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  • Steph Noll

Outdoor Trails Coalition Partners in 2019 Legislative Action Day

5 advocates posing with Rep. Paul Evans in his office at the Capitol

Advocates meeting with Oregon State Representative Paul Evans, House District 20 (Photo courtesy of Rep. Paul Evans Legislative Office)

On Tuesday, February 12th, the Oregon Trails Coalition was proud to partner with Oregon Outdoors for our first ever lobby day for outdoor recreation in Oregon's Capitol.

Close to 40 Oregon Trails Coalition supporters and Oregon Outdoors members met with 27 legislative offices to introduce our coalitions and share the importance of outdoor recreation and trails to our communities. The day opened with remarks from First Gentleman, Dan Little, and Director of Oregon's Office of Outdoor Recreation, Cailin O'Brien-Feeney.

As part of our goal to preserve and increase trails funding in Oregon, the Oregon Trails Coalition shared the following platform with legislators:

74% of Oregonians report using local trails.*

55% of Oregonians report using trails farther away from home.

Trails are a top investment priority for Oregonians.**

The Oregon Trails Coalition requests key fixes to HB 2017 this legislative session, as we seek to work with legislators to create a comprehensive trails funding strategy in the future.

When the Legislature passed HB 2017, Keep Oregon Moving, it was clear from legislators’ discussions that there was an intent to identify bike and pedestrian trails funding within the transportation bill. Unfortunately, the legislation falls short.

Fix HB 2017:

  • Restore and preserve trails funding in Connect Oregon: one of the precious few sources

of state funding for transportation infrastructure outside of the state highway right of way. HB 2017 dedicates 7% of Connect Oregon Funding for trails. Previous to HB 2017, bike and pedestrian projects in Connect Oregon were getting funded at twice that level. Funding generated by the bike tax should be dedicated to trails additionally to the 7% set aside, not as part of it, and previous funding levels should be restored.

  • Keep trails funding with OPRD: Increasingly park providers are providing key transportation assets in the form of trails that serve as both recreational and commuter corridors. The Oregon Trails Coalition supports HB 2083 with the removal of the sunset clause. We believe that trails should remain a funding priority for OPRD and local governments.

Beyond 2019: Let’s start working together now to create a new comprehensive funding strategy for trails.

Outdoor recreation is a huge part of the Oregon economy, our health, our joy, and our identity as Oregonians. Trails are what connect us to the outdoors.

We encourage all of our supporters to reach out directly to your legislators to share why trails investments are important to you as well as to share your support for the other outdoor rec issues you care about on our partner, Oregon Outdoors', Legislative Platform.

Other specific trails related bills that may be of interest to our supporters:

Waterway Access: HB 2835 will codify the 2005 Attorney General Opinion on public waterway access, propose a public review process for any public access closures, and propose that feasibility of river access be considered in any new or reconstructed state bridges.

Waterway Access Account (Governor’s Budget Request, SB 47): The Governor’s Budget proposes increased funding for Oregon State Marine Board non-motorized waterway access grants through fees that combine the already existing AIS program fees into a transferable permit for non-motorized recreational watercraft over 10 feet in length. The permit would not be required for children under 14.

ATV Registration: HB 2566 Requires owners to register all-terrain vehicle, if vehicle is not otherwise registered in this state.

Class II and Class IV ATVs: HB 2082 Requires Class II and Class IV all-terrain vehicle operator 16 years of age or older to carry and present both driver license and all-terrain vehicle operator permit.

You can find legislator contact information and bill language for all current bills on the Oregon Legislative Information website.

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