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  • Steph Noll

2024 Trails Day at the Capitol Recap

On Monday, February 12, more than 70 trail advocates traveled to the Oregon capitol to share the love of trails with Oregon legislators!

Representative Ken Helm welcomed the group, let them know the importance of their presence, and shared how outdoor recreation access and wildlife protection are bipartisan issues that resonate with many legislators. 

Next participants had the chance to learn more about the issues and about navigating the Capitol and meeting with legislators in a legislative training. Thanks to Greg Mintz from Rep. Helm's office who stuck around to answer questions and help folks practice. 

We had lunch delivered as many participants dashed straight from the training to the Capitol for more than 25 scheduled meetings with legislators and staff to talk about:

  • the importance of trails in our communities,

  • the critical need to restore recreational immunity this legislative session with the passage of SB 1576,

  • how we can work with legislators in future sessions to invest in Oregon trails.

Trails Day participants also dropped off materials about our issues at additional legislative offices and had some great impromptu conversations with those legislators and staff as well.

Our #1 priority bill, SB 1576, was also scheduled for a public hearing that afternoon, and Michelle Emmons of Oakridge Trails Alliance, Oakridge-Westfir Chamber of Commerce, and Willamette Riverkeeper; TJ Reilly of Oregon State Snowmobile Association; and Steph Noll of the Oregon Trails Coalition all delivered live testimony in support of restoring recreational immunity to Oregon's trails.

We wrapped up the day with an informal Trail Mix(er) in the Capitol building where we got to visit with Representative Helm, Senator Brock Smith, and Representative Boice.

Trails day participants reported having great experiences actually meeting the legislators on their ballots in person and talking with them and their staff about the trails they care about. Overall, legislators shared lots of support for trails!

We'll be back next session, and we hope you can join us then!

a large group of people pose for photo outdoors

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