Advocacy

Our advocacy efforts are about working with land managers to maintain and expand access for mountain biking. It’s about developing relationships with decision makers, broadcasting our positions, and mobilizing our supporters all to futher our cause.

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.

Land Managers: Do you have a backlog of trail maintenance? Do you lack funding to maintain and/or expand your trail system? Let NWTA help!

We have a decades-long track record of mobilizing dozens of volunteers per work party to build and maintain high quality, sustainable, and fun trails. In a day of work, building a half mile of new trail in or maintaining ten is something we routinely do. We can point to successes maintaining the trails at Sandy Ridge and Mt. St. Helens, and the incredible progress being made at Rocky Point as prime examples.

What do we hope for in return for all of this free labor? Access.

The biggest challenge for our user group is access to trails. Trails that have historically been open to mountain biking are being restricted without adequate consideration for our user group’s needs. Also, land managers are often hesitant to make new trail areas open to mountain biking. We want a seat at the table to help drive decisions that will also include the needs of cyclists. In doing so, we hope to open up some trails that are currently off-limits to bikes (where it makes sense) and to create new mounatin biking-specific trails.


Advocacy Successes

NWTA has taken part in numerous successful advocacy campaigns since its inception. Below are a few highlights:

Portland Parks Stewardship Agreement

NWTA is now the recognized steward of soft-surface cycling trails at Forest Park and Powell Butte

In March of 2020, the Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA) entered into a formal partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) for the stewardship of soft-surface cycling trails in Portland Parks. This stewardship agreement pertains to the maintenance, improvement, and enhancement of portions of soft surface trails and corridors in Forest Park and Powell Butte Nature Park.

NWTA will bring its considerable resources to a partnership of planning, building and maintaining our local trails. We are very excited to finally formalize a relationship that we have been pursuing with PP&R for over 32 years. We are honored to be recognized as a land stewardship partner, and we thank PP&R for the mountain bike community as an ally in the betterment of our public parks and natural areas. Soon, NWTA volunteers will be able to ride their bikes to work parties.

NWTA is also working on formalizing stewardship agreements with PP&R for the off-road cycling trails & features at Ventura Park & Gateway Green. Look forward to seeing those later in 2020.

Klootchy Creek Stewardship

NWTA’s infrastructure and resources allowed NCTA to start building a new trail system on private timberland

Spanning an area of over 140,000 acres, Greenwood Resources’ private timber property just East of Seaside, and covering an area North nearly until Astoria, is ideal terrain for mountain biking, yet it had no bike trails. The North Coast Trail Alliance (NCTA) changed that in 2018 when they approached Greenwood Resources about a trail stewardship agreement to build 15 miles of trails. There were only two problems: 1. an agreement required an insurance general liability policy that was out of reach for NCTA as an unincorporated club, and 2. Greenwood wanted to see 45 miles of trails, not just 15. The first problem was solved by partnering with NWTA for the legal and fiscal sponsorship of the project, and to make the project officially an NWTA project under its general liability policy to meet Greenwood’s requirements. The second problem merely involved thinking three times bigger than originally intended, raising three times more money, and working three times as hard. Since August 2018, the Klootchy Creek mountain bike project has evolved through a master planning phase, regular work crews logging thousands of annual volunteer hours, and now with contracted professional trail building. A group of mountain bikers on the coast of Oregon had the vision, the energy, and the motivation, but sometimes it takes institutional legitimacy to get to the next level. NWTA is proud to have been able to provide NCTA with the resources it needed to turn an idea into reality.

Rocky Point Stewardship

NWTA forged an agreement legitimizing and expanding a trail system under NWTA management

Rocky Point is an exciting new trail system within 30 minutes of Portland, OR, something that did not exist in any official capacity until July 30, 2019, when NWTA assumed a lease on 3,200 acres of private timber land near Scappoose, OR. Trails have existed there for a long time, just no officially recognized trails, and certainly not since Weyerhaeuser bought the property from the previous timber company. NWTA had attempted to enter into agreements for mountain bike trail development in the area previously, but Weyerhauser used a limited-entry recreational permit system that was not conducive to NWTA’s open-access land stewardship model. That changed in 2019. With a successful land stewardship agreement with Greenwood to present as evidence of its ability to work with timber companies, NWTA was able to work through the details of a lease agreement that allowed access to all of NWTA’s members. What was once an area with hidden trails accessible to only a few permit holders, is now accessible to NWTA’s entire membership. We are able to host work parties, build legitimate trails, and plan for a growing network of trails for years to come.

If you want to get involved with NWTA advocacy projects, find out more here: get involved with NWTA advocacy

Land Partners

United States Forest Service
Bureau of Land Management
Oregon State Parks
Oregon Department of Forestry
Portland Parks and Recreation
Metro Oregon
Port of Cascade Locks
Weyerhaeuser
Greenwood Resources
Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation
 City of Castle Rock, WA