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Rails to Trails Delay

Posted on 31st August 2017 at 09:01

Weyerhaeuser may be putting the brakes on a push to convert the old Columbia and Cowlitz Railway into a bike and hiking trail that would go from Longview to Toutle. Today’s Daily News reports on discussions that have been under way since Patriot Rail sent an “abandonment filing” to the Surface Transportation Board on August 11th, formally announcing their plans to abandon the rail bed. Cowlitz County Building and Planning followed that with the filing of a “notice of interim trail use,” stating that the county is ready to assume financial responsibility in construction of the trail. Weyerhaeuser is reported to be opposed to the “Rails to Trails” plan; the company has sold the rail line, but they still own much of the timberland on both sides of the 22-mile line. Anthony Chavez with Weyerhaeuser says that there’s still too much logging activity next to the rail line, which would make it unsafe to be used as a trail. Elaine Placido with Cowlitz County Building and Planning says that this process is in its infancy, and could take years to put together.