Leave Only Footprints
Take action today.
Stop expansion of off-road cycling in Forest Park.
Portland City Council is set to vote soon on whether to change the law and allow expanded off-road cycling on the soft, narrow trails you enjoy on foot. A yes vote would begin the process of turning Forest Park into a sport park with little or no concern for wildlife, habitat, watershed and the thousands of people who visit the park on foot.
We are not out to exclude mountain biking in Forest Park. However, there is illegal mountain biking happening on nearly every trail in the park. Enforcement as identified by Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish and the Forest Par Conservancy is key to mountain bike access in our shared parks and natural areas. Yet, Portland Parks ranger are not empowered to cite mountain bikers for riding illegally. Self-regulation and voluntary compliance are the best way to get mountain biker back on the nearly 30 miles of legally accessible trails in the park.
Protect wildlife in the Tualatin Mountains & Forest Park
Metro is quietly requesting Multnomah Country make a semi-judicial change to all four of the North Tualatin Mountains/Forest Park wildlife corridor areas. This would effectively turn protected natural areas into mountain biking recreation parks. These lands are home to bobcat, mountain lion, black bear and elk.
If you don’t know your Metro district, you can find your councilor by entering your address here.
Step up for Forest Park.
Please write Portland City Council members now. You don’t have to live in Portland to make your voice heard. After all, Forest Park belongs to all of us.
Demand mandated wildlife and habitat studies. Repair current trails and establish enforcement instead of expanding off-road cycling.
Drop us an email and tell us your story.
You Can Do More
Write letters-to-the-editor: The Oregonian, Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, NW Examiner – local publications need to hear from you.
Audubon Society members: Call the Portland Audubon Society at 503-292-6855 and let them know you do not support expanded mountain biking in Forest Park. Forest Park already provides mountain bikers with nearly 30 miles of trail access.
Forest Park Conservancy: Contact Forest Park Conservancy at 503-223-5449 and [email protected]. The mission is focused on protecting Forest Park’s ecological health while encouraging responsible recreation and access. Tell them mandated wildlife and habitat studies need to be done before allowing mountain bikes on soft, narrow hiking trails.
Key points to consider when contacting civic leaders
- Illegal mountain biking on pedestrian-only trails – 90% of visitors to Forest Park experience the park on foot. Currently, many visitors do not feel safe. Visitors have been harassed and hit by mountain bikers riding illegally in Forest Park.
- Portland Parks & Recreation has not maintained the roads and fire lanes in Forest Park. Better maintenance would keep illegal mountain biking off the narrow trails, greatly reducing encounters with people on foot.
- Pollution, climate change and overuse are impacting the park negatively. Baseline wildlife and habitat studies need to be done.
- Safety first. The vast majority of people visiting Forest Park do so on foot. Off-road cycling should be limited to dirt roads and fire lanes. Allowing mountain bikers expanded access on the soft, narrow trails we enjoy is highly dangerous. People have been hit and harassed by illegal off-road riders. Yet, nothing is done about it because rangers have no power to ticket or exclude illegal riding.
- No enforcement. Currently, Portland Parks & Recreation employs one part-time ranger to oversee Forest Park’s 5,100 acres. Rangers don’t have the power to ticket an illegal rider. Illegal riding is happening regularly. On nearly every trail. Best practices in other cities where foot traffic co-exists with off-road mountain biking includes ticketing and park exclusions. Enforcement is 20 times greater than Forest Park in other cities.
- Strong infrastructure of enforcement needed. Even when signs are posted with Portland city code restricting dogs off leash, smoking and off-road cycling, rangers don’t have the authority to issue a ticket the first time they see someone breaking the law. We need more than one part-time with the power to curb illegal activities that endanger the park, wildlife and all visitors.
Email your Civic Leaders
Mayor Ted Wheeler: [email protected]
Commissioner Amanda Fritz: [email protected]
Commissioner Nick Fish: [email protected]
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty: [email protected]
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly: [email protected]
Chair Patricia Forbes: [email protected]
PORTLAND PARKS BUREAU DIRECTOR
Portland Parks Director Adena Long: [email protected]
Find your METRO Councilor here.
Contact - The Coalition to Protect Forest Park: [email protected]
Join the Coalition to Protect Forest Park and ensure it thrives for generations to come.
Sign up here to receive updates on our ongoing efforts to protect Forest Park.