Although winter does not officially start until December 21st, snow has fallen on the west shore and put a white blanket on the trail.
The report I got was a fine sugary type of snow. The group made it to the turn for the Buck Lake Trail. That first climb out of the staging area can be a tough one.
Placer County has agreed to NOT pile snow at the entrance to the trail. If you see snow piled there, not just pushed to the side of the road like the rest of the residential area, please send me a picture and the date you found it.
As always, if you go, please be safe. Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Never go alone. Bring proper supplies to spend the night, just in case.
The last few years have seen rigs abandoned on the trail in the middle of winter. One guy was prepared but had a string of bad luck. The other rig should never have been on the trail. Don’t be that guy this winter.
Way back in 2011, 42 OHV routes within the Eldorado National Forest were closed because someone filed a lawsuit claiming they were damaging near by meadows.
A few years later, 18 of those routes were reopened after it was determined that they NEVER were damaging near by meadows. Yes, it took years.
The Deer Valley Trail, although cleared of damaging near by meadows, took longer to reopen due to endangered species concerns.
Well, the ENF has finally finished repairs to all of the routes in questions and all of the once closed routes have now been reopened. Of course, most of those are approaching their seasonal closures so check for the status before you head out.
Here is a link to the Forest Service news release:
What I would ask all of you to learn from this is you need to need to develop a very close relationship with your local FS representatives.
What should have happen in this case was local OHV clubs keeping an eye on these trails to do maintenance in certain places to prevent damage to near by meadows. Now it’s hard for the basic Jeeper to know when that type of damage is being done but a few of these trails were obvious issues.
The Richardson Lake Trail was one case. For a few years I had notices a section that literally went through a meadow and it was looking bad. I had a plan in the back of my head to move small boulders to eliminate the mud by harden the crossing, but I never acted on it. My bad, the route was closed for years.
With a close relationship with your local FS rep, maybe there could be an immediate field trip to each meadow to evaluate, in a very public way, the condition of each trail and to develop a plan to repair each trail rather than close it.
The anti-OHV people will do anything to close our trails, we need to do everything to keep them open.
On Wednesday, August the 29th, I lead a tour of the Placer County portion of the trail for agency representatives responsible for maintenance on the Rubicon Trail. We had 23 people, nine rigs, one side-by-side and one quad. We had nine different agencies and groups represented.
There are plans in the works for El Dorado County, specifically Vickie Sander, to take over maintenance of the Placer County end of the trail. This would be done with a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU). There is talk that ALL the agencies would sign on: El Dorado County, Placer County, Eldorado National Forest, Tahoe National Forest, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, CA State Parks Central Valley Water Authority and Lahontan Water Authority.
This would streamline our efforts and get everyone on the same page. Funding for the Placer side should increase but matching funds could be tricky for the first few years. If you do any kind of maintenance on the Placer side (get permission first) document your work and the names and time spent for each volunteer. And turn them in to Placer County. Those hours add up.
We gathered at the Tahoma staging area around 8am. The safety and trip briefing were given at 8:30. The discussion started at 9am and by 9:15 we were on the trail.
Too many details to get in to here but we talked about everything from paving the staging area (May 2019) to work on hardening the ‘soft’ area west of Miller Creek.
All the agency reps stepped up, made constructive comments and sounded very positive about moving forward. The success of El Dorado in funding and work done on the trail had everyone leaving with very positive hopes.
FOTR should have a few smaller projects to be done before the snow flies. There will be more tours and we’ll need drivers. The Spring will bring a very early FOTR “Shovel Brigade” to clear the trail of major snow drifts to keep users on the trail. Spring tours are a must to see how and where the water currently flows during the spring melt.
Sorry for no pictures but I was talking most of the time.
We stopped a number of times on the way in to discuss current issues. Lunch at Observation was provided by the Rubicon Trail Foundation. We turned around near ‘Backdoor’ around 2:30. By 5pm we were back at the staging area. No break downs, no body got stuck, no body got hurt. It was a great day.
Again, thank you to my volunteer drivers, though most of the agencies brought transportation.
Below is an email I received regarding the latest efforts by Anti-OHV activists to close our public lands to OHV use. It’s from the local Tahoe snowmobile group. They recently held a meeting in SLT but more importantly, they need public comments.
Please take the time to write the Forest Service and let them know you are against closing 73% of the current snowmobile riding areas!
The scarier line in this email and FS proposal is the 1000′ corridor of non-motorized use along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The Tahoe National Forest first put this ‘idea’ on a map several years ago. If they get their foot in the door with over the snow use, the next step is every other OHV use and all year long.
The Rubicon an many, many other trails cross the Pacific Crest Trail.
After the get their corridor along the PCT, thy will want it along every other trail in the country. Let’s stop this now.
Here is an easy way to send in your comments:
WE ARE AT RISK TO LOSE MORE OF OUR RIDING AREAS IN TAHOE/HOPE VALLEY/BLUE LAKES!!!
Enough is enough!
The Winter Wildlands have proposed closures of 73% of our existing riding areas in the ElDorado National Forest. And the Forest Service really, REALLY need to hear from all us so that the Winter Wildlands aren’t the only ones being heard.
And… as if that’s not bad enough — the Forest Service is pushing their “preferred alternative” which also closes and limits our riding areas as it imposes a 1000 feet “corridor” around the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Yes, the PCT goes through the Blue Lakes’ area and we would lose some of our most fun areas if the Forest Service got their way!!!
WE NEED TO PUSH BACK!!! WE’RE DONE LOSING RIDING AREAS!
Please go to our website for more info. And please SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS — deadline is August 6! Be respectful, be personal and be passionate in a constructive way!
PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW ADDRESS AND PHONE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job,
wait until you hire an amateur.” — Red Adair (1915-2004)
1221 Sleighbell Lane
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Cell (530) 318-3936
The Eldorado national Forest has started fire restrictions as of July 14th.
The Tahoe National Forest has not yet posted restrictions but last year it was the 25th, the year before the 11th. Check the TNF website before you go. It is the users responsibility to know what restrictions are in effect.
Fire Permits are free from any forest office or even online.
FYI, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit does not have fire restrictions by date. No fires are allowed outside official Forest Service fire pits and then only in official Forest Service campsites.
Don’t be that person!