Proposing an official name for an Oregon Hiking exactly?
December 4, 2009 11:17 AM   Subscribe

What procedure would one conceivably follow in order to propose a hiking trail be named for a person in the state of Oregon?

A couple of years ago a man who was instrumental in mapping the hiking trails throughout the Columbia Gorge passed away. He had worked for the Forest Service. Many of the hiking trails are identified only by number. One trail in particular was his favorite and some of his friends and family want to propose naming the trail for him. Trouble is, no one has one clue how this type of thing is accomplished. Do we approach it as a formal proposal and submit it to the State of Oregon? or the Forest service? Can we consider it as a petition?

I apologize if this seems a simple question--I have tried googling to no avail. He truly was a wonderful guy and most instrumental in the preservation of the trails. I can help put together a packet to promote the idea..I have no idea if there is a procedure in place to follow. I didn't necessarily want to call the US Forest Service, if any of you already know what direction I should start in. Thanks for your ideas.
posted by naplesyellow to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I would approach a Senator, Representative or the Governor and get their help in cutting through the red tape. This kind of thing is what politicians love to help with. It's a win-win situation for them as well as for the family and friends of the deceased. It's a great photo opportunity and makes for a feel-good story that the local and state press will love to cover.

Perhaps build a nice little web site that outlines your goals and set up an online petition.
posted by camworld at 11:28 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Start by finding out who maintains the trail. I can't speak for your state, but out here, even in USFS land, various hiking clubs maintain most of the trails and they get to name them, although most trails had names from when they were cut a hundred years ago. Very few are actually maintained by the USFS. A guidebook or trail sign might give you a clue as to whose trail it is. Then you'd need to call that organization and find out how you might go about getting it done.

In any event, even if it is the USFS, you'll need to start with a phone call.

In the meantime, you might want to find various local hiking forums and try to drum up support from others. A lot of those forums are frequented by people who work for said hiking clubs and government agencies. You might just get lucky and stumble upon someone who knows exactly what you need to do.
posted by bondcliff at 11:35 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

It depends on if it's in a National Forest, or on state land. Sounds like National Forest, so I would work with Sen. Wyden's office, and also either Blumenaur or Walden, in the House, depending on (I can't tell) who's district this trail is in. No current Oregon representation on the Ag. Committee, sadly.

I would also contact the Mt. Hood National Forest office in Sandy to get advice.

Good luck.
posted by Danf at 11:38 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Columbia River Gorge Commission seems to have a lot of information about policy, though mostly about facility construction and land use. They might be good people to contact, though.
posted by Nomiconic at 11:48 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

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