a natural area.

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      • TrailLover March 3, 2015 at 10:56 am

        Please direct us to the science that supports the view that off-road cycling has a differential or disproportionate impact on wildlife and ecosystems compared to all the other trail uses that the city is approving.

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        • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

          I could understand them waiting a few months until summer before opening the park back up (rainy season exacerbates erosion). They are ripping out tons and tons of plants, which will cause erosion when the roots are gone before the new plantings take hold. However… reading other posts on this thread sound discouraging, and Fritz has a terrible bike track record.

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      • bjorn March 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        The report that the City cites to remove access for mountain bikes puts dogs above even the few cyclists who are riding off the allowed trails in the hierarchy of impacts, but they are banning all cyclists including the ones following the rules about staying on trails, while allowing people to continue to bring their dogs. To me that makes it quite clear that this move isn’t about the legal obligation to protect salmon and watersheds.

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  • ricochet March 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    no wheelchairs either, I assume

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    • rick March 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Access Recreation wouldn’t want that on ADA trails, if possible.

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  • soren March 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    “Passive recreational uses are allowed including hiking, wildlife viewing, stewardship activities, environmental education, and research.”

    Why is mountain biking no longer an allowed use?
    In order to protect RVNA’s sensitive natural resources, the Commissioners of PP&R and BES have decided to limit uses to passive nature recreation.”

    From the January project advisory committee:
    “The top disturbances (identified by the TAC) in order are:
    1) Dogs on and off-leash
    2) Off- trail use by cyclists and pedestrians”

    World Class!

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    • Adam H. March 2, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      How is hiking is considered a passive activity? Does their idea of hiking involve watching a nature show on TV?

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      • caesar March 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        Barefoot hiking would be OK. Vibram-soled boots and Goretex, no way.

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    • bjorn March 2, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      If the problem is off trail use then why not get more agressive about enforcing off trail use rather than banning what is not even listed as a problem, on trail mountain biking. I don’t know about you but when I ride my mountain bike I never intentionally go off the trails.

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  • Lester Burnham March 2, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Sad…nowadays you may as well not even own a mountain bike in PDX. They seem as well received as a Chevy Suburban around here.

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  • RH March 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    One step forward and two steps back….Outdoor recreation options are needed for a healthy community! Come on Fritz, leave a legacy…

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    • Adam H. March 2, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      She is certainly leaving an anti-bike legacy…

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  • oliver March 2, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    “The city recognizes the existing and growing need for nature based mountain bike experiences within the City park system”

    Horse manure.

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  • daisy March 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Hiking is “passive”? Surely there are studies out there about the damage done by hiking access versus mountain bikes?

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  • matt picio March 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Good decision on the part of Fritz and Fish, but it should be balanced with enhancing MTB opportunities in Forest Park. Also, does this mean the area will be closed to dogs? Since dogs are the primary disturber (above hiking/biking), dogs should also be prohibited from this parcel. If not, then the city isn’t serious about their conservation goals and this would appear to be a punitive measure against the MTB community.

    It’s not necessary to provide for every use at every natural area. Forest Park already has use areas for biking and dogs as well as hiking, and despite the efforts of local residents to shut them out, those uses should be maintained – Forest Park is a *park*, after all, and the conservation aspect *should* be balanced with recreational use. Natural areas, OTOH, should have preservation and conservation as the primary focus with recreational concerns secondary.

    Let’s see more mountain biking in Forest Park, and Gateway Green, and Powell Butte.

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    • matt March 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      River View provided recreation long before it was a “natural area”. When acquired they made it a “natural area” for exclusion purposes. We don’t expect to be included, we’ve been told all along that we WOULD be included. Then they just pulled it right out from under us… I guess mtb’s are the new Native American…?

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      • Case March 2, 2015 at 4:03 pm

        Regardless of the fact I agree with your assessment of the current situation concerning access to River View, your “new Native American” comment is absolutely disgusting.

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        • Brian E March 3, 2015 at 8:46 am

          As someone with a Native American background, I agree with Matt.

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          • Lester Burnham March 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

            Same here being of Navajo origin. Sorry my Caucasian brothers, we don’t need you to speak for us. We are not that thin skinned.

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        • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:05 am

          Aah, its the old government switch-aroo.

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      • Huey Lewis March 3, 2015 at 6:40 pm

        Yeah, you totally have it rough. I don’t know how you have the strength and courage to deal with this.

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    • wsbob March 2, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      “…Forest Park already has use areas for biking…” picio

      Road areas, not trail areas, as should likely to continue to be the condition for use of bikes in Forest Park.

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      • Alex March 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm

        Yes – it really is a wise decision to only allow them there, an area with the potential for the highest speed, most crashes and conflict with other users. The fire roads are also a really great area – roads that run straight down the hill, full of ruts that are completely environmentally unsustainable.

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      • Alex March 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm

        Also, there actually are trail areas where cycling is legal. If you want me to go over them again for you wsbob, let me know, I would be happy to.

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    • Alex March 2, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      How is this a good decision? I am asking this out of pure curiosity. Did they city any science in this decision or what specifically makes you think this was the right thing to do?

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      • matt picio March 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm

        It’s a natural area now – the focus should be on preservation. There should be some areas which are hiker-only, without MTB access. I think it’s a good decision – and as it is my opinion, that statement stands. I respect that many (most?) mountain bikers won’t agree with me, and that’s fine. I respect that, even if I don’t agree.

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        • TrailLover March 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm

          And exactly would a small number of sustainably built bicycle-friendly trails interfere with preservation in a way that hiking and dogs would not?

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          • TrailLover March 4, 2015 at 7:26 pm

            And exactly how…

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:41 am

      “It’s not necessary to provide for every use at every natural area.”

      No, but a reasonable park system in a supposedly “park nirvana” city would have at least some access to mountain biking in all corners of the city (esp. when there has already been mountain biking in/on some of these parcels for decades). For people who live in SW, the three options you outlined aren’t very helpful. Would they rather ride on the road for 45 minutes to get to riding or just hop in the car for 45-60 and get on better trails?

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      • matt picio March 4, 2015 at 7:22 pm

        I agree completely on all points – and there should definitely be an area for mountain biking in SW. I would get behind any effort to convert public space for mountain biking use if that space is approved for / focused on recreational use. There are still a lot of parcels which meet that criteria.

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        • Charley March 5, 2015 at 7:26 am

          I hear this occasionally: that there should be places for mtb use, but this isn’t the right place. Since the anti-mtb people say things like this all the time, there still won’t be any place to ride.

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          • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:07 am

            I’ve read that Washington and California have some great MTB trails!

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    • mark mcclure March 4, 2015 at 5:53 am

      Need to develop the access road/trail in place from skyline to springville under the power lines. Great opportunity for a flow trail with minimal impact!

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  • Michael Whitesel March 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    In case you want to share your concerns (as I did):

    Commissioner Nick Fish
    (503) 823-3589

    Commissioner Amanda Fritz
    (503) 823-3008

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:55 am

      I sent:
      “I am shocked and completely disappointed to see the press release today that River View will not only not have improved bike access, but will be closed to bikes completely in two weeks. After the mountain bike community helped you attain this property in good faith that they had a seat at the table over the project, you have slapped them in the face (after canceling open houses and not actually utilizing a SAC that you set up), and yet again shown the Portland is a city that has no respect for or interest in off road cycling. Mountain bikes and riders aren’t going away. If you continue to not give them any respect or actual place to ride in Portland, the environmental impacts are likely to be worse, as many will not stop riding, but will take to poorly built hiking trails.
      This is a sad day for Portland Parks and a city that supposedly values health and outdoor recreation.”

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    • ac March 3, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      I wrote to them — what an unfortunate decision by them

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    • SHS March 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      I would encourage folks to call and discuss your concerns with the commissioners if desired, but they are probably only tangentially involved in the planning, design and public process. Contacting Parks Director Mike Abbate about your concerns with the process and outcome may be beneficial in pushing for another look at the plan and might influence how the actual process would work the next time around. He has more knowledge of how the process is supposed to work and probably has a better base to process the technical requirements a plan needs to address.

      I am not a mountain biker or even a cyclist, but I do recognize there is real need for trails that Portland folks can access easily and use. Mountain bikers are not going anywhere (except downhill) and they need facilities to use, just like every other recreational user group. I don’t know if Riverview was the right or wrong area to do that, but Parks should be making strides to accommodate this user group throughout the city.

      I believe that mountain biking, dogs, horses or other things that have a higher impact on wilder areas can be designed in a manner to be compatible with other user groups and sensitive areas. I don’t like the term Natural Area because these areas are located in the city and need to address multiple issues.

      Mike Abbate
      503-823-7529 – this number goes to Portland Parks, I don’t know his direct

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  • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm


    Did anyone actually do a study, or did they just go SALMON? (and the wrong salmon at that)

    We’re talking about the same lower Willamette that they had to be dragged kicking and screaming by the EPA to stop dumping sewage? The same one that has multiple superfund sites, industrial areas, and active mining on Ross Island with barge wakes up and down the channel. With people living and disturbing the east bank?

    The lower Willamette is not spawning habitat, and fish above the falls never existed before the fish ladder went in in the 50s.

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    • Patrick Croasdaile March 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      I think that’s the one, yeah.

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    • oliver March 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they were talking about salmon spawning in the creeks located withinthe RVNA. It certainly looks to me as if the invocation of the salmon gods in the press release is meant to conjure that very image in the minds of the people reading it.

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      • Fred March 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

        Salmon can’t get into the RVNA. Highway 30 culverts are blocking there migration, not to mention that the streams in the RVNA are not suitable for spawning. The value is the cold water from the streams as it enters the Willamette.

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        • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:45 am

          And why can’t that still happen with mountain biking? They have these things call bridges.

          The science behind this sounds really fishy to me…..
          So 7 streams drain down a really steep hill into a massive freshwater river. The fish can’t actually access these streams due to the highway and steepness. What is the problem here?

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    • John R. March 2, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      We’re not going to help the cause for mtb by dumping on salmon and being inaccurate. Salmon certainly went over Willamette Falls before the fish ladder went in. It was a historical fishing site because they would pool there waiting for the right river level to pass. And it is highly likely that there were salmon there before the culverts went in, most likely juveniles seeking protection.

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      • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        Ok, winter run fish did go over the falls. Thats during winter, with high water events, so thermal issues are not as important. We now stock several other kinds that are probably more vulnerable due to running in the higher temperatures.

        Do they want to restore habitat? If we fixed all the culverts and banned people all together, would we have any meaningful number of fish heading up there? Its not exactly the Clackamas, or even its tributary, Eagle Creek.

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:46 am

        What does that have to do with Riverview (which is almost 10 miles downstream)?

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    • DL King March 2, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Industry and commerce my friend. When we pander, we pander to the important people like Pamplin, not a bunch of burned out stoners on bikes. Would write more, but need to get back to building my bridge so people from Clackamas county can continue to dodge taxes, but still get the good paying jobs in Multnomah county. Take care of them fishes. Get off your bike and into your car. Go green!!!

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    • Mark McCall March 3, 2015 at 10:43 am

      So – there is NO active mining at Ross Island today. They process aggregate from other sites on Hardtack Island. The big pipe was built per an agreement from the Oregon DEQ – not the US EPA. There is a Superfund site in Portland Harbor that will be seeing cleanup actions shortly, with a Draft Cleanup Plan from the US EPA due in about mid 2016. The City has done a ton to restore habitat, and curb storm water to protect water quality and fish – and they are under a legal obligation to do that. **sentence deleted – hey, Mark, please keep it civil. Thanks. -ma**

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    • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:09 am

      The falls are upriver from this location, which is just south of to the Sellwood Bridge west landing. Also, fish were accessing the upper Willamette River for millions of years before the dam was built in OC.

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  • Fred March 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    This is total BS! Well done anti-MTB contingency…well done. 🙁

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  • Granpa March 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    This location would be good for Mountain biking. I don’t mountain bike, and I do hike, watch wildlife and I don’t like erosion, so it is with some background that I would have endorsed this location for Mt. biking. The site is already severely impacted with noxious weeds. for mt. bikers to use close in, natural locations, that would take pressure off high value natural areas farther out into the country. The City should have opened it up on a provisional basis to do studies on the impacts of mt. biking and to allow mt. bikers to demonstrate if they are capable of good resource stewardship. I have no dog in this fight, but I think mt. bikers got a raw deal.

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    • DL King March 2, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Also, ask us to pony up to provide cash for stream crossings that are wide enough to allow natural stream flow. Pay up to pay for a study on trail placement to avoid erosion run off into streams. Had they actually been strategic, rather than just figuring out how to put the smack down on MTB, they could have actually had a better natural area with more attention to consevation. I know when we have a chance for access as close at riverview, we pay up with people power and dollars.

      Seems like a missed opportunity.

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  • bjorn March 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Amanda Fritz has been anti bike at every opportunity that she has had as far as I can tell, from scuttling bike share due to “safety” concerns, to blocking mountain biking in the city. I hope that someone runs against her now that she is plotting a third term because we need to get her out of there if we have any hope of getting any improvements to mountain biking within the city limits.

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  • Paul Souders March 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Absolutely livid. I’m a neighbor & have a little visibility into the politics of how this parcel was acquired. Early concepts included housing developments at both the bottom and top of the parcel — and it was a few prominent local MTB personalities who convinced the cemetery and college to donate the entire parcel and not just the unbuildable middle portions.

    If it weren’t for the MTB community, this might be more Dunthorpe McMansions, sorry salmon!

    So !@#$ pissed. Same as with Forest Park in 2009: I (and many other IMBA/NWTA members) volunteered to remove ivy, improve trails, and plant native flora. All with the good faith that by being Good Citizens we could sway hearts and minds. I involved my kids with this process, for example my son and I planted vine maples along Palatine Hill road last winter (https://www.flickr.com/photos/axoplasm/12549475044/in/photolist-pgXQtf-k7XkHo-k7UPrM-k7UNpM-k7Vwie) He was REALLY EXCITED to ride here — that’s why he bought a mountain bike, and indeed he talked me into NOT selling mine, so we could ride together on the trails almost literally out our back door! Sorry little buddy, you can’t ride here anymore either.

    I put literal blood and sweat (no tears yet…) into showing that I’m a good guy and can I please have a little singletrack? Well, sorry, chump!

    For 20 years I’ve recommended this course of action: work within the system, be a good citizen, etc. vs poaching trails. I feel like a sucker. You can see where that will get you.


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    • Brian March 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Unfortunately, I think that the line in the sand has been drawn with this one. Disallowing access to the *only* trail worth a damn in the entire city may very well be the catalyst to conflict we have managed to avoid up this point. If the two biggest problem areas are 1. dogs and 2. hiking and mountain biking off-trail (who mountain bikes off trail?!?), and the only banning is *on-trail* mountain biking, we have a problem. Good luck with the next steps.

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  • Frank March 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Fritz hates bikes and cyclists. Fish is 100% political and feels fewer cyclists will vote against him than hikers will vote for him. Perhaps we can prove him wrong next time he has a real opponent. Both think Gateway Brown gives them the political cover they need to screw us repeatedly. Fritz and Emily Roth are also tight with Audubon, so they get more say than mere citizens who own the property in these matters. It becomes hard to view their rules as having any legitimacy.

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    • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Yeah, I want them both out. I never liked Fritz, but have been thoroughly disappointed by Fish.

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  • Fred March 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Are they saying that bikes could be allowed pending the completion of the City-Wide Off Road Cycling Plan? Or that bikes are off the table (or trail) for good at this site?

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  • rdac March 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Portland WILL NEVER HAVE SINGLE TRACK within the City LIMITS, NW rich people have their awesome “PRIVATE” woods Forest Park, NOW SW does too!!!!!! So rich old people can go watch birds and talk to the salmon’s. I AM GLAD that ridiculous sign “AMERICA”S BIKE CAPITAL” its gone. Our “Platinum” certification should be a “BROWN” certification!!!!! WHAt A JOKE its Portland Park and Rec. SAD indeed!!!!!

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    • Granpa March 2, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Bash the rich and throw a bit of ageism in there too.

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      • Cheif March 3, 2015 at 9:32 am

        You’d actually have a point if it weren’t for the fact that rich old people are the problem.

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      • naess March 3, 2015 at 9:55 am

        didn’t you know? in bikeportlands own version of the godwin’s law, sooner or later everything on this site falls in to 4 categories:

        1. car’s vs bikes
        2. rich vs. poor
        3. white vs everyone else
        4. male vs. female

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        • CaptainKarma March 3, 2015 at 2:21 pm

          Ageism is creeping in too. ….everybody fighting about who’s lawn who should get off of.

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    • Mark McCall March 3, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Im glad hyperbole doesnt win the day with your comments!

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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Cyclists should vote against Amanda Fritz when she seeks a third term. She occasionally says something vaguely hopeful about cycling, but when it comes time for decisions, she has never missed a chance to show her disregard for those of us who ride bicycles for transportation or recreation.

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    • bjorn March 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Voting against her is not enough, we need to actively campaign for whoever runs against her and give money to an opposition campaign. I don’t even care who her opponent is at this point, it is unlikely that they could be worse than she is.

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 11:05 am

      That’s why I voted against the Parks bond. She has pretty much made me anti-park.

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        Or at least anti- her Parks dept.

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  • krhea March 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Soooo, what about the group(s) of trail runners that use that “preserve”? Making a non-educated guess, I’d say that a large group of runners wearing gnarly bottom trail running shoes are about as “disruptive” as mtn bikers, especially when the trails are soft. I really think we should be told EXACTLY what they’re afraid of a mtn bike doing to the eco system of the park. Is it loosing soil that then gets moved into the streams. Is it riders actually riding into and through the streams, do the big bad bikes actually scare the little fish as they cruise by, what is it that literally makes riding a mtn bike in a park on dirt non-passive and endangers fish? And again, how is it that all the trail runners who use the park are “passive” users and mtn bikers are not?

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  • Michael Whitesel March 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    We need a “Razzie” award equivalent for worst bicycle advocacy decisions each year. We can call it the “Fritz”.

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  • Stephen March 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I think the only thing politicians listen to is money coming out of Lake Oswego.

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  • Jeff M March 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Interesting that Fritz and Fish felt it necessary to ban mountain biking, yet say nothing about dogs, which their own project committee has stated is the number one threat to habitat.

    The committee also made it very clear that off-trail use, by foot or bike, is second, with no distinction between them. And that trails could be constructed for either hiking or biking, without concern for erosion.

    In other words, this was political decision without regard to facts.

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  • Jordan March 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I smell the Audubon Society of Portland working the backroom. That is what happened at Forest Park and Powell Butte.

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    • Granpa March 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Baseless conjecture. BUT now (just like with Fox News) it can be said: “Some people say Audubon has made back room deals…..”

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      • Alex March 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm

        Not really…have you been involved with mountain bike access for many years? Based on your comment you seem like an armchair critic who hasn’t put in time nor followed what has actually happened.

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        • Grandpa March 2, 2015 at 7:17 pm

          If you had proof you would have provided it. I am reading that we should blame Audubon, the rich, the old, the salmon, people from Clackamas, industry…….. Frankly I am a critic of the decision. I think that this would be a good location for mt. bike use, The Mt bike stakeholders are just weak as a group and they are blaming others cause they cant get stuff done. Run for office, engage in a hunger strike, organize, have a sit-in, camp in a tree, become an editorial writer. Any of these would be more productive than random rancorous blaming of others.

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    • Mark McCall March 3, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Yeah, those damn sneaky people who want to protect habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife. Sinister Audubon! 😉

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      • Charley March 5, 2015 at 7:43 am

        The problem is not that the Audubon Society wants to protect wildlife, but that it gets involved in the City’s policy making in such a way as to negate established forms of input. For example, *after* Powell Butte had been worked over for years by a committee, which decided to make all trails multi-use, the A.S. anti-mtb crowd convinced the Parks to close some of the trails. The problem is this: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

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  • bjorn March 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Last year when they counted there were 60 separate homeless camps dumping garbage into streams and rivers along the springwater corridor, and the city does nothing, Fritz’s comment was “there is no where else for them to go” but they are all over banning cycling on traditional mountain bike trails. Maybe if homeless people were more into singletrack she’d be falling over herself to get some more trails put in.

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    • Paul Souders March 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      There were homeless camps in the RVNA. Not as numerous or sprawling as on the Springwater, & the folks there were quiet neighbors, most of us around there didn’t know anyone was living in there. One of the first moves after the purchase was to tear down the camps, along with hauling away tons of decades’ worth of garbage. This was seriously degraded land 4 years ago. Glad I could help clean it up…

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  • bjorn March 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I wrote emails to Fritz and Fish, autoreply from Fritz claims that because of her husbands death (over 5 months ago) she is 2000 emails behind and not to expect a timely response. It seems to me like maybe she should be considering stepping down rather than running again if she can’t keep up with the job.

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    • velograph March 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      No time to respond to emails, but plenty of time to shut down biking in any way possible. Thanks for making this the city that works Amanda Fritz!

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  • Geoff Grummon March 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    This is utterly disappointing. Their memo implies that mountain biking at Riverview would have a negative impact on Salmon but provides no data to support this argument. The whole thing comes off as disingenuous.

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    • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:21 am

      You don’t actually expect them to write an environmental report now, do you? Thats like… work! And science! Facts!

      Fritz don’t do them facts.

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  • rdac March 2, 2015 at 4:03 pm


    Please note: The next Parks Board meeting will be held on:

    Date: Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
    Time: 8:00-9:30 AM
    Location: Lovejoy Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 1220 SW 4th Ave

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    • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      With this, can we have as much info as possible tomorrow and wends?

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    • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Everyone should show up on a MTB bike too.

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  • MaxD March 2, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    If these guys want to help salmon and water quality in the Willamette, they should be pursuing a plan to sue Lake Oswego for illegally impounding, heating and polluting the water to create their lake!

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  • Zimmerman March 2, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    And once again, I’m so happy to have moved myself and my business out of Portland. MTB access and attitudes towards it were no small part of my decision.

    I certainly hope that everyone in the mountain bike community realizes that there is no hope for a better situation “from inside the system” and takes to a tactic of outward civil disobedience until things improve.

    You’re all getting screwed, stop taking it lying down.

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    • dave March 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      At the very least, I think it’s open season on “No bikes” signs in city parks.

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    • Alex March 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Amen. It is insane at how passive the Portland MTB scene is and how the anti-MTB groups have the ears of the politicians. Very frustrating – I am pretty much looking to move away at this point as it is becoming a less enjoyable city to live in.

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      • Mark March 3, 2015 at 9:29 am

        I’m right there with you, Alex. Camas(smell aside) is looking more enticing. At least they have trails in the city!

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  • Charlie March 2, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    So, as I read their reasoning, they believe this is a critical aquatic habitat area for salmon. Would love to see a picture of one of those lovely fish in that area. They have pictures, right?

    Or are they honestly saying they are going to “restore” it. That I have to see.

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    • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Small creeks aren’t typical spawning habitat anyway. Look where chinook spawn on the Sandy, its still 200 feet wide.

      There are cutthroat in Forest Park and Tryon, so we shouldn’t trash it, but using solid trailbuilding I’m sure we can ride bikes and have salmon (and trout!) too.

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 11:08 am

        small creeks that run up 400 foot hills even less so I’m guessing.

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  • Donnie March 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    So legally speaking, how does one get this new policy changed? Referendums, filing lawsuits, voting folks out of office, etc. I’m ignorant of how local politics in PDX work (yea, yea…) but generally there are ways to fight this kind of idiot bureaucracy.

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Write emails first (both commissioners are linked above), and vote them out. Get involved with NWTA. Get on your Neighborhood Association and let them know this is important to you.

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  • Jon March 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Keep in mind that there is almost no enforcement of park rules. I have never in my 25+ years in Portland seen a ranger stop someone for having a dog off leash. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ranger in Forest Park, Marshal park, mt. Tabor, etc. So, if the city is never going to allow bikes on single track there is no reason to worry about following the rules. What is the city going to do – ban bikes from single track? They already have done that so I think the message is ride wherever you want and bet that you will never get a ticket.

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    • MaxD March 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      They are going to have their hands fulling enforcing the no smoking in parks rule they just passed!

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    • rick March 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      I often see many off-leash dogs at THPRD, Portland public school, and Beaverton public schools, along with many private schools.

      The Raleigh Park public school on SW 78th Ave bans all dogs on their campus. One of the recent principals did this after a slew of dog poop and urine.

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  • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Can someone write a guest article on Salmon? They’re a big issue whenever we talk about a project near a river, or any time we’re talking off road.

    I like rivers, and even try to occasionally catch one of these things, but I don’t understand the nuance, and historical part of it. Were there salmon up there before the culverts? Are we really worried about just feeding cold water to the Willamette for runs that didn’t exist before the fish ladder? Any historic runs were in the winter, with high, cold flow to get over the falls.

    If anyone has seen the White River, you know there is plenty of run off from the volcano (and uncovered dirt roads mere yards from it), so is there any merit to all the claims about the potential sediment from Timberline if we all did our best to make as much as possible?

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    • Fred March 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      I think we need to keep in mind that this is a political decision not a scientific decision. From a land management perspective there are probably many ways to build sustainable trails that don’t affect water quality or forest health. But in Portland bikes don’t fit into the paradigm of responsible land management, so they are banned outright without a hard look on the impacts bikes may or may not cause.

      The efforts of NWTA have been substantial but haven’t changed the convinced the City of Portland that bikes belong. Its time to look beyond the City of Portland (Beaverton, Gresham, Happy Valley) for tracts of land that could be used for mountain biking and start to realize the community benefits that biking provides.

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      • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm

        Yes, but they’re saying it is a science decision.

        We should know the science better than them so that we can refute them until it is understood they’re being political.

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    • Mark McCall March 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

      “runs that didn’t exist before the fish ladder….”?? What fish ladder are you referring to. All of the streams coming off the West Hills, and throughout the entire Willamette system had either spawning activity by native fish, or cooler water that provides key habitat. Again, it would be great if you’d do a tad bit o research before you make statement on a public forum.

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        That’s why his post is mostly full of questions.

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      • Psyfalcon March 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm

        Any fish that went over the Willamette Falls did so at high water levels. We have begun stocking fish that go over at low water levels where they could not naturally get over the falls.

        “Before development, Willamette Falls presented a seasonal natural barrier to migrating fish. Spring chinook salmon and winter steelhead were the only two species that could ascend the falls in later winter and early spring.

        In a letter to the editor of The Oregonian on Aug. 12, 1870, a writer suggested that the Legislature build a fishway over the falls. He wrote that “salmon are found in all the waters of Oregon except those of the upper Willamette.” In 1885 the first fish ladder was excavated out of the solid rock. Though primitive, this ladder did help fish move above the falls. Technology and knowledge of fisheries advanced over time, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife designed the current fish ladder, which was completed in 1971.”


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  • Frank March 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    We should demand that Hales take Parks away from Fritz.

    She does the bidding of the Green Mafia (FP Conservancy and Audubon) and shows no respect for citizens, cyclists, or the public process.

    We can’t just keep taking it.

    She must go. Now.

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  • rick March 2, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Dog poop left behind along with all of the dog urine has a much worse impact upon Portland area creeks than mountain biking on trails.

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  • Matthew March 2, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    i have no qualms about poaching these trails.

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  • Charley March 2, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    ARE YOU KIDDING?????????????? They’d better ban people hiking and people walking dogs, too, otherwise this is just more evidence of plain old animus. They just don’t like bikes. Trail use of any kind does not harm fish, otherwise the Columbia River would be fish-free in the Gorge. SO PISSED.

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    • Rick March 3, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Dog poop does horrible things.

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  • Charlie Sponsel March 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Totally ridiculous. Totally unacceptable. This is a huge step backward and a huge blow to all mountain bikers in Portland. Mountain biking should allowed in Riverview, should be part of the long term plan there, and mountain bikers desires to ride trails in town should not be dismissed. Portland’s MTB policies make us look like a joke compared to every other major city on the West Coast.

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  • Scott H March 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Fritz should actually spend time talking to the people she represents instead of simply issuing memos like a coward.

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    • Rick March 3, 2015 at 7:40 am

      She has helped to get fields in outer parts of Portland turned into legit parks.

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:56 am

        She (and her Parks dept) also canceled open houses for this very project.

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      • Scott H March 3, 2015 at 11:36 am

        I’m fairly familiar with her previous work. I’ve continuously tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but a few years of good deeds doesn’t excuse this behavior, in fact the opposite is true: this is such a brazen slap in the face that it erases anything good she’s done. Issueing a memo that claims mountain biking bad for the environment and dog waste isn’t, is so insulting that she shouldn’t be taken seriously ever again.

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  • Charley March 2, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Commissioner Fish,

    Years ago, after the Forest Park Singletrack Committee’s ultimately fruitless effort to meet demand for mountain bike trails in Forest Park, I wrote you an intemperate email, blaming the final non-decision on your “political cowardice.” Your response was surprisingly reasonable, and you asked me to “keep the faith.”

    All of these years, I have waited for any positive development on this issue; keeping the faith, as you say. You’ve disappointed me, yet again. Your political decisions have yet again eroded my faith in evidence-based, responsive local government.

    With this in mind, I’m writing again to you, to tell you that specious concerns about fish habitat in the Riverview Natural Area are a mere cover for the lack of political will that you have again demonstrated.

    I have several questions for you:

    1. How are salmon in the Columbia harmed by cyclists riding the trails in the Natural Area? I’d like to see some peer-reviewed science on this, too, and not just quotes from local anti-mtb activists.

    2. How is the current trail system, consisting of poorly built, fall line trails, preferable to a sustainably built trail system created by volunteer mountain bikers, free of charge?

    3. How is it better for the environment that residents of this close-in neighborhood are forced to drive their car many miles just to ride a bicycle on a dirt trail, when emissions from fossil fuel powered vehicles are a leading contributor to global warming? Global warming, I unfortunately feel the need to point out, is a leading cause of temperature rise in creeks, while bicycles on dirt trails doesn’t even figure into the equation.

    4. Given that dog use was listed (by the TAC) as the leading cause of disturbance, why is dog use is not disallowed concurrently with mountain bike use?

    5. Can you tell me the difference between hiking and biking, considering the fact that the announcement claims that cycling is active and hiking is passive? Can you define “active” and “passive”?

    If you cannot explain these inconsistencies, then I must again tell you, your decision reflects political cowardice at the very least, or, at the worst, animus against the activity of mountain biking entirely. It’s particularly galling that, given that dog use is listed as the leading cause of disturbance, you would continue to allow that activity. I think this is the best evidence of cowardice: surely banning dogs would be unpopular with the many dog owners of Portland, but keeping bikes out only affects a few of us.

    I’m tired of this. Your decisions as Commissioner have consistently set back years of hard work that would have a positive benefit for this City. You’ve permanently lost a supporter.

    Thanks for your time,
    Charley Reneau

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 11:10 am

      I’m impressed you were still even willing to supporter before this.

      But well written!

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  • Alex March 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    For anyone who still has faith in the Off-Road cycling master plan, good for you. For everyone else, can we start riding Forest Park now and maybe even start to build some illegal trails? After this many years, I would like to be able to enjoy nature while not hurting the planet.

    To call mountain biking at odds with the environment is offensive and has no backing in science. I would certainly love to hear who they are citing as their resources (Houle anyone?).

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    • was carless March 5, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Right. Citizen peaceful protesting by non-compliance! I like it.

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  • wsbob March 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I thought the city would sign off on use of the Riverview land, for mountain biking. It’s a rather small piece of land, not having already been designated a nature park, so I figured the city would feel the compromise would be acceptable.

    Question of the day for bikeportland, and its readers: How many people does the word ‘legion’, refer to? Notice that bikeportland’s Jonathan Maus in his story above, chose to use that word to suggest how many mountain bikers there are in Portland:

    “…Portland’s legions of off-road biking lovers…” maus/bikeportland

    Figure there may be one or two thousand mountain bikers in Portland, to the extent that the petition that the NWTA circulated in the last few months or so, is an indication. However many more mountain bikers in Portland than this there may be, they don’t appear to have made much of an effort in the way of requesting other lands than that in Forest Park, be assigned to use for mountain biking.

    They also don’t appear to have made an effort to put their interest in having a vote for acquisition of land within the Portland area or the greater Metro area, other than that already assigned to mountain biking, put on the ballot for a city wide or metro wide election.

    This not having happened, may be due to there possibly not being anywhere near the number of people in the Portland area interested in mountain biking, and in using land within city and metro area for mountain biking, as mountain bike enthusiasts may think there are.

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    • CharlieB March 2, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Either way, if there really aren’t that many of us, what’s the harm to open up some of these areas? If there are that many of us, obviously there is a demand and some of these areas should be opened to mountain bike use.
      It’s also hard to gauge the numbers since so many of us are disillusioned and have abandoned participating in the process. Instead, we get in our cars and drive to those communities that welcome mountain biking.
      And it is those communities that we will spend our discretionary dollars.

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      • wsbob March 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm

        “Either way, if there really aren’t that many of us, what’s the harm to open up some of these areas? …” CharlieB

        It’s mountain biking that mountain bike enthusiasts are asking the use of natural lands within the city for. Outside of mountain bike enthusiasts, among city residents, there apparently is very little interest in opening up these lands to be used for mountain biking. If you believe the situation is to the contrary, show something to establish that.

        Mountain biking enthusiasts not knowing, or having at least some idea of how many enthusiasts there are in the city, is a major handicap against securing land within the city for mountain bike use. No numbers, no clout. No support, no clout.

        I’ve been over this again and again, as stories about the quest for land to be used for mountain biking have come up on bikeportland. Always boils down to the fact that the quest appears to basically be limited to a relatively small number of people. Until some significant level of citywide or countywide support develops, it to me, does not seem likely that land to be used for mountain biking within the city will be arranged for by the city or Metro.

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        • Jeff M March 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm

          “Always boils down to the fact that the quest appears to basically be limited to a relatively small number of people.”

          I wonder how, just up the street, Tryon Creek State Park managed to get so many equestrian riders to support access to the park? Or archers in Washington Park? Disc golf all over the place? Dog parks?

          It seems to me that Portland supports a number of special interest groups in our parks that, I seriously doubt, include as many people as mountain bikers (dog owners being the exception).

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          • phreadi March 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm

            WSBOB has stated here in the past that a ballot measure is needed to decide if we should allow bikes on any single track in portland parks, if that gives you any indication of his willingness to promote senseless time-wasting strategies and resources in order to promote his extreme bias.

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            • wsbob March 3, 2015 at 10:21 pm

              And how exactly, are you thinking a vote would be a waste of time? Especially if the vote turned out in favor of what mountain bike enthusiasts seek?

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              • davemess March 4, 2015 at 8:27 am

                Because we don’t have open votes on every item of business the city does.
                They’re expensive and time consuming.

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          • wsbob March 3, 2015 at 11:41 pm

            “I wonder how, just up the street, Tryon Creek State Park managed to get so many equestrian riders to support access to the park? …” Jeff M

            Instead of just wondering, why not ask park officials about that? Maybe they, or equestrian riders have some ideas that would help you with what you seek.

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        • bjorn March 3, 2015 at 8:21 am

          They aren’t deciding to “not open up the land to mountain biking” they are taking one of the very few places to mountain bike in the city and removing the access.

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        • Oregon Mamacita March 3, 2015 at 8:22 am

          WSBOB nails it. The small group of mountain bikers is further divided into the BP crowd and the people with bike racks and small trucks who like
          to ride out of town (me and Mamacito). So the constituency for risking the salmon habitat for a very small group- white and male- is not making a compelling story.

          I spend a lot of time outdoors, and a I have witnessed dog owners encouraging their canines to recreate in delicate areas. MT Bikes- not so much but the risk is there. I have fat tires and yes, the damage potential is there.
          Your plans to get the park rangers out by zoo-bombing around River View
          could backfire awesomely. A part of me wants you to try your stupid plan
          and get in trouble by the MultCo Sheriff & the park rangers, Or, trail poaching could elicit a home grown vandal response- stuff in the trail.

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          • Brian March 3, 2015 at 11:17 am

            “So the constituency for risking the salmon habitat for a very small group- white and male- is not making a compelling story.”
            That’s the point of many commenting here. Where is the data that mtb’ing impacts the salmon habitat (and other wildlife habitats) while other users do not, justifying the exclusion? Also, my wife mountain bikes. And so does my five year old, but then again, he’s white and male.

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            • Oregon Mamacita March 3, 2015 at 12:31 pm

              I stand by my point that you are part of a small group. Took my kiddos out on trails too- but we are not the majority. I admit to being part of a small interest group. There are no “legions” of mountain bikers here. And yes, we are largely white and middle class, and predominently male. No big deal if I can’t ride to a mountain biking site. Just seems like more selfishness on the part of the already entitled minority.

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              • Brian March 3, 2015 at 2:10 pm

                What does being a small group have to do with it? Parks and Rec resources are used all the time for minority groups in our community. Your point is irrelevant to the discussion.

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              • davemess March 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

                By that standard there should be no bike facilities at all in America, since cyclists are such a small percentage of the population.

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              • Oregon Mamacita March 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm

                Bike facilities- sure. For the masses. But the number of people affected in this case is frankly, pretty small. And it occurs at a time when Portland has gone over the cliff in terms of ignoring the majority of Portlanders and their needs and their preferences. Sorry if I upset some by pointing out that you are mostly empowered white male elites. But that is why the cause of mountain biking within city limits is a big ho-hum for everyone else. Portland doesn’t owe you a race track or mountain biking trails.

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              • davemess March 4, 2015 at 8:29 am

                No one’s saying they’re owed anything. In this case it’s more “keep letting us do what we’ve been doing for 30 years, as you’re just made up a fake excuse as justification”.

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              • BasementDweller March 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

                RE: Mamacita: “Bike facilities- sure. For the masses. But the number of people affected in this case is frankly, pretty small…”

                Now you’re doublespeaking. (road) bike facilities are for the masses but (mountain) bike facilities are for white elites? Anyone can participate in either. I’m pretty sure you describe any road bike facilities in inner portland as for white elites. We’re just going to ignore that now since we’re pitting road vs mountain, eh?

                I don’t disagree with your description of how people feel about mountain bikers’ woes at all. It’s not a very empathetic position to be in because at the end of the day, it’s for physical and mental health. That’s not really a top tier issue from a public perception stand point. But the way you just reach for any convenient excuse and shift to another when your original point doesn’t hold water is laughable.

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              • Bill Walters March 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm

                Oregon Mama: The thing is, the close-in dirt riding is crucial not so much for us empowered white males; we can drive to the far venues if we really want to. Rather, it’s the up-and-coming kids, both boys and girls, of all skin colors, that stand to benefit most — because they would then be able to discover and sustain, all on their own, an exciting pastime that serves them well for exercise, stress relief and social backbone all through their lives. (Much the way skateparks can be.) Not to mention the generational continuity of young folk and old folk being out at the same place having similar experiences together somewhat spontaneously (and not comprised of shopping), without the friction of a bunch of logistics planning.

                Surely that’s better than conceding a little more of kids’ fate to their various electronic screens, awaiting the onset of acquired diabetes and what-not.

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              • Alex March 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm

                There are more mountain bikers than skateboarders in Portland and look at the resources being poured into that.

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          • davemess March 3, 2015 at 12:21 pm

            I’m confused about the “risking” part. People have been riding this land, on worse trails for decades. With better built, more sustainable trails, I don’t possibly understand how it could be any riskier for fish (if that even is a real issue) than it has been for years and years. Or how other forms of recreation aren’t just as (if not more so) risky.

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            • Brian March 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm

              There is no previous baseline data to suggest there has been an impact. There is no science to exclude.

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          • Chris I March 3, 2015 at 3:56 pm


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  • John March 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    146 acres is 6,359,760 sq ft. It’s about 2800 feet from top to bottom. If there were four twisting trails of about 5600 feet each and they each were four feet wide, that would be 89,600 sq ft or 1.4 percent of the area. I bet these incredible fish hiking the 30 percent slopes (has anyone ever seen one?) would be alright sharing two percent of the hillside.

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  • Chris March 2, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Because fish. No cycling because fish. What? Explain my decision rationale? That’s it: Because fish. Can’t be any clearer than that.

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  • ChrisM March 2, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I’m sure someone could find even more info on this, but it seems to me that running might negatively impact the soil more than cycling. “The peak amplitude of the vertical reaction force in walking and running increased with speed from approximately 1.0 to 1.5 b.w. [body weight] and 2.0 to 2.9 b.w. respectively.”

    Even walking could be as damaging, but running takes my 190 lbs and places 550 lbs of forces onto the ground WITH EVERY FOOT STRIKE. Unless your landing a jump on a bike, it seems unlikely that you would exert these forces at all times.

    (Article: Ground reaction forces at different speeds of human walking and running. Authors :J. NILSSON and A. THORSTENSSON. Published 8 Dec 2008 in Scandinavian Physiological Society)

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    • Alex March 2, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      It goes way beyond the force exerted on the ground. It goes into the gait of walking/running. There is probably about a 1.5-2.5ft gait for your feet. Every time you walk, you kick the ground and the dirt up a bit on a pretty wide area. Bicycle tires are usually under 2.5″ wide and roll – they do kick up dirt when turning, but on a much narrower amount of land.

      That being said, this decision has nothing to do with science nor impact of one activity over another.

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    • Frank March 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      They don’t care about facts. I tried that.

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      • Psyfalcon March 2, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Hit them over the head with facts until its plainly obvious that they’ve sold out and are not merely misinformed.

        We’re pretty close, but we should keep doing it.

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    • Rick March 3, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Most walk at 3 mph.

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  • elpenguino March 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I feel like a family member has just died…I am being completely serious and honest. I don’t know what I will do, River View was a HUGE part of my life and cannot be replaced

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  • Matt Mahoney March 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Mountain bikers clearly do not have the political influence needed to make mtbing in Portland a reality.

    Unless mtbers can figure out how to get money and political power to influence this issue in our favour, we will always be shut out.

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  • Bryan March 2, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Metro has it branded as a natural area = no bikes and most likely no dogs. Very disappointing.

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    • Eric March 2, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Not according to this link:

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Powell Butte Natural Area allows both bikes and dogs.

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      • Eric March 3, 2015 at 11:26 am

        Exactly my point. This has gone past ludicrous speed. I think we’ve hit plaid.

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        • davemess March 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm

          How am I the only one rec’ing this?!?!?!?!

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  • lil'stink March 2, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Perhaps there needs to be a monthly critical mass style event on Wildwood Trail, conditions permitting, once a month. Force the city to deal with this issue in a pragmatic, fair way or risk having their beloved (yet often undeserved) reputation as a cycling utopia put under the microscope as they start ticketing or arresting cyclists.

    People like Fritz and Fish will continue to talk out of both sides of their mouths. The mountain biking community in Portland will continue to twist in the wind as a result.

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  • Jeremy Martin March 3, 2015 at 1:17 am

    so you think this is not cool, check out what they want to pull off next http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50686/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15799

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    • oliver March 3, 2015 at 8:25 am

      “mandated to provide the Greatest Permanent Value for all Oregonians, this includes fish & wildlife habitat, clean drinking water, and diverse recreation opportunities.”

      As the definition of diverse recreation opportunities applies only to the horsey and the birdie people any more, I’m no longer interested.

      Cut it all down.

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  • arnsberg March 3, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Yay! City Council says NO to MTB trails and YES to more Condos!

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    • Nathan March 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Salmon love condos, right?

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      • davemess March 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm

        Only if they have water features……

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  • Ryan francesconi March 3, 2015 at 8:03 am

    There’s a lot to say and the information will come out soon. In the meantime – don’t be distracted by the ‘environmental concerns’ – that is a lie. This is pure political play. Mobilize.

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  • Eric March 3, 2015 at 8:47 am

    It’s like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Come on mountain bikers, come kick the ball, I won’t move it…I promise.

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  • TrailLover March 3, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Fritz made this decision because she is convinced – based on experience – that she can ignore science and good management practice as long as she suffers no political impact for doing so. She is free to piss off the cyclists because the cyclists have adhered to a policy of patiently waiting for facts to prevail, for the public process to be honored and for sound policy making to eventually win the day.

    Commissioner Fritz gains more by appealing to her circle of pseudo-conservationist, anti-science friends than she does by alienating what she believes to be a small and politically impotent group of cyclists. What she has now done at Riverview is no different than what she has done at Forest Park and it is exactly what she will do when she perverts the Off-Road Cycling Master Plan that, much to her unhappy surprise, she was forced by obvious popular demand to include in her recent budget request to the city.

    For cyclists, the definition of the high road for the past twenty years has been waiting patiently for the process offered by the city to eventually produce positive and defensible outcomes that serve conservation goals while recognizing the recreational interests of the community upon which those conservation goals ultimately depend.

    But now it’s time for a new high road – one that recognizes the pitfalls of cooperation in the face of duplicity, incompetence and poor leadership in government. It’s time for a new high road in the grand spirit of American political and social activism. It’s time to expose phony and misguided environmentalism. It’s time to insist that public policy be based on facts. It’s time for transparency. It’s time to get loud. It’s time to take the Parks Bureau away from Commissioner Fritz. It’s time to shift the cost of her poor decision making back onto her. It’s time for Portland to stop embarrassing itself among professional land managers nationwide. It’s time for the community and the mayor’s office to take the lead on protecting our parks and serving the Portland community.

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  • Rick March 3, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Great! I’m glad to hear we have some more prime fishing streams!!!


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  • spencer March 3, 2015 at 9:50 am

    this is just utterly disappointing

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  • DLR March 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

    From the Portland Parks and Rec website. It would be interesting to hear how this decision meets this Mission and these Values.

    The mission of Portland Parks & Recreation is to help Portlanders play – providing the safe places, facilities, and programs which promote physical, mental, and social activity. We get people, especially kids, outside, active, and connected to the community. As we do this, there will be an increase in the wellness of our residents and the livability of our city. We accomplish this through:

    Establishing, safeguarding and restoring the parks, natural areas, public places, and urban forest of the city, ensuring that these are accessible to all;
    Developing and maintaining excellent facilities and places for public recreation and community building;
    Providing dynamic recreation programs and services that promote health and well-being for all;
    Partnering with the community we serve.


    • Quality, responsive service to our diverse customers and partners.
    • Community participation in program and project planning.
    • Innovation, creativity, and excellence in all we do.
    • Openness, honesty, and respect in all relationships.
    • A diverse and culturally competent workforce.
    Transparent, ethical, and accountable decision making.

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  • Tim March 3, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Perhaps it’s time to sue PP&R and the city for their lack of action in serving their diverse communities?

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  • Granpa March 3, 2015 at 10:31 am

    The Mt. Bike lobby is just not getting it done. From what I know about the NW Trails Alliance they are a forthright group doing good work in design and stewardship of mt. bike riding areas. It may be that most passionate Mt. bikers like to ride their bicycles, but their passion stops there. It may be that the spokespersons for the sport aren’t persistent enough, or aren’t talking to the right people, or they don’t convey a compelling message. Get the science and take it to Audubon, to Mike Houke, to City Club and to Mike Abatte, the head of Portland Parks. Then there are the City commissioners, they are paid and were elected to grease the squeaky wheel. If Mt. bikers can’t have enough presence to influence City bureaucrats, it may be that the Mt. bike community is so small that its demographic is insignificant.

    Or it could be that the Mt. biking community is being disingenuous and that they do impart harm to the landscape or that Mt. biking is incompatible with other land uses. That aggressive riding is called “shredding” indicates that the practice is destructive to the land. It could be that there is no conspicuous counter argument to the convictions, in the halls of power, that Mt. bikers are destructive to the landscape. The eagerness of posters on this blog to “poach” the trails, or carve up unbroken land for new trails, speaks volumes of their respect for the process, and in city hall really have no reason to cater to scofflaws who’s act of Mt. biking is in effect flipping them the bird.

    The Riverview area would be a perfect place to conduct studies. In it there are creeks that could either be damaged or protected. There is bad vegetation that could be removed and good vegetation that could be retained. There is soil that could muddy the water or stay in place. There are birds that will either nest and feed, or flee. There is no way to know how the area would be treated by Mt. bikers unless they are given the opportunity to display what they are about and how they use the land. Considering the paucity of Mt. bike riding areas in the urban region It is my opinion that the hillside should be opened up on a test basis, to Mt. bikes.

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  • davemess March 3, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Are people now willing to not support Amanda Fritz a little harder?

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  • Sean Chaney March 3, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Ten years ago this week I made the biggest mistake of my adult life…I bought a house in Portland. Never in a million years would I have thought that moving from the Baltimore/DC area to a more progressive city would have brought with it such a negative impact in my overall quality of life. It’s proven to be a very difficult decision to undo, but had I the choice to do over again, I’d have never moved out here. The anti MTB policy here is unreal…just unreal.

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    • Eric March 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I’m with you, Smudge. Philadelphia blows Portland out of the water for accessible single track. I never, ever anticipated saying that when I moved out here over 9 years ago.

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    • Chris I March 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Lucky for you, your house has appreciated 50% during those 10 years. Time to cash in and move somewhere else, right?

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  • Paul Souders March 3, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I’ve been thinking about the comments in this thread all night and I want to clear up a couple of things from the perspective of an RVNA neighbor and MTB access supporter.

    First, unlike Forest Park, RVNA touches almost no private property other than the cemetery and L&C. There are about 6-10 houses on the east side of Palatine Hill road, only 1 or 2 of which actually abut the property proper. There are another 10 or so houses directly across Palatine. If the city hadn’t declared this a natural area, these people would have been looking into habitat for millionaires, not salmon. The difficult parts of the deal AFAIK were along Palatine and SR 43 where the land was flat enough to build 15-20 huge mansions. So most of these neighbors were at least softly supportive of mountain biking, because they knew it was the involvement of key MTB personalities and other recreation advocates who helped preserve their leafy views. True, a few neighbors were VERY vocal proponents of a “no humans” approach, and some grumbled about bikes — mainly in regards to parking. Many more were supportive of MTB & other recreation access and did indeed show up to the town hall type things and at least one was on the Public advisory Commitee (along with the MTB personalities I mention above).

    Second, this ISNT Dunthorpe. A few of the houses along Palatine are rentals. If you own a house on the eastside inside of 50th or so, your house is probably worth as much as most of these houses. The demographic profile in Collins View is a little older and a little richer than elsewhere in Portland, but not moreso than elsewhere in SW.

    So it’s not like FP 2009 where a few influential and wealthy landowners could sway whoever was swayed.

    Third, to the notion that somehow MTB advocates aren’t working hard enough somehow I say “bull pucky.” The neighborhood perception was that NWTA was “packing” the citizen committee, town halls, volunteer events, and public commentary! The MTB crowd made more noise and put more effort into official channels than advocates for any other recreational use except (perhaps) hiking. For example despite this being kind of a horsey crowd, and the proximity of equestrian trails in Tryon, the notion of horses in RVNA was a total nonstarter. From my perspective, the MTB “community” was on good behavior and doing all the “right things” in lining up access here, and if anything a little over-represented.

    All of which is a very long way of saying: this was NOT a ballot measure or even a city hall resolution. There was never a democratic process to influence through popular means, other than indirectly by voting out the Parks Commissioner and hoping her replacement is more amenable. I have no insight into how this decision was made, but it was probably the result of mostly bureaucratic processes. The shadow play of citizen advisory committees, volunteer events, town halls, etc. — what exactly was all that INTENDED to achieve? No “stakeholders” were appeased in any transparent manner. (Way way behind the scenes — who knows? But I doubt any of such notional puppeteers were my neighbors.) Just as with the Barbur “road diet” some bureaucrats were making a decision for [whatever reason] and the rest of us were going to have to live with it

    As a postscript (please, Paul, write more!) by way of comparison consider DOGS. Here AND in FP. (And yes, I have a dog…)

    How often do you EVER see a dog on leash on Wildwood trail? Yet unleashed dogs are JUST AS FORBIDDEN AS BICYCLES there. And everyone with two brain cells knows that dogs — ON a leash — are nearly the worst possible thing for salmon and salamanders and trillium and sword ferns and every other huggable wild organism. But somehow the notion of keeping dogs out of our Natural Areas is unthinkable.

    This must be the result of some all-powerful dog lobby right? I mean, we have NEAR TOTAL DOG ACCESS in every park, schoolyard, and green space in Portland despite signage and regulation to the contrary. Yet you will seldom hear strong advocates for dogs, in fact dog access is only ever discussed with the dull resignation that “you can’t keep people from bringing their dogs.” In the end the solution becomes DOG PARKS, lots and lots of dog parks. The idea being, let’s at least try to steer MOST dog owners into acceptable areas, by providing them with a positive incentive to do so. It’s only in the most egregious cases (Sandy R Delta?) that any action gets taken, and a year or so later, it slides back anyway. And even at Sandy Delta THEY PUT IN A DOG PARK. So the basically-nonexistant, totally unorganized “dog community” has gotten this level of access by SIMPLY BEHAVING AS IF DOGS BELONG EVERYWHERE unless you give them somewhere better to go.

    I’ll leave the lesson for bike access as an exercise to the reader. (Try substituting “bike” for “dog” in the previous paragraph…)

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    • VTRC March 3, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Paul, I want to thank you for providing some great posts on the thread giving some insight into what it’s like to be a MTBer in Portland and the way the rug seems to get yanked out from under us on a regular basis.

      Just to be clear. Was the original plan to have NWTA do trail building in the area after it was cleared? That was my understanding and I was really interested in seeing what modern trailbuilding could look like in the metro area.

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      • Paul Souders March 3, 2015 at 2:25 pm

        I don’t know what the plan was for trail building. Someone (NWTA?) was doing good work improving those trails, and pulling them away from the old chutes down the streams.

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        • Brian March 3, 2015 at 4:37 pm

          The process never got to that point. The plug on the Public Advisory Committee was pulled before the plan, being developed by Virgil Agrimis, was set to be commented on by the committee (and public, in general). NWTA stood ready with expertise, labor, etc to help in any way possible with trail building.

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    • Vast Right Wing Conspiracy March 3, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Paul, please contact me for your free beer. You have just won this thread!

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    • ShareTheF!@#inPark March 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Probably about time to cover up those pesky “no bike” signs with some of these! Who knows a good source for custom stickers? http://imgur.com/QwZ4VSL

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    • Alex March 3, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      This was a great comment – thank you for it. The mountain biking community has shown up and has been very active in trying to move things forward and the numbers are there – despite what a few people are saying in this thread (petition signatures are usually below the total population that support an issue, not above).

      A few things to highlight – there was no insight as to how this decision was made, no science cited (or experts they consulted) and it was behind closed doors. This smells of bad politics considering the last 20+ years of policy. For a city that “embraces” bicycles, this decision and the future of cycling in this fair city looks pretty dull. I am very disappointed and will definitely not be voting for Saltzman nor Fritz. Not everyone considers commuting the pinnacle of what defines a city to be bicycle friendly and we aren’t even close to that. Let’s make this city world class, not just another lame American city. Please lead with science and reasoning, not politics and fear.

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  • Mark McCall March 3, 2015 at 11:00 am

    The reality here folks is the the City has its hand forced by the lawsuit filed against it regarding ratepayer dollars. They have to show that the area is being protected as a natural area/watershed restoration to back up the original intent of the purchase. Unfortunately for local bikers, that makes it off limits. This is the deal folks. It is a lawsuit now expressed through local political decisions.

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    • TrailLover March 3, 2015 at 11:08 am

      You may have inadvertently hit the nail on the head, Mark. It is indeed a “show” – as in a theater – complete with smoke, mirrors and some very bad acting. Where and how has the city demonstrated – with science and facts – that some level of accommodation for bicycles would differentially or disproportionately impact the wildlife or ecology of the area? Where is that data?

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    • Brian March 3, 2015 at 11:25 am

      I could buy this argument if mountain biking on sustainably-built trails was proven scientifically to be more harmful to habitat than hiking, wildlife viewing, dogs, etc. Until then, I have to believe there is more to the equation. That is the point being made here. Repeatedly. Would you like to address it, please.

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    • phreadi March 3, 2015 at 11:42 am

      birds flee?

      MARK: science doesn’t support your reasoning.

      Allowing dogs, but not bikes — and passing on the expertly-built sustainable/ecological trail fixing/maintaining/building the city would get for FREE form the NWTA, they have done the opposite and willfully chosen to NOT protect the area by claiming they are protecting it.

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    • Fred March 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Mark, I disagree. If that logic holds, then why not ban dogs? Why not hikers and runners? There is a bias that is pervasive.

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  • BDM March 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Science does not support the environmental concerns being leveled at mountain-biking. The City’s decision to ban MTB at River View is unfounded prejudice, pure and simple.

    The way to combat this bias is as follows: 1) Demand that environmental concerns be supported by peer-reviewed scientific studies, 2) stage peaceful protest rallies (a la 1960’s civil rights), 3) continue lobbying efforts through our various advocacy groups, and 4) file a discrimination law suits against the city. A legal challenge would put the anti-MTB bias on trial and force environmental groups to substantiate their claims. Unfounded discrimination against specific user groups like MTB is inappropriate and economically hurtful to the cycling industry and cycle-tourism. It should be challenged.

    So, is it time for MTB advocates to pony up and take the anti-MTB folks to task? We have science and numbers (MTB advocates) on our side. Now all we need is a good litigator and dollars. My 2¢.

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  • Benja March 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Part of what is so frustrating to me is how much progress has been made on trails *outside* of Portland (Sandy Ridge, Syncline, Post Canyon, Stubb etc) and yet we can’t get much traction on new trails within city limits. Portland could be a great MTB town if it had the chance. It’s truly maddening. Those other riding areas are consistently packed with cars + riders; the sport is growing and our numbers are showing up at trailheads in the area and have been showing up at the meetings.

    I urge people to NOT GIVE UP. Continue to support NWTA and IMBA and lean on them to look for new ways to attack this problem. The MTB community has to show that it will continue to get shit done. It’s frustrating, but I think in the long game we win by continuing to show up both on the trails AND at the meetings. Promises and words of encouragement from the politicos are not enough, now we have to start calling them on it. Write to both of them and express how you feel about this decision.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson March 3, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Access/recreation vs. habitat/wildlife is a tough issue. Even the board of npGreenway struggles with it, and we may have to give on it for the Willamette Cove segment of the Willamette Greenway Trail.
    Relatively undisturbed wild areas in the region are few and far between, even more so in the City of Portland. In this case the key value of this piece of nearly wild land is intact watersheds (this land was bought in part with BES funds from sewer rate payers), which feed cool water into the already heavily compromised Willamette.
    For what? Fish! Yes, for the wild salmon and steelhead that really belong to the native people of our region. The 1855 Treaty RETAINED to those tribes, Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla and Nez Perce, not granted, but retained their ancient right to fish and hunt in all the usual places. That right presumes that there are fish to catch, and in as much as we Euro-Americans have decimated these fish in the Columbia basin, we are obligated both legally and morally to do all we can to rebuild those fish populations. Hence these restrictions.
    Civil disobedience in this case might be compared to miners who long ago violated the treaty rights of these same tribes. Best to forbear and seek redress through the political process. I would close this land entirely, but the walkers’ and dog lovers’ lobby is strong; stronger, it appears, than that of the mountain bikers.

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    • abomb March 3, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      20 years of “the political process” hasn’t worked for us so far, why do you think its going to be any different in the near future?

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      I think you would have a stronger argument if people hadn’t been already riding bikes on even worse, unsustainable trails for decades here.
      This isn’t an issue of banning riders from some new tract of land that may get tainted. If they can come up with some data showing how critically damaged the area is, then why did they not show it? And why are they not just making it off limits to other users who will no doubt have as much or more of an impact?

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  • Fred March 3, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    We should be upset about, as Paul eluded to, is that the public process was halted and the decision to remove bike access was done behind closed doors. No transparency. No public discussion.

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  • phreadi March 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I wonder what *specifically* the city’s plan is now to keep bikes off River View given it’s been a local mountain bike network for literally the last 25 years. I don’t think simply posting signs and calling it a day is going to get their desired result, whether or not any formal bike protest rides happen.

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  • abomb March 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Check out this post from today on the Riverview Natural Conservation Facebook page.

    Lisa McGillicuddy
    Today at 11:27am.
    We won!!!! No more mountain biking in RVNA. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/520979


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    • Paul Souders March 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      That FB group is basically two people.

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      • Jeff M March 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        Ah yes, I remember the huge argument on Nextdoor about a year ago that gave rise to this Facebook page. The incapability of having an honest discussion by some people in that thread showed me the true meaning of NIMBY.

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    • davemess March 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Lisa McGillicuddy doesn’t really seem like a real name…….

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    • Psyfalcon March 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Who is “we.”

      Besides the lawsuit were we fighting another group? Audubon?

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      • Paul Souders March 4, 2015 at 4:39 pm

        “We” in this case is two neighbors who thought the RVNA should be closed to human access except perhaps some kind of observation platform where scientists could watch the Pacific Giant Salamander frolic in their highly sensitive natural habitat. (Not a joke.) They are very nice people with good intentions.

        That’s originally what prompted me to reply to comments on this thread: there was no public organized “anti-bike” constituency here (that I ever saw anyway.) This decision wasn’t visibly intended to appease anyone. No zillionaire landowners, no Audubon society, no “Friends of RVNA.” It was baffling until Mark put the pieces together for me about the lawsuit. It explains why the public comment process just stopped cold last year — especially because the commentary was dominated by pro-MTB sentiment. Bikes would be a PR nightmare with the lawsuit in the background. I wouldn’t be surprised if the science all stopped at the same time too.

        (ps I’ve seen two Pacific Giant Salamanders in FP, both times while clearing ivy in badly degraded areas.)

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  • Joe March 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    nature parks for everyone?

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  • Jon March 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Look at Boulder, look at Marin County, look at Portland: playing by the rules in so-called “progressive” communities has gotten mountain bikes token levels of trail access at BEST. The writing is on the wall…

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  • Rob March 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    As someone who works with rivers, I have a serious professional issue with anyone even suggesting that these streams are critical steelhead and salmon habitat (yes, yes, I notice the weasel word “support”). On Sunday I was down where these streams enter the Willamette… there’s no way even a cutthroat could swim in the little water present. If the goal is to ensure the water temperature remains cool to support the fish in the Willamette, that can easily be done while allowing biking in the watershed. I suspect the real reason for this decision is trail conflict… I can see this, but please be honest with this and not pull the environmental card.

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    • spencer March 4, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      agreed, the fish argument is farcical. responsible trail management and use would have no effect on water temperatures. why doesn’t the city ban auto use on 43 and replant the vast 120 foot wide swath of heat sinking asphalt that is drastically heating the culverts leaving this property?

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  • TrailLover March 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm
  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson March 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Not surprised to hear that this land has been trashed. All the more reason to get the humans out and begin restoration and tight management. After the warmest February on record, the Willamette will need all the cool water it can get. No one has suggested that fish spawn in these small streams, but good, clean, cool water during storms is a big plus for fish. Sorry, but the City made the right call on this.
    Mt biking strikes me as something akin to golf as it has significant design and maintenance costs, so that could be a model…city owned and maintained facilities funded by user fees. Start with Gateway Green, then look at a location in the west hills.

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    • J Bone March 3, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      How does mt biking heat up the water flowing into the Willamette? NWTA/mtb’ers would freely design, build and maintain the trails (no taxpayer outlay) and create a presence that would discourage trashing by dirty humans…

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    • Psyfalcon March 3, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      These streams are an incredibly small fraction of the water entering the river.

      Thermal issues will most affect the summer fish, when these are at their lowest flow too.

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    • caesar March 3, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      I hate golf. Huge waste of natural space for a select few “athletes.” Plus all the pesticides and fertilizers needed to keep the greens green. MTBing is nowhere near as bad.

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    • Chris I March 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Not comparable at all. Find requires acres of pesticide-laden, water-intensive grass. Mountain biking areas can maintain nearly all of their natural features. You just need a few trails. How can you possibly compare them?

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    • Charley March 5, 2015 at 7:53 am

      “There should be mountain bike trails in the West Hills but not in Forest Park and not in Riverview.” Conveniently, those are the only two large public lands in the West Hills. So. . . where is this large, undeveloped public land in the West Hills that *should* have MTB trails?????

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  • Henrik March 3, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I came by here via NWTA feed on my FB. Such awful news to read! I moved to Portland in 2010 (around the time the outlaw trail in FP was discovered; but hey, I got to ride it!!) and that pretty much put the kabosh on everything FP bike related. Shoot, even I joined NWTA and all that jazz, because, you know, they were organized and had a voice; just not deep pockets. Well, anyhow, I’ve since moved out to another state around 2014 and from the looks of it, not much as changed. Sorry for all your PDX mtb’ers, doesn’t seem to like anything has changed in the last 5 years. I am truly sad for you guys!

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  • John March 3, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Protecting the streams that add cool water to the Willamette would make sense if these were bigger than a trickle. The biggest stream (number six on the maps) is dry during the summer and fall.

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  • Brian C March 3, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    so let’s all take a little trip back in history – this was a post here in May of 2011 – rwl1776 May 5, 2011 at 7:07 am wrote –
    “Does anyone remember Cooper Mountain in the SW? It had bike trails there, and when Metro turned it into an official park, bikes were kicked out. Yes, PUMP was involved with that planning process too, but Metro and the neighbors decided against bicycle access, despite people having ridden their bikes their for decades. We’ll see if bicyclists get kicked out of this area too by the NIMBY’s.”

    Mmmm – rwl1776 was pretty spot on !

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  • Jim Lee March 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    A Roman legion of the imperial era had about 5,000 soldiers.

    So if JM says there are “legions” of MTBrs in PDX, there must be 10,000 at least.

    But there is no historical evidence of mountain bikes in Roman legions.

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    • Psyfalcon March 4, 2015 at 12:10 am

      For some reason, it took a long time to invent bikes. The Romans did use elephants though. If our use is based on actual use by Roman legions, I support elephant riding in the park.

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  • mark mcclure March 4, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Develop flow trail on access road from skyline to half way up springville road (south side). Minimal impact since it goes under the power lines.

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  • Kenji March 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

    MTB folks- hire an attorney. File a lawsuit.

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    • Oregon Mamacita March 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Urban MTB advocates- consult an attorney first. There may be legal reasons concerning the acquisition of the land that guided their decision. Also, please re-think decisions to disobey the law. The MTB in the city folks don’t have any compelling reasons to depart from the democratic process. Some folks on this blog are anarchists when it comes to rules they don’t like and then call for police help with bike theft. Can’t have it both ways.
      Poaching trails in city limits will dis-credit all MTB riders- and I am drawing the line there because I want to ride single track responsibly and your trail poaching could make us all look bad.
      We all have to live with laws we don’t like. A small group of bikers does not get to write the rules. I am supporting this decision as a matter of principal. Any willingness on my part or others to decide that some MTB can be done safely in this area will be eroded by over-the-top rhetoric and disdain for the democratic process.
      BTW- when one group disobeys the laws (poaching trails) it encourages their opponents to also violate the law (blocking trails unsafely). Remember that the tacks on the Hawthorne Bridge are likely revenge
      for perceived lawless behavior. Do you want to provoke self-help by folks that don’t like bikes on trails?

      Kenji- your post was the simplest and smartest on this subject.

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      • Zimmerman March 4, 2015 at 11:19 am

        The construction of the Burnside skatepark wasn’t accomplished by lap dogs asking politely. Skateboarders were being marginalized, took matters into their own hands and now they have plenty of facilities in and around the city.

        20+ years of good-faith advocacy has proven that playing nicely doesn’t work. The people in power making the decisions are unreasonable and unwilling to cooperate even slightly.

        Filing suit would be great, civil disobedience also.

        If anyone booby traps a trail, well that’s on them and the law can deal with that too.

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        • Oregon Mamacita March 4, 2015 at 11:40 am

          Skateboarders had no opposition to that park from the general public, and it did not harm the environment. That’s why they succeeded in the end. Comparing the entitled Urban MTB community to teenage skater punks is hilarious. Besides- skateboarders got together and started private indoor facilities- unlike a certain group that constantly asks for tax dollars.
          I birthed a cool skate boarding kid and I love that scene. And I am laughing at the adult tantrums on this blog.

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          • Zimmerman March 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm

            If you knew anything at all about the history of the construction of Burnside you’d know that it wasn’t “teenagers” that did the work of advocacy. Then again, a lack of accurate information hasn’t stopped you from commenting thus far.

            Which indoor skatepark are you spewing about exactly? Department of Skateboarding? That’s closed.

            Mountain bikers took it upon themselves to open the Lumberyard. That’s great, but it sure as hell isn’t trail riding in nature, is it? In 30 minutes I can be skating 10 different public skateparks around Portland. How many places can I put tires on dirt in the same time?

            Nothing will be lost by “poaching” trails since there is nothing available. If you don’t like it, don’t poach and continue to wait patiently for the next let down by a hostile city council that seems to be immune to reason.

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          • BasementDweller March 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm

            Skate park construction does not harm the environment but bike tires on dirt do?

            And have you heard of the Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park located right here in Portland?


            The construction and maintenance of the Lumberyard has got to be worse environmentally than any natural surface trail (properly designed or not) open to bicycle use. I’m not picking on the Lumberyard at all; just the misapplication of environmental concerns. The back and forth change of scope is where modern-urban environmentalism loses me. Environmental concerns are only viewed through this narrow lens while ignoring the elephant in the room.

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          • Bill Walters March 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

            Your cool skateboarding kid might also be a cool dirt-jumping kid if he or she had a legal place to ride. And maybe, just maybe, that would be another scene you could love.

            (Relative to skating, it does have the advantage of getting the kid out into something more closely resembling nature, and compelling the kid to build fitness going uphill in order to attain the choice downhill lines.)

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          • davemess March 4, 2015 at 5:35 pm

            Who’s asking for public funds? NWTA and cyclists have been more than happy to build and maintain their own trails (much like the skateboarders you talk about)? It’s the Fritz that wants to spend public funds on completely unnecessary “Plans”.

            I respect a lot of the points and opinions you have and welcome your usually differing perspective (and I actually think we agree on a lot of things), but I don’t really understand why you always have to bring race, sex, and “entitlement” into almost every discussion.

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      • TrailLover March 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

        Exactly what “principal” do you think you’re defending? Is it one that says our elected officials can simply abandon and ignore the public process whenever the emerging outcome doesn’t line up with their predetermined desires? Is it the principal that says facts and science can and should be ignored in setting public policy? That’s not a principal, that’s a perversion.

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        • Oregon Mamacita March 4, 2015 at 11:32 am

          I am speaking in favor of the rule of law. The principle is this: two elected officials had to balance different concerns and they made a rule and it should be respected. If you can’t change the rule through democratic means, you have to live with it. NIMBYs such as myself have to live with McMansions. Sure, I would love to take a spray can and paint their ugly exteriors- but I can’t. I need to live by rules I don’t like. So do the urban mountain bikers. If you have science on your side and the public trusts you- maybe MTB will be permitted there. But poaching trails and name calling won’t exactly win over bird watchers. Just like vandalizing a McMansion would set back my cause.

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          • Zimmerman March 4, 2015 at 3:07 pm

            Does your child skateboard in the street? Rule of law?

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    • Fred March 4, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Yep! The only way to get the attention of Parks management.

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    • Brian March 4, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Kickstarter campaign?

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    • spencer March 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      who do i know that practices law??????

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  • Brian March 4, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Your chosen identities are irrelevant in this context, and are chosen to validate your world view. Being entitled in one context doesn’t mean entitled in all contexts. I’m not upset by having my whiteness, maleness, and socioeconimc status pointed out. I am well aware of this, and teach targeted and entitled identities every year to tenth graders. I’m simply pointing out that your “point” is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    Oregon Mamacita
    Bike facilities- sure. For the masses. But the number of people affected in this case is frankly, pretty small. And it occurs at a time when Portland has gone over the cliff in terms of ignoring the majority of Portlanders and their needs and their preferences. Sorry if I upset some by pointing out that you are mostly empowered white male elites. But that is why the cause of mountain biking within city limits is a big ho-hum for everyone else. Portland doesn’t owe you a race track or mountain biking trails.
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  • The Chez March 4, 2015 at 10:32 am

    In regards to Portland gaining platinum status it’s a farce. It’s so blatantly obvious Portland has contempt for mountain biking and therefore should be demoted. They have no place in being a platinum bike city. I would call the city commission’s stance towards mountain biking hostile at best. The referendums and directives by Amanda Fritz, her staff and the parks project managers has been nothing short of virulent.

    I, for one, will be advocating to the League of American Bicyclists that Portland be removed from the platinum grouping. Hopefully, my fellow neanderthal cyclists will follow in my steps.

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  • Bobcycle March 4, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Just finished calls to Fritz n Fish to express concern over ban. Emails to Fritz get auto reply as previously stated. I pointed out that city already has areas they cannot adequately maintain from invasive plants and homeless camps (Springwater wasteland). City should take advantage of committed mt bike community to maintain and improve RVNA not ban them. senseless. Take the time to call n email to express your concerns, then let’s rally to show who we are.

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  • Brian March 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm
    • Alex March 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      It is such a small group of people affected I am surprised the O decided to write an editorial about it.

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      • Scott H March 4, 2015 at 2:34 pm

        What is your idea of a small group?

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        • Alex March 4, 2015 at 4:07 pm

          I was being sarcastic.

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    • davemess March 4, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      Wow, way to go Oregonian!!!!
      Who knew?

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  • MNBikeLuv March 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I suppose it would be bad form to mention how many miles of new MTB trail are coming to MSP this summer…

    However, I will say this: In PDX you guys have tried to play the game with the city, but they don’t seem willing to pass you the ball. Its time to get off the court and threaten to burn the arena down with everyone inside.

    Imagine creating a 20min long YouTube documentary comparing MTBing in PDX to… say MSP or Duluth. Think of message it would send to everyone that watches it when you have on-screen interviews with the land managers in MN praising MTBers and the inevitable “no comment” from land managers in PDX. Throw in some sad music and forlorn faces. Then when you show up en mass at meetings with cameras in tow, every official is going to be thinking to themselves, “Those MTBers are recording us on this vote. I saw that thing they did on FB about PDX. If I’m not careful, I’m going to look like an anti-MTB curmudgeon in front of a lot of potential voters here.” All the sudden the power dynamics changes.

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    • dave March 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      I would totally chip into a kickstarter for that.

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    • Psyfalcon March 4, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      No, I think you need to tell me everything.

      I’m running out of reasons Portland is better than MSP or SLC.

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      • davemess March 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm

        I guess you still have no snow.

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        • Psyfalcon March 4, 2015 at 5:41 pm

          I like snow. Never before this winter have I wanted to be in Boston.

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  • Shogun March 4, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Just got back from two weeks of mountain biking bliss in Moab, UT. Funny how a town of 5,000 out in the middle of nowhere can beat Portland so badly at what they claim is their own game. Not only does Moab have almost limitless mountain bike trails, they have some really nice paved bike paths and lots of excellent road riding with little to no traffic.

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  • Oregon Mamacita March 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Well, after reading the Big O it looks like the reason to exclude MTB had to do with some fibbing at the time the land was purchased. So, while I still think you should stay within the process and not poach trails I do admit that the city behaved badly.

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    • Eric March 5, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Very true.
      The Oregonian reports that the land was originally bought using stormwater rate payer money on the claim that is was a necessity for fish habitat (or something like that) despite studies showing that the creeks in RVNA contribute very little to fish health in the Willamette.
      So that puts the city in an uncomfortable spot.
      They could not turn the area into a recreation area because that would go against their reason for buying it in the first place. Do you think that stormwater rate payers would like to subsidize a bunch of trails for Mountain Bikers? (well, I personally would, but I am odd…).
      The city officials were imagining headlines like:
      “Fish and Fritz conned rate payer’s and used their money to subsidize a eco-destroying mountain bike area.” That would not look good on their resumes.
      Good article read, and now I understand we are not the problem, we are just collateral damage from an earlier lie.

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      • VTRC March 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm

        What a bad decision…

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        • rick March 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm


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      • Bjorn March 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

        Still doesn’t make any sense considering that their study showed the biggest risk to the environment was dogs, but they still allow dogs at the site.

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  • ShareTheF!@#inPark March 5, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    FYI – VIA the NWTA facebook page – a local MTB advocate got some bumper stickers ordered for all that are interested in expressing their outrage in sticker form. http://teamrobot.bigcartel.com/product/portland-hates-mountain-bikes-sticker


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  • Lee McAlester March 18, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Surely you can find some City of Portland PR material where the City is bragging on “bike-friendly” etc, a little egg on the politicians’ faces always helps them change their minds. Show them you’ll publicly reveal their hypocrisy. Don’t just complain about it online. Show up at their offices with documented City promotional rhetoric on bike-friendly ideas, show city Chamber of Commerce (or Downtown Business Ass’n, etc) promos about bike-friendly, etc. Make them eat their words.

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