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Oregon MTB access bill passed by US Congress

On July 19, 2006, the Mount Hood Stewardship and Legacy Act (H.R. 5025), sponsored by Congressmen Greg Walden (R-OR) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), passed unanimously through the House Resources Committee, a significant step towards congressional approval. The full U.S. House of Representatives could vote on the bill as early as next week.

For the past three years, Congressmen Walden and Blumenauer have collaborated with the Oregon Mountain Bike Alliance (ORMBA), the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), and numerous other stakeholders on this innovative bill.

Included in the House bill is an approximately $800,000 annual infusion for trails and recreation in the Mount Hood area, bicycle-friendly boundary adjustments, terms to convert old roads to singletrack, and a mountain bike representative on the Mount Hood National Forest Recreational Advisory Council. The bill also references the importance of recreation to the local economy.

A Senate version of the bill will likely be released shortly. One improvement IMBA and ORMBA are asking from the Senate version is continued access to the 28-mile Roaring River trail system. IMBA will continue to provide information as this bill passes through Congress.

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