2019 OMBC Spring Gathering — Recap
This has been an insanely busy spring for mountain bike groups in Oregon. Many are working more hours than ever before to get the trails cleared and ready to riding. In the midst of these record high volunteer hours, we were all the more impressed to have 23 people from nine different groups attend the Oregon Mountain Biking Coalitions (OMBC) Spring Summit in Westfir, Oregon on May 18-19.
Spring Summit overview
The weekend started and ended with a ride, but lots of work was accomplished in between. After climbing down Alpine, 23 of us piled into the Westfir Lodge to eat some great food and discuss the future of mountain biking in Oregon. We kicked things off with an overview of some of our key state agencies and how OMBC representatives have been engaging with them.
We then heard from Zach Jarrett from the Forest Service about future plans for Oregon trails. Did you know that the Forest Service administers 93% of the trails in the northwest? This equates to about 24,800 miles of trail, 15,000 of which are in Oregon. Zach shared that, “the Forest Service has more miles of trail than it has been able to maintain.” Last year, they managed to maintain about 40% of the network - much of which was accomplished with volunteers/partners. Recognizing this big challenge, the Forest Service has kicked off a 10-year Sustainable Trail Stewardship Challenge and they are going to need our input along the way. We will be letting you all know when and how to engage in this process.
At the end of the day, we returned to the nitty gritty - discussing volunteer hour tracking, resource sharing and communications. We gathered input from participants on how OMBC can play a role in supporting these types of administrative duties.
On Sunday, the Alpine Trail Crew Association (ATCA) put us to work building a crib wall on Dead Mountain trail. We have to admit that our corner turned out to be pretty sexy! Doing a meaningful trail project (followed by riding down it), was the perfect way to end our weekend.
We had some amazing sponsors that made this weekend great. Huge thanks to Travel Oregon and to Travel Lane County for helping with lodging and food. Westfir Lodge was a fabulous host and we hope to visit them again in the future. Lastly, thanks again to ATCA for facilitating a great trail project!
We will be reaching out to all of you as the Forest Service develops their Regional Sustainable Trail Strategy. We will gather your input and inform you of opportunities to engage in this important process.
We will be in touch with details regarding the Oregon Trails Summit which will be held this year in Roseburg, Oregon, from October 3-5. We hope to see many of you there!
We will be in touch regarding our own development and progress as a coalition. Remember that our goal is to provide a statewide voice for mountain biking - elevating and supporting all of your amazing work at the local level.
OMBC “launched” 1 1/2 years ago. Since then we have hosted three successful summits as well as a very successful first Mountain Bike Lobby Day in Salem. We now have 13 member organizations, representing over 6,000 Oregon mountain bikers.
We plan to keep these wheels turning! If you have not already joined, please join today and help to strengthen the statewide voice for mountain biking.