ENF Closes Trails Early

 
U.S. Forest Service  Eldorado National Forest  100 Forni Road  Placerville, CA 95667  530-622-5061

www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado  

News Release For Immediate Release December 2, 2022

Media Contact: Jennifer Chapman, jennifer.chapman@usda.gov www.facebook.com/EldoradoNF Twitter:@EldoradoNF  

Seasonal dirt road and trail closure begins December 1 on the Eldorado National Forest  

PLACERVILLE, Calif. – Due to the amount of rain and snow received, the annual seasonal dirt road and trail closure for motorized vehicles went into effect December 1, 2022 on the Eldorado National Forest. The seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to protect water quality.  

A minimum three month closure period from January 1 through March 31 was designated in the Eldorado National Forest Travel Management Plan for the core part of the winter. To maintain flexibility, the timing of the seasonal closure is determined based on current conditions each year which may cause the closure to go into effect early or be extended. This year, storms saturated the soils in November with rain and melting snow making dirt roads and trails susceptible to rutting and erosion. Regardless of when the closure is in effect, visitors should always use good judgement about whether motor vehicle use will cause resource damage.  

The roads and trails subject to the seasonal closure are identified on the forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) which are available free of charge and can also be found on the forest website at:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/eldorado/maps-pubs .   

The seasonal closure does not affect routes in the Rock Creek Area of the Eldorado National Forest near Georgetown, which has its own route closure process.  

For more information on recreation opportunities and current conditions in the Eldorado National Forest, visit the forest website or contact a Visitor Information Specialist Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at:   ·      

Forest Supervisor’s Office: 530-303-2412 ·      Amador Ranger District:  209-259-3774 ·      Placerville and Pacific Ranger Districts:  530-644-2324 ·      Georgetown Ranger District: 530-333-4312   ###   The U.S.D.A Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

This early closure would only include the Sourdough Hill Trail on the Tahoe side and all other trails in the ENF.

For the record, the LTBMU closes their trails Nov 15th.

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Rubicon Ronin


Snow Run and Shovel Work

The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s did a flash run just out to the staging area this morning. (Sat, Nov 12th) It was Doug, Keith and Dean. The snow was probably 16 inches deep. We did not have plans to go any further than the staging area although others had.

Not pictured is the very stock Mercedes G-Class SUV we picked up in the residential area. (Not a Hi-Lo member) He had a new rig and wanted to play in the snow but knew better than to play alone. We put him between us and headed in. No picture of the ‘stuck’ but the Mercedes got a little sideways and Dean had to pull him forward.

The trail had some deep snow, but we weren’t the first ones out on the trail. There was quite the pair of ruts to follow.

Once at the staging area someone discovered a still smoldering camp-fire, built on the asphalt parking lot. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. We got out the shovels and piled on the snow a stirred it around.

On the way out, we did a little shovel work at the entrance. The plan is to stop by regularly to keep the “wall” extremely low or no “wall” at all. No snow in the foreseeable forecast.

Late last month, three Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s came out and installed three new snow stakes to delineate the trail. RTF agreed to reimburse the club for the cost of the materials.

Thank you, guys!

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Rubicon Ronin


Public Service Announcement

Okay, not really Rubicon related but 4-Wheel Parts is moving across town from Sparks into Reno.

Although the official address is 5405 Meadowood Mall Circle, it’s also off Neil Road. For the locals, it’s across from the Food Court doors at the Meadowood Mall.

https://www.4wheelparts.com/stores/nevada/4wp-sparks-nv-227

The show room might be smaller, but the warehouse is five times as large as the old location. That, along with upgraded supply chains, should mean much quicker parts delivery.

My most recent 4wp order was shipped directly to my door. Then it took some time to actually get the axles installed:

4-Wheel Parts plans on starting sales from the new location by the end of this week!

Let’s support our local ‘brick and mortar’ stores. Next time you need a part for your rig, or a Christmas present for your favorite blog poster, swing by and check them out.

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Rubicon Ronin


Winter is here, and at the Rubicon

Snow has arrived on the Rubicon Trail. But it looks like Placer County has yet to figure out their 2022-23 plowing routine…

But the push of extra snow toward the trailhead has begun. The true plow line should be right up the middle of the photo below.

Proof my Grand Cherokee went ‘snow wheeling’.

For the record, it doesn’t have a whole lot of ground clearance! Yes, I was scraping the snow in spots.

But it was gorgeous up there. And the bathrooms were unlocked.

Please be safe out there. Remember to pack food, water, extra clothing, a shovel, recovery equipment, etc. Be prepared to spend the night. Don’t go alone. Let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Carry a ham radio.

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Rubicon Ronin


Doesn’t Play Well With Others…

Let me start by saying that I am glad that work is finally getting done on the Rubicon Trail.

What bothers me is the complete failure to communicate.

Again, the users were not a part of the planning for this work, the users were not made aware that the work was going to take place and the users were not allowed to volunteer during this maintenance effort. Or were they?

So, the Lake Tahoe Basin Managment Unit (LTBMU) was out on the trail last week rebuilding some of the rolling dips that were put in place way back in 2000. It is my understanding that the work was funded by the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF), but I have not confirmed that, yet.

The photos are not the best, but I blame the sun, or the shadows. This is rolling dip (always improperly referred to as a ‘water bar’) is number one. Back in the day, 28 of these were placed to prevent water from running down the trail. Back then, each rolling dip was rock lined to prevent erosion.

Unfortunately, the LTBMU did not consult anyone before doing the work. Obviously, they know absolutely everything. They must tour the trail every spring documenting the run-off from melting snow. They must know the best building techniques to build long-lasting rolling dips. Or not.

Where to begin. Many of the rolling dips that were rebuilt, shouldn’t have been. Of the original 28, there were a good eight that should never have been placed. But Placer went overboard. So did the LTBMU.

If you drive the Middle Fork Trail up Blackwood Canyon, you’ll see some absolutely great rolling dips. They’re HUGE. But the LTBMU did not build the same rolling dips for the Rubicon. These are mostly loose river rock that will break down and not last.

More dips…

Some of the drains are dug well enough to work but others are not, or worse, don’t exist.

Again, some don’t exist…

This missing rolling dip is the old 7A designation. There is a creek on the right that doesn’t quite reach the Arizona Crossing (rolling dip #8). The water will continue to flow all the way down the trail to number 7, where it will be directed off the trail.

So, I alluded to the fact that the users might have known about this work. But the more I look at the email, the topic might have been other work.

Here’s the deal, on September 27th, the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) reached out about an upcoming work party for October 9th. It was a drain building/cleaning effort. I don’t know all of the names to whom the email was sent. But Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) received it.

I honestly don’t know if the work party ever happened. But I do know that four of the largest four-wheel drive clubs on the Tahoe end of the trail never got the word. The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s, Tahoe Donner 4-Wheelers, Sierra Stompers and the Hills Angels never sent out an email to their members about a work party. Reno4x4.com never posted about an upcoming work party.

So, who dropped the ball?

FOTR got the word. I’m not on that email list so I only assume it went out to the list as at least one person let me know they got it.

RTF knew about the rolling dip work, if they did indeed fund it. I never saw anything on their website about it. Just looking at their website, I don’t see anything about maintenance projects. There is an FOTR page.

So, how is the typical user supposed to learn about possible project in order to make comments before the project? How is the typical supposed to learn about scheduled projects in order to help out or avoid the trail that day?

It seems like nobody sees a need to get the word out. That’s disappointing as the users should know. The users should be involved. Volunteer time can be used as matching funds for grants.

If we could only talk to each other.

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Rubicon Ronin