A portion of the Salmonberry Trail in Tillamook. Photo: Chas Hundley
SALEM – The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) will hold a board meeting on Friday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Officer's Mess Hall at the Port of Tillamook Bay, 6825 Officer’s Row, Tillamook Ore.
The meeting will open with a work session to continue the STIA long range strategic plan discussion, the third of such work sessions held at an STIA board meeting, the first of which was held on the February 1 STIA meeting.
Topics on the rest of the business agenda include discussions on the planned new nonprofit to replace the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust’s role in funding, development and general support, and a draft agreement for potential partners in trail development in their respective communities along the Salmonberry Trail.
The general public is invited to attend, with public comment opportunities to be held during the meeting.
In an April 25 email to the Banks Post, state rep. Tiffiny Mitchell of Oregon House District 32 said that she would like to attend future STIA meetings, but that her schedule during the legislative session has kept her busy.
"I would like to attend some of the meetings, but I have been unable to so far because I have been prioritizing meeting with constituents on my Fridays. Once session ends in a couple of months and I have more time freed up, those meetings will be easier for me to attend," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said that she supports the concept of the trail on its merits as an economic driver and as a way to showcase the natural beauty of the Tillamook State Forest.
"I think it is a great economic development project and will bring money into our communities in the form of tourism. Oregon is a global destination and we want those tourists visiting our communities. On a more personal level, I love that it will help people to connect with the Tillamook State Forest and showcase the natural beauty that makes our corner of the state so special," she said.
"I am aware that there are concerns from some over the trail, but am committed to and trust that advocates for the trail are working to address those through a robust and transparent process," Mitchell told the Banks Post.
Mitchell's predecessor, former state rep. Deborah Boone told the Banks Post in an email that during her time as a legislator, attending STIA meetings was difficult due to her husband's eventually fatal illness.
"I was my husband's caregiver for two years and had to make choices regarding what meetings I could or could not attend. In no way did it mean I was not engaged," she said.
The Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency was established in 2015 as a framework of government agencies, including the Oregon Department of Forestry, Washington County, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and more. It is the government entity responsible for promoting and leading planning, development and maintenance of the proposed Salmonberry Trail.
For more information, contact Dennis Wiley, Salmonberry Trail project manager, at 503-986-0723 or by email at [email protected] Individuals that need special accommodations to attend should contact Dennis Wiley at least three days prior to the meeting, according to a news release from the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust.
Banks Post staff will be at the meeting, tweeting information as it happens. Follow along at twitter.com/ChasHundley.