Meeting w/ the TNF: 12/18/19

In my last post, I really laid in to the Tahoe National Forest. I was not alone in my position. Those who held similar views gathered with me at the TNF offices this morning to converse with Joe Chavez.

It was a full room:

Joe Chavez – TNF head ranger

John Brokaw – TNF Truckee district OHV guy

Will Harris – TNF Archeologist / surveyor

Jack Sweeney – former El Dorado County Superviser

Bob Sweeney – President Jeepers Jamboree

Vickie Sanders – El Dorado County Parks & Trails

Justin (missed his last name) – El Dorado County Parks & Trails

Doug Barr – Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s Vice President

Callan McLaughlin – CA State Parks OHMVR

Brian Robertson – CA State Parks OHMVR

To their credit, the TNF acknowledged that they could have done a better job at reaching out to all the groups that have an interest in the maintenance of the Rubicon Trail.

Many expressed concerns over the dirt work done very late in the season. The TNF pushed back on this a few times noting they do it elsewhere and that a snow storm was coming in to harden the lose dirt berms and prevent erosion.

I think it was determined that such dirt work would not be done so late in the year due to proper planning and scheduling.

At the end of the day, I think everyone agreed that a better communications system needs to be in place moving forward. All agencies and groups will be in the loop. Formal open house meetings will take place prior to doing any work.

Hopefully, public meetings will take place to include the public in the planning process. We should be able to bring our concerns and thoughts about maintenance to the agencies responsible for getting it done.

One of the more surprising moments was when Jack Sweeney laid out the process that El Dorado County used to get an easement from the Forest Service. He said they stopped at the Placer County line only because they could not work in Placer County but that the argument for an easement within El Dorado carried through Placer County all the way to Lake Tahoe.

The other thing I learned was that there is a second document to follow the MOU. This second document should clear up the details as the MOU was very vague.

Concerns linger about who can and should write grants for the Rubicon Trail. The CA State Parks OHMVR Division recognizes that an agency can write a grant for the entire length of the trail. But, no two agencies can write a grant for the same section of OHV trail. So the El Dorado County and the TNF can not BOTH write grants for the same section of trail. All of the agencies will need to coordinate their grant requests so they don’t all get thrown out.

It was a good start at laying the ground work for getting all the agencies together, on the same page for future maintenance.

Tomorrow, there is a meeting with Placer County at the eastern trailhead to discuss the snow berm, illegal snow dumping and how Placer’s plowing adds to that berm.

Stay tuned…



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