Our stewardship partner for the Deschutes River 50K and 25K
In less than two weeks, a bunch of people will start running down the Deschutes River Trail in hopes of running back up the Deschutes River Trail some number of hours later. In between, they will cover miles and miles of beautiful, well maintained trail throughout the Deschutes National Forest.
All told, we can reasonably expect well over 320 total person-hours of running on Saturday, October 20th from our race participants alone. Other users of the trail — hikers, bikers, horseback riders and so forth — may put up similar numbers.
We are fortunate to be able to use, and have ready access to, these world-class trails. Accordingly, we owe a hearty “thank you” to the groups who make this possible. Without these groups’ efforts, the frequent use of such trails would lead to their deterioration, as well as the deterioration of the surrounding environment. We are all responsible for keeping them in excellent shape.
To show our appreciation for these stewardship groups — beyond a “thank you” — we are donating $5.00 from every Deschutes River 50K and 25K registration to the Central Oregon Trail Alliance. COTA’s mission “is to develop, protect, and enhance the Central Oregon mountain bike experience through trail stewardship, advocacy, collaboration, and education.” (Yes, trail runners directly benefit from the conservation efforts of mountain bikers!)
To get a small, but impactful, sense of what COTA does for the trails on which we are going to run, be mindful of the informative and effective trail signage you will see throughout the race. Whether you are hiking, running or biking, you would find it challenging to get lost.
We are also fortunate that many other organizations exist which share COTA’s commitment to trail stewardship. In our backyard, for example, the Washington Trails Association is on a mission to “preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in Washington state through collaboration, education, advocacy and volunteer trail maintenance.”
At every race we host, as stated in our values, we will donate $5.00 from each registration to a local stewardship and conservation organization. So, to our runners: we want to thank you, too, for joining us. In effect, you are helping to make all trails — all our shared trails — better.