Seven Streams gets new locale

November 26, 2005

Six people gathered at the Seven Streams trailhead Nov. 6 to flag the fate of Post Canyon’s main trail.

The group decided to re-route it to the west side of the creek and incorporate sections of the existing trail, including four or five stream crossings, into the new one.

The new re-route followed an Oct. 11 flagging of the 24-year-old trail that would have placed it 75 feet up the hillside to the east, eliminating all stream crossings but one.

“The original new location, no one seemed to like,” Hood River County Forester Brent Gleason told the Forest Trails Recreation Committee at its Nov. 15 meeting. “So the group that was there flagged the new location … it has more stream crossings than I wanted.”

The new proposed location for the trail also grants it a layer of protection from timber harvests – something that generates $4 to $5 million a year for the county – due to a 20-foot no touch buffer, which prevents logging near streambeds.

Under the new plan, Seven Streams would remain a non-motorized trail, meaning it would accommodate horseback riders, hikers, bicyclists and dog walkers.

The county, however, will not build bridges to accommodate them.

“The consensus of the horsepeople was they won’t ride bridges anyway no matter how wide they are,” said committee member Jen Bisset.

Since horseback riders account for an insignificant amount of the traffic on Seven Streams, the new rule would allow them to continue crossing the streambeds to reach the other side.

“If we start building bridges to accommodate horses,” Gleason said, “costs are going to go up dramatically.”

“Three to four times, at least,” said Pat Monahan, trailbuilder and committee member.

Jill VanWinkel and Chris Bernhardt, International Mountain Bicycling Association representatives, estimated $5,000 for a bridge engineered for horses.

“Horsepeople want to use the trail but they’re not going to use the bridges anyway,” Gleason echoed. “So why waste county money on bridges the horsepeople are going to go around? Not that many horses ride that trail anymore anyway.”

Meanwhile, assistant county forester Henry Buckalew will begin writing for a Recreation Trails Program grant that would help pay for the trail’s relocation.

Relocation of the Seven Streams trail appeared on the Forest Recreation Trails Committee agenda two months ago, after the Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District noticed excessive erosion.

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