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G Gravity-Assisted Proposal for Gravity-Assisted Mountain Biking in the Tillamook State Forest.

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Presentation on theme: "G Gravity-Assisted Proposal for Gravity-Assisted Mountain Biking in the Tillamook State Forest."— Presentation transcript:

1 G Gravity-Assisted Proposal for Gravity-Assisted Mountain Biking in the Tillamook State Forest

2 Agenda  Types of Mt Bike riders/trails  Growth/Future of Gravity-assisted mountain biking  Idiot Creek Mountain Bike Area Proposal  Why here?  Supporting Documents, Procedures, and Practices  Estimated Costs to ODF  Risk to ODF  Benefits of this opportunity

3 Available in the TSF  Beginner Cross- Country  Avid Cross-Country  All Mountain trails Not available in the TSF  Downhill trails  Freeride trails Types of Mountain Trails

4 Downhill-Freeride Growth Indicators  Whistler Bike Bark- 2009 rider visits are up 5% despite the bad economy and some other factors that typically slow visitation.  Timberline Ski Area has hired Gravity Logic (the designers of the Whistler Bike Park) to build and develop a Gravity-assisted Mountain Bike Park on Mt. Hood Forest Land for summer revenue.  Mt. Bachelor is also following suit, revising it’s Master Development Plan to include new mountain biking trails that would be serviced by the Pine Marten Express lift.  Gateway Green Project, Portland. The City is in the process of developing 35 acres near Highways 205 and 84 into an off-road bicycling area.  The development the Sandy Ridge trail system, a new Downhill/All Mountain bike trail network in the Sandy River Basin on BLM land.  The success and growth of Black Rock Mountain Bike Association (BRMBA) with their trails at the Black Rock Mountain Bike Area west of Salem, Oregon.

5 What do Downhill-Freeride Mountain Bikers want?  Purpose-built, one-way trails  Road infrastructure (shuttling)  Challenge  Variety  Connections  Camaraderie  A Sense of Belonging  Facilities

6 Why does this “fit” in the Tillamook State Forest?  Proximity to the Metro area -closest DH trail network is a 2 hour drive away -closest DH trail network is a 2 hour drive away  Compelling recreation experience -compelling landscape, elevation differential, opportunities for longer distance trails (3+ miles)  Ease of network access  Trail variety -opportunities for skills areas  Road infrastructure  Natural beauty -lush forest, viewpoints, the feeling of isolation  Low potential for user conflict  Close to other recreation opportunities -nearby day-use and overnight facilities, other recreation opportunities in the nearby area  Network connectivity  Challenge -the area/landscape provides natural opportunities to challenge users

7 Who is ?  Westside Trail Federation is an Oregon non-profit organization powered by local mountain bike riders and experienced volunteer trail builders dedicated to helping land managers design, build, and support sustainable single-track which is primarily for downhill and freeride trail destinations.  Involved in years of planning this system with ODF.  We have a working relationship with Northwest Trail Alliance and are partnering with them on a few projects including a co-op program for equipment rental (including mechanized trail construction equipment).  Currently developing a Freeride Skills area at Stub Stewart State Park.  Financially stable and has the funding and volunteer base to support construction and maintenance of this trail network.

8 Idiot Creek Mountain Bike Area Objectives   Creating a system of trails which address the definitive need for freeride an downhill mountain biking opportunities in the local area;   As volunteer trail builders, continue execution of Oregon Department of Forestry's 2000 Recreation Plan for Tillamook State Forest with specific focus on mountain biking trail facilities;   Education about sustainable trail building best practices. This includes everything from developing relationships with Land Managers and other stakeholders, to physically putting trail on the ground and the ongoing management and maintenance both of trails and the relationship of users.

9 When surveying and assessing areas of the TSF that is suitable for gravity-assisted mountain bike trail development, the following criteria are used to determine which areas provide the best opportunity.   1. Proximity to the Metro area   2. Compelling recreation experience   3. Ease of network access   4. Trail variety   5. Road infrastructure   6. Natural beauty   7. Low potential for user conflict   8. Close to other recreation opportunities   9. Network connectivity   10. Challenge

10 Tillamook State Forest

11 More specific- Why Larch Mountain Basin? This area is easily and conveniently reachable off of the Highway 6 corridor. The only existing recreation opportunities in this area are a couple of shared use trails in the SW corner of the basin. The terrain is extremely variable, from gentle rolling lowlands to high elevation peaks. Road traffic is very light for it's well developed road system, partially because of the lack of other designated recreation opportunities in the area. This basin is best fit for this development. Additional reasons are as follows:   1. The top of Larch Mountain in the Tillamook State Forest is well suited as an anchor point for multiple trails that could descend the mountain in different directions.   2. Ample locations for parking through out the entire ascent of the Mountain as well as at the peak. Thus making it very conducive for shuttling bikes and riders from the bottom of the trail(s) to the top.   3. Vertical drop could be as much as 2000+feet thus making it well suited for Downhill and other gravity assisted mountain biking.   4. The trails could be built and accessed in multiple sections due to road crossings and multiple parking areas, allowing for faster construction and easier movement of materials and labor to the work areas. As well as for riding all year round when the top of the mountain is snowed in.   5. Close proximity to roads would make for relatively easy emergency access and ODF personnel if riders get injured and need to be assisted or evacuated.   6. Very low user conflict. There are no other existing trails in the area.   7. Close to zero risk concerning having other users stumble across these purpose-built trails.   8. Little vehicle traffic on the roads that would be crossed.   9. The diversity of the terrain would support a wide variety of trails and trail types, as well as having several locations for Skills or session areas. Thus spreading out the users and help to lower the impact and wear on the trails.   10. This terrain supports trails of all difficulty levels, from undulating beginner trail terrain to steeper advanced difficulty level trail options.   11. There is a HUGE need for intermediate/advanced level, longer length Downhill Mountain Biking trails in the area.

12 Larch Mountain: a closer look

13 Larch Mountain Basin: broken-down 1. West Idiot Creek: This region has poor road infrastructure, accessible by only one road. One way in, one way out. Very few options for trails, let alone places to park vehicles. Terrain is not conducive for this type of usage. One area that has potential, is in an area set aside for future Wilson River Trail corridor. Trail opportunities in this area would be limited to no more than.5 mile in length with no more than a 300-400 foot elevation descent. In a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the greatest feasibility of trail development and 1 being the least, this area scores a 2. Bottom Line- Road infrastructure can not facilitate higher usage. Poor terrain. 2. East Idiot Creek: This area is defined as a narrow ridge between 2 steep creek canyons. Very little viable terrain. Trail opportunities in this region would be limited to less than.5 mile in length and less than a 200 foot elevation descent. Lack of road/parking infrastructure. Terrain generally flat and unassuming. In a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the greatest feasibility of trail development and 1 being the least, this area scores a 1. Bottom Line- Lack of road infrastructure and usable terrain. 3. Larch Mountain: This area is bordered by Idiot Creek on the West end and Drift Creek on the East end. Well established road infrastructure with access to Hwy 6 from both Storeyburn Road and Larch Mountain roads. There are many opportunities for parking areas and emergency access. Largest area of usable terrain in the Forest, the landscape provides very suitable terrain for trails of all types and skill levels. Trails in this area could reach up to 5 miles in length and up to a 2200 foot elevation descent. In a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the greatest feasibility of trail development and 1 being the least, this area scores a 5. Bottom Line- Infrastructure and Terrain defines this area as being best suited for trail development. Very little user conflict. 4. Drift Creek / Storeyburn: This area is bordered by Drift Creek canyon on the West and Gales Creek canyon on the East. Area is defined as a ridge that runs parallel to Storeyburn road from Hampton property in the North to the Storeyburn trail-head in the south. Well developed road infrastructure in Storeyburn Road, many spur roads suitable for parking. Emergency access possibilities. Area also contains sought-after terrain but contain limited usable amounts. In all likelihood, only one trail may be developed in this area. In a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the greatest feasibility of trail development and 1 being the least, this area scores a 3.

14 System Development- What comes next? Gain approval to move forward with a “Pilot” trail concept. Move forward with proposed “Phase 1” development and revisit the possibility of future development at a later date. Utilize the standards set forth in the developed Risk Management Plan and Best Practices Guide to plan, design, and develop these trails with user safety in mind.

15 Risk Management Plan and Best Practices Guide Best Practices  Sustainable Trail building practices  Construction Techniques and “best practices”  Effective System Signage Plan  Other types on on and off trail signage Risk Management  Skill Filters  Choke Points  Fall Zones  Sightlines  Maintenance/Inspection Schedules  Trail Patrols  Emergency Access

16 Estimated Costs to ODF  Infrastructure needs  No costs to ODF. Westside Trail Federation will fund all aspects of managing this trail system. With a strong user base, sustainable business Plan, and various fundraising opportunities, funding will not be an issue.  Staff Time  Very low. Since the user group will be building/managing/maintaining the network, the only staff time will be needed for planning and minimal trail assessments/approvals. Expected to be less than John Barnes’ annual investment spent managing Black Rock Mountain Bike Area (+/- 100 hr/year)

17 Risks to ODF  Financial-  Staff time for trail network oversight.  Liability-  Indemnification clause on Adopt-a-Trail agreement. Liability coverage carried by Westside Trail Federation for design, construction, and maintenance of trail network.  Natural Resources-  Westside Trail Federation has vowed to systematically dismantle and reclaim trails if agreed upon at a later date.

18 Expect the unexpected  Despite the many indicators that show that this user group is gaining strength and growing consistently, we (Westside Trail Federation) should always plan to expect the unexpected through a contingency plan:  In the event that the sponsor (Westside Trail Federation) does not have the capacity to maintain the trail system, primary considerations will be given to a local 501(c)(3) organization (such at North-West Trail Alliance) to determine if they possess the resources/support needed to maintain this trail system. In the event that Westside Trail Federation dissolves, it’s assets roll into another 501(c)(3) organization (TBD). If a “beneficiary” organization can not be found to maintain this trail system, the sponsor will take the responsibility to decommission and reclaim the trail system.

19 Benefits of this Opportunity  This is a prototype model for how the relationships between ODF and host clubs will work in the future.  A possibility to increase staffing/funding capacity  Increase in volunteers willing to help maintain other trails in the Tillamook State Forest.  User benefit  Environmental awareness  Increased trail patrol resources  New users (riders and riding families) will be able to experience the natural beauty of the Tillamook State Forest.  Increased camping and resource (map, etc) revenue.  Increased Health and Fitness for users.  Increased Health and Fitness for users.  Possibility to link into existing trails to provide alternate possibilities for other trail users.  Decreased user conflict on existing shared use trails that were not designed to handle high speed and volume mountain bike traffic.  Due to significant lack of freeriding opportunities currently in TSF, problems have and will continue to arise in regards to construction of unsanctioned and illegal trails.  Due to significant lack of freeriding opportunities currently in TSF, problems have and will continue to arise in regards to construction of unsanctioned and illegal trails.  Offering trail system which provides for type and style of trail users need will both allow for better risk management but also reduce (or eliminate) illegal trail building activities.

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