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.
Due to the possible spread of the Mosquito Fire in the direction of the Rubicon Trail, El Dorado County has closed the Rubicon Trail until further notice. There is just a basic ‘closed’ statement on the county website.
Map of the evacuation and fire boundry:
Please avoid the area and let the firefighters do their job without having to worry about people coming in to the area.
The USFS has issued a closure but it doesn’t appear to include the Rubicon.
UPDATE WITH FURTHER CLOSURES:
The Eldorado National Forest now has a much wider closure for the Mosquito Fire:
As of this writing, the Eldorado National Forest (ENF) has implemented fire restrictions regarding the use of fire, stoves and tools within their forest.
The owners at Rubicon Springs have also implemented a no campfire rule for the rest of the summer.
No word yet from the Tahoe National Forest but I’m sure it’s coming soon.
Please be fire safe any time you’re out enjoying our national forests.