In 2006, voters told Metro to buy critical wildlife habitats, including land at the north end of Forest Park, to “preserve natural areas; protect fish, wildlife; improve water quality.” Now Metro is poised to break that promise.
Forest Park’s wildlife corridors connect it to the Coast Range, Tualatin Valley, and Sauvie Island/Multnomah Channel. These corridors run through a narrow area just north of Forest Park.
Metro purchased land in this sensitive area, with our tax dollars, saying the goal was to protect and restore these fragile wildlife corridors.
This land is home to majestic herds of elk, minutes from downtown Portland. It is also home to delicate red-legged frogs, a state-listed species that spends most of the year in the forest, and many other species, including bald eagles and coho salmon.
Now Metro wants to turn more than 200 acres of this sensitive land into an outdoor adventure park with a dense network of trails for mountain bikers, hikers, and runners. One of these trails would run through the middle of an elk calving area. Metro admits that the trails will force some wildlife out, but they’ve decided that human recreation is more important than protecting wildlife.
Update: In March, Metro revised their trail proposal. The new draft eliminates the new trail that was proposed through the elk calving meadow in McCarthy Creek, but says Metro may add this trail back later. The draft also commits Metro to a couple years of bird and amphibian surveys, which is helpful. But the new draft does not reduce any of the proposed trails in Burlington Creek, which will harm the important red-legged frog connection between the Metro properties and nearby protected wetlands.
There is extensive, well-established research showing that dogs, even on-leash, are especially harmful for wildlife, so we support Metro’s policy of not allowing them in these natural areas.
Metro needs to hear from you before they vote to adopt a plan on April 14
- Use our tax dollars as promised – to preserve, protect, and restore wildlife habitat for future generations.
- No new trails in these areas. Existing gravel road loops of 3.2 and 1.1 miles provide excellent access to 3 stunning viewpoints, the Ancient Forest Preserve and its eagle roosts, and all the different habitats. Everyone can use these loops and enjoy these sites without harming the wildlife.