Written by Advocacy Director, Andrew Jansky ([email protected])
Thank you for responding to the METRO survey regarding Rocky Point. The level of participation and passion for this area reflects the tens of thousands of hours of your volunteer time invested in making Rocky Point a success.
As mountain bikers, we have the opportunity to partner with multiple different land managers. At Rocky Point, we have expanded our knowledge to include new terms like Silviculture and the Seral Stages of a forest. We have demonstrated the ability to access nature within a working forest and understood the challenges faced by land managers. We are doing this to build sustainable trails while educating members about water quality and invasive species control. We could also accomplish these goals if the Rocky Point trail system became a Nature Park.
Over the years, NWTA members have participated in open houses, completed surveys, volunteered on committees, and met with METRO Councilors. They have helped our organization grow to be a partner, and we have helped METRO better understand the needs of off-road cyclists. METRO has supported our SOLVE cleanup days and events like Take a Kid Mountain Bike Days and other long-term strategies.
METRO recently opened two amazing new nature parks to fulfill their access to nature pledge. Both of them opened this winter and due to COVID restrictions, a traditional grand opening did not happen.
One of the properties is Chehalem Ridge. It is a 1,260-acre Nature Park with at least 10 miles of trail and a majority of them are open to bikes. These trails were planned and built by professionals, and while the park is not billed as an ‘off-road cycling’ destination, there is plenty there to enjoy on your bike. The facilities are first class with parking and amenities for the entire family to enjoy.
Newell Creek Canyon is a 236-acre park. Several miles are built explicitly for off-road cycling and were included based on input and participation by our members and the local community. Planning and building trails specifically for cyclists in Nature Parks is new for our area and METRO should be recognized.
Finally, let’s talk about the future of Rocky Point:
1) The current landowner could continue operating as a working forest, implementing sustainable forestry practices and demonstrating how recreation and forestry can co-exist successfully.
2) The property could be sold and subdivided into hobby farms, similar to the area surrounding North Tualatin Mountains Metro Property.
3) METRO could put this into their target area acquisition and work with a willing seller. It could become a Forest Legacy project for future generations.
Now it is time for self-reflection. You have participated in some passive advocacy, but getting involved is vital. Please go out and visit the two new METRO Nature Parks, ride with your family and friends, and see what you think. Our definition of off-road cycling has progressed tremendously in the past few years, and we know that less than ten years ago, putting up “no-bikes” signs was the extent of most trail work.
METRO could save Rocky Point for future generations. They would get 25 miles of a turnkey trail system open to bikes and walkers. They could work with a trail group to maintain and upgrade the system and address water quality goals.
Please sign up for the METRO Parks & Nature Bond email list by sending a request to [email protected].