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I’ve been in contact with Portland Parks regarding Riverview since 2011, and I’ve participated in the public process to determine land use in Riverview for the past 18 months as part of the “Riverview Natural Area Political Advisory Committee.” I served with about a dozen others, including neighbors and representatives of local interests. Brian Baumann of Northwest Trail Alliance was the official “mountain bike guy,” and I was the designated unofficial citizen “mountain bike guy” on the committee. We were supplied lots of environmental studies and documents outlining the threats and impacts to the natural resources. We were constantly inundated with graphs and charts and bold statements reinforcing how “highly sensitive” the natural resources in Riverview are. And all of those graphs and charts and studies pointed to dogs and off-trail use as far and away the two greatest threats to natural resources in Riverview. We discussed mountain biking, trail planning, trail etiquette, best practices, and parking zones, but we also discussed dogs and cats and neighbors and trees and birds. We discussed a lot.
The committee meetings stopped about 12 months ago, and our June 2014 meeting was canceled. All communication from Portland Parks and Rec went dark after that. And then today I received word from Portland Parks that the area would be closed to mountain bikes.
This has nothing to do with natural resources, because the two biggest threats to Riverview as (rather extensively) outlined in our meetings and in public documents were not addressed in this recent decision. Dogs are still allowed in the park, and nothing has been done to limit off-trail use.