PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland BMX riders are fighting to keep a trail system they built more than a decade ago. But the state says it's an illegal course built on private property.
Brad Tibbet and his fellow riders have traded in their bikes for trash bags. Instead of riding their favorite trails and jumps, they're cleaning them.
"Police came out here and told us we can’t be digging or riding them," explained Tibbet.
That was Tuesday. The order came as a shock to Tibbet and many in the BMX community who've been building and riding these trails since the early 90s.
Recently some neighbors in the area expressed concern about the increased activity and damage to the trees. Keller Galvin says she likes that the trails give kids a place to recreate, but she worries about the trees in the area.
"Some beautiful cedars that are right in the area that I think are being damaged by constant digging and moving of the dirt around," Galvin said.
The trails run across land owned by both the Grotto and ODOT. ODOT says it's an issue of liability.
"The state's liable for anybody back on these trails and the fact they’ve been here for some time is immaterial to the conversation," said Brad Wurfel ODOT Spokesman.
The Grotto issued this statement about the trail saying, "through the years it hasn’t been a problem... but it has grown beyond our expectations and has become a nuisance.... there should be no trespassing."
Shad Johnson, owner of GOODS BMX Shop, has helped maintain the trails since the mid 90s. He says before they were there the area was a hotbed for crime.
"We've had neighbors across the street happy we're keeping the transients out, some of the prostitution and stuff," said Johnson.
For now Johnson and his fellow riders will have to stay out too. But they vow to fight for their work or at least for a compromise.