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Marrone Wall?

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I asked clackamas county about it back in June of this year.

the county currently has no plans for construction at Madrone to get it opened as a park.

They have no funding to make the upgrades to the highway & the entrance/parking that would be required to open it. A few years ago, the hope was that construction would be done by national guard & volunteer construction planning work, but those fell through.

There isn't any public push to get it opened either, so there's been no movement in the past year or two.

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My apologies for not spending much time on this forum in recent months. I will try and do better about that.


To respond to hemp22’s post, here are the basics: The County moved about $60k in funding for the Madrone ( from the ‘08 or ‘09 Metro Bond Measure) into the Springwater Trail improvements. So, it’s true that there is no funding from the County right now. In regards to the Oregon National Guard IRT out of Salem, that did not ‘fall through’ ( County’s statement to hemp22), but there also has been a change in leadership at the OR Nat. Guard, and they have been deployed. Keith still has had a positive relationship with the ONG, and are willing to do the work so long as they are not deployed. They can’t do anything until the County accepts the engineering plans ( read thru to the end) and funds the project. And as for the volunteer work, we are not going to continue to build trails and clean up the site if the County does not make a commitment to move forward.


We wanted to give you an update on where we’re at and what has been accomplished, but I think I need to start off with a bit of both a long-standing and more recent battle our group has had with Clackamas County.


1) Keith has done an amazing job of forming and trying to form relationships with the County Parks Staff over the years. One of our main battles is the turnover of new parks staff and department heads, who don’t ever receive a whole lot of information about the Madrone Wall when they join on as staff because it is so low on their priority list. It seems like our group ( Keith really) who does all of the outreach to the new staff about this site.


2) Since July, Keith has tirelessly tried to work with and reach out to the new Parks Department Head, but he refuses to return Keith’s calls or emails. Basically the door has been closed on us.


3) Both Keith and I are not residents of Clackamas County, which may be part of the reason why their new staff members are not really responding to us. It is my gut feeling that we are really going to call upon the residents and businesses of Clackamas County to stand up for parks, the Madrone, and to be the driving voice in getting the the ball rolling on this. Keith has been the squeaky wheel for 15 years, but we’re going to need the help of residents who live in the area.


Here is what has been accomplished and where we are headed. ( Exact months /timeline are a little fuzzy)


1) Keith and I have connected with Chris Winter ( CRAG Law), Joe Sambataro ( Access Fund-Access Director & NW Regional Director), and Adam Clinton Baylor ( Mazamas & Oregon Access Fund RC). We have a conference call scheduled in January with other key folks from the American Alpine Club about some strategies and a new approach.


2) Last Spring, Keith was working with the new Parks Dept Head at Clackamas County. The County approached Keith to write an MOU ( Memorandum of Understanding) about what our group would be responsible for and what the County was responsible for. This is when we connected with Chris Winter, who drafted the MOU with us. We completed that and presented it to the County. Said Dept Head agreed to meet with Keith about the MOU in late summer, and this is when communications ceased with Keith. What did end up happening after months of Keith trying to connect with said Dept Head, Keith ended up getting his hand slapped for doing the MOU, which is REDICULOUSLY HILARIOUS because THE COUNTY ASKED US for the MOU!


3) Keith did get the civil engineering plans complete from the engineer ( all done pro bono!), which was a 3 year process. What are the engineering plans for again? Roadway access & improvements (ingress/egress) from HWY 224 to the parking area (single lane with pull outs & needs to be wide enough for an emergency vehicle), a gravel parking area where the road ends at the meadow. Leveling of the meadow / parking area would also need to happen. Space for a port-o-potty, picnic table, and park kiosk are smaller pieces of the plans.


So, our group has done everything the County has asked us for and then some: engineering plans at no cost to them, a ready & willing construction group ( Oregon National Guard IRT) to do the labor, trail building parties a few years back ( thanks to those who volunteered), applied for Access Fund & Mazamas grants for trailbuilding supplies, and an MOU.


I know many of you are frustrated about what seems to be no forward progress. Trust me, no one is more frustrated than Keith, who has been working on this somehow probably every single day. Stay tuned here for more updates and stay tuned for a new Facebook page for the Madrone Wall group in January. Please share this with anyone who might be interested and especially those in Clackamas County!



Kellie Rice


Edited by elaine

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Kellie, you've been making the case for 9 years now that climbers should stay away from the Madrone Wall to keep from messing up access negotiations, but that approach hasn't yielded a lot of results. The outcome so far doesn't seem any better than if every climber in Portland vowed to climb at Madrone at every opportunity. When civil obedience isn't even given the courtesy of having calls or emails returned, it might be time to reconsider the strategy.

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Its been 10-15 years since I have climbed at Madrone Wall or even drove by, what does parking on the hiway look like now I wonder?

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For the last 15 years our group has been asking that people respect the closure and we will continue to do so. Keith and I have only climbed there 1 or two days and only after one of our trailbuilding days when the County gave us permission.


Park staff and members of the Parks Board have actually thrown that fact in Keith's face stating ( I'm not quoting), "Climbers are still out there and ignoring the "No Trespassing" signs." Of course the very same people conveniently forget to add the local's dumping old appliances and car parts, drinking and target shooting, and even homeowners just taking their dogs for a walk in an open area.


Do we need a different approach? You bet, but Keith and I can't 'win' this alone, and that's why we've involved Chris Winter, the Access Fund, AAC & Mazamas. We've had lots of support from the Portland community over the years ( and THANKS!), and definitely some Clackamas County residents, too, but it is Keith ( mainly) who is on the phone every week trying to connect with them, attending monthly Parks Board meetings, etc. Only when we've rallied people have others shown up to meetings, written letters, attended fundraisers and so on. We really need the residents of Clackamas County to hold their elected officials, Park staff and Parks Board accountable for park creation and improved livability within their communities. A couple of rock climbers from Portland and Beaverton are not going to motivate those that are in control to get the Madrone Wall park moving forward.


If you or anyone on this forum would like to meet with Keith and I because you have ideas or suggestions about some possible strategies that might help, then feel free to contact me here in a PM. We would certainly appreciate it, and we are looking forward to our brainstorming session in January with the folks at the Mazamas, Access Fund, AAC and Chris Winter.


Thank you!

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