Through our various connections, we had heard that the City/METRO might be planning to purchase the Riverview Property. Shortly after the purchase in 2011, Tom Archer (NWTA Board of Directors) and Chris Bernhardt (IMBA Trail Solutions) met with representatives of Portland Parks and Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) to discuss the status of the property going forward. Informal trails have existed on the property for some time, including trails used for mountain biking, and our intent was to ensure their continued use with the change in ownership.
The property was purchased primarily to maintain water quality, and to prevent future development of the parcel, which drains directly to the Willamette River. Parks and METRO both put funds into the purchase. for the most part, METRO is not actively involved in the continued maintenance of the property, but their is a conservation easement over the site. There is nothing contained in the conservation easement that would prohibit mountain biking.
Immediately upon the purchase of the site, Parks and BES conducted a trail inventory. Our general impression during the meeting is that representatives of BES wanted to limit or eliminate biking on the site, and that (to their credit) Parks was pushing for continued access. The current arrangement is for Parks to manage the property going forward.
During our meeting we were informed that they planned to remove the dirt jumps that had been built on the site, primarily due to liability concerns. In the absence of any formal plan to maintain the DJ's. they were removed within a few weeks of the purchase. Parks indicated that there was one trail, which crossed the largest drainage on the site, was planned to be removed. Subsequent to those conversations Parks staff determined that trail would stay in place, until formal plans are adopted.
Over the past year, Parks and BES have been performing various activities to "stabilize" the property - removing trash, invasive species, etc.), prior to beginning long term planning for the site.
NWTA has had consistent communication with Parks staff about the status of the property and during the summer and fall of 2012, we worked with Parks to organize work parties intended to re-route some of the fall line trails. These work parties will continue and will be posted on the NWTA calendar.
Beginning in the spring of 2013, Parks will initiate a formal planning process, which will determine the long term use and maintenance of the property. NWTA will have a seat on that committee and we will advocate for an expanded trail system, with specific amenities for mountain bikes. In preparation for that, please assist in our stewardship of the site:
- Respect any rules posted on the site
- Ride only on existing trails
- Be considerate of other users
- Do not ride on previously decommissioned trails
- Participate in future work parties
- Send a note to Portland Parks voicing your hope for continued/expanded use by mountain bikes