Oregon Trails Coalition advocated in support of several bills during the 2021 legislative session that were important for trails and trail users. Here's the report on where they all landed:
HB 2171: Governor's omnibus outdoor recreation bill, preserves and strengthens Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund* and Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation, forwards study of single online storefront for recreation passes, furthers universal design standards for outdoor recreation facilities to increase accessibility for people of all mobilities, strives to increase diversity on state advisory committees. Status: Passed!
HB 2549: Waterways Access bill requires agencies to send copies of reports on public access sites to State Marine Board and for board to make reports public, including by hosting map of reported sites on website. Status: Passed!
HB 2593: Search And Rescue Fund bill, permits Office of Emergency Management to enter into agreement with nonprofit organization representing sheriffs under which organization is authorized to administer program to produce and sell outdoor recreation search and rescue cards; voluntary program to help fund search and rescue needs. Status: Passed!
SB 289: Assigns penalties for bias crimes and harassment at state outdoor creation sites and public lands and waters. Status: Passed!
SB 395: Bike and Pedestrian Safety, Increases required expenditure on footpaths and bicycle trails from one percent to five percent of amounts received from State Highway Fund. "Footpaths and bicycle trails” as referred to in this bill are actually sidewalks and bike lanes in common vernacular as the State Highway Fund only applies to the road right of way. This bill would make more funding available to improve safety of trail crossings of roadways, segments of regional trails that fall in the road right of way, and improve bike and pedestrian access to parks and regional trails. Status: Stalled in Joint Transportation Committee What's Next: Some legislators and advocates are calling for a collaborative process to identify additional transportation funding. A priority for the Oregon Trails Coalition would be funding dedicated to and/or eligible for trails along with other active transportation and transit projects.
HB 3281: Appropriates moneys to complete development of Oregon Coast Trail from General Fund to State Parks and Recreation Department. Status: Stalled out in Joint Ways and Means What's Next: Oregon Coast Trail advocates would like to see funding dedicated to Oregon Coast Trail construction that could be used across the various jurisdictional boundaries the trail crosses.
*Individual donations to Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund will now be matched by the state up to $1,000,000.