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A biker at Deer Valley Resort
Timberline cleared to move ahead on bike park project posted on 05/07/2018

The Timberline Bike Park lawsuit, brought by several environmental groups in 2012, has been dismissed and lift-assisted mountain biking has gained traction.  

“Timberline is very pleased with the Court’s decision and is excited to move forward,” said Steve Kruse, general manager of mountain operations at Timberline. “This ruling (U.S. District Court) confirms the U.S. Forest Service evaluation and approval of a bike park at Timberline meets Mt. Hood National Forest Plan objectives and falls within our permit parameters. This is a good, environmentally sound project.”  

Not everyone agreed. Plaintiffs against the bike park included Sierra Club, Friends of Mount Hood, BARK, Mazamas, Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, as reported in The Mountain Times in 2012. The group’s legal team of Craig Law Center said at the time “Our clients care deeply about Mount Hood and the unique portal to public land on the mountain’s southern flanks that Timberline provides.” 

In the court’s ruling on March 31, District Court Judge Ann Aiken’s findings concluded that the U.S. Forest Service has followed all applicable federal environmental laws. In her opinion, the complaints and suits filed by the Portland-based nonprofit groups failed to raise substantive objections to the project on either ecological or procedural grounds. 

The decision authorizes the development of a managed, lift assisted, downhill-only mountain bike trail system and skills park within the southern portion of the Timberline ski area permit boundary. The trail system includes 17 miles of trail and will be located within the terrain serviced by the Jeff Flood express lift.  

 “Timberline is the people’s choice,” Kruse wrote in a press release. “As stewards of Mt. Hood, Timberline remains committed to providing quality public recreation within the capabilities of the ecosystem. The Mt. Hood National Forest Plan objectives include managing ski areas to provide a diversity of winter and summer recreation activities that emphasize the forest setting. Considering this and the strong growth and popularity of mountain biking, Timberline remains committed to this modest and carefully designed project to bring high quality, lift assisted mountain biking to Mt. Hood as an additional summer activity. 

George Wilson, who recently opened his full-service Mt. Hood Bicycle shop in Welches, sees the Timberline project as another positive step forward in the burgeoning business of mountain biking and the opportunities it provides the local community. 

“Timberline Lodge, with its skills park, will draw consistent cycling traffic from as far as Seattle,” he said. “We have always endorsed the efforts of Timberline Lodge to develop a mountain skills park and have congratulated them for their patience and perseverance in bringing this project to fruition.”  

Wilson added, “Get ready Mt. Hood. The cyclists are coming. Ride on and stay strong.” 

Gravity Logic, a world leader in sustainable bike park planning and design, has been working with Timberline since the project’s inception and will continue to play an important advisory role.  

Construction is set for this summer and will include a skills park, trail system, natural features, built features and jump lines, plus a full-service bike shop for repairs, rental and sales, as well as existing Timberline food and beverage concessions.  

“If you’re half as excited as we are, you’ve already jumped out of your chair and onto your bike,” Director of Marketing and Public Relations John Burton said. “We have diligently been working towards the Timberline Bike Park project and look forward to bringing it to Mount Hood soon.”  

Larry Berteau/MT

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