The ORCMP may go Off Road into our protected natural areas

John Miller's 3/10/18 post on Reach: SW Portland hoods, LO, Sellwood, .. Whatever was available to me in Collins View.

Portland's Off-Road Cycling Master Plan proposes to allow mountain bikes into our natural areas.

These areas are listed in the ORCMP:

River View Natural Area
Loll Wildwood Natural Area
Lesser Park
Forest Park

This post is going to SW Portland neighborhoods, Dunthorpe, There are more areas listed in the plan. The pi├Ęces de r├ęsistance for mountain bikers are River View in southwest, and Forest Park in NW.

Mountain biking is just one component of the ORCMP, which contains plans for a variety of groovy non-MTB facilities in developed parks, miles of out-of-traffic bike trails, places for young bike riders, etc.

You can check out the proposed plan out to see what you'd support or oppose when it comes before city council for adoption later this year.

The ORCMP home page - [LINK]

In my opinion, we should keep natural areas natural, and not allow mountain biking trails in them. I got active in this situation when a trails group (NWTA) filed a complaint with the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), objecting to the closure of River View Natural Area to cycling.

Situation: Mountain bikers, who established territory through decades of trespass on private cemetery surplus property, were allowed to continue riding the property after a consortium acquired it to form RVNA (July 2011), and started recovering the site. In March 2015, out of caution, commissioners Fish and Fritz issued a memorandum temporarily restricting cycling in RVNA. NWTA may again complain to LUBA if the 'ban' is made permanent. That's where we are now. (There is a similar battle raging over Forest Park.)

Today, RVNA is clearly posted No biking allowed at all trail entrance points.

Even so, mountain bikers continue to ride in River View Natural Area, and other NA's (eg Marshall Park Natural Area). On Tuesday morning this week, a string of eight mountain bikers were spotted in RVNA. Two groups of people independently witnessed this, including Portland city staff. It happens all the time. There is no money for enforcement.

If you go to River View Natural Area please don't take you dog or your bike. Don't confront any biker(s) you may encounter. Bikers know they should not be riding their informal trails, but they will tell you they have a right to be there.

Questions to think about: Mountain bike trails should be everywhere they are desired? Good connectivity for cycling between places throughout the region? Quiet places with quiet foot trails? Who will decided where dirt bike trails are acceptable? Does nature have anything to say about this? These are not easy questions. I will post a link to my answers as the first comment.

I invite thoughtful, polite responses. I reserve my right to remove offensive comments. If a civil response contains snarky elements, I will remove or reply at my discretion. Online Posts on this topic often generate 800 replies. I will close the discussion if it becomes tiresome.

My own immediate comment:

Here are the comments that I submitted to the ORCMP (12/31/17), and to the Portland Parks Board (3/5/2018), titled: Keep Urban Natural Areas safe from Mountain Bikes. [LINK]

Other comments may be compiled here. --jm