Mt. Hood National Forest is a unique and special place – in essence, an urban Forest with wilderness experiences for the 2.5 million people of the Portland metro region, Columbia Gorge towns and surrounding communities. TKO has drummed a beat here for well over a decade, drastically expanding our stewardship and advocacy efforts.
A number of initiatives have made for a powerful time for trail stewardship in this region:
The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Act of 2016 was passed into law by the US Congress, requiring the Agency to significantly increase the role of partners and volunteers in trail maintenance and enhancements.
The U.S. Forest Service established a 10-Year Trail Stewardship Challenge in 2018. This effort challenges the Forest Service and partners nationwide to focus, innovate, and collaborate to achieve a sustainable system of trails that meet the needs of current and future trail users, improve access to national forests and grasslands, and provide health and economic benefits to communities.
U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region establishes a Sustainable Trails Strategy to Modernize the Pacific Northwest’s trail network to provide a world class experience in a way that meets the needs of present and future generations and to sustain or enhance the ecological, social, and economic conditions.
Clackamas River Trail has been an annual site for our leaders to care for trails since 2013. Just under 3 years ago, the National Forest Foundation identified Mt. Hood National Forest as the next site for their Treasured Landscapes campaign and we jumped in with trail parties and trainings through our development of a trails training weekend called TKO Tread School. Not only has that training allowed us to engage new volunteers, the program has shed light on trails like the Salmon River Trail.
Zigzag and Clackamas
Ranger District Trails
Feet of Trails Improved
In Kind Value of Volunteer Time
MOUNT HOOD’s Clackamas Ranger District
BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR WILD & SCENIC!
This week we identified two scenic sites of Oregon that are designated as National Wild & Scenic Waterways. The trails that correspond to these places are special to us and the Clackamas River Trail has been a place we have touched tools to trail for over 5 years. Two of our most dedicated crew leaders, Elaine & Patrick Keavney, have adopted this trail and are heading out this week to respond to reports of many trees down from storms last month. Join them!
With support from the National Forest Foundation and Oregon’s Mount Hood Territory, we have been pleased to offer an annual training event since 2018, nestled along the Salmon River within the Zigzag Ranger District. TKO Crew Leaders, as well as partner and agency instructors, deliver a comprehensive trails training, providing a foundation of trail design and maintenance skills. We’ve got the fun training all figured out, plus food/refreshments and a beautiful place to stay – grab a bunk, pitch your tent, or rent a room for the weekend and get ready to build some trails!
After TKO Tread School in May 2019, we were really starting to get our boots planted in building more volunteer support in the Zigzag Ranger District. In early 2019, a women’s hiking group from Portland reported that a loop trail off the east end of the Salmon River Trail (just south of Trillium Lake) was nearly impassable from the encroaching Rhododendron. We kicked things off with their group in late June 2019 and then have followed up with a half dozen trail parties along this beautiful trail. Get ready for more in the years to come.
This fall was chaotic and dramatic. Historic winds, fires, civil unrest, and a deadly pandemic will define the fall of 2020 for most. For me, they all set the backdrop for a somewhat confusing, sometimes chaotic, but overall incredibly fulfilling internship with Trailkeepers of Oregon, the US Forest Service, and Northwest Youth Corps. For the months of September, October and November, I worked in the Columbia River Gorge, aiding in ongoing trail restoration efforts. […]
Congratulations on the 2020 season! With challenges seemingly around every corner, it was certainly not an easy road, but we still accomplished some big things. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you who participated this year, either by signing up for a volunteer shift or by just staying in the loop by being on the email list. […]