Conditions update…Posted: May 4, 2023 Filed under: Access, Maintenance | Tags: shovel', snow Leave a comment
I came across this photo on Facebook, the “Rubicon Trail” page, posted by Ray Collins. I’m trying to give credit where credit is due.
That’s Ray standing in one of the first creek crossings about a week or two ago, so late April. I’ve heard from friends in South Lake Tahoe that the snow is melting about six inches a day, in the sun. Then the Tahoma area got 4-5 inches of snow at lake level, more at higher elevations.
If you go, be prepared for everything. And as this website’s catch phrase says: “Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”.
This very wet spring will be a test of our OHV community. We need to show that we can play by the rules and not do resource damage as we enjoy our sport. Peer pressure is needed. Don’t let your buddy take ‘that’ route off the trail or spin their tires endlessly in a water or mud hole.
Use the shovel, use a strap. Winch work will be required. Use tree savers. Turn around and come back next week.
I’ve communicated with FOTR to get a ‘Shovel Brigade’ out on the trail early to break down drifts to encourage people to stay on the trail and not drive around snow sections they can’t drive over. Stay tuned.
2022 Rubicon Trail Annual ReportPosted: February 21, 2023 Filed under: Maintenance | Tags: adopt-a-trail, maintenance, projects Leave a comment
I’ll try this two different ways; first here’s a link to the report on the El Dorado County website:
Here’s version two, trying to implant the actual file here:
Yes, this is El Dorado County, not the Tahoe side. I’m putting this up for general information and as an example of what may happen after the formation of the Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council. Hopefully, after the RTCC gets going, this type of report will be available for the entire length of the Rubicon Trail.
My take-aways are for one, the Adopt-A-Trail program. There are two segments available for adoption. Hopefully, this same type of Adopt-A-Trail and Adopt-A-Waterbar (rolling dip) will come to the Tahoe side. Start thinking about which segment your club would like to adopt!
Second is the list of projects. It seems like a very short list. That’s good because that means things are being taken care of within El Dorado. I literally have a list, with short descriptions of each project, that is eight pages long for the Tahoe side.
Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council (RTCC)Posted: February 15, 2023 Filed under: Access, Maintenance, Travel | Tags: closure, maintenance, management, users Leave a comment
On Monday, February 13th, a public meeting was held at the Cal4 office in Sacramento. There were probably 20 people in the room and just as many on Zoom. The topic was a new way to get more user input regarding the management and maintenance of the Rubicon Trail.
Amy Granat (CORVA & Tread Lightly) and Roger Salazar (OHMVR Commissioner & CORVA/Cal4 life member) presented a new idea for managing the Rubicon Trail: the Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council.
The idea is to build off the example of the Rubicon Oversight Committee (formerly held by El Dorado County). This new group would bring together the users and get the users a seat at the big table along-side of the governing agencies that currently manage the Rubicon Trail.
The establishment of this new group goes along with the establishment of a new Rubicon Trail management process. The idea is to manage the Rubicon Trail as one trail from Wentworth Springs to Lake Tahoe. This could (and should) include the Ellis Creek Intertie. One of the bigger changes is the Forest Service (FS) will be represented by Region-5; that’s the FS headquarters in Vallejo, CA. The individual forests (El Dorado National Forest ENF, Tahoe National Forest TNF & Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit LTBMU) will not each have a seat at the new table.
The new ‘table’ will have El Dorado County, Placer County, US Forest Service, Ca State Parks OHMVR and the new Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council (RTCC).
The current MOUs between ENF, TNF, LTBMU, ElDo Co, Placer Co, CA St Parks and various law enforcement agencies will be amended to include RTCC and to establish a consistency in management and maintenance across the trail.
The make-up of the Rubicon Trail Coordinating Council will include five types of stakeholders: landowners, businesses, state OHV organizations, trail management ‘non-government organizations’ (NGOs) and OHV clubs. Each category will have two seats. It will be up to each category to determine their representatives. (That will be fun.)
The Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council will be housed as a non-profit under the CA Outdoor Recreation Foundation, which will also act as facilitators and representatives for RTCC. Amy & Roger will be those facilitators and representatives for the RTCC board.
If you are wondering if this will ever actually happen, I believe that it will. Amy stated that the larger agencies have already agreed to the idea, verbally, not yet in writing. The hard part is amending the current MOUs to get everyone to agree to the new wording. Again, those large government agencies have already agreed on the idea.
Similar agreements are already in place for other types of recreation and trails. In our world, The Dusy-Ersham Trail has a multi-MOU agreement and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) has a very similar agreement with all of the forests and counties that it crosses. Nothing on the PCT gets done without user input and approval.
This new management agreement will lift the decisions above any one agency, group or individual.
Moving forward, there is a plan to hold an organizational meeting of the RTCC this month. This meeting will probably include the first set of discussions about who will represent each of the five groups within RTCC.
Roger Salazar – https://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22606#salazar
Amy Granat – https://corva.org/board_of_directors; https://treadlightly.org/meet-the-team/board-of-directors/
California Outdoor Recreation Foundation – https://outdoorrecreationfoundation.org/
If you didn’t catch it, Amy & Roger will be the two user representatives at the new ‘big table’. The RTCC will provide them with guidance to follow as they talk with the ‘agencies’.
This new management arrangement should prevent illegal or unnecessary closures of the Rubicon Trail due to wildfires 20 miles away, because of possible snow fall heading toward the trail or any other arbitrary situation that may arise.
I’m extremely hopeful.
Rubicon Trail Round Table MeetingPosted: January 31, 2023 Filed under: Access, Maintenance | Tags: access, management, meeting Leave a comment
A new effort is underway to hopefully find and implement solutions to the many issues facing the Rubicon Trail today.
The following information has just been released:
Come to a vision setting meeting to help craft a future Comprehensive Management Plan for the Rubicon Trail.
We would like to encourage enthusiasts, including nonprofits, landowners, business interests, clubs, local and statewide organizations, to come together and meet in partnership about how we can inject more input and opinions from stakeholders into the Rubicon management process.
The Rubicon Trail cuts across jurisdictional, geographical, and cultural boundaries and is the focus of several groups including dedicated and caring stakeholders. Considering the myriad of organizations and agencies who assist with planning, managing, and maintaining the Rubicon Trail, there is often confusion and lack of communication when it comes to actions taken on the trail.
The Rubicon is among the most famous OHV destination in the world. With opportunity come responsibilities. We must find ways to ensure the future of the trail in perpetuity and in an environmentally sound manner.
The meeting will be held at the Cal4 Wheel office, 8120 36th Ave Sacramento, Ca 95824. 5:00 PM February 13th, 2023. There will be Zoom available as well, but we encourage everyone to attend in person if possible. For Zoom info contact: email@example.com
I have high hopes for this new effort and will be attending.
I hope you can join the meeting
The Calm in the Middle of the StormPosted: January 14, 2023 Filed under: Access, Maintenance, Travel | Tags: management, snow, STORM, Tahoma Leave a comment
As I write this, the Seirra Mountains are getting hammered with snow. Up to four feet is expected at the Tahoma trailhead.
If you go out to play, be safe, be prepared, don’t go alone, don’t go as a single vehicle, tell someone where you’re going.
Here’s what the trailhead looked like before this current storm started. 1-13-23
I want to thank everyone that has helped out to knock down previous snow walls put up by Placer County. Although the snow is back, by previously maintaining an access point, subsequent plowing efforts do not completely block access. Everyone knows where the trail starts.
The only traffic on the trail has been on foot. It will be some time before wheeled vehicles will be back on the trail.
I do find it funny that the hikers can’t stay on the trail. The trail is clearly defined by the snow stakes, yet the hikers needed to go around the sign and off the trail.
Getting back to the big picture, it is clear that Placer County is still plowing a dip into the trailhead. Remember, the rotary will come by after the photo below was taken and create an even deeper dip. The dip piles more snow than would normally be piled by plowing.
My simple solution is to have Placer drive a slight convex route with the blade, be it a plow or grader, and then have the rotary come through and drive a slightly concave route. This would leave only natural snowfall at the actual trailhead.
I realize there are many issues facing the Rubicon Trail right now. I do not agree with many of the decisions made. Although we, as users, need to prioritize and fight as needed, we cannot let other issues fall between the cracks.
Unfortunately, there is no one place to stay up to date on the issues or status of the Rubicon Trail. There is not one governing agency. There are many OHV advocacy groups, but they don’t always communicate well with each other.
Management of the Rubicon Trail is a mess. The MOU signed by a half dozen agencies seems to be ignored as the LTBMU and the TNF do work on the trail without consulting others. Placer isn’t working with anyone. El Dorado Parks just got trumped by their own DOT. The users and volunteers are left in the dark. It’s chaos.
The Rubicon Trail needs its own website, with a ‘nothing but Rubicon’ forum. Any and all work to be performed needs to be posted. All legal documents (closures) need to be posted with a detailed explanation of why. All discussions need to be open for all to see. Maybe some forums where just the agencies can comment, but all can view, and others where users can comment and post questions. Public discussions before closures are made. Maintenance plans reviewed before work is started.
The website should be run by independent website builders, not a government agency, not an OHV advocacy group. A true neutral party. But I’m dreaming. I’m going to wake up and go shovel snow at my cabin.