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Nominate favorite trails for official state designation

By KTVZ.COM news sources
Published On: Sep 27 2012 05:10:16 PM CDT
SALEM, Ore. -

The Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) invites trail proponents statewide to expand Oregon's network of non-motorized, state designated trails.

The process defines two trail designation categories: Scenic and Regional. "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 OPRD streamlined the application process. "Since that time the state has received seven new nominations," said Enabnit. "That essentially doubles 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.

Scenic trail advocates can nominate single routes that are as short as a mile, or ones that combine with others to give access to "outstanding scenery and lasting memories for trail users," said Enabnit. "They must be open to the public and be substantially complete."

Trails designated in the Regional category must be more than five miles long 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.

Criteria and timelines for designating both Scenic and Regional Trails appear on the web in an Oregon Recreation Trails Designation Program handbook (www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PLANS/Pages/ORTAC.aspx). Application forms accompany the handbook. The nomination period is open between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2012.

The Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) 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.  

For more information about the benefits and process of trail designation, visit ORTAC's website: http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PLANS/pages/ortac.aspx 
or contact Rocky Houston, State Trails Coordinator, at (503) 986-0750, rocky.houston@state.or.us.

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