- Associated Press - Sunday, April 10, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - The city of Eugene has bought 100 acres of forestland that includes a hill with sweeping views and plans to make it part of the city’s ridgeline trail system.

Neil Bjorklund, city parks planning manager, told The Register-Guard (https://bit.ly/1SaoYuh) in a story on Sunday that the $850,000 purchase was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The 100 acres of land has three adjacent parcels near Lane Community College all purchased near the end of 2015. Two of the parcels cost $675,000 and the third $175,000. Money for the land buy came from a parks bond measure voters approved in 2006.

“Our research shows that there is extremely high support for more trails,” Bjorklund said. “The more people hike, more people are getting exercise, which in turn improves community health.”

Bjorklund said the new land doesn’t have keep-out signs but is not ready for visitors.

“Although there are beautiful views, the site is not currently suitable for public use,” he said. “It is difficult to access, and there are no trails, no signs, no markers where public land ends and private land starts, and none of the potential hazards on the site have been addressed.”

At the moment, he said, the land is informally being called Coryell Ridge after an early settler family.

Ultimately, Bjorklund said, the department wants to have a connected trail system and even a trail from the Cascades Range to the coast.

The 100-acre purchase links the city’s Moon Mountain Park to an existing Interstate 5 underpass, a key component in the city’s plans for an extensive trail system.

“If we didn’t acquire this site now, we likely would never be able to make this important strategic connection in the future,” Bjorklund said.


Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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