A proposal to put mountain bike trails on Mount Hood slopes is being slowed by an expanded environmental review. The study will gauge the trails' effects on federally protected steelhead.
A review by the U.S. Forest Service in 2012 found that mountain bike trails near Timberline Lodge would have no significant environmental impact.
But attorneys representing conservationists have successfully pushed for federal fish biologists to take a closer look.
They say mountain bikers would harm steelhead habitat and that related restoration work was proven to be ineffective.
Now, the National Marine Fisheries Service will do a more extensive review.
Russ Plaeger is with the conservation group Bark.
“We see it as really significant that the fisheries service has decided to take a re-look, because they’re the ones responsible for these species' survival,” says Plaeger.
A Timberline spokesman said the project has certainly lost momentum — though they still hope to see mountain bike trails on Mount Hood.
No timeline for completing the new biological opinion has been released.
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