Tap Talk - Tales from the Trails

Who doesn’t love trails? From single track forest trails, to wide graveled paths, we all benefit from the access to nature that trails provide. But what happens when you combine public access with sensitive wildlife habitat or endangered plant species? Can people and plants get along?

Michael Pope and Jessica McDonald from Greenbelt Land Trust will join us for this Tap Talk, to share their own tales from the trails, including the special considerations that go into planning for public access on protected lands.

One lesson Greenbelt has learned from managing Bald Hill Farm, a site with over 3 miles of active public trails, is that opening protected lands to people is anything but easy. From trail management to user conflicts and managing liability, trails are tough.

Jessica will explore the power of community conservation and connecting people to protected lands at places like Bald Hill Farm, and then together with Michael they will enlighten us to local tales from the trails, and how Greenbelt has navigated complex recreation issues. 

Come with your enthusiasm, curiosity, and questions to join us for this month's installment of Tap Talks Corvallis! 


For eight years Jessica has woken up every day thinking “I get to work at Greenbelt Land Trust today!” An Oregonian through and through, Jessica grew up on a tributary of the McKenzie River, and was raised on the trails of western Oregon. As the Associate Director, Jessica oversees the implementation of fundraising, outreach and operations programs for the Land Trust. With a background that mixes liberal arts with conservation (she is still figuring out how exactly her Classics degree will help her on a day-to-day basis), she is a passionate believer in conservation and community.


After leaving the illustrious life of a boat-builder in Alaska and Maine, Michael delved into all things Wildlife Science, emerging with a PhD from OSU. As the Executive Director of Greenbelt Land Trust since 2010, Michael has led the organization through its most intense expansion, including the tripling of land protected, and the doubling of its staff and stewardship fund. On any given day, you can find Michael walking his favorite trails at Bald Hill Farm, where he’s stopping at every turn to talk to a Greenbelt member or neighbor about their trail experiences.