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New nonprofit will manage Salmonberry Trail effort

Posted by on March 4th, 2019 at 4:31 pm

Alana Kambury gives a presentation to state officials at a Feb. 1 STIA meeting.
(Photo: Chas Hundley)

This story is from Chas Hundley, editor of the Gales Creek Journal. It was first published by Salmonberry Magazine.

A long-planned evolution in the development of the Salmonberry Trail took its first steps recently with the announcement by the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust that the Salmonberry Trail Foundation would be formed.

The foundation will take over assisting with Salmonberry Trail development from the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust (TFHT), a nonprofit established in 1999 to push for the development of the Tillamook Forest Center located along the Wilson River Highway in the Tillamook State Forest.

With the Salmonberry Trail, the trust found itself once again assisting in a major project in the state forest, supplying staff and their legal status as a nonprofit to the Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA), the governing body that is tasked with building the Salmonberry Trail.


In a letter to STIA dated November 10, 2018, Nels Gabbert, Chair of the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, said that the time for the nonprofit to get back to its core mission was now.

“In the early days of organizing for the Salmonberry Trail, the existing non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust agreed to provide temporary capacity and energy for start-up fundraising efforts to compliment the Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) mission of developing the trail. The Trust was well positioned for this start-up role given its primary focus on the state-owned forests of the Oregon Coast Range, and its existing governance as a supporting organization to the Oregon Department of Forestry, one of the state agencies leading STIA.”

Alana Kambury, Communications and Outreach Director for TFHT, has been tasked with the development of the foundation, and in an email to the Banks Post/Gales Creek Journal, said that she expects the foundation will receive nonprofit status from Oregon and the IRS as early as May 2019.

The trust, with a mission “To acquire, obtain and maintain funds, materials or labor for donation in the development, operation, management and maintenance of The Salmonberry Trail,” according to Kambury, is identifying board members, seeking partnerships with organizations with similar interests in the Salmonberry Trail, and identifying funding sources.

For inquiries, email Alana Kambury at

— Chas Hundley, @chashundley on Twitter and

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Scott Kocher

Will it connect to Portland?

Racer X
Racer X

Too bad Banks has turned “sour” on the “traffic” that the trail generates. Imagine Banks without the trail (like before it was fininshed, I remember.) I doubt the Thriftway would have stayed this long. There is limited transit…but way too limited to be a any help to get to the trailhead. Sounds like an opportunity similar to the Gorge once things get rolling.


Best of luck to this group. I’m betting that the amount of money to make this route work and survive the same floods that destroyed the rail line multiple times in the final decade that it was open to trains will be far more than the state will be willing to pay. I have ridden the gravel roads all over the area around Reehers/Cochran/Salmonberry area for over 20 years and the route is in very poor condition. I think it would be a lot easier and cost effective to use some gravel roads to skip the part of the old rail line that is always trashed by floods by building one or two bridges over the Salmonberry to avoid that area. While it is nice to have the low grade route, pedestrians and bikes can tackle steeper grades than trains which opens up more options for the route that are more sustainable and cheaper.

Jason H
Jason H

Reading the recently released Valley Segment Final Report Plan It’s pretty clear that the heavily damaged canyon segment would certainly be the last phase to be completed and is likely decades away. Many of us over 40 may never get to ride the full route in our lifetimes.

The trestles and tunnels in that section would be the crown jewels of the full trail though. And worth connecting, even if the trail goes on a new alignment to avoid currently heavily damaged sections/potential future problems (the plans extensively map erosion/landslide hazard areas). From the plan: “The locations of this [storm] damage also suggests that
sections of the future Canyon Trail may have to be aligned outside of the rail right-of-way.” Keep in mind though that many of your proposed logging road alternates would not match he ADA compliant trail grades that need to be accommodated for government funding.

The salve to this timeframe is that development of most of both the coastal and valley segments of the trail will likely come much earlier providing many miles of trail to ride as separate experiences in the intervening years. The valley segment would provide a number of loop options from Banks of varying lengths by combining with the BV trail (the two would diverge at Manning). Connections between the two trails would be on Fisher/Bacona Rds. A new connector trail in SSSP and Timber Rd. between Timber and just S. of Vernonia. And the coastal section would be spectacular even if linear between Tillamook and Wheeler.


Is any part of the trail currently open? It’s really confusing. I’ve thought about going out there, but their web site says clearly, “… what’s out there now is just not ready — nor is it safe or legal — for public access.”

Is there a section that is currently open and/or available for public access? Comments on here make it sound like something is open in Banks.


The section above Banks is snowy now but fun to ride with the whole family. You will want to have at least 28 mm tires, a lite snack, a cute jacket ..and bring ID so we can identify your scattered bones in the spring melt.