Salmonberry: Vision to Reality
Cycle Oregon, state officials and community stakeholders share a vision for the Salmonberry, an overgrown, unmaintained and decommissioned railroad track stretching 86 miles between Banks in the Willamette Valley to Tillamook along the Oregon Coast.
This vision seeks to restore the Salmonberry to its storied and significant place in state history, showcasing the historical, cultural and natural attributes known to families and communities for millennia, from the first native peoples gracing the land at least 6,000 years ago to the EuroAmerican farmers who followed in the mid-1800s to the opening of Pacific Railway and Navigation Company (PR&N) railroad in 1911. With the advent of the PR&N railroad came the economic prosperity of a thriving timber and logging market, which lasted for about 75 years, until regulations, international markets, new technologies and storm damage began to slow the economic engine, eventually earning PR&N the nickname of Punk, Rotten & Nasty. In 2007 the final blow to the line came in a devastating set of rainstorms, which caused significant damage to the line, as well as the small towns that had grown up around it.
In 2008, the idea for the Salmonberry was born in the intersections between Oregon State Forestry, Oregon Parks & Recreation Department and Cycle Oregon. Our relationships with leadership on Forestry and Parks commissions helped us to identify and act on this audacious idea to find a future in the forest, turning Punk, Rotten & Nasty into a world-class multi-use trail along the scenic Salmonberry River.
In In 2012 Cycle Oregon made an initial investment, the first step in turning the vision to reality with a $100,000 Cycle Oregon Signature grant. This effort resulted in the Salmonberry Corridor Concept Plan. The good news from this report, released in the fall of 2014, confirmed that our vision was indeed, possible.
Early this year, the Cycle Oregon board made another major investment in this vision. A $50,000 Signature Grant to fund a staff position to perform community outreach and hone the technical designs in the plan into a feasible implementation working in tandem with a capital campaign.
The dual impacts of projects like the Salmonberry are that it helps introduce Oregonians to Oregon while driving economic development throughout the state. This meshes well with the overarching mission of Cycle Oregon.
Cycle Oregon is a part of new financial engines, contributing much-needed fiscal support to the postcard-worthy towns it visits. In 2014 Cycle Oregon infused nearly $1.8 million into the communities and businesses that support our events.
- Civic and school groups earned more than $180,000 by providing services during Cycle Oregon
- Local businesses earned $300,000 in food, lodging, activities and gifts
- Cycle Oregon vendors, all homegrown Pacific Northwest businesses and nonprofits, earned more than $1.3 million
Cycle Oregon’s financial impact extends beyond the events, too. Since 1996, our Cycle Oregon Fund, makes strategic investments to preserve special places in Oregon, promote bicycle safety and tourism and support community-driven projects. With more than $2 million in the fund, Cycle O gives between $50,000 – $100,000 each year in grants that spotlight the kind of endeavors that frequently lack statewide attention but often mean everything to the people in the small towns who welcome us on our tours.
We look forward to the day when we’ll announce our first Salmonberry tour. We know that day will come, but we also know that projects like this take patience and persistence. They also take commitment and investments.
We hope you will join us in supporting the Salmonberry and other projects like it around the state with an contribution to the Cycle Oregon Fund. The fund is held at the Oregon Community Foundation and is tax deductible. Contributions can be made online here, or via payable to:
The Oregon Community Foundation for the benefit of the Cycle Oregon Fund
Oregon Community Foundation
1221 SW Yamhill St. Suite 100
Portland, OR 97205