As public budgets are seeing cuts in funding for parks and recreation, it makes sense for our state and regional land managers to #letNWTAhelp to ensure soft surface trails remain safe and accessible to all non-motorized trail users.
What can you do to do help?
- Join NWTA. The larger our membership base, the louder our voice when we negotiate with land managers. Join NWTA and help us secure more mountain bike access in Portland.
- Call your city representative. Call and explain that mountain bikers want to help, that you support mountain bike access to trails in the Portland metro area and that the city should #letNWTAhelp.
- Write to your city representative. If talking on the phone isn’t your thing, contact your representative by email. If you do, please copy firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your stories in the future.
- Post your support on social media. Let your friends and neighbors know that you support NWTA helping the city with trails in Portland parks. If you post on social media, please tag us! @nwtrailalliance and #letNWTAhelp.
If you call, ask for the policy advisor in charge of off road cycling.
Why should our local land managers partner with NWTA?
The members of Northwest Trail Alliance build and maintain more than 200 miles of soft-surface trails from Mt. Hood and Mt. St Helens to the coast in NW Oregon and SW Washington. These trails are located on both public and private lands.
Through our partnerships with local, state, federal and private land managers, NWTA takes on often under-funded maintenance activities, keeps an eye on and reports any misuse of resources on the properties and educates recreational users.
NWTA rallies our 1,500 (and growing) members to volunteer their time keeping the trails in shape and accessible for non-motorized trail users. In 2018, NWTA volunteers logged more than 12,000 volunteer hours stewarding the trails that NWTA looks after. In the first five months of 2019, NWTA volunteers logged more than 5,000 volunteer hours!
NWTA stands ready and willing to assist local governments in the Portland metro area with developing and maintaining soft-surface trail access for hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners and we have the community support to make these partnerships work.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you connect with your representatives:
- Be polite. We will not make progress if we do not have the representatives on our side. So, win them over with kindness.
- Good for community. Relay to your representative how much mountain biking means to you, how it benefits your health and social interactions with family and friends, and how much you wish you didn’t have to drive 45 minutes to get to the trails.
- Equitable. Emphasize that increasing mountain bike access in the city increases equity in Portland. Mountain biking shouldn’t just be for folks with cars. Children and adults who do not have access to vehicles or who have elected not to drive should not be deprived of the opportunity to explore nature on two wheels.
- Economically sound. Mountain bikers travel to experience new trails. Bringing soft-surface trails to Portland will increase Portland’s desirability for mountain bike tourists, benefitting bike shops and other local businesses. Outdoor-focused people move to cities with mountain biking for quality of life activities, helping business attract and retain talented employees.
- Kids, Families, Friends. Access to nature near your home is key foundation to many people’s way of life. Re-establishing access to trails will help kids and families experience nature and help develop the next generation of natural areas and parks supporters.
With your help, we can encourage local governments in the Portland area to #letNWTAhelp and realize more off road cycling options in our parks.