What exactly is this relationship between NWTA and Weyerhaeuser?
Weyerhaeuser is a timber company. They own land for the purpose of extracting wood fibre, but they also realize that their land has value beyond forest harvest. They manage the land with periods of scheduled harvest, but forestry is a long-game, and most of the forest at any given point in time is left to grow. The long periods of time between harvest leave opportunities for recreational trail access. That’s where NWTA’s interests comes in. We have entered into an agreement with Weyerhaeuser whereby we remain in communication with them about our desire to add trails to the network, and they let us know where they will be engaged in active forestry operations (e.g.: thinning, road maintenance, surveying, …). We work together. We respect Weyerhaeuser’s needs. Everybody is happy.
What do we get out of this?
Access to trails. The ability to develop a network of trails to our liking. Trails closer to Portland than currently exist. This is private land, not state or federal land. There is less formal process involved, so that means quicker approval times to get trails built. This is an opportunity to use the tremendous capacity of NWTA’s volunteer base. We have the opportunity to develop responsible and sustainable trails, and to showcase NWTA as a partner, land steward, and good neighbor.
Why is Weyerhaeuser doing this?
They primarily get a relationship with a community organization like NWTA that adds to their portfolio of providing opportunities to residents that live near their land holdings. They also get vigilant eyes. With a large group of people using their property for recreation – especially with a well communicated set of terms and conditions for use – they can rest assured that people with a vested interest will report activities that are a danger to the property.
Why do I have to sign a waiver?
In the lease agreement, NWTA agreed to conditions that limit Weyerhaeuser’s liability risk. NWTA needs its members to do the same. Additionally, signing the waiver ensures that members have read the terms and conditions and thus are educated in how to ensure that NWTA remains in compliance with the lease. We want to keep this arrangement, so we want members to understand the rules.
What’s with the ID bands?
This is primarily a self-enforcement mechanism. It’s a way for us to protect our interest. The Rocky Point property is an exclusive privilege for NWTA members who have met the criteria. We want to remain on good terms with Weyerhaeuser so we can keep this arrangement going, and the best way to do that is to make sure that everyone using the property behaves like we agreed. If someone is riding at Rocky Point without an ID band, they are either trespassing and putting your privilege at risk, or possibly they just joined NWTA and signed the waiver, and have not had the chance to pick up an ID band yet.
What is my responsibility?
Keep your membership current, read the terms and conditions, sign the waiver, and get the ID band. Also report safety concerns to NWTA ([email protected]), and fire or other urgent issues to 911.