Okay, actually, “Grant, Grant, Grant”, literally, a Tahoe National Forest OHV grant.
Yesterday, the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) held an open house in Nevada City to get input from the users regarding the upcoming OHV grant cycle. My apologies for not posting about this meeting BEFORE the meeting, moving forward, I will make every effort to inform you of upcoming important meetings. The good news is that you still have time to comment on how you would like to see the 2015 grant money spent. (Details at the bottom of this post)
The TNF was very open and welcoming to the users and listened to every comment and suggestion. There were specific tables set-up for each district. Maps were plentiful.
Unfortunately, Placer County has decided NOT to pursue a grant during this cycle. This will be the second straight cycle they have decided not to apply for a group. Last year, Placer County had contractors working on the Rubicon using OHV grant funding. Not all of the identified work was completed and some of the work done was done incorrectly or in the wrong place.
The Tahoe National Forest has been made aware of this and is willing to step up and work some of the areas needing immediate attention.
My focus is the Rubicon Trail and the surrounding OHV trails. My letter to the TNF is posted below. Please remember that the TNF also has to maintain the Fordyce Trail and the trails around Boca and Stampede Reservoirs.
The grant outlines are due in early March. They will be made available to the public to review March 3rd -Apr 6th at http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/
TNF Trails Specialist
February 13, 2015
Yesterday afternoon, I attended the TNF open house on OHV grant funding. I want to thank the forest for continuing to be open to and welcoming of ideas from the users. Everyone there was happy to address the concerns brought to their attention.
That being said, here are the suggestions I have for the upcoming grant cycle:
1) Continue to fund the positions held by Jeff Wiley and Susanne Jensen. Without these dedicated and professional individuals, the state of OHV within the TNF would be much worse off.
2) Unfortunately, Placer County has decided not to pursue OHV grant funding at this time. I would like to ask the TNF to survey the work done on and near the Rubicon Trail in order to identify possible immediate needs due to the work, some incomplete, done last summer by Placer County’s contractor, specifically, restoring natural seasonal creek crossings across the Rubicon Trail.
3) Another need that I know has been on your list for a few years, is the needed maintenance on Forest Road 03-04, commonly known as Barker Pass Road. Although I’m told it’s not an ‘OHV trail’, but as a ‘road’ it provides access to OHV trails and a quicker route for the delivery of materials needed to perform maintenance to the areas OHV trails.
As a professional firefighter, I’d like to see the road improved so that fire protection and other emergency personnel can access the area in safe and timely manner, improving the ability to protect and serve the OHV trails and users in the area.
4) The last issue I’d like to bring up is signage in the area of the Rubicon Trail and Forest Road 03-04. Along the Rubicon, side trails like the Richardson Lake Trail (mostly, but not completely in the ENF), Ellis Peak Trail, Barker Meadow OHV Trail and the Long Lake Trail could use specific USFS ‘carsonites’ with FS trail numbering, two of the four have proper signage but not FS numbering.
FYI, the Richardson Lake Trail is being adopted, through the ENF, by a Carson City businessman and his company. It would be great if the TNF allowed him to post a sign at the start of the Richardson Lake Trail, on the TNF, in order to better educate the users of that trail and other trails in the area. (I’ll get in touch with Susanne Jensen with this request once she returns to her seasonal position in April.)
The intersection of Forest Road 03-04 and the Rubicon Trail needs the sign replaced. I think it finally has disappeared altogether after many years of being pushed over and or thrown in to the forest. The sign provided directions and distances to Blackwood Canyon and the Tahoma staging area.
Along Forest Road 03-04 and just after the Rubicon Trail, a “No Outlet – Nov 1st thru May 31st” sign is needed. As more and more users recreate on the Rubicon Trail in the winter, I think it’s only a matter of time that a winter user tries to ‘exit’ the area using Forest Road 03-04, only to find not one but three gates before getting to Highway 89. The 03-04 road itself needs FS numbering as well, as it’s not really clear to a new user which way the Rubicon turns.
Further along Forest Road 03-04 there are many, many side trails. Although lower on my personal wish list, these side trails should be numbered to better let users know where they are as they drive 03-04 or if they are looking for a specific side trail.
Again, I would like to thank the TNF for the opportunity to voice my opinion regarding the upcoming OHV grant cycle. I look forward to another successful OHV season working with the TNF.
Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s
North Tahoe Trail Dusters
Comments are being accepted through February 23, 2015.
Please send your thought to Joe Chavez. JoeTChavez@fs.fed.us