How HR County Tax Measures Affect County Trails
Hello HRATS Supporter!
As a person who presumably uses and enjoys trails in Hood River County (HRC), there are impacts to the trail system within HRC based on the outcome of the county ballot tax measures 14-65 & 14-66 that you may not know about.
We know that ballot measures to generate revenues (increase taxes) are complicated issues with varying impacts on county residents. We want you to understand one way in which this could affect your quality of life in HRC and understand this is only one dimension of many possible impacts.
Currently, the county employs a part-time trail coordinator. This individual is the touch point for trail building, trail maintenance and trail events on HRC lands, this includes most of Post Canyon. If both Tax Measures fail, the county is not planning to fill this position after July 31st when the current coordinator retires.
What does this mean for you and other trail users? Based on conversations with the County Administrator, a County Commissioner, and the Head Forester, the County plans to slowly end their trail program if BOTH measures fail. Ending the Trail Program has the following impacts:
- The County will no longer apply for the roughly $100k/year OHV Trail Grant that they have been getting. This money has been the backbone of the County Trail Program.
- Loss of the Trail Committee and Trail Adopters that oversee and maintain trails.
- Loss of a County Employee to interface with Trail advocates like HRATS. This means new trails and new features will NOT be allowed.
- Cancellation of all events permits. Currently, School of Send, Cooper Spur Alpine Team, and Others use these permits to operate on the trails.
The following could happen if BOTH measures fail:
- HRATS/Volunteer work parties could be forbidden
- After logging, destroyed trails may be forbidden to be rebuilt.
The County Administrator, a County Commissioner, and the Head Forester all said that closing road gates to the County forest is an option if rogue use (commercial/event operation) and rogue trail building/maintenance is not contained in this situation. This includes the gate before Family Man.
Here are some links to information on both measures.
Prepared Food & Beverage Tax
Thank you for supporting the trails and be sure to Vote by May 21.