The “Logs” project of 2005 worked for a while:
But the winter of 2010/2011 brought a HUGE and late snowfall. Wheelers were trying to get out on the trail and they encountered snow. Even July 1st there was still a lot of snow on the trail, as pictured below. Some people couldn’t make it over the snowdrifts ON the trail so they drove OFF trail. Remember, the log at the edge of the water and snow is the edge of the trail. All the tracks to the left of the log are off trail.
Only one week later, the snow was virtually gone, but people didn’t want to drive/ride through the water. So, they drove off trail and got stuck as well as causing resource damage. Note the signs in the lower right corner we brought in to put up that day.
The signs as posted on July 8th, 2011 and they are STILL up today. Well, at least they were up yesterday when I checked.
In conversations with the Tahoe National Forest about what to do, closure of the trail came up but was not serious considered. The TNF was thinking if Placer County can’t keep the users on their road, we will force them to close the road to protect our forest. The TNF was not fully convinced that a fence would work but it was worth a try to prevent the closure.
Later that year, with the Tahoe National Forest dropping lots of small trees for us, and with Placer County funding the CCC’s for labor, and with FOTR on scene as supervisors/engineers, the Range Fence was built.
You’ve got to start somewhere:
Using a LONG drill bit, the logs were laid over each other and drilled:
A 3/8″ all-thread rod was pushed through both logs. Once a nut and washer were in place, the rod was cut in place:
The FS crews were in full protective gear:
The first section goes up:
One of the last sections goes up:
Completed fence viewed from west to east:
Signs were placed to let the users know that this was a joint effort of users and agencies:
Although FOTR was involved, there was no notice given to the users regarding this project. The project was done on October 30th, 2011, very late in the season and on purpose late in the season. The idea was that if it went in too early, the 1% of the users that screw up things for everyone else would go take it down. By being built at the end of the season, those snow wheeling would recognize it and respect it and as the snow melted, the fence would slowly reveal itself.
This year, 2014, a few of the logs of the fence were replaced but other than that, the fence is doing well.
For the record, I don’t want to see any more fence like this along the trail. We need to respect the edges of the trail and ask our fellow wheelers to do the same if we see them off trail. Remember, you are only allowed off trail enough to allow someone else to pass (one vehicle length) and even then you can’t be doing resource damage such as driving over a bush.
Turn around, don’t go around!