Effective January 27, several trails will be CLOSED Monday-Fridays into spring, 2021, so forest thinning projects can be conducted safely. In a nutshell + map below...
What trails are closed:
- Lower Whoops
- Pine Drops
- Upper Phil's Trail (aka Helipad), from Whoops bench area to the 300 road
- EXT (runs parallel to the 300 road from base of Pine Drops to Phil's)
- Portion of Storm King, from Whoops bench area to forest road 4615
When: Trails, and roads within, are closed Monday at 12am to Friday at 3pm. All areas and trails open Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays
Note: 300 road also is currently closed but will reopen once road reconstruction work has been completed.
See below for map and press release from Deschutes National Forest, dated January 27, 2021.
DESCHUTES NATIONAL FOREST PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer, Deschutes National Forest, 458-231-1242
Date: January 27, 2021
Trail Closures to Begin for Public Safety
Trail closures west of Bend to allow for timber sale harvest and restoration work
Bend, Ore.- Beginning this Thursday, several trails on the Deschutes National Forest will be fully closed for the safety of forest users and for the safety of the timber operators doing timber harvesting and forest restoration work in the Euro Stewardship contract area.
The trails within the Euro Stewardship contract area will be closed to all visitors, including all trail users. . Euro Stewardship contract area is located just west of Bend, OR and is part of the West Bend Project and is located within the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration boundary.
Trail closures will occur on the following trails: Lower Whoops, Pine Drops, EXT, the northwest portion of Storm King from the junction with Forest Road 4615 and the junction with Phil’s Trail, and the western-most portion of Phil’s between the junction with EXT (near Forest Road 300) and it’s western terminus at the junction with Pine Drops, Upper and Lower Whoops, and Skyliners trails.
Trail closures will be in place on Mondays beginning at 12:00 a.m. through Fridays until 3 p.m. Trails will be open to the public beginning Fridays at 3:01 p.m. through Sundays until 11:59 p.m. and all Federal holidays. Trail closures will remain in place until work is completed in the area. The public will be notified when the trails reopen. Forest Road 300 also is currently closed but will reopen once road reconstruction work has been completed.
Euro Stewardship contract includes thinning of trees and mastication and/or mowing of brush and small trees. T2, INC. located out of Sweet Home, OR was awarded the contract. The primary objectives of this project are to help maintain and restore forest and ecosystem health and contribute wood products to the local and regional industry. Through the thinning of trees and mastication of brush, followed by prescribed fire Euro Stewardship will help create a forest that is more resilient to fire, insect infestations and disease.
The project was developed in collaboration with the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project and other stakeholders.
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Matt Prymak of Bend! Matt held the winning raffle ticket for our fundraiser to pay for winter trails grooming costs and to fund more trails.
Thanks to EVERYONE who supported COTA with a raffle ticket purchase. Your generosity far exceeded our expectations, and we were able to raise a whopping $10,575!
These funds will be used to:
Happy (winter) trails to you all.
After conducting a thorough and robust nationwide search, COTA has found the perfect candidate right here in Bend. We are very pleased to announce Emmy Andrews as our first Executive Director.
Emmy has been hired to lead COTA in its next phase of growth, while continuing its core mission of developing, protecting, and enhancing the Central Oregon mountain bike experience through trail stewardship, advocacy, collaboration, and education.
Emmy has been actively involved on COTA’s Board of Directors for over four years (2016-2020), serving as Board Treasurer for three years, and then becoming the Bend Chapter Representative. While on the Board, Emmy was instrumental in developing COTA’s first Strategic Plan and coordinating the Crew Leader program. Emmy has been an active trail work volunteer and mountain bike advocate for many years.
“Emmy’s energy and enthusiasm for what we do, her ability to maintain positive long-term relationships with stakeholders and volunteers, and common sense approach convinced us that Emmy is the one to guide COTA in achieving great things in the years to come,” said COTA Board Chair, Bruce Schroeder. “We look forward to working with Emmy in this new capacity starting in 2021.”
With over 20 years of experience in project management, planning, and marketing, and a passion for implementing COTA’s mission and vision, Emmy is ready to get started.
“Mountain biking trails are essential to Central Oregon’s identity and economy,” Emmy said. “As Executive Director, I will focus on empowering COTA’s amazing volunteers and growing our revenue base so that our trail network continues to be among the best in the country. I look forward to strengthening COTA’s relationships with our members, volunteers, land managers, partner organizations, and sponsors.”
“COTA is growing at a phenomenal rate. We have six chapters—Bend, Crook County, Madras, Redmond, Sisters, and South Deschutes County—and trail planning or building going on in all of them. As Executive Director I want to make sure all of our chapters have the resources and support they need to achieve their goals.”
This newly created Executive Director position marks the first paid position for COTA. Established as a non-profit organization in 1992, all efforts by Board members, vast numbers of trail workers, and others have been 100% volunteer driven. Emmy was selected after a five-month search that included evaluating a strong list of applicants from all over the country.
Emmy’s start date is January 4, 2021 and can be reached here. For more information, please contact COTA’s Board Chair, Bruce Schroeder here.
The Forest Service recently requested public input on proposed updates to directives that clarify how e-bikes are managed on national forests whereby creating an e-bike definition and by adopting the three classes of e-bikes for designation as motor vehicles.
Below you'll find the USFS comment request notification as well as COTA's comment letter. The deadline for public comments was October 26, 2020.
Winter riding is around the corner so we’re kicking off our raffle fundraiser to pay for grooming costs & to fund more trails.
Chip in $10+ for a chance to win a 2021 Rhino FLT fatbike, generously donated by Fatback Bikes!
Get out and enjoy snow-cruising COTA’s groomed Wanoga fat bike trails; then ride sweet singletrack, forest roads, sandy trails and beaches when summer hits.
Your Ticket Purchase/Donation Helps Us:
Grooming approved trails. Prepping snow-packed fatbike trails requires snowmobiles and unique grooming equipment, plenty of gas and oil, machine maintenance, equipment storage and insurance. COTA covers these costs via donations like yours.
Adding new trails. It’s challenging and time-consuming to get new trails approved by the US Forest Service. We’re proposing a new 4 mile loop, dubbed ‘Saddle Ride,’ that winds over the saddle of nearby buttes. NEPA (environmental) studies and other expenses that may be required are often partly or wholly funded by COTA (via your donations and memberships) to help get projects to the finish line.
Sharing the trails. Our winter trails are open to fatbikes, snowshoers, cross-country skiiers and dogs - woof!
Enter now to win - Chip in to support winter trails!
Tickets $10 each; 3 for $25, 7 for $50
The Jackpot: A 2021 Fatback Bikes RHINO FLT tricked out with NX SRAM components, Fatback’s proprietary Big SU wheelset and upgraded Terrene Johnny 5 tires. Your choice of frame size, from XS - XL. Pedals not included. Retail price: $2,199.
Fatback’s Rhino FLT was highlighted in Outside Magazine’s Best Fat Bikes of 2020 roundup with this comment:
The Fatback Rhino FLT proves you don’t have to spend a fortune for a great winter ride. Because the frame is aluminum, it won’t break the budget. The geometry feels tight and responsive, and [includes Fatback’s] surprisingly light and sturdy Big SU wheels.
Blue Ice color / Any Size Frame from XS-XL / Free Shipping in Lower 48 States
To check out a Fatback Bikes Rhino FLT in person, stop by WebCyclery in the Old Stone Church at 157 NW Franklin Ave in Bend.
Last Chance to Buy Tix: Sunday, December 6th, 2020 at 11:59pm
Drawing Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 8:00am
Online Drawing: Following safe COVID protocols, the drawing will be online this year with the winning ticket selected at random by RaffleCreator. The winner will be notified by phone and email within 24 hours.
Proceeds go to COTA's winter fat bike trail efforts.
South Fork Trail Reroute Implemented for Bridge Replacement, per USFS press release.
Beginning Monday, October 19, Deschutes National Forest trails specialists plan to close the South Fork Tumalo Trail #25.1 where the trail crosses the South Fork of Tumalo Creek in order to replace the trail’s bridge. The closure will be implemented until the project is complete later this fall. Trail users can detour to Forest Service Road 4603 to avoid the closure (see map below).
The South Fork Tumalo Trail serves as a hiking and biking trail in the summer and as a Nordic trail in the winter. It provides important trail connectivity and access for several popular destinations. The bridge replacement is conducted in partnership with the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) and Central Oregon Nordic Club (CONC). Both groups are providing funding and volunteer labor.
*COTA's note: Users can continue to use the portions of Tumalo Creek Trail up to the bridge from either side while replacement construction is underway, however the bridge itself will be closed and there is no other way to cross Tumalo's South Fork tributary in that area.
The Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) is hiring its first Executive Director to chart the course for the organization’s next phase of growth. The ideal candidate is a positive, flexible, and team-oriented leader with the enthusiasm and vision to guide COTA in fulfilling its mission to develop, protect, and enhance the mountain biking experience here in Central Oregon.
Check out the job description, salary range and application process HERE.
COTA is dedicated to designing, building and maintaining sustainable singletrack trails and preserving access for mountain bikers through trail stewardship, public outreach, advocacy and education.
Formed in 1992 as an all-volunteer organization, COTA has more than 1,300 members with chapters in Bend, Redmond, Crook County, Madras, Sisters and South Dechutes County.
If you are interested in serving as COTA’s first Executive Director, click HERE to see the Job Announcement, salary range, and information about applying.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently reviewing its e-bikes policy. Comments or concerns regarding e-bike use on BLM lands can be submitted through June 9, 2020 here. Below you'll find COTA's position statement in PDF format:
In the past few weeks, there have been several guest editorials in the Bend Bulletin by pro e-bike riders that had several inaccuracies as to COTA's role and relationship with central Oregon's singletrack MTB trails. We hope this helps clarify our position in the complex discussion about e-bikes. - COTA Board of Directors
May 20, 2020 Bend Bulletin:
In a recent guest column about riding electric bikes (e-bikes) in the forests west of Bend, there were some inaccuracies that the Central Oregon Trail Alliance's Board of Directors would like to correct and clarify.
COTA’s mission is to develop, protect and enhance the Central Oregon mountain bike experience through trail stewardship, advocacy, collaboration and education. Since our founding in 1992, we have designed, built and have stewardship/maintenance agreements on hundreds of miles of single-track trails. While intended to be used primarily by mountain bikers, many others enjoy the work COTA has performed over the past 25+ years, including hikers, trail runners and equestrians.
COTA works with many land managing agencies, such the US Forest Service (Deschutes, Ochoco and Willamette National Forests), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bend Parks and Recreation, Redmond Parks and Recreation, City of Madras, City of Prineville, Crook County and a few others. In each of these relationships, trail management policies (including usage restrictions) are dictated by the specific land managers.
For instance, COTA has, in fact, built trails open to e-mountain bikes at the East Hills Trail System in Madras, because the City of Madras allowed it.
Regarding the Phil’s network and trails west of Bend, the land manager is USFS/Deschutes National Forest. The USFS’s national policy states that electric bikes are to be considered motorized vehicles, and therefore manages them differently than human-powered mountain bikes. Thus, e-bikes are not allowed on USFS trails managed for non-motorized use.
A different example can be seen in the Oakridge area, where some of the single-track trails allow e-bikes. Here these trails are managed by the Willamette National Forest as motorized trails and are open to motorcycles.
COTA’s role has always been as a supportive organization, holding volunteer agreements with the various land managers, including the local Forest Service office. We follow the rules and regulations put forth by the USFS.
The Deschutes National Forest Trail Manager asked COTA for assistance in funding and implementing a ‘No E-Bikes’ signage program. We provided funding and volunteer labor to install the signs, which were approved by DNF. This is consistent with our mission, since education and collaboration are part of what we do.
Although the USFS is not currently reviewing its e-bikes policy, the BLM is actively in a review process. Comments or concerns regarding e-bike use on BLM lands can be submitted through June 9 (search ‘e-bike regulations’ at blm.gov).
E-bike management on trails is very complex and we applaud the BLM for a full review and public comment period before making a final decision. This decision will also affect other trail users: hikers, trail runners, equestrians, and human-powered mountain bikers. While there are compelling arguments for inclusion of e-bikes on trails open to mountain bikes, there are also many arguments against inclusion and keeping non-motorized trails just that, non-motorized.
While the current policies prohibit e-bikes on non-motorized trails they do not prevent use and enjoyment of public lands. There are literally thousands of miles of unpaved roads and trails approved for motorized recreation, which includes e-bikes.
COTA promotes good trail etiquette and responsible recreation for all users. For e-bikers, a big part of riding responsibly includes knowing where to legally ride and respecting those policies. Ignoring closures and policies does not help the impression others have of e-bikers as a user group.
Originally posted in the Bend Bulletin May 20, 2020 issue