My last post outlined the work done by the Lake Tahoe Basin Mangement Unit (LTBMU). On Sunday, I ran the trail down to the Springs.
Along the way, it was clear that the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) had also done extensive work on the Rubicon Trail while it was closed. Large, crushed rock had been placed in many, many low spots along the trail. But not ALL the low spots and not in a few smaller very deep holes.
Note the low spot just past the rock in the picture below, not filled in:
The official word was that the trail was closed due to extreme fire danger. But in one report, individuals working with the ‘landowners’ were allowed on to the trail and down to the Springs. Now we have evidence that workers were doing extensive work over a long period of time. And the trail was closed due to extreme fire danger. I assume all of the workers were wearing Nomex, helmets and carrying fire shelters.
This is much needed work but why close the trail to do it?
If they had reached out to the users for help, we could have provided, trailers, warm bodies and financing to accomplish MORE work in the same amount of time. But they didn’t and we still have issues:
The Forest Service (FS) does not play well with others. This is evidence of that. Why? This work was done without the knowledge of the users, without any input from the users and without assistance of the users.
Now the FS, at least the Basin, in this case does not need to inform anyone when they work on their land. But the Tahoe should be informing the others, that are part of the MOU regarding management of the Rubicon, about work to be done on the trail. Did that happen?
Should the users be involved in this communications chain? Yes. Who should be informed on the part of the users? BRC, Cal4, United 4wd, RTF, CORVA, FOTR, local clubs, certain individuals?
More than ever,
In a previous post, I documented that trailer parking was getting out of hand at and near the Tahoma staging area. I had also informed the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) about the issue. While the Rubicon Trail was unnecessarily closed due to the Mosquito Fire, the LTBMU went to work.
Tuesday afternoon, right after the trail was reopened, I drove up to the Staging Area to check out that all signs of closure were actually gone. What I found was a lot of new granite:
The area on the north side was left open for overflow use. Sorry, no picture.
A few logs were thrown in to make it look natural.
Some of the rocks are a little on the small side but the users will get the idea.
They even worked the edges of the staging area itself.
We’ll see if it works.
If you trailer your rig to Tahoe, you might want to get there early as there are far fewer parking spots for trailers.
No users were informed that this work would be happening. No input was given other than the work needed to be done. No signage was added to support the rocks. So much for a partnership with the Forest Service.
This morning the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit released a termination of the forest order closing the Rubicon Trail. Of course, they failed to post it on their website or do a mass press release. But they let El Dorado County know.
El Dorado County then reopened the Rubicon Trail but the wording leaves something to be desired:
“THE RUBICON TRAIL IS NOW OPEN FROM EL DORADO COUNTY TO TAHOMA.”
I first took it as open from the El Dorado County line to Tahoma but I believe that they meant all of El Dorado County.
Here is the LTBMU termination of their previous forest order:
Yesterday morning, I sent a letter to about ten people who support the Rubicon Trail and OHV. I pushed them to find a way to prevent future closures and a way to challenge future closures. So far, not a sinlge person has responded to that email.
As with all of you, I’m trying to get a handle on this Mosquito Fire Rubicon closure situation. So, I try and find all the current information that I can, so I can pass it along to you.
The Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit still have a forest order in place closing the Rubicon Trail. I just checked (9/25/22, 7:45am), it’s still on the LTBMU website.
El Dorado County’s ‘Parks’ page and the subsequent ‘Rubicon’ page still have the Rubicon Trail as closed, but then lists the guidelines for traveling. “The Rubicon Trail is closed and the guidelines traveling are:” A little confusing.
Poking around the website a little more, the El Dorado County’s Sheriff has NOT posted the Rubicon Trail as closed. It lists Ice House Road and Wentworth Springs Road as closed but NOT the Rubicon Trail. A little more confusing.
From the same website, the El Dorado County closure map shows nothing closed or under current evacuation orders. Now, this map does not show roads but shouldn’t it reflect the current FS closures?
Per the Eldorado National Forest, the current closure has the area ahead of the active fire closed.
Our government agencies need to get their act together and become more transparent and to provide accurate information to the general public. The purpose of getting this information out is to educate the general public about where they can safely and legally travel and where they can’t. If the information out there is vague or contradictory, the public is confused.
I’m hoping that tomorrow, through the re-evaluation that has been promised, the Rubicon Trail will once again be open to the public. I’m betting they wait until the end of the day to make an announcement, if they announce anything. It’s more likely that if they reopen the Rubicon, they’ll just remove all orders but not tell anyone the trail has reopened.
Here is the link to the NEW forest order:
The Eldorado National Forest has redrawn the closure area for the Mosquito Fire. The Rubicon Trail area is now OPEN within the Eldorado National Forest but the El Dorado County website still has the Rubicon Trail closed. I will be emailing Vickie as soon as I stop typing this line.
Vickie emailed, TNF called (left message), LTBMU called (left message). 9/23/2022 1:30pm
Let’s see how long it takes to get the Rubicon Trail reopened.
Friday 5pm: The word on the street is that the ‘Incident Command Team’ running the Mosquito Fire is not allowing the County to reopen the Rubicon Trail at this time. There will be a reevaluation done on Monday that should get the trail reopened. Please respect the unnecessary closure for a little while longer.