Nov. 6, 2013
Salem OR - The Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) is inviting trail proponents statewide to nominate their favorite non-motorized trails for inclusion in Oregon's network of official state trails.
"ORTAC's intent is to have a statewide system of trails that showcases Oregon's exceptional trail experiences in both rural and urban areas," said Nancy Ream Enabnit (eh-NAB-nit), the chair of ORTAC. "We're seeking nominations from all corners of the state to get the job done."
In 2010, ORTAC streamlined the nomination process in order to make it simpler and more accessible to trail advocates and land managers. "Since that time, the state has received seven new submissions," said Enabnit. "That essentially would double the number of designated trails established since the program began in 1971."
State designated trails fall into two categories, scenic and regional. Scenic Trail advocates can nominate single routes as short as one mile in length or trails that join up with others to provide access to "outstanding scenery and lasting memories for users," said Enabnit. "They must be open to the public and be substantially complete."
Trails designated in the Regional category must be at least five miles long and create close-to-home recreation opportunities or link communities, schools, and/or recreation sites with significant scenic trails. Like Scenic Trails, they must lie on public land or public rights-of-way or easements.
Criteria and timelines for designating both Scenic and Regional Trails, as well as the nomination form, are viewable online in the Oregon Recreation Trails Designation Program handbook at www.oregon.gov/oprd/PLANS/docs/trails_handbook.pdf. Nominations must be submitted by November 30, 2013.
The Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) was established by the Oregon State Legislature in 1971 to advise the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and promote non-motorized trail recreation and development in Oregon. The Council is made up of seven volunteer members appointed by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission to represent the five Oregon congressional districts. The Council meets four times annually in different locations across the state.
For more information about the benefits and process of designating state trails, visit the ORTAC website at www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PLANS/pages/ortac.aspx or contact Rocky Houston, State Trails Coordinator, at (503) 986-0750.