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Yes, those Private Property signs on Saltzman Road in Forest Park are legit


Signs on Saltzman Road. The Firelane 5 gate is on the right.
(Photos: Scott K.)

Since last summer we’ve heard from several readers who are curious about the proliferation of “Private Property: No Trespassing” signs on NW Saltzman Road as it approaches Skyline Boulevard and the Firelane 5 trailhead.

Saltzman is a revered route in Forest Park. It’s a key connector between Highway 30, Leif Erikson Road, and Skyline. The road is so well loved there’s been a bike jersey and a bicycle named after it.

Ever since I can remember, there have been a few Private Property signs as you reach the final few corners at the top. This seems strange given that it’s a public park. And lately, I can confirm that even more signs have gone up. Someone has also laid down a large tree across a trailhead that was a popular singletrack connector betwen Saltzman and Firelane 5.

Are the signs legitimate? Does someone really own that land?

With more signs going up in the past few weeks, I figured it was time to learn once-and-for-all. I contacted Portland Parks & Recreation spokesman Mark Ross to inquire about the signs.

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Ross was able to clarify that resident who owns land adjacent to Forest Park is within their legal rights to post them. He said that last half-mile (or so) of Saltzman Road goes right between a private landowner’s property and that, “This particular landowner has had many issues of trespass on their property.”

Ross added that the City of Portland has been working with the landowner and they plan on installing new signs that are, “less impactful to the experience of enjoying the natural area.” The signs will also do a much better job educating the public about their rights in the area and about why they should avoid leaving Saltzman Road in this area.

Here’s what the new signs will look like:

And here’s a close-up of the property rights map (Skyline would be at the bottom of the image):

Watch for the new signs to be installed in the next month or so.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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