Bringing the Trail Crew to you! This is a continuation of our “Interview with a Volunteer” series that we’ll be using to bring the fun of being a Trailkeeper to you while you stay safe at home. […]
Closing 50 thousand acres of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the Eagle Creek fire shutdown access to 120+ miles of the most highly sought after natural wonders of Oregon. Scenic area staff with the USDA Forest Service are an amazing bunch of folks – fighting the fire to protect communities of the Gorge and historic sites like Multnomah Falls Lodge, then turning immediately to their partners to usher in a response to recover nearly 90+ miles of trails over the last two years. TKO jumped into the trails recovery effort, defining a critical moment in our history where we will look back and realize this changed everything for our organization.
Multnomah Falls and the trails that loop from Horsetail to Wahkeena continue to be a focus for TKO and the Forest Service trail crews. Reinforcing rock walls, building retaining structures and responding quickly to new damages. Rocks and trees will continue to tumble and we will be there to respond. Oneonta is where we turn to next. The Oneonta Gorge may be a distant venture to tackle, but upper Oneonta and the connection to Triple Falls from Horsetail is an opportunity we see coming in 2020 and beyond.
Averaging over twice per week since the beginning of 2018, TKO has had volunteers recovering trails in the Gorge. The freeze and thaw of each winter brings new rocks and burned trees to shift and fall.We will need to be tending to trails within the Multnomah Falls system for many decades to come. Join us, support us today.
In July of 2019, a FS trail crew with a TKO intern hiked to Triple Falls via Horsetail. It was gnarly and damages were significant. There is a bridge that needs to be replaced, meanwhile a substantial rock slide requires a reroute. The bridge replacement and reroute are all under review by the FS. TKO will be starting in from the top near Franklin Ridge, hoping to host multi-day events because of the 6+ miles to hike into the work site.
By Tom Kloster
After the Eagle Creek Fire in September 2017, I know I was not alone in
sorting through photos and trip reports from before the fire. While it has
taken time for all of us to absorb the changes the fire brought to the Gorge,
seeing old photos of our favorite places from years passed was a needed
I am deeply concerned about what is happening to our Oregon State Parks with reductions in operational staff and the possible layoffs of critical support within the agency’s ranks. We are concerned this is a preview of what is going to happen across all public lands. All federal, state and local lands are scrambling to catch up on season staff changes while managing new normals in visitor safety — all in a time of re-opening public lands and the looming realities of shrinking budgets. Oregon’s citizenry can help, if we make it a priority.