Polallie Cooper Timber Sale

Polallie CooperIn case you were not aware, the Forest Service is preparing a longterm timber / fuels reduction plan, aka a Timber Sale, for what is called the Polallie Cooper area on the east side of Mt Hood.

The Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Polallie-Cooper Timber Sale was released recently and the public comment period ends on February 25, 2016.

You can download and view a pdf copy of the Polallie-Cooper EA here. It’s a long (300+page) document, but one of the critical concerns to 44 Trails is the USFS proposal to move ahead with a 55-foot buffer on either side of trails that fall within the timber sale. This means cutting to within 55 feet of either side of existing trails.

44 Trails Association, among other groups involved in a collaborative process before the EA was completed, suggested a 100-foot buffer (on each side) be used. The idea behind our 100-foot per side recommendation is to preserve the quality of the trail user experience as much as possible. The trail user experience being based on forest quality and trail/tread quality, both of which, we believe, are directly related to forest canopy where more forest canopy equals a better experience and better tread quality/durability.

Of the trails impacted by the proposal, the Dog River Trail (#675) is the highest profile within the mountain bike community. Not only, could the proposal result in cutting within 55 feet of the trail, it will surely impact the trail with extended closures while the work is being done.

There is a public meeting on Weds., Feb. 10 from 5 to 7 pm at the Hood River fire station in next to the pool in Hood River. We hope to see you there.

This is an important opportunity to let the Hood River Ranger District hear your opinion of the proposal.

You can also submit written comments to the Forest Service, by February 25th, your opinion could help preserve the riding experience on the Dog River Trail and beyond into the future.

To comment or to learn more
contact: Casey Gatz – Interdisciplinary Team Leader
(541) 352-1255 cgatz@fs.fed.us
www.fs.usda.gov/projects/ mthood/landmanagement/projects

Download Polallie Cooper Timber Sale Environmental Assessment


44 Trails Update – Winter 2016

IMG_8112Winter is in full swing up in the 44 zone this year, which puts our trail projects on hold until the snow melts back enough to allow access again. In the meantime, we do have a few projects idling in the background. First is the Cooks Meadow trail extension project that we started in the November. Second is the planning process for the second annual Trailgate event to be held in July of 2016. Finally, third is working with other mountain bike and trail advocacy groups regarding Oregon Wild’s “unfinished business” for a proposed expansion of wilderness designation on the Mt. Hood National Forest.

Cooks Meadow and the National Forest Foundation
44 trails updateCome spring melt, the Cooks Meadow extension trail project will be a top priority along with the annual logout of downed timber on the 44 trail network. We were awarded a grant in from the National Forest Foundation (NFF) in 2015 to help offset the costs of our annual logout and work related to the Cooks Meadow extension project. We were awarded money under the National Forest Foundation Ski Conservation cooper spurFund (SCF). The grant is designed for action-oriented, on-the-ground projects that improve forest health and outdoor experiences on National Forests. Award funds come from guest contributions at ski areas and lodges operating on or adjacent to National Forest. In our case, money came through the Cooper Spur Mountain Resort on Hood’s northeast side. It’s great to have the support of local businesses and their patrons in our efforts to maintain and support the 44 trails! We look forward to getting back on the dirt to put our NFF funding to work this spring!

trailgate 2015Trailgate 2016
Last summer, we held our first ever trail day event that focused on riding not working! Trailgate 2015 was a great success. Based out of the Billy Bob SnoPark on Mt Hood’s Barlow Ranger District, we hosted a couple hundred trail users for a beautiful day of pedaling, eating and music. Well, we filed the paperwork with the USFS to host Trailgate 2016 in July. We’ll be sure to keep you posted! You can also sign up for our mailing list (we never share it with anyone) and you’ll receive notices about 44 Trails Association related events and occasional trail news like fire closures, significant trail condition updates and such.

mt hood wilderness proposal mapWilderness Proposal
Oregon Wild is still working to expand the Mt Hood Wilderness designation in the Boulder Lake / Barlow District area of the Mount Hood National Forest. It’s all part of what they call “unfinished business” related to the 2009 legislation which added wilderness status to new sections of the Mt Hood National Forest.

We value our public lands and consider ourselves active stewards of our local forests and trails. We understand the value of wilderness but we do not support Oregon Wild’s expansion plan. We are working with other mountain bike trail advocacy groups including IMBA, OBRA and NWTA to create a unified and intelligent opposition to Oregon Wild’s efforts. We’ll be sure to keep you posted of any significant news on this front. In the meantime, you can read a little more about Oregon Wild’s plan and our reasons for being opposed as well as how and where to voice your opinion.