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OREGON STATEWIDE TRAILS PLAN ISSUES

Issues ranked by Southwest Region planning workshop participants.

From the Oregon Statewide Trails Plan, 2003

Map of Oregon From the Bandon Public Recreation Provider Session (Southwest Region includes Coos, Curry, Josephine, Jackson and Douglas Counties). Issues are listed in order of importance as ranked by the number of dots placed by each one by workshop participants.

Motorized Trail Issues

A. There is a lot of confusion over the requirement that motorized vehicles be street legal in order to legally operate on ocean beaches. The current regulations regarding motorized use of beaches are not clear, and as a result, people are not well informed about ATV use on beaches. A potential solution would be to identify those beach locations where ATV use is appropriate based on environmental concerns and the potential for conflict with other users (9 dots).

B. There is a need for increased user education and information related to riding regulations and restrictions and to get this information to users (4 dots).

C. OHV vendors and manufacturers need to take responsibility and play a role in providing riding areas and facilities within the region. Such businesses should also take a larger role in user education, safety training, and resource stewardship. They also need to be more careful about airing advertisements showing responsible OHV use and not people driving through riverbeds and wetlands (3 dots).

D. There is a need for education, enforcement and site planning to proactively address the issue of noise and its impact on other users and adjacent landowners (3 dots).

E. There is a need for consistency in signing between agencies so there is a common set of signs as you travel across jurisdictions. There needs to be a similar regulatory and informational signing message at all riding areas across the state (3 dots).

F. There is a need for additional funding for law enforcement and emergency response in the region (2 dots). G. There is a need to keep motorized users in designated riding areas (1 dot).

H. There is a need to design trails that can meet the needs of both motorized and non-motorized activities (1 dot).

I. There is a need for additional developed camping areas and more primitive camping opportunities for OHV users within the region (1 dot).

J. There is a need for increased flexibility in the ATV grant program related to distribution of grant dollars. Because of the rather rigid structure (revolving schedule where one year the funding goes to law enforcement, the next year development grants, and so forth) agencies typically have to wait several years for their grant proposals to be heard (1 dot).

K. There is a need to better manage trail use according to seasonal variations (0 dots).

L. There is a need for a statewide review and evaluation of current OHV noise regulations. The ultimate product should be a consistent statewide standard for noise (0 dots).

M. There is a need for statewide regulations for OHV safety and training dealing with ATV and motorcycle riding safety issues such as helmets and riding double (0 dots).

N. There is a need for additional funding for trail maintenance within the region. There always seems to be money available for trail development but not for routine day-to-day trail maintenance (0 dots).

O. There is a need for readily accessible funding for both trail planning and environmental assessment work on trails on state and federal lands (0 dots).

P. There is a need a need for good trail design and maintenance to proactively address resource damage occurring on trails within the region (0 dots).

Q. There is a need for more coordination between agencies in regional trail planning and marketing to provide the correct mix of facilities and more cost-effectively market trail information to the public. There is a need for a good one-stop location for marketing trail opportunities in the region (0 dots).

R. Many existing trail-related facilities are old (both in location and use) and have not been modified to represent current needs. Times have changed but the facilities haven't changed with them such as tent camping facilities including room for one car and one tent and RV campsites not large enough for modern vehicles (0 dots).

S. There is a need for consistency in sign standards such as level of difficulty symbols to allow users with enough information to avoid getting in over their level of experience. All agencies should use the same types of trail markers and standardized regulation signs and jurisdictional boundary signs (0 dots).

Non-Motorized Trail Issues

T. There is a need for additional funding for trail maintenance within the region. There always seems to be money available for trail development but not for routine day-to-day trail maintenance (7 dots).

U. Resources are limited for trail maintenance, but providers are constantly being asked to develop additional trails. As a result, trail maintenance should be a high grant funding priority. There should also be a grant evaluation criteria stating that if an agency does not have a history of properly maintaining existing trails, they should not receive funding for new trail development projects. More priority should be given to maintaining what we currently have before adding additional trail facilities. In addition, we should share information on successful trail projects, maintenance examples, and officially recognizing agencies with exemplary trail maintenance programs (7 dots).

V. There is a need for readily accessible funding for both trail planning and environmental assessment work on trails on state and federal lands. For example, if a federal agency is asked to develop an equestrian trail on land which they manage which requires an environmental assessment, they will have to put in a year or two of time up front before even beginning to put a trail on the ground. If adequate staff-time is not available for such work, the trail will not be developed (4 dots).

W. There is a need for good trail design and maintenance to proactively address resource damage occurring on trails within the region. As a result, there is a need for good maintenance resources and access to construction and maintenance information. Such resources are currently available, but simply need to be housed in a central statewide location. But at the core of the maintenance problem it all comes down to funding. We end up shortcutting some of the process to stay within limited construction and maintenance budgets (3 dots).

X. There is a need for trails adjacent to major travel corridors and near population centers in the region. People are stressed for time and not willing to drive 2 hours to get to backcountry trail opportunities. For example, if a trail is adjacent to Highway 101 the trail is going to get more use (3 dots).

Y. There is a need for more coordination between agencies in regional trail planning and marketing to provide the correct mix of facilities and more cost-effectively market trail information to the public. There is a need for a good one-stop location for marketing trail opportunities in the region (2 dots).

Z. There is a need to address user conflicts through trail design and making sure there are adequate opportunities for all users (e.g. if a trail is closed for mountain biking use, the another place should be provided) (1 dot).

AA. There is a need for increased/adequate trailhead parking, staging areas for trails (including good spacing for equestrians) and signage for allowed use, level of difficulty, distance, and adequate directional signage (1 dot).

BB. There is a need for connectivity in trail systems connecting local resources with county, state, and federal trails and communities within the region (1 dot).

CC. There is a need for more universally accessible trail options to better serve an aging population base which is still very active. Accessible trail opportunities should be available at the community level and in the wild land interface. In addition, there is a need for technical assistance and funding for complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements (1 dot).

DD. Many existing trail-related facilities are old (both in location and use) and have not been modified to represent current needs. Times have changed but the facilities haven't changed with them such as tent camping facilities including room for one car and one tent and RV campsites not large enough for modern vehicles (0 dots).

EE. There is a need for consistency in sign standards such as level of difficulty symbols to allow users with enough information to avoid getting in over their level of experience. All agencies should use the same types of trail markers and standardized regulation signs and jurisdictional boundary signs (0 dots).

FF. There is a need for training in the design, management, and maintenance of trails. Training should be done in an interagency fashion as a collaborative effort (e.g. the National Trails Training Partnership) to improve networking and partnership opportunities (0 dots).

GG. There is a need for additional long-distance hiking opportunities in the region. Currently, most trails are only a mile or two in length and many users are looking for longer hiking experiences (0 dots).

HH. There is a need for additional trails along waterways in the region (0 dots).

II. There is a need for adequate trip planning resources such as maps and regional trail information on a central web location with links to other sites (0 dots).

JJ. There is a need for good information on where hikers can and cannot camp on long-distance trails within the region such as the Coastal Trail (0 dots).

KK. There is a need for creating partnerships within the region to assist with getting trails information out to tourists and selling trails as an economic development strategy. Recreation providers should partner with the tourism industry, trade associations, and user groups/clubs to multiply their efforts (0 dots).

Water Trail Issues

LL. There is a need for a funding source for non-motorized water trail facility development within the region (8 dots).

MM. There is a need to consider potential conflicts between an increasing number of non-motorized boaters and motorized boaters associated with sharing water-based resources and waterways within the region (6 dots).

NN. There is a need to address safety issues associated with water trail development including user education programs, vendor/rental training courses requiring equipment renters to show competency to operate equipment, and user information on what and where educational opportunities are available (5 dots).

OO. The sport of paddling provides quiet access to wildlife in ways that can have negative impacts on birds and marine mammals. As a result, there needs to be more information available on how to reduce impacts such as provided by programs like Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly to develop an appropriate user ethic. There is a need for consistent, quality information, which is simple to understand and includes a distinct regional flavor (e.g. need for different information on the coast as opposed to information needed in an area such as Bend). There is a tendency for groups such as Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly to lose touch with the simplicity of their original message as they become more sophisticated and business oriented in packaging and marketing their products (3 dots).

PP. There is a need to consider the potential conflicts between an increasing number of people using public waterways and adjacent landowners over the question of ownership of the waterways. Landowners will eventually attempt to get legislation passed to get boaters off the water (3 dots).

QQ. There is a need for more public access to waterways and public places to stop along paddling routes so they are not getting out in someone's front yard (2 dots).

RR. There is a need for overnight facilities such as large car camping opportunities and overnight paddle trip landings and campsites along water trail routes (2 dots).

SS. There is a need to consider the impacts that water trail development will have on the natural environment in sensitive areas such as the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (0 dots).

TT. There is a need to develop facilities specifically designed for non-motorized boaters such as ramps for kayaks or canoes (0 dots).

UU. There is a need to work with existing funding agencies such as the Marine Board to provide non-motorized facilities as a way to address demand and conflicts on existing motorized facilities (0 dots).

For additional information about the statewide trails planning process, please contact Terry Bergerson at OPRD, 1115 Commercial Street, Salem, Oregon 97301-1002, (P) 503-378-4168 X 305, (F) 503-378-6447 or (E) at terry.bergerson@state.or.us.

The updated list of State program contacts for trails and greenways is maintained by the Federal Highway Administration.

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