Even though we’re still several years away from major trail construction, there’s plenty of work to do to get ready: trail segment planning, engineering assessments, hazardous material surveys, public involvement, marketing plans, economic and health benefit studies, permitting, and what feels like a million other things to think about and prepare for.
Portland television stations have been taking note of the proposed Salmonberry Trail this summer. Check out these two stories, the first by Kaitlyn Bolduc at KPTV Channel 12 shot in June 2017, and the second by Chris Liedle at KATU Channel 2 broadcast in August. We appreciated that in both cases, the reporters reminded viewers that the trail doesn’t exist yet and that entry into the area is dangerous and prohibited.
Three years of inventory and analysis are coming to a close for the environmental/planning contractor hired by Tillamook County examining possible hazardous material sites along 62 miles of the Port of Tillamook Bay (POTB) railroad that could eventually become part of the proposed Salmonberry Trail. The assessment work, funded by a three-year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ‚Äúbrownfields‚Äù grant, has involved a comprehensive corridor study, site inventory and ranking for approximately 30 individual sites, and four on-site investigations involving soil and groundwater testing.
Salmonberry Trail project followers will know that our planning energy this summer and fall is focused on the “Valley Segment,” which stretches from the western Washington County town of Banks to just past the Reehers Camp area in the Tillamook State Forest. The goal of the segment planning work is to begin developing alignment and pre-engineering details that can feed the final design and construction process.
Viewers in the Portland area were treated to an inside look at the Salmonberry Trail project by KPTV Channel 12. The story, which aired on July 18, 2017, describes the great potential and the planning associated with Oregon's most ambitious rail-trail project. It also provides an important reminder the trail doesn't exist yet and is not safe or open to public access. Here's a link to the story.
Construction of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Line took six years (1905-1911) and included 13 tunnels and 60 bridges, 35 of which were more than 100 feet long. The original wood trestle bridges were replaced with steel like this one in the mid 1920s. During the flood, high water washed around this steel bridge and its concrete abutments threatening to leave it disconnected from the main line.
FOREST GROVE, OR—Oregon’s proposed Salmonberry Trail—connecting the Portland metro area and the Oregon Coast with an 86-mile long multiple-use trail—took a major step forward this week when it received national attention and funding from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails. RTC awarded the Salmonberry Trail project $30,000 to fund an economic and health benefit study to gauge future contributions of the trail to surrounding communities.
Cochran Pond. This was a pond used to hold logs that fed the C.H. Wheeler Lumber Company mill that stood on this spot from 1909-1932. Cochran is located at the summit of the Oregon Coast Range (elevation 1,833 feet), where the railroad line crossed over the top of the Coast Range from the Nehalem River watershed to the Salmonberry River watershed. During the 19-teens and 1920s, there was a full-fledged logging town here with railroad depot, a school, two pool halls, bunk houses, a big cookhouse and family houses. Cochran was named for brothers Joseph and J. Henry Cochran, lumbermen from Ashland, Wisconsin who began buying up large tracts of forest in this area in 1901. Railroad construction crews started in Tillamook and in Hillsboro in 1905-6 and worked toward the middle. They met just west of here in 1911.
Salmonberry Trail meeting set for Friday, June 2nd in Tillamook
The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) will meet at The Officer’s Mess Hall at the Port of Tillamook Bay on the morning of Friday, June 2nd to discuss issues related to ownership and management of the proposed Salmonberry Trail. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. and should conclude by 1:00 p.m. The Officer’s Mess Hall at the Port of Tillamook Bay is located at 6825 Officer’s Row, Tillamook, Oregon 97141.
STIA board meetings are open to the public.
The June 2nd agenda includes an update on fundraising efforts, status of a proposed rail banking agreement, marketing and benefit studies and the upcoming trail planning study for the eastern-most 20 miles of the proposed trail from Banks to Reehers Camp in the Tillamook State Forest.
STIA was formed in 2015 as the primary governance structure to guide project development. This new intergovernmental partnership of 11 agencies and leaders includes the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Tillamook County, the Port of Tillamook Bay, Washington County; the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde; the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust; the Washington County Visitors Association; Senator Betsy Johnson from Senate District 16; Representative Debbie Boone from House District 32; and the Governor’s Regional Solutions Team North Coast Coordinator.
STIA has launched a number of significant projects, including development of a master plan for the Coastal and Valley trail segments; development of an agreement with the Port of Tillamook Bay to rail bank the right-of-way allowing for development of a recreational trail; a strategic marketing plan for the trail; and a planned health and economic benefits study.
While STIA is focused on trail planning and maintenance, its non-profit partner Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust is focused on raising funds and support for the project. Together STIA and the Trust are being joined and supported by a growing list of individuals and organizations interested in making the Salmonberry Trail a reality.
For more information, contact Dennis Wiley, Salmonberry Trail project manager, at 503-986-0723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 2, 2017
Officer’s Mess Hall Port of Tillamook Bay
6825 Officer’s Row, Tillamook, Oregon 97141.
If you’ve been through Tillamook lately, you’ve surely noticed the construction project near the intersection of Highways 6 and 101. It’s a major effort to upgrade a complicated intersection that was never designed to carry the traffic loads it currently does. Read more about the project at its website.
Even though we’re still several years away from major trail construction, there’s plenty of work to do to get ready: trail segment planning, engineering assessments, hazardous material surveys, public involvement, marketing plans, economic and health benefit studies, permitting, and what feels like a million other things to think about and prepare for. We’ve been busy collectively raising capacity funds to assist with this work, and we need your help.
Embark on visual tour of the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad and the places that will eventually become the Salmonberry Trail.
In this short video, we start in the Washington County and make our way into the Coast Range along the Salmonberry River, the Nehalem River and bay, then to the Pacific Ocean.