Friends of Black Butte Trail

Background information you may find helpful when composing your letter of support.

Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) has been working for five years to create the Black Butte Trail, a new pathway connecting communities of Sisters Country and a new gateway to our National Forest. The STA financed the federally mandated Environmental Assessment by the Forest Service, which has not yet approved the trail but has invited the community to resubmit it for consideration. Alan Unger, Deschutes County Commissioner, plans to resubmit the proposed trail to the Forest Service because it is a trail recognized by the County, it would enhance recreational assets in Central Oregon, and it would provide a safer, environmentally sound, and healthier connection among our communities.

Polls of residents in Tollgate and Black Butte Ranch indicate that supporters of the trail outnumber the opponents by more than 2 to 1. There are indications that most community leaders see the value of this trail.

If you favor a paved trail from Black Butte Ranch to Sisters, please make your voice heard by sending a letter or email of support to Commissioner Alan Unger with copies to the other two commissioners and a copy to the editor of the Nugget. Include your residence address on letters to the commissioners so their office can verify your residency. Write why you personally believe this trail is important to the residents and visitors of Sisters. These letters are crucial to getting the trail proposal submitted to the Forest Service. Please keep your letters positive and respectful.

A letter to the Nugget will show that there is support for a trail and encourage others in Sisters who want the trail to also make their desires known. Your letter to Alan Unger will provide him with needed proof of support from his constituents for his proposal to the Forest Service, and it will ensure that you receive a scoping letter from the Forest Service asking for public opinion of the proposed trail. You can send your original letter as your opinion to the Forest Service, and these letters will count tremendously in the final decision to approve or reject the trail.

If you don’t want your letter published in the Nugget, then please send one just to Commissioner Unger and copies to the other 2 commissioners. They need to know how much this community wants the trail. It will also get you on that all-important list of recipients of the Forest Service scoping letter.

We would like to send you a ‘thank you’ note, so if you don’t mind, please email a copy of your letter to bbt@blackbuttetrail.com so we have your email address.

If you would like to include documented benefits of paved trails in other communities in your letter, these are good sources:

Come back to visit, and visit often. Our effort is just getting started.