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Nominations sought for state trail designations

Oct. 14, 2014

The Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) invites trail users to nominate additions to Oregon's network of non-motorized, state designated trails. Nominations will be accepted through November 30, 2014.

The process defines two trail designation categories: Scenic and Regional. Scenic Trails can be single routes as short as a mile, or trails that combine with others to give access to "outstanding scenery and lasting memories for trail users." They must be open to the public and be mostly complete.

Regional Trails must be longer than five miles and create close-to-home recreation opportunities. They also are defined as connectors linking communities, schools and recreation sites with significant scenic trails. Like Scenic Trails, they must lie on public land or public rights-of-way or easements.

"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, the chair of ORTAC. "We're seeking nominations from all corners of the state to get the job done."

In 2010 ORTAC and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department streamlined the application process. Since that time the state has received seven new nominations, doubling the designated trail inventory since the program began in 1971. ORTAC's goal is to make the process simpler and more accessible to trail advocates and land managers.

The council was established by the Legislature in 1971 to advise the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and to promote non-motorized trail recreation and development in Oregon. The Council is made up of seven volunteer members appointed by the Oregon Park and Recreation Commission to represent the five Oregon congressional districts. The council meets four times annually in different locations across the state.

ORTAC's website has links to a nomination form and to the Oregon Recreation Trails Designation Program handbook, which includes criteria and timelines. Go to http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/Trail_Programs_Services/Pages/Trails-Designation-Programs.aspx