top of page
Search
  • Steph Noll

Congress Passes $1.33 Million Package for Oregon Signature Trails

Updated: Mar 19

Inside the 6-bill funding package that U.S. Congress recently passed and President Biden signed into law is a $1.33 Million package for improvements on three of Oregon's Signatures Trails: the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, the Blue Mountains Trail in the Umatilla National Forest, and the Oakridge-Westfir Mountain Bike System in the Willamette National Forest.


Dedicated funding for specific trails is extremely rare in the federal budget appropriations process, and we are so grateful to Oregon's Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for their support for trails and their leadership bringing this funding to Oregon. You can learn more about all the Oregon investments included in the funding package to strengthen wildfire resiliency, water infrastructure and climate action in their press release.


Last spring, after a robust stakeholder engagement process, the Oregon Trails Coalition published the Oregon Signature Trails Inventory, charting a path forward for meaningfully investing in world-class, connected, long distance trails Oregon. The report identified 15 long distance trails and additional regionally significant trails ripe for investment to provide world class experiences to Oregonians in their own back yards, and to foster pride and prosperity in Oregon communities.


This recent federal funding for Oregon Signature Trails is just the kind of investment we hoped to inspire with the inventory, and we invite our partners around the state to continue sharing the report and story map with elected leaders and other policy makers to find further opportunities to collaborate to meaningful invest in Oregon's trails.


The Oregon signature trail projects included in the 2024 Federal Appropriations funding package include:

  • $300,000 for the Blue Mountains Trail will restore access to the beloved Wenaha River Trail #3106 in the Umatilla National Forest in an area highly impacted by the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire. This trail restoration project will close a major gap in the Blue Mountains Trail.

  • $506,923  for the Oakridge-Westfir Mountain Bike Center will construct the Cloverpatch Connector and Fugrass Connection trails that will create connected loops in the current mountain bike system and aid in community fire recovery in the Willamette National Forest and nearby communities.

  • $400,000 for Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail will provide an alternatives analysis for replacing the Eagle Creek Stairs and making this Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area trail segment accessible to users of all ages and abilities.

Current Eagle Creek Staircase (Photo Credit: ODOT), Vicinity Maps for Fu-Grass and Cloverpatch Connectors (Willamette NF), Wenaha River Trail (Photo Credit: bobcat, OregonHikers.org)


The Oregon Trails Coalition thanks Travel Oregon, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the NPS- Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, and Renee Patrick Consulting for contributing financial support and/or technical assistance to the Oregon Signature Trails Inventory process.


364 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page