Tour de Lab September 1st

Staff changes at Mount Hood Meadows highlight resort’s shift toward bike recreation

Posted by on September 14th, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Images from a Timberline Mountain Bike Park
brochure. A lawsuit has stalled that
plan, but Mount Hood Meadows says
biking is on the upswing regardless.

Fun in the snow remains huge on Mount Hood. But there’s growing consensus that the mountain’s future is likely to be elsewhere.

With average snowpack levels ebbing and mountain biking booming in popularity, Mount Hood Meadows is reorganizing its team to emphasize this new market, among others.

The company recently dropped “ski resort” from its official logo. On Monday, it followed that up with an announcement of that three new company vice presidents have been tasked with focusing on new facilities, programs and staff for year-round — that is, non-snow — recreation.

“Meadows is established as a successful and popular winter recreation center, primarily offering snow sports activities,” the company said in a news release. “The company is actively developing products, services and experiences to complement this traditional business.”

The release also mentions children’s rafting as a new program on the mountain.

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The new vice presidents are Steve Warila (“mountain operations and planning”), Jeremy Riss (“resort and commercial operations”) and Matt Troskey (administration). All three were promoted from within.

“We feel biking (mountain, road, cross country and events like cyclocross) will be very important to expanding our year ‘round appeal and activities,” Mount Hood Meadows spokesman Dave Tragethon wrote in an email Monday after we asked about biking’s role in the resort’s future plans. “We are waiting to see what happens with the current litigation going on regarding the Timberline Bike Park, but we don’t see the our opportunity for biking will be constrained by or dependent on a bike park at Meadows. That includes trail riding – we currently have some great trails at Cooper Spur and will be hosting a CycloCross event October 4.”

Though it’s hard to clap for the endangerment of snow, it’s good news that Mount Hood’s institutions are moving to make biking a bigger part of their offering.

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68 Comments
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    SilkySlim September 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Mountain bikers have found a powerful ally in global warming.

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    spencer September 14, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Oh the irony! Driving 90 minutes with fossil fuels just to ride a bike, when in fact we have forests and trails here right in town that we are excluded from. How much does each car tip with a hiker/biker/skier/boarder subtract from our winter’s annual snowfall?

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      Alex September 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      The irony is even richer when you consider the reasons mountain biking is excluded is for “green” reasons by people who call themselves “environmentalists”.

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        9watts September 14, 2015 at 3:04 pm

        spencer:
        “Oh the irony! Driving 90 minutes with fossil fuels just to ride a bike, when in fact we have forests and trails here right in town that we are excluded from. How much does each car tip with a hiker/biker/skier/boarder subtract from our winter’s annual snowfall?”

        I’d venture that the larger problem—the one that, if you dig a little, is behind climate change and many of the subsidiary smaller problems—is entitlement: entitlement to use fossil fuels, entitlement to bike in certain places, both near and far, entitlement to have our share of the goodies, now. Recreation, so understood, does subtract from our winter’s former annual snowfall, but so do many other activities.

        Alex:
        “The irony is even richer when you consider the reasons mountain biking is excluded is for ‘green’ reasons by people who call themselves ‘environmentalists’.”

        Yikes. When do we concede that we as a species have overdone it? That we can’t have everything we thought we were entitled to? I suspect there are good reasons to exclude people (walking, biking, horseback riding, snowboarding, etc.) from certain areas, just as I suspect there are good reasons to want to open (other) areas to those activities. In a full world, getting to do anything and everything everywhere is an anachronistic and arrogant fantasy. Things get interesting when what I want to do interferes with or precludes what you want to do. I don’t think this is a very good time to lob insults, but rather to exhibit some humility, explore opportunities for compromise.

        There are many flavors of green, but there is nothing automatically green about mountain biking just anywhere, once there are so many of us who all want to do the same thing in a finite area. This is less a problem with the activity per se, than with the level of demand for the activity.

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          Alex September 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm

          > I suspect there are good reasons to exclude people (walking, biking, horseback riding, snowboarding, etc.) from certain areas, just as I suspect there are good reasons to want to open (other) areas to those activities.

          Of course there are good reasons to exclude people from certain areas. I think if you look at the lawsuit though, which I think you should, you would see that the point of contention isn’t really the environmental impact of building mountain bike trails on the mountain, it is mainly regarding how the skiers and the company/gov’t have handled themselves. I would love to know the “good” reasons to keep mountain bikes off the mountain that are related to mountain bikes and not just see political/legal red tape that keeps getting put up to wade through from groups that have historically tried to exclude to mountain bikers from “their” trails based on them being an “environmentalist” (and as far as I can tell, really not just NIMBYism).

          > Things get interesting when what I want to do interferes with or precludes what you want to do. I don’t think this is a very good time to lob insults, but rather to exhibit some humility, explore opportunities for compromise.

          I never meant to lob insults. The real insult, in my opinion, is to claim that mountain bikers (as a group) aren’t environmentalists, which most of these groups seemingly claim. Mountain biking has made me increasingly more aware of my surroundings and my impact on the environment and world around me – all the way from my impact on current conditions to soil to my impact on global warming.

          > There are many flavors of green, but there is nothing automatically green about mountain biking just anywhere, once there are so many of us who all want to do the same thing in a finite area. This is less a problem with the activity per se, than with the level of demand for the activity.

          There is nothing automatically green about anything and I never meant to claim that. I would say that most of the popular hiking locations I have visited around the world have had the most blown out trails, cut switchbacks and litter surrounding them that I have seen compared to other forms of recreation and that what you said applies the same to hikers (there is nothing inherently green about it).

          The problem is more about sharing resources, I agree. There is literally less than a mile of legitimate single track access open to mountain bikes in Portland and many more miles open to horses and hikers. I don’t think there I am entitled to to anything (and quite frankly, that argument is getting quite old and played out), but I do think there should be some sort of proportional access to a legitimate and low impact activity in this city.

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            9watts September 14, 2015 at 8:37 pm

            Thanks for your responses, and the push back, Alex. I appreciate all the nuance you brought to bear on this issue. I think that tends to be what I miss the most when it comes to discussing mountain biking here.

            “The real insult, in my opinion, is to claim that mountain bikers (as a group) aren’t environmentalists, which most of these groups seemingly claim.”

            This one’s interesting, and I’d be curious to hear more about it. Or to discuss what qualifies someone as ‘an environmentalist’ – or ‘a non-environmentalist’ for that matter. My suspicion would be that, like we’ve seen with people who dis/obey traffic rules, the violators are pretty evenly distributed across modes. Some people who mountain bike no doubt care a lot, are respectful, etc. But there are almost certainly also some who do/are not. This matter of labels, though, is kind of precious. What does it have to do with the issue at hand? Some of us exhale a lot of CO2 in a day/a life; others less. The challenge I think is to figure out ways to ramp down the damage each of us individually, and we all collectively, do until we hit zero.

            I have not read the lawsuit and as you say I probably should. Do you have a link you can share?

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              Alex September 14, 2015 at 10:13 pm

              Here is a link to the lawsuit, which was posted by bikeportland earlier – http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/mtb_lawsuit.pdf

              This whole idea of who or who is not an environmentalist is a bit of a joke, quite frankly. There are a number of scientific papers that have studied the impact of mountain biking on wildlife and the land and pretty much all equate it to hiking. It isn’t about who thinks who is more of an environmentalist and more about hard numbers, in my opinion. We can decrease the amount of oil being burnt by increasing local access, which is considered one of the the biggest threats to the environment. Period. Why would we not do this? The impact, as noted in the lawsuit above, really has more to do with overall access (which you noted), but can be dealt with in a sane way. I would prefer to deal with the reality of that situation than to pretend it has to do with mountain biking – which is what a lot of the groups involved in the lawsuit and in Portland proper have been doing.

              > Some people who mountain bike no doubt care a lot, are respectful, etc. But there are almost certainly also some who do/are not. This matter of labels, though, is kind of precious. What does it have to do with the issue at hand? Some of us exhale a lot of CO2 in a day/a life; others less. The challenge I think is to figure out ways to ramp down the damage each of us individually, and we all collectively, do until we hit zero.

              These are generalizations that can be lobbed at any group. I will say this again as it bears repeating, for me and the vast majority of people I have ridden mountain bikes with in my life, we are very concerned about the environment, the impact we have on it and we do not feel entitled to access all of the land all of the time. The access to land mountain bikers have, however, is disproportionally low in proportion to the number of miles and the scientific evidence of the impact on both the wildlife and the soil (which are about equivalent to that of hikers and less than that of horses according to all studies I have read).

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 2:46 am

                So, my reading of the lawsuit document is that the people suing claim that RLK (who operates Meadows) is proposing adding 17 miles of mtb trail; that the facilities exist in “Tier 1” watersheds for salmon recovery; that other RLK facilities have been a “major and chronic” source of sediment to said watersheds; that RLK’s restoration activities related to recent construction were not successful; that the proposed trails will be up to 99″ wide (that’s a tad over 8′, less than a road, but more than a hiking trail); that the Forest Service concedes that the impact of this trail construction will be similar to that of road construction in terms of sedimentation; that RLK submitted a development plan that was accepted by the Forest Service without opportunity for public review; that the bike trails were added to the plan without environmental analysis; and that the Forest Service has not abided by laws requiring an Environmental Impact Statement, has not revealed the basis for assumptions about the effectiveness of restoration work, and has generally not done what it should in terms of the various plans and such already in effect.

                That’s a pretty dense paragraph, but I think it fairly summarizes the major claims of the lawsuit.

                Do you agree this is reasonably accurate?

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                Alex September 15, 2015 at 8:29 am

                RLK doesn’t manage Meadows, they manage Timberline.

                I think the part that you directly copied and pasted out of one of the leading paragraphs is only part of the lawsuit. The paragraph placed above that more accurately describes the majority of contention in the lawsuit. Another large contention in there has to do with expanded lodging, mentioned below the paragraph you quoted.

                “The existing infrastructure associated with Timberline Lodge and Ski Area has been and continues to be a major and chronic source of sediment delivery to Still Creek and West Fork Salmon River negatively impacting water quality and aquatic life. Existing sediment sources include ski area facilities, lifts, parking lots, roads, clear cutting ski runs and highway
                sanding operations. ”

                It really has more to with RLK and the Forest Service not meeting their previous contract agreements. The part you quoted really seems to only deal with the 7th claim for relief in the lawsuit.

                Where were you going with this?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 10:09 am

                Ok, my bad about who RLK is; obviously you are pretty familiar with the suit, whereas I read it for the first time at 2AM. The summary of the lawsuit you linked to was written entirely by me, except where I quoted, and any misrepresentations are my fault.

                The suit asserts that trail construction is comparable to road construction in terms of introducing silt into the watershed. I don’t know if this is true (though the suit claims that the Forest Service agrees it is), but I do know is that silt is very bad for salmon and other fish.

                Where I am going is this: if the lawsuit you linked to states the facts correctly, then the general claim elsewhere in this forum that building mtb trails is environmentally benign is not credible. Since the facts above relate to Timberline and not Meadows, it may well be that Meadows is not in a critical watershed, or perhaps that the management at Meadows will be better about reducing the impacts of construction/operation of the trails. However, I don’t think one can dismiss the possibility, nay, probability that mountain biking in a setting like Mt. Hood comes with some real environmental costs, and to suggest as others have that opponents are filing baseless lawsuits solely to make money may not be correct.

                I agree with the notion that developing trails closer to the city would be preferable, and might be one way to provide riding opportunities without inducing so much driving, energy use (assuming these trails will be served by chairlifts), or other impacts on the mountain landscape.

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                Alex September 15, 2015 at 11:45 am

                My main point isn’t that there is no impact – there obviously is. That being said, as I stated, mountain biking in general has about the same impact as hiking. The proposed trail construction itself has a greater impact than other trails, but less than the impact of cutting down huge swaths of trees for ski runs (which has been done already).

                And I will reiterate what I said earlier, the main contentions of the lawsuit doesn’t have to do with the impact of the proposed trail, it has to do with the RLK and the Federal Gov’t not meeting their previous contractual obligations. Without those, there wouldn’t be much of a lawsuit.

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      Granpa September 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      And high altitude ecosystems, with cooler temperatures and short growing seasons are very slow to recover from disturbances than lower elevation ecosystems that happen to be where the people are.

      I’m not a booster for mt. biking, but it is the right thing to do to have the sport enabled here in town than to put more people on the roads and on that small island of high altitude ecosystem of Mt. Hood.

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        Alex September 14, 2015 at 1:34 pm

        You should read the lawsuit and the science around the impacts of mountain biking on the environment.

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        davemess September 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        Many (most?) of the major ski resorts in the Western states have some kind of mountain biking these days. Are we really calling Hood Meadows (at 4.5k feet) “high altitude”?

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          Granpa September 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm

          The highest chair goes to 7305 and the resort perimeter goes as high as 9000′ So yes, I would call that high elevation, especially as this is in comparison to the surrounding countryside. The Mt. Hood Meadows Mt. biking plan is not on paper (to the best of my knowledge) but one would imagine the bike runs would be at a higher elevation than the parking lot. Comparing Mt. Hood to other western states ski resorts is a red herring. Utah, Colorado, B.C. and even California mountains are massifs of high elevation terrain where the alpine ecosystem is not an island within eyeshot of other alpine islands, but not connected.

          The responses to my comment wherein I say I am not a mt. bike booster does not say I am against mt. bikes, and I continued that the sport should be enabled near our population center to take stress off of more delicate ecosystems. What part of that is so antagonizing? You try to deny Mt. Hood is high elevation. Do you also deny that high elevation landscapes are delicate and have a short “recovery” season? My guess is that you want free reign to ride everywhere. If you are denied access you poach trails (or cut new trails) proudly and arrogantly using the rationale that you have the right because the restrictions are wrong.

          FWIW I was hiking in Smith Rock over the Labor Day holiday and shared trails with mt. bikers and they were nothing but courteous.

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            Zimmerman September 14, 2015 at 4:41 pm

            My favorite part of your response is where you assume daverness was feeling antagonized by your post and then you go on to assume all kinds of things about his desire to ride a mountain bike like a nuclear weapon, destroying everything in his path. In reality, he may only want to kill salmon and hikers wearing scarves…

            Or, he might want to ride on well constructed trails built to resist erosion while offering an excellent user experience. That’s how all the bike parks I’ve been to operate. Sustainable trails equal sustainable business.

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              Granpa September 14, 2015 at 4:57 pm

              It is creative that you are able to imagine my thinking. There can be environmental impact without killing salmon or causing erosion. If a landscape has wildlife, it is near or at the land’s carrying capacity. Nature abhors a vacuum so every niche is occupied. What that means to the occupants is that everything is spoken for or that every animal, bird and fish is living (for part of its year) on the brink of starvation. To have more people gliding gracefully down well engineered trails will still startle animals. It will keep animals in hiding and keep them from where they might be feeding. In the summer when life is flush that won’t result in death, but in winter….. well it will be a laugh riot for those who make jokes about killing wildlife.

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                Zimmerman September 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm

                And yet, when I go to Whistler I have to be aware that multiple families of bears live very near the trails and are not at all afraid of people riding mountain bikes. They thrive there, isn’t that odd? How strange that I have ridden trails all over this country and have had plenty of encounters with wildlife where I stopped, observed and carried on my way without ever causing said animals to run away in fear for their lives. I’d love to see some actual data on this, acknowledging that my anecdotes are just that.

                Obviously, I was making a joke about your thinking since you felt the need to assume what daverness was thinking from his incredibly short post. I do not want to kill salmon or hikers wearing scarves any more than I want to scare off wildlife with my bike.

                Which part of this response do you not feel requires a telepathic link with daverness, “My guess is that you want free reign to ride everywhere. If you are denied access you poach trails (or cut new trails) proudly and arrogantly using the rationale that you have the right because the restrictions are wrong.”

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                Granpa September 14, 2015 at 5:28 pm

                I am mistaken in thinking Daveerness wants to poach trails. I was thinking of the folks who poached the wildlife refuge of Ross Island. He has me dead to rights for pot/kettle.

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                davemess September 15, 2015 at 7:57 am

                Yes, you’re COMPLETELY mistaken. my original post said absolutely nothing about poaching trails. And again, give people places to ride and you get a lot fewer “poached” trails.

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                davemess September 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm

                “It is creative that you are able to imagine my thinking.”
                Pot calling the kettle black on that one…….

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                Alex September 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

                No one poached trails on Ross Island and there certainly isn’t mountain biking on Ross Island. They rode their fat bikes on the shore of the island on the legal side of the signs that say you can’t go beyond the signs. That is not poaching, that is just riding a bike.

                Regarding your concerns about how high these trails might go, all of the trails proposed at Timberline were on the lower part of the property and did not go into the more fragile, higher alpine zones.

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                Damon Quade September 15, 2015 at 11:07 am

                All human activity will disrupt wildlife. Do you support a moratorium of all human activity in these areas?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 11:27 am

                Does it have to be all-or-nothing?

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                Alex September 15, 2015 at 5:17 pm

                Hello, Kitty,

                No – it doesn’t haven’t to be all or nothing, but there should be something closer to a proportional representation of trails available based on scientific evidence of the impact on the environment. Unfortunately, politics involving other long time user groups have dominated the conversation, effectively cutting out other good stewards of the land. In fact, I would say the Portland area has an excelled at keeping mountain bikes out of most places and the amount of single track available to mountain bikes has only only shrunk while the user base has grown. This isn’t the normal case for other cities around the world.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 5:20 pm

                Bye bye, ATV recreation!

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                Alex September 15, 2015 at 5:57 pm

                Not at all, there are appropriate places for that, but the impact on the environment of that sport is much higher. There is a ton of science that supports this, as well.

                Now you are the one who is all or nothing it seems.

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            Damon Quade September 15, 2015 at 10:53 am

            If relieving stress on the ecosystem is the goal, then the Sierra Club and its supporters should gladly support the closure of hiking trails to aid in that goal. As someone who mountain bikes about twice a year and hikes once a week, I find the resistance to mtb on Mt. Hood due to overuse while thousands of people hike in those areas every week disengenuous. If it was really about overuse, we should be talking about reducing all forms of recreation, not just the ones a person may not utilize.

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      Wondering September 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      That there’s not convenient public transportation from downtown to Mt. Hood and the Gorge (on the Oregon side, up HWY 30) for hiking, biking, tourism, is a shame.

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        dan September 14, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        Who would subsidize such a network?

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          wsbob September 14, 2015 at 11:37 pm

          “That there’s not convenient public transportation from downtown to Mt. Hood and the Gorge (on the Oregon side, up HWY 30) for hiking, biking, tourism, is a shame.” Wondering

          How many, I don’t know, but there apparently are in Europe, ski resorts accessible by train. Costly, but tourism pays for it.

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          Mike Mason September 15, 2015 at 7:35 am

          For those interested in seeing improved transit options to and from Mt. Hood, you should have a look at current planning work led by Clackamas County:

          http://lsccs.com/projects/mthood/

          The plan is looking at future alternatives for expanding transit.

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            9watts September 15, 2015 at 7:40 am

            Thanks for that link. I hope the Clackamas Co. folks also consider coordinating with the Oregon Connector folks here: http://www.nworegontransit.org/

            That system, as big an improvement as it is over what we used to have, currently has some very large holes in it and it would be great to see more coordination among the counties in NW Oregon.

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          9watts September 15, 2015 at 7:45 am

          “Who would subsidize such a network?”

          Oh, I don’t know… maybe the Tax Payers of Oregon?

          Remember how many millions ($70!) we, the Tax Payers of Oregon, mostly, just sunk into the expanded interchange in Woodburn (ribbon cutting ceremony was yesterday), so that the thousands who like to visit the Outlet Mall there could fill the parking lots even faster?

          http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/GOVREL/Pages/Woodburn-Interchange.aspx
          http://www.pamplinmedia.com/wbi/152-news/271226-146770-interchange-ribbon-cutting-ceremony-set-for-sept-14

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            rachel b September 15, 2015 at 11:51 am

            Guhhh, that story filled me with woe when I heard it delivered by two chirpy newscasters.

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            wsbob September 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm

            “Remember how many millions ($70!) we, the Tax Payers of Oregon, mostly, just sunk into the expanded interchange in Woodburn (ribbon cutting ceremony was yesterday), so that the thousands who like to visit the Outlet Mall there could fill the parking lots even faster? …” watts

            To Oregon taxpayers, that money spent is probably worth it too. Those type expenditures fall into the category of economy building. An always present consideration, or one that at least should be always present with such situations, is whether the associated compromises are worth it.

            Is it worth the health of the economy, business and individuals to pave big areas of open land for parking around big buildings built to sell stuff which in turn brings more people in their motor vehicles onto already congested highways?

            The ‘health of the economy’ is a consideration that’s been presented before to make the case for using natural lands on Mt Hood and here in Portland, for vehicular recreation, including mountain biking. To stay in the black when the slopes aren’t white, ski resorts no doubt, really need the income that mountain biking on high mountain soil potentially could bring in. Of course, there would be compromises in permitting that use of that land. Would making those compromises be worth various benefits gained…economic growth/health, recreational opportunity, etc…?

            For many, many years, a big enough pile of money offered, could induce people to agree to about any conceivable compromise to the environment and to the experience that natural lands offer to inhabitants of urban and rural communities; slowly, many people have become far more cautious about agreeing to those kinds of deals, which doesn’t necessarily mean such deals can’t or won’t still happen.

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        Kenny1 September 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

        What is convenient? I can leave work downtown, catch a MAX to Gresham, a bus to Sandy and then a bus to Timberline in about three hours. There is zero walking and fairly flexible schedules. Or just ride the Springwater to Gresham or all the way up to Sandy.

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      wsbob September 15, 2015 at 12:29 am

      “… Driving 90 minutes with fossil fuels just to ride a bike, when in fact we have forests and trails here right in town that we are excluded from. …” spencer

      You’re not excluded from forests and trails in Portland…only the use of those resources with your bike for mountain biking, is excluded.

      At ski resorts for alpine skiing, jumps and downhill runs tend to be the essential standard. This being the case, it’s not too much of a stretch to give consideration to mountain biking, which also seems to be partial to jumps and downhill runs, as possibly being compatible with land permitted for use at ski resorts…except for the fact that mountain biking isn’t done on snow.

      People in Portland, and surrounding cities, seem predominately disinclined to have natural land resources within their city limits be used for the relatively fast moving, jumping and downhill running typically associated with mountain biking.

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        spencer September 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm

        wsbob- interesting how you mis-quoted me and omitted half of my 1st sentence to only address driving bikers, and not driving bikers/ hikers/skiers/boarders. See comment 2 for non cherry picked arguments. I for one wsbob, ride a bike on trails and do NOT wish to use a chairlift. I do however, ride conscientiously, in and out of town, on trails.

        “Oh the irony! Driving 90 minutes with fossil fuels just to ride a bike, when in fact we have forests and trails here right in town that we are excluded from. How much does each car tip with a hiker/biker/skier/boarder subtract from our winter’s annual snowfall?

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        Alex September 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm

        One falsehood you regularly spread is that the residents of Portland don’t want it, yet you have no facts to back up that is what the majority of people want. Please don’t claim political majority when you don’t have it. The majority of people (at least the ones that cared enough to show up and vote, which is how democracy works) want more single track access in Forest Park. Really, I don’t think the majority care one way or another if it is done in a way that is congruent with environmental concerns.

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    mark September 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    The lawsuit cabal is about Money. If they win the lawsuit, they can sue for legal costs. They have been so successful, it’s almost a cottage industry. Until this law is changed, there will be more lawsuits despite the irrational nature of such things.

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      Alex September 14, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Can you be specific about what you mean? I have read the full lawsuit and didn’t get a feeling the lawsuit against Timberline is about money. It really seems like it is just a continuation of hikers excluding other users through passive-aggressive means (i.e. the lawsuit isn’t about mountain biking, it is about other things that are used as an excuse but effectively keep bikes out).

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    mark September 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    It’s simple. They find a cause, sue over it..then collect legal fees from the loser. They look good on paper to their donors (The evil moutain bikers are banned from the snowflake forest!) and collect a ton of money in fees.

    It’s a tactic used on the environmental front. This is often why the USFS will simply settle over an issue vs. litigate.

    Not to say there aren’t great causes to litigate over..it’s just abused.

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    Dan Sr. September 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I am neutral on the “where should MTB be allowed” debate — no horse in the race — but I am pretty sad to think about the snowless future of Mt. Hood. Sorry future generations.

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    Eric September 14, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    This is the best news I have heard today! More MTB’ing on Mt Hood!! (…and in the Portland area too!).
    And smart move by Meadows to diversify, since snow fall is such a crap shoot every year. Just wondering what has taken them so long. Dirt never melts! (well, technically it can turn to mud, but you know what I mean).

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty September 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Zimmerman
    Sustainable trails equal sustainable business.

    If that were true, the ski industry would be a lot smaller here in the US.

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      Zimmerman September 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Are we talking about skiing? This is a post about mountain biking at Mt. Hood Meadows.

      Last I checked they were very, very different activities requiring very different facilities. People are not pointing bicycles straight down clear cut ski runs. If that’s your idea of what Mt. Biking looks like at a resort you’re lacking information.

      Mt. Bikers ride on the trails. If the trails are awful no one will pay to ride them. Why would any business want to design a user experience that keeps people away?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

        We were not talking about skiing. We were talking about mountain biking…

        …in the specific context of a ski area operator building and maintaining trails. I was pointing out that the industry does not have a good record with their non-biking trails, and was challenging your assertion that 1) they would do better with mountain biking because 2) their customers would not show up if they didn’t.

        I see no reason why mountain bikers would be more sensitive to the environmental injuries of their sport than skiers, and skiers show up in droves (when there’s snow, of course!)

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          Mark September 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm

          OK, we get it. In your world, you believe that trails up on mount hood are going to harm some sweet animal or fish. Don’t worry. Your favorite multi million dollar 1 percenters law firm are fighting in your name to pretty much ban everything other than photography from hwy 26. Just think, while you can rest easy, they are commuting their Mercedes up into the west hills to their mcmansions.

          On your taxpayer dollar.

          Now…several ski mountains have trails. Guess what… It matters not at all. To your assertion that nebulous ski areas are ripping the forest apart putting in mtb trails….well…let’s go back to how you view the world. Ski areas, mtb trails =bad.

          There are thousands of miles of mtb trails all over the USA. The notion that they are detrimental… Is nothing more than nimbysism on steroids.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 14, 2015 at 6:39 pm

            I never said I was opposed to mountain biking at Meadows, only pointing out what I saw was faulty logic. I don’t think anyone would dispute the notion that the ski industry in the US has generally (there are exceptions) not been a good steward of the environment. Maybe they’ll do better with their mountain biking facilities. I hope they do. But I don’t take it for granted.

            And please… dial back the personal rhetoric a little. You really have no way of knowing what kind of cars my 1% lawyer friends drive to their McMansions.

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          • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
            Michael Andersen (News Editor) September 15, 2015 at 9:56 am

            Mark, you’re being more personal and aggressive than you need to be. It is possible to talk about the problems of greed that you see here with courtesy. Please do so.

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    jered September 14, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Every time someone comments on the internet an Angel loses its wings.

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    rachel b September 15, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Smart of Meadows, indeed.

    I’d give anything to get our old weather back.

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      davemess September 15, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Yes, I”m amazed that it has taken Meadows and Timberline this long. They are easily at least a decade behind the curve regarding summer recreation.

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    Jon September 15, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Personally I don’t think any humans should be allowed in Federal Wilderness Areas. Hikers, Bikers, Equestrians, Hunters, etc. should be banned so that it is a reserve for wild animals only. Any human use will cause damage and impact wildlife. Humans have free reign in 99% of the land. Give wild animals a little space free from humans.

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      Zimmerman September 15, 2015 at 6:59 am

      Good thing we’re not talking about federally protected wilderness areas. This is a conversation about a ski resort.

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      UncleMuscles September 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      Humans are not aliens, dropped here from a distant planet. We are part of the ecosystem just as much as anything else. The idea of banning humans from the wilderness underlies much of the incorrect thinking which drives radical modern environmentalism.

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        Jon September 15, 2015 at 4:13 pm

        Cyclist don’t currently have access to Federal Wilderness areas so if they were closed to all humans cyclists would have exactly the same access as we do today.

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          Dave Thomson September 15, 2015 at 9:31 pm

          i am a cyclist and frequently access wilderness areas. Is your bike somehow attached permanently rendering you unable to go into wilderness areas, schools, and hospitals?

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            Alex September 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

            You are not a cyclist in wilderness areas if you aren’t riding a bike there – then you are a pedestrian. Just like I don’t take the bike lane when I am walking, I use the sidewalk, even though I ride my bikes at other times and consider myself a cyclist.

            The wilderness ban on bikes is ridiculous considering that horses are allowed. I wish we had a science based policy, but we don’t; we just have a lot of holier than though hikers who think they should be able to walk anywhere they please and be jerks about it.

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              Dan September 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm

              I used to repair trail in Wyoming. Pretty disheartening to spend all day fixing up a bog and making it a nice trail again, only to have 20 horses come stomping through there at the end of the day and turn it back into a bog again.

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    Fred #17 September 15, 2015 at 9:51 am

    funny that nobody is mentioning Ski Bowl here… 40 miles of trails.

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      davemess September 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Yeah, definitely curious. Especially considering it is closer to Portland than the other two.

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        Dan Sr. September 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm

        Ski Bowl may be a little less popular with the bikey crowd in Portland since its owner’s drunken hit and run of a cyclist. I know I’ve avoided Ski Bowl ever since the incident.

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    Jon September 15, 2015 at 9:58 am

    For a ski area I think mountain bikes, hikers, horses, etc. are a great use. It is a completely developed environment. I also think that hikers, bikers, horses, and hunters should be able to use non-Wilderness forest lands for recreation. The non-Wilderness areas are already open to mining, logging, etc. Federal Wilderness areas are a very small percentage of the US land area and in my opinion should be reserved for wild animals and not humans who occupy 95% of the rest of the land.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 15, 2015 at 10:14 am

      I somewhat agree with this point. I suspect, however, that they are talking about new trails, not repurposing existing ones for summer recreation. Regardless, some of the facilities (lodges, parking lots, access roads, etc.) would likely be reused.

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    Aaron September 15, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    From a mountain biker point of view, the terrain and soil at Mt Hood Meadows would be far better than what Timberline can offer. And I’ve ridden at both places.

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    Brent Zemel July 20, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    why is it that California has more singletrack bike trails and better access than Oregon? I though this place was “bike friendly” Lots and lots and lots of paved bike trails and boring gravel roads though. .

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