Big sale at Community Cycling Center

NW Trail Alliance signs lease to manage 3,000-acre parcel north of Portland

Posted by on July 29th, 2019 at 9:00 am

Lease boundary map. Multnomah Channel and Sauvie Island are on the right.
(Click to enlarge)

Portland-based nonprofit Northwest Trail Alliance has signed a lease agreement with Weyerhaeuser that allows them to manage nearly 3,000 acres of forested land between Highway 30 and Skyline Road just 15 miles north of Portland City Hall.

To put the size of the parcel into perspective, it’s roughly equivalent to a section of Forest Park between the Thurman gate in northwest Portland and the St. Johns Bridge.

This is literally and figuratively a very big deal.

Known as the Rocky Point parcel because it straddles Rocky Point Road, the land offers a trove of opportunities for both gravel and singletrack trail riding. The northern part of the property (about 20% of total land on the lease) is already a well-known spot for mountain biking with access via turnouts on Rocky Point Road; but the trails are informal, undeveloped — and due to forestry operations — access is often closed without warning.

Riding in the Scappose mountain biking area.
(Photo: jordan_n22/Flickr)

This historic agreement offers great new riding relatively close to Portland — something in very high demand given the lack of access in Forest Park and River View Natural Area. The lease also strengthens the relationship between the largest timberland owner and largest off-road bicycling organization in the region — a major coup for the NW Trail Alliance that illustrates the group’s maturation and growth over the past five years.

As part of the agreement, NWTA will complete an inventory of existing trails and will have the ability to build new ones. They will also assume responsibility for maintenance of the trails and maintain a list of people authorized to use them.

“We appreciate NWTA’s cooperative approach to Rocky Point and look forward to cultivating a long-term relationship.”
— Michelle Metcalf, Weyerhaeuser

NWTA will supply Weyerhaeuser with a list of members who have access privileges to the property effective August 1st of this year. That means if you want to ride the Rocky Point area you must be an NWTA member (memberships are $39 a year for individuals, $50 for families). Members who want to ride at Rocky Point will need to sign a liability waiver and agree to certain conditions before being granted a “Rocky Point Access Permit”.

To oversee the project, NWTA will assemble a Rocky Point Stewardship Team made up of staff and volunteers. They’ve also agreed to develop a trail management plan that will be coordinated with Weyerhaeuser to avoid conflict with Weyerhaeuser’s forestry operations.

There are other limitations in the agreement such as no biking access during fire risk closures and periodic closures during active forestry operations. NWTA will maintain an up to date web page detailing the most current conditions, and the general limitations of the lease.

Michelle Metcalf, Weyerhaeuser’s manager of recreation programs, said the company looks forward to working with NWTA to create a fun, safe and well-managed area for non-motorized recreation. “Weyerhaeuser values all types of recreational activity and welcomes opportunities to balance recreational access and land management activities,” Metcalf shared. “We appreciate NWTA’s cooperative approach to Rocky Point and look forward to cultivating a long-term relationship.”

NW Trail Alliance organized a volunteer clean-up day at Rocky Point in 2011, laying the groundwork for this historic partnership.
(Photos: Andy Jansky)

“We’ve been working on this relationship for many years.”
— Andy Jansky, advocacy director NW Trail Alliance

In 2015 we reported that Weyerhaeuser began a permit program for their local parcels. At that time, they offered a lease on a portion of this Rocky Point area to the public. NWTA considered signing on, but ultimately declined due to insurance liability and organizational capacity limitations. Thankfully, an individual advocate stepped up. John “Dabby” Campbell purchased the lease in 2015 and has managed it ever since. Campbell, a NWTA volunteer and veteran Portland bicycling advocate, has willingly stepped down from his lease so that NWTA could enter into a larger scale agreement.

The partnership benefits Weyerhaeuser by bringing a highly motivated group of land stewards onto their property and by strengthening their connection to the community. It’s just the latest example of how the NWTA has earned the trust of a land manager.

In 2016 the NWTA successfully advocated for mountain biking trails in Metro’s North Tualatin Mountains (just south of the Rocky Point parcel) and the group has been instrumental in the success of ridings areas like Stub Stewart State Park, Gateway Green, and the Sandy Ridge Trails where they’ve established productive working relationships with Oregon State Parks, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the Bureau of Land Management respectively.

NWTA Advocacy Director Andy Jansky helped organize a work party at Rocky Point in 2011 to clean up trash and other debris that had been illegally dumped in the forest (photos above). “We’ve been working on this relationship for many years,” he wrote in an email to BikePortland. “And the volunteer effort of our members and past and current boards have helped build a solid foundation with our partners.”

Stay tuned for details from NWTA for exciting stewardship and riding opportunities at Rocky Point.

UPDATE, August 2nd: NWTA has updated their website with more information about Rocky Point access, including a link to the waiver you need to sign in order to ride there.

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

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89 Comments
  • Avatar
    Cyclekrieg July 29, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Hell yes!

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    Nicholas A Baker July 29, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Is this just for the North Side XC trails or does it include the South Side DH trails as well?

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      matt savage July 29, 2019 at 10:07 am

      Looks like mostly south side…

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      Andrew H July 29, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Looks like both sides, plus a lot more to the south and west! What a great surprise. Way to go NWTA!

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    Robert Ping July 29, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Super excited about this area so close to Portland! Thanks Dabby, for your ongoing hard work and efforts to keep Rocky Point open, and to NWTA and Weyerhaeuser for making this deal happen.

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    Middle of The Road Guy July 29, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Good work!

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    matt savage July 29, 2019 at 10:03 am

    This is rad! Thanks NWTA and Dabby!

    “…productive working relationships with …, Portland Parks & Recreation…”
    I’m not exactly sure how productive it has been. PPR has reneged every step of the way.

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      Roberta M Robles July 30, 2019 at 6:15 am

      Sounds like there’s some shenanigans going on back scene. I also don’t like being ‘paid’ members of any bicycling club. We had this discussion with bikeloudpdx and opted not to get membership money involved. I wonder how this new lease agreement with the NWTA impacts the county tax rolls? Remember Oregon has no sales tax and relies heavily on property tax and receipts from timber sales to fund most state programs. I wish Bikeportland would uncover more of what made these issues ‘uncomfortable’. Why was P.Parks and Rec dragging their feet? Tell us what the rub is! We want to be more then cycling cheerleaders we want to be educated cycling advocates. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat BikePortland. You will not loose your sponsors. They will love you more for honesty in advocacy; not lip service to the status quo. That land was originally stolen anyways.

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        Alex July 30, 2019 at 2:08 pm

        BP has gone over, time and again, PP&R’s role in mtb access to mtbing in Portland. Let’s not rehash that. I am not sure how long you have lived in Portland or how long/how much you have been involved in getting more trail access in Portland, but it’s not a huge secret to why PP&R and Portland in general doesn’t allow more cycling. TL;DR: a very loud minority of well-connected NIMBY’s shut it down, in spite of public majority. Amanda Fritz, Marcy Houle, “bike advocates” who champion commuting but don’t take recreational use seriously, “environmentalists” who greenwash their language, groups like BARK raising frivolous lawsuits that hold things up for years only to get thrown out of court because of meritless science – all of which has been covered by BP (except maybe the “bike advocates” who champion commuting but not recreation).

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        Rachel Cameron July 31, 2019 at 10:11 am

        You don’t have to pay. Just don’t ride the trail. 🙂

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    pdx2wheeler July 29, 2019 at 10:14 am

    3000 acres is sweet, add that to the existing mountain bike trails around Portland and we’ve now got 3000 acres…

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      Eric H July 29, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Yeah, but just wait until the ORCMP is finished. Then the doors will just magically open to all the opportunities in Portland for mountain biking.

      Or we’ll just get another couple acres of crappy land shoved between some freeways that you can’t get to without riding through a gauntlet that looks like some Mad Max movie.

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        I wear many hats July 31, 2019 at 10:43 am

        Don’t hold your breath for the ORCMP. It did not allow any shared use of existing trails in Portland. Environ’mentalists have decreed that more trails are bad for fish and birds. NIMBY’s have decreed that bikes are bad for hikers, and Houle and company have decreed that we are bad for their privatized public park space adjacent to their homes. The ORCMP will not open riding to existing trails, only new trails that are politically unattainable to build. The Scappy trails are great, but still an hour to 2 hour push to ride to from NW Portland, and thus requiring a motor vehicle to access. This is a net gain for the Portland Area, but it is NOT a trail in Portland to ride a bike on.

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          Eric H July 31, 2019 at 1:37 pm

          Perhaps I should have added /s or #sarcasm to my post. I’m well past giving up on the ORCMP. It isn’t going to change a thing when or if it is ever finalized and released. It is a sad sign of the times that we have to privately provide something that should be a public good. At least this might finally shut up WSBOB though, so we have that going for us.

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    jered bogli July 29, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Lease is both sides.
    Opportunity is near endless, renew your memberships ASAP!

    Super stoked about this.

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    Fred Ihle July 29, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Is the METRO parcel for future MTB trails just past Newberry road still in the works, or did that die?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 29, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      It’s in the works for sure. I talked to Metro project rep about it recently. Currently tied up in process and land-use appeal threats and so on. The opposition will delay long as possible but it will happen.

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        Alex July 29, 2019 at 9:09 pm

        Really too bad they decreased the amount of trail for no good reason in that project. Those people were more ridiculous than the RVNA crowd.

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    JJ July 29, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    So you have to pay to ride here essentially?

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      Pat Lowell July 29, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      Do you have a problem with compensating people for work performed and services provided?

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      Cyclekrieg July 29, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      Having been to pay-to-ride places before (a lot of the south’s trails are on private nature reserve property) it isn’t as annoying at it sounds. Most places have a $5 box where you drop $5 into or a check station. Vermont’s VMBA does something similar. Pay them, get a yearly bike pass that you put on your bike and you are in. Often these passes come with deals for riders. See: https://vmba.org/memberbenefits/

      Not sure how NWTA is going to manage this, but the VBMA model is pretty easy, sustainable ($$$ wise) and pretty cheap.

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    Todd July 29, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Will it allow primitive camping (bikepacking)?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      Doubtful. But if you email NWTA or attend their member meeting tomorrow I’m sure they will explain.

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      GlowBoy July 31, 2019 at 9:41 am

      It’s still timber company land, so I’m sure camping will be an absolute no-no.

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    JV July 29, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    JJ
    So you have to pay to ride here essentially?Recommended 0

    You pay for stewardship, advocacy, and trail maintenance. You get to ride. Fair deal.

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      Jason July 29, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Mountain biking has been transitioning to a pay to play sport for sometime. Expect this trend to continue. Outsiders to the sport see it as an activity with the majority of the participants being upper middle class white guys with disposable income; expect comparisons to golf and skiing/snowboarding. Advocates find the trade off worthwhile since we’re now getting new trail experiences optimized for mountain biking. The downside is in the next decade we’ll all have to have at least 3-6 season passes just to ride trails in a two hour vicinity of town, plus you’ll be nickel and dimed every time you travel to a trail outside of your local zone. On the upside, the trails will be better.

      There will be free places to ride, but with the standards of the trail experience raised so high, not many of us will want to ride them, so whether you like it or not, get used to it…

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        rick July 29, 2019 at 3:23 pm

        Highway 30 has public transit from TriMet and Columbia County. I no longer drive a car.

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        PS July 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

        Where? Places that charge you to ride your bike, typically provide the uphill transportation, i.e. mountain bike parks at ski areas. Some of the best places to ride in close proximity to urban areas, Orange County, Denver, Salt Lake, have vast areas of dedicated open space with hundreds of miles of trails that are free to use for all users.

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          Paul H July 30, 2019 at 11:51 am

          You gotta pay to park at anywhere that requires a NW Forest Pass, DNR lands in Washington, and some BLM sites.

          A $40 annual membership is peanuts compared to a single day a lift-access bike park. NWTA has to maintain a HUGE amount of liability insurance even to hold work parties to maintain trains.

          But do keep complaining about the hard work of volunteers. Or don’t.

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            Todd August 1, 2019 at 4:07 pm

            Paul H
            You gotta pay to park at anywhere that requires a NW Forest Pass, DNR lands in Washington, and some BLM sites.A $40 annual membership is peanuts compared to a single day a lift-access bike park. NWTA has to maintain a HUGE amount of liability insurance even to hold work parties to maintain trains.But do keep complaining about the hard work of volunteers. Or don’t.Recommended 14

            Please don’t compare the NWTA to the exceptional land management of the Department of Natural Resources covering land across the state with your comparison to a discover pass and the quality and extensive mileage of trails at a bike park is almost too trivial to even mention. And that liability insurance to provide 50 volunteers to clean up a few miles of trail kills trail maintenance efforts needed regularly through the year. If local riders want good trails they should come out to fix them without liability insurance.

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      Shimran George July 30, 2019 at 4:18 pm

      This sounds like a great initiative by NWTA and I’ll sign up for a membership just to support the advocacy for maintaining our trails and help pay the bills. The yearly membership fee is cheap but I can see some of the cone

      Potentially addressing the concerns of Jason (as a child of immigrants, I knew going snowboarding/skiing was pretty expensive and never brought it up to my parents–so this argument hit home): Could we not charge a vehicle entrance fee instead? If you can afford the car, you can afford to pay the entrance fee. It might encourage people to carpool, take alternative/environmentally-friendly forms of transportation to get there while still sending the message to people that to get out and enjoy nature can be plenty affordable if planned right and highly equitable.

      I thought of this idea on the fly, so happy to have someone shed some more light on whether this idea is feasible.

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      Todd August 1, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      JV

      JJ So you have to pay to ride here essentially?Recommended 0

      You pay for stewardship, advocacy, and trail maintenance. You get to ride. Fair deal.Recommended 19

      No need to coat it with anything more than what it actually is. Maintaining the trails through the lease cycle to be a consistent safe condition by the NWTA hasn’t happened yet and has no guarantee of it. Stewardship, sure just like the ownership of a private bike park, you pay to play; they’re not doing humanitarian work. And advocating for private trails isn’t going to promote mountain biking to Portland residents, quite the contrary. The cost is cheap for accessing the land and many will pay the fee just to have access but don’t preach advocacy and stewardship like it’s the right thing for Portland residence. Just admit that it’s the only thing the local IMBA org could do here. Perhaps its even what only a handful of riders could have done if they new the price behind the lease.

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    dpow July 29, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Fantastic News!

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    Michael Rubenstein July 29, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Wahoo!!! And what is METRO’s current status for the Tualatin Hills Burlington parcel which was once again delayed this past Spring?

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    Doper July 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Pay to ride? Ugh! Can’t we volunteer to build trails and get our punch card punched.

    Better yet, can I buy a permit to ride round and round in marcy houle’s actual backyard?

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      Middle of the Road Guy July 30, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      yeah, it’s almost like they should be paying you.

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    Dabby July 29, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Regarding pay to play:
    The best thing that one can do for mountain biking and soft surface trails in the Portland region is to join the NWTA. In a non profit, numbers are everything, numbers are power to get things accomplished, to get trails built, to have your voice heard. Starting with those numbers, the NWTA benefits spread out like the branches of a big shady tree, advocacy, trail building, volunteer opportunities, outreach programs. Our branches just spread themselves out over 3,000 more acres, ”shading” it for you to shred. I haven’t done the math on the percentage of increase in accessible mtb trails in the area since this recent addition, but I imagine the number is huge. All we ask is that you be a great trail steward, come volunteer, and help us help you, by you becoming a member.

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    Jocelyn Gaudi Quarrell July 29, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Despite the popular hashtag, getting outside is not and never has been “free.” Trails, trailhead kiosks, composting toilets, maps and signage – they all cost money to build, install and maintain whether or not the land/trails manager asks for financial support via donation box or access fee. This is not unique to mountain biking – plenty of folks that hike, ski and horseback ride purchase Northwest Forest Passes or Sno-Park permits to access outdoor assets.

    For goodness sake – we’re FINALLY getting access to a significant chunk of land to develop trails on close to town – thanks 100% percent to the 100% volunteer work of NWTA – and some folks still got to complain about a puny $36 membership fee. Don’t be a trail leech – support your local builders!

    Thank you, NWTA, for making this deal happen! I was just out riding the CZ trail this weekend and will be so grateful for more off road pedaling opportunities north of town! Looking forward to helping build too!

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      JJ July 30, 2019 at 5:49 am

      Toliets, maps, trailheads, parking, kiosks, signs? That sounds less and less like “mountain” biking and more like enduro-bro bike park. In that case a fee structure to ride bikes makes sense. I thought this was just going to be trails and not a bike park. Got it now.

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        Alex Reedin July 30, 2019 at 8:14 am

        Um… that sounds a lot (or really, exactly) like the infrastructure at a good trailhead (like the many currently managed mainly for hiking). Do you dislike those – are they “enduro-bro hiking parks” now?

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        Rebecca July 30, 2019 at 12:44 pm

        The fact that you think toilets are just for enduro bros is concerning.

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          Middle of the Road Guy July 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm

          Real endurance bros hold it as long as they can.

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        Zimmerman July 30, 2019 at 1:18 pm

        Man, you must have a lot of friends to ride with.

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    Scott Kocher July 29, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Dare we dream about future Portlanders being able to go from NW Thurman through quiet woods all the way to…

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    Noraa July 29, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    This is awesome, but…

    What happens if NWTA is unable to renew the lease?

    If I join NWTA, Am I required to join IMBA? This could be a deal killer for me.

    Since NWTA is an IMBA affiliate. Will the trails be dumbed down to meet IMBA standards?

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      Frank Selker July 29, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      Great news – nice job NWTA!! And thank you to all of you who have put so much work in out there for years, for example pioneer Ron Strasser.

      Feels a little odd to have a club act as gatekeeper to trails – a little like how FPC and Audubon acting as gatekeepers to Forest Park 😉

      But I see the logic to it, and hopefully it will improve and secure access – I think it’s great news.

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      Paul H July 30, 2019 at 10:26 am

      NWTA is still an IMBA chapter. So yes if you join NWTA, you’ll also be an IMBA member.

      IMBA will not flex any control over the trails here. They will be planned, designed, and built by local riders. If you want to provide input, come to a dig day.

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        Alex August 2, 2019 at 9:35 am

        Honestly, I am less concerned about IMBA flexing on these trails and more about them not flexing on what’s going on with Wilderness. They have a weak stance and it fits a bad narrative.

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      Todd August 2, 2019 at 10:08 am

      Noraa
      This is awesome, but…What happens if NWTA is unable to renew the lease?If I join NWTA, Am I required to join IMBA? This could be a deal killer for me.Since NWTA is an IMBA affiliate. Will the trails be dumbed down to meet IMBA standards?Recommended 4

      Yes. NWTA is 100% an IMBA Chapter with all the policies and will follow every benchmark IMBA requires.

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        Paul H August 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm

        This is a baseless and completely unproductive comment. Just stop.

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    PS July 29, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    If when asked, “what are you doing here”, you reply with, “sorry, I am lost, do you know how to get to Saltzburg Drive”, you will find miles of wonderful singletrack in Forest Park.

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      JJ July 30, 2019 at 5:54 am

      OMG yes! That’s what I am saying and you don’t need toilets and kiosks to ride that OR a membership to a bike alliance or whatever that is.

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        Jocelyn Gaudi Quarrell July 31, 2019 at 8:47 am

        Please learn the difference between front country and back country trails and who uses them.

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        Brian July 31, 2019 at 10:15 am

        If you are unsure what a “bike alliance” is, here ya go: nw-trail.org
        Cheers!

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    Todd July 29, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    MTB trails on Private Logging in a Nutshell:
    -100 members are allowed on the property
    -300 extra ride them and pretend to act stupid when caught
    -MTB members get pissed over those exploiting it, yet bring their friends under the radar while preaching public trail access everywhere.

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      Paul H July 30, 2019 at 10:17 am

      What on earth are you going on about?

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        Todd August 1, 2019 at 3:46 pm

        I posted what’s already going on at mtb trails with weyco rec. permits. No need to act so oblivious about it.

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      I wear many hats July 30, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      There are like 1600 members of NWTA who are responsible for the majority of riding in the PDX area. Trails don’t build or maintain themselves. Join up, its the most effective way to get riding in Portland.

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        Zimmerman July 31, 2019 at 12:03 pm

        Please name one Portland trail built primarily by NWTA members.

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          Brian July 31, 2019 at 3:26 pm

          Firelane 5. 😉
          Though I’m not sure yours is a fair question given the political climate in and around the Portland metro area. As you know, they have done a ton of maintenance work on the trails in the area. When given the opportunity, NWTA has done the heavy lifting as well (Gateway, Stub, Cascade Locks, Eichler Bike Park, etc). And now it sounds like they will be building new trail in Scappy this Fall.

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          snowden August 1, 2019 at 7:27 pm

          Zimmerman – I’ll name 3. EasyClimb in Cascade Locks, Stub Stewart, re-route of a section of Falls Creek. There are others where NWTA’s equipment has been used. And you know it’s not just the building – it’s the maintenance, partnerships, stewardship, grant writing, insurance, volunteer resources, and on and on. NWTA may not be Evergreen, but the organization has accomplished a crapload since the re-org 8 or 9 years ago. And all that with very little monetary resources.

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            Zimmerman August 2, 2019 at 3:06 pm

            Great!

            None of those are in Portland.

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              snowden August 2, 2019 at 4:18 pm

              Zimmerman – so your questions is rhetorical then? I’m not sure what your point is. If it’s a dig at the lack of progress in getting trails in Forest Park, well that certainly a hasn’t been for a lack of effort. If you have the magic bullet, please advise! 😉

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    Ghpdx July 29, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    So even though people have been riding there since waaaay back, now we have to join a club or be kicked out? Is there going to be a doorman or bouncer on site? That whole “join to ride” statement rubs me the wrong way at the moment. I get the whole stewardship trail work thing, but it just feels like you are leveraging the membership. Pay to play, etc. Lastly, what do we consider our region? I imagine Evergreen and DOD members out number The Northwest Trail Authority 😉 ,plus they make people want to join based on being welcoming, fun, inclusive and as all around good folks. PUMP/NWTA need to get over themselves and get membership up by being rad, not holding trail systems hostage. Xoxo.

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      Paul H July 30, 2019 at 10:16 am

      The membership thing almost certainly was a stipulation of the lease agreement from Weyerhauser, not the NWTA.

      Ride the trails. Or don’t.

      Support the organizations and people that are putting the in the work to secure access to trails, build new trails, and maintain existing trails. Or don’t.

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      Paul July 30, 2019 at 10:22 am

      You had to email Dabby and contribute to the lease for many years. Effectively this doesn’t change in that regard.

      What does change, is NWTA now has authorization to plan new trails, host dig days/work parties, and build new, awesome trail access close to town.

      Ride it. Or don’t.

      Support it. Or don’t.

      But I do recommend weight the cost of an NWTA membership, who’s board and volunteers worked very hard to secure this access, against a single day lift ticket at Meadows or even SkiBowl.

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        Dabby July 31, 2019 at 3:42 pm

        I would like to make a correction here. There was never a moment, in the last four years, that anyone, other than me, (as signer of the lease) was charged for access to the Northside trails. I was always very clear to everyone that would hear it, there was and would not be a cost to ride there. Contributing in any way, or for that matter not contributing, changed nothing about access.
        One last thing. Having an understanding of the NWTA, Weyerhauser, the law, and the basic lease they normally use, I can assure you of this. If there was a way for the NWTA to open up this property for free reign use, without the legal requirements that some of you are interpreting as “pay to play”, that is exactly what would be happening.

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          Paul H July 31, 2019 at 4:40 pm

          Thanks for clarifying, Dabby. It’s much appreciated.

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      snowden July 30, 2019 at 10:58 am

      Ghpdx, you may not be aware, but Weyerhauser has been charging permit fees for this area for several years. So, you should have been paying all along.

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      I wear many hats July 30, 2019 at 11:38 am

      Its been limited access via permit since 2015, so you’ve been trespassing. Now is not the time to wonder why Weyerhauser owns practically the entire PNW. Its the time to join NWTA, lend a voice, and advocate for trails INSIDE Portland, not just on tree farms. This is positive for riding. But for those without superhuman legs, it will still require mountain bikers to drive to ride in nature.

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        Bjorn July 30, 2019 at 2:01 pm

        We all ought to be asking why we are giving Weyerhauser a sweetheart deal in terms of property tax breaks on forest land while they are locking us out of traditionally accessible forest lands. I am glad that we can still use these trails, but many places like Little Luckimute falls near Falls city have been off limits since Weyerhauser took them over from Longview Fiber and others. If they aren’t going to allow access then they ought to be paying 100% of their property taxes.

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      NWTA President August 9, 2019 at 4:17 pm

      GHPDX: Multiple responses here. Your expressed views echo what I used to hear regularly several years ago. I hope that if you re-engage, you might find that things have changed.

      RE: Riding since way back: Longview sold it years ago. It’s a Weyerhaeuser business model now like it or not. You might need to be honest about the reality of this situation.

      RE: Doorman or bouncer on site: No doorman or bouncer. There is not a policeman stationed in front of every house either though, and larceny is still a crime. You know it’s still wrong if you don’t get caught, right?

      RE: Leveraging join to ride “rubbing you the wrong way”: There is no leveraging going on here. NWTA did this for the benefit of its members using its member’s paid dues, not to offend you. You are welcome to contribute as much for the benefit as they did.

      RE: Evergreen/DOD: Both good organizations. Each one is in a different situation. NWTA has unique size/space/revenue dynamics in that it manages a lot of projects over a large area with 100% volunteer labor and largely membership revenue. NWTA is not small enough for things to be easy, and not big enough for economies of scale to benefit operations.

      Not sure what your history is with NWTA, but I would argue that it’s a pretty welcoming place right now. We are not holding hostages, and we are quite humble about the fact that there is a lot more that needs to be done to fulfill our mission. We just need more people to join, contribute, and partner with us. We are open for business, open to new ideas, and always open to go for a ride.

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    Todd July 29, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Ghpdx-On point

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    Gary B July 30, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Folks complaining about paying or joining to use these trails probably need to understand the legal context. It’s private property, to which NWTA was assumed a lease to operate. I’m not sure why anyone would expect free access to private property, but let’s set that aside for a moment. NWTA presumably assumes liability for the use of trails on the property. This is beneficial to Weyerhauser, gets them off the hook.

    Now, NWTA has to manage that liability risk. To do so, they need to restrict use to authorized users. The legal liability standards for hazards on your property (here, NWTA’s property) vary according to the type of user. In short: by controlling access, users will either be authorized or unauthorized (trespassing). The first group has signed a waiver. The second group has very limited recourse for injury due to hazards of use.

    Free and open use by anyone would create huge liability for NWTA, which their insurer definitely wouldn’t allow. (or would be prohibitively expensive and risky even if they could). Moreover, NWTA now has financial obligations associated with this role. So, sorry to bust the bubble of the free spirited riders out there–real life dictates that NWTA manage access and cover costs for managing this parcel. Seek “free” access on public lands, where the rules are completely different.

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      NWTA President August 9, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you for this summary Gary. NWTA assumed additional risk with this lease, and had to increase its insurance coverage as a result. That was a cost above and beyond the lease expense itself. Since the terms of the lease require a detailed list of Invitees, NWTA is put in the position of managing said list. The only reasonable way to do that is through membership. Since we serve at the leisure of our membership, it makes no sense to be paying for the additional costs of the lease with funds that came from paying members, and letting strangers onto the property free of charge and accountability. NWTA has created a waiver that parallels the dos and don’ts of the lease, which at the very least makes people aware of terms so they can abide by them, but it also redirects accountability from NWTA to the member in the event of an incident. The data show that people agree. Many members have signed the waiver, and many people have joined NWTA and signed a waiver to be added to the Invitee list. This is good news because it’s evidence that members are happy with the decision to take on the lease, and also because it confirms that new members would surface to help offset the costs. That last point is key. There is a financial cost to be offset, to say nothing of the significant logistical burden shouldered by hardworking volunteers. “Pay-to-play” is when something that should be freely available is subject to a fee of sorts. This is private land. NWTA’s board, on its authority, made a deal with Weyerhaeuser for recreational access on the part of its members. They don’t have to pay a thing. They already chose to be members. If you are a mountain biker in the Portland area who is not affiliated with any trail alliances, I know a good trail alliance you should join. You have been benefitting from their work a lot already, maybe without knowing it, but now there is a great new benefit to joining. It’s called Rocky Point. Come out and help. Meet people. Our overburdened leadership and volunteers could use you. Join. http://www.nw-trail.org/join http://www.nw-trail.org/rocky-point

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    Jon July 30, 2019 at 10:56 am

    I can’t believe all the complainers here. Here is my translation of the complainers: “give me free stuff that I don’t have to work for!” Unless someone like the NWTA or Dabby makes this agreement with a private land owner there is NO LEGAL access to this property. The trails on Forest Service lands are paid for by things like timber sales, taxes that most people pay, and a little by things like the NW Forest Pass. Trails in the Tillamook State Forest are paid for by timber sales and indirectly by tax payers when the South Fork Prison camp supplies inmate labor to build and maintain the trails. In this case members of the NWTA are providing the funding to secure this area for bike riding. If you ride a mountain bike on trails in the area thank the NWTA and join them or buy your own private land for your own riding.

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      Middle of the Road Guy July 30, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      And how dare they not have carbon neutral natural gas shuttles from my doorstep to the new facilities?

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    Bryan July 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    This is amazing news. Thanks for reporting Jonathon. For those of you with the negative attitude towards members getting access and having to join NWTA.
    – NWTA give back to the trails so your money helps build more trails
    – The more members NWTA has the more clout they have when approaching other organizations. (EG. what if NWTA had more members than Friends of Forest Park?)
    – The cost to join NWTA for a year is the same amount you pay in gas for 1-2 rides that you have to drive to.

    This is a very positive step for Mt Biking in the Greater Portland Area. NWTA gets major props from me!

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    Eric Porter July 30, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Great to hear this access is opening up. It’s been awhile since I rode up there. Great spot for an after work ride. Also I just renewed my NWTA membership, thanks for the reminder.

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    Ghpdx July 31, 2019 at 7:40 am

    How will this be enforced?

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      Brian July 31, 2019 at 8:20 am

      Laser-equipped drones with facial recognition capability.

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      Brian July 31, 2019 at 8:26 am

      A huge thanks to all of the volunteers with the NWTA. You are doing great work and have much to be proud of. Not that it was needed given all that you do for the rest of us, this is yet another reason to continue our memberships.
      Who do I contact to set up a taco and beer cart on HWY 30?

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      Bjorn July 31, 2019 at 8:29 am

      I believe in the past that Weyerhauser has gotten the sheriff to issue trespassing citations against people who were riding without a permit.

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    Scott Wanhala July 31, 2019 at 9:28 am

    To ride the trails you have to do the following:
    1. Sign up to become a NWTA member $39 a year
    2. Sign the Rocky Point Trail Waiver (Weyheiser has a list of everyone thats a member and will boot you supposedly if they find you riding without being on the list)
    3. Get wrist band for bike after becoming member

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    Todd August 2, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Paul H
    This is a baseless and completely unproductive comment. Just stop.Recommended 2

    I understand this is a pep rally for you but I answered Noraa’s question with a straight unbiased reply. Now go take a Xanax and chill.

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      Paul H August 4, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      I understand you think that. But you’re completely off base and incorrect. Simple put: you’re totally wrong. IMBA will have zero say in what NWTA and its members do here, just as it does in the rest of NWTA’s activities.

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