Trailhead the site of Conservation Fund's 50th anniversary event

The Sandy Ridge Mountain Bike Trail System was host to U.S. and Oregon state officials the afternoon of Tuesday, July 8, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The trail was established in part by the fund.

Neil Kornze, director of the Bureau of Land Management, and representatives from the Western Rivers Conservancy, Clackamas County, Travel Oregon and the International Mountain Bicycling Association were present at the event held at the trailhead.

The gathering was part of efforts by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to raise awareness on the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Kornze also participated in events in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Texas and Virginia.

The LWCF, established by Congress in 1964, has been used in Oregon to create outdoor recreation, from public plazas such as Pioneer Square in downtown Portland to state parks including Stub Stewart in Washington County.

Gov. John Kitzhaber announced that Oregon will receive more than $650,000 from LWCF this year.

“Urban parks, natural areas, ball fields and trails give Oregonians the chance to explore their state while improving the health and vitality of our cities and towns,” Kitzhaber said. “The funding is critical to protecting natural areas and supporting locally-driven projects that improve liability.”

Oregon has received a total of more than $55 million from the fund.

The Sandy Ridge Trail System, located east of Sandy off Barlow Trail Road, offers 15 miles of single-track trail. It was created with help from the International Mountain Biking Association and AntFarm YouthCore to provide a high quality experience for local mountain bikers.

The system’s newly remodeled trails, Homestead Loop and Laura’s Line, reopened Fourth of July weekend. The trails have been improved to better suit entry-level riders.

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