What’s up with building the Salmonberry Trail?

It’s been several months since I have posted any significant new additions to this site. The reason for my absence? I was totally engrossed in completing the manuscript for my next book, “Trails and Tails – Exploring Oregon’s North Coast Mountains”. To turn the anecdotes and trail guides offered on this website into an engaging book required a major re-write and several rounds of edits. For those of you that are more familiar with this website, you may

Manuscript

Manuscript

recognize some anecdotes, but I suspect that for many this combination of trails linked to their authentic histories will offer a unique view of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains. I hope the added dimension will give you a better appreciation of a history that has been so overgrown that it was all but forgotten.

About a week ago the Oregon State University Press accepted my final draft and initiated the actual production of the book. Over the next few months, I’ll add in the photos, the maps, the bibliography of sources, and help determine the shape and appearance of “Trails and Tales”. No doubt there will be more work to come, but the essential project, including trail descriptions and accompanying “historical anecdotes”, is now complete!

Now I can move forward with the collection of more trails and more stories about the people that forged a home out of the impenetrable forests that thrive across the northwestern corner of this state.  I also want to expand the scope of my blog about the  North Coast Mountains to include more contemporary issues, such as:

  • The Salmonberry Project – a multi-agency initiative, including the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), and the Port of Tillamook Bay (POTB) to build a pedestrian, cycling and equestrian trail from Washington County, down the Salmonberry and Nehalem Rivers to Tillamook. I currently serve on a Forestry-led committee focusing on the fundraising and marketing for this effort. This is a complicated inter-agency “beast” that may need periodic prodding to overcome its hesitations.
  • “No dogs allowed” – Metro’s portfolio of “natural areas” has grown dramatically during the past two decades. Today Metro manages 17,000 acres of parks, trails and natural areas. Many of us supported this regional conservation initiative believing it to be the solution to our need for places to recreate – close to the city. But through my
    Smoking dog

    Smoking dog

    participation in one of Metro’s trail development projects (North Tualatin Mountains expansion plan) I  was astonished to learn that dogs are entirely prohibited in almost all of Metro’s 17,000 acres of parks and natural areas! As a result pet-owners (62% of Metro area residents) will be excluded from walking their pets because of an administrative rule that Metro refuses to reconsider. Good luck finding anything about this dog ban on the Metro site. It’s mentioned, but is very difficult to find and recent announcemnts failed to mention the ban for would-be park visitors. More on this later.

  • Weyerhauser: $200 to access the forest! – Weyerhauser has recently initiated a fee-for access scheme that would require more than $200 for vehicular access and $60 for pedestrians to access Weyerhauser managed lands from June through December. Permits can only be acquired on only one day per year: May 20th. This effectively excludes recreational users and week-end hikers. It’s also a great loss of economic development potential for these rural communities. And it is a loss of Oregon’s patrimony of endless forests to explore! I’m hopeful that some more inclusive arrangement can be found that empowers the local communities to develop recreational tourism strategies to capitalize on the beauty of Oregon’s Coastal mountains. There may be a win-win solution hidden in all of this…

Look out for an update soon on the Salmonberry Trail planning! I will also recommend a really special car camping site up at Northrop Creek Horse camp.

About Jim

Love to spend time getting lost in the deep forests of the Pacific Northwest with Zoe, my Siberian Husky.
This entry was posted in Lower Columbia Trails, Salmonberry Trails, Trails, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What’s up with building the Salmonberry Trail?

  1. Michael says:

    Jim: It was great to meet you and Zoey today at the Burlington Forest.
    The website of concerned neighbors trying to stop Metro from building an adventure parks in that property and at McCarthy Creek is-
    https://saveforestparkcorridor.wordpress.com

    • Jim says:

      Nice website. As you know I come down squarely on the right to walk dogs on a leash in these ares. We’ve done so m=for over 40 years with little impact on the wildlife corridor (that I documented in my first book, “Portland’s Forest Hikes”). However, I do differ from blanket opposition to bikes, just as I opposed a blanket opposition to dogs. This access by bikes, dogs or people should be judged on a an individual basis. I agree that the McCarthy Creek area is the most sensitive and should be put off limits to most intrusion. But I do think it’s possible to design trails that can be routed around the sensitive elk grounds, it can accommodate walking with dog trails that also avoid proximity to grazing and calving areas. If you’re interested in fostering a more informed design, I am in favor of it. Just count me out of inflexible, unresponsive and misplaced blanket restrictions (except where natural processes need the protection (eg., McCarthy Creek and Abbey Creek.)

      I would be glad to come out to talk with your neighbors about this, as only an organized opposition has any chance against Metro. Jim & Zoe

  2. Liz Byrd says:

    Unfortunately, Weyerhouser has commenced logging off Rocky Point Road. The main acccess point appears to be about 2.5 miles up the road from Highway 30. This forest was one of the ones that required a permit. It is a clearcut and everything is being cut down. It is heartbreaking to see this very special forest smashed to pieces to make baby diapers. Please let me know if there is any local organization I could join to help preserve special places.

    • Jim says:

      Really there’s nothing that we can do since it’s private timber land. We’re trying to work with Weyerhaueser to make the permit system usable for hikers. I have a permit but I had to purchase it on May 18th for $75 – this hardly works for most hikers…Contact the Trails folks at Metro and get them to support the efforts to create “day tickets”.
      Jim

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