Do you want more advanced-level gravity trails in Portland? Over 10 years in the making — NOW is our chance to tell the Oregon Department of Forestry that we need more Advanced-level Gravity trails on the west side of Portland.
The draft Annual Operations Plan (AOP) for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Forest Grove district of the Tillamook State Forest (TSF) is now open for public comment and we NEED a loud voice of support in favor of the “Excalibur” Advanced-gravity/DH MTB trail in the Tillamook State Forest.
What is the Excalibur DH/Gravity trail project?
Imagine this… shuttle-able (or sedal-able on forest roads) to the top of one of the largest mountains (3300 ft) in the Oregon Coast mountain range, you drop in on a natural bed of loam, rocks, and perfect Oregon brown pow. You descend, twist/turn and rally your way down a 3.5-mile downhill-travel only trail loaded with natural rock drops, jumps, chunder, chutes and ripping fast singletrack through some of the best forests Oregon has to offer. The trail spits you out at 1200 ft in elevation where you then decide if you want to go back for more white-knuckled punishment. The trail is co-built/designed by the same rider that brought you the famed Raven’s Ridge DH trail, so think along those lines… but much longer.
The best chance to get this trail approved is to write in addressing the primary concerns of ODF. If we can take action on these, then it will give this project its best chance to move forward.
- Demonstrate the MTB community’s commitment to locate, design, construct and maintain the trail. Key points: We are not a fringe-sport, we are many. Data/Metrics to support this would be ideal.
- A high level of demand for gravity-assisted trails in the region and for these types of trails on the Tillamook State Forest.
- Key points: Popularity of Raven’s Ridge, disperse use from Raven’s and multi-use trails in the area (Storeyburn, Gales Creek).
- Other successful examples (Cold Creek-WA, Sandy Ridge, etc.). Some data and MTB-use numbers would go a LONG way here.
- Capacity of the use community to generate funding necessary to support the location, design, construction, and maintenance work.
- Key points: (Being a natural-material constructed trail, most resources needed will be time/labor). Examples of how the MTB community won grant-funds to support projects would be valuable. Trail scouting and placement work have totaled over 2000 hours already, to locate an area/trail corridor within the Tillamook State Forest to support a high-quality gravity-trail MTB trail.
- If possible, how the development of this type of trail may end up adding volunteer or funding capacity to support other more multi-use mountain bike trails and bicycle riding opportunity on the forest. Key points:
- The Tillamook State Forest’s proximity to the populated Portland Metro Area and the underserved MTB community for intermediate/advanced trail options.
- We must drive either to Sandy Ridge, Cold Creek or BlackRock if we want intermediate/advanced trail experiences. This opportunity will do nothing but increase volunteer/funding capacity to the Tillamook State Forest.
- Other values this type of trail offers for the region, both socially, environmentally, and economically.
Here’s how to submit your Public Comment / Support:
Option 1: Preferred for Letters of Support from the Organization-level (probably best option to capture the attention of the decision-makers)
- Mail written Letters of support & comments to ODF Public Affairs, 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310.
Option 2: Better for individuals voicing support
- Navigate to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6YVN2RC
- SELECT THE FOREST GROVE DISTRICT
- Navigate through the 10 questions
- Section 8 is our chance to address the 5 highlighted bullet-points above.
- Make sure to hit the “Done” button on the bottom of the webpage.
Now let’s make our voice heard! Ryan can’t wait to (hopefully) host upcoming trail build days with everyone. Depending on your support, we can be breaking ground as soon as later this Summer!
Note that we haven’t written a form letter for you to submit — form letters don’t count as much when received, so we’ve avoided creating one. However, feel free to drop what you’ve submitted below so others can borrow and utilize your talking points in drafting their own messaging.
Have questions for Ryan? Leave a message in the comments below so he can address them for everyone to see as a resource for others in their comments.