So, FOTR is holding it’s annual meeting on Saturday, May 3rd in Placerville at the DOT office. I think it starts at 9am. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend. Bills to pay, so I have to go to work. I’d like to pass along some ideas that I hope will be discussed at the meeting.
Let’s start right there, meetings. With only one meeting a year, odds are that some people will not be able to attend. With only one meeting, trying to follow up on action items or to plan out an entire year is difficult.
I’d like to suggest a non-symmetrical quarterly system.
Projects and Weekends: Hold a winter meeting in January to plan what projects FOTR will tackle and what weekends will be chosen for the work parties. Before the next meeting, an outline of each project should be drafted.
Leadership: The spring meeting would be held in March and would be for the details: we have the projects, we have the dates, we have an outline for each project. Who wants to lead a project, who wants to cook, who wants to do logistics, who wants to do whatever? Maybe discuss how each project needs to be tackled. The lead roles should be filled prior to the next meeting.
Worker Bees: The summer meeting in May would be presenting the completed RICS forms (or equivalent) with the IC’s, crew leaders and major logistics already in place. At this meeting we’d be looking for shovelers, check in people, trailers, etc. We’d be finalizing timelines, camping locations and what’s for dinner.
Review: The fall meeting held in September would be a review of what has been done and possible what’s left before the snow flies. The list of things to do would need to be reviewed/updated prior to the January meeting.
By splitting the one annual meeting in to four meetings, more details can be documented for each phase. More people, over the course of the year, will be able to attend and feel like they are part of the process thus increasing morale and buy-in from the users.
Membership Drive / Information Exchanges
So, how to get more people involved and informed…
My first suggestion is to post ‘Press Releases’ in as many OHV forums as possible.
The basic steps would be to slowly build an email list of people, and which forum they represent, who are willing to post any and all RTF/FOTR Press Releases on to a single forum. The individual posting the Press Release would NOT be responsible for answering any questions posted regarding the Press Release.
There would be a disclaimer on each Press Release stating that FOTR does not monitor this forum and although discussion is encouraged, any communication with FOTR should be done by emailing FOTR directly.
By sending one email, a single Press Release could easily be posted on a dozen forums. Eventually, that number could be dozens of forums. This effort would not only inform users but would also recruit volunteers.
A similar technique could be used to reach every Cal4 club in the state. Eventually other states could be included. Maybe monthly, a Press Release could be sent electronically to each club to be read at the clubs monthly meeting. This might take a little more effort to write as it would need to document what is going on with FOTR more than a month out. (Note: not every club currently has an email address on file with Cal4)
Possible wording for emails to representatives and on the Press Releases:
“You have received this email because you have volunteered to pass on information about the Rubicon Trail and Friends of the Rubicon. If you no longer wish to assist with maintaining the Rubicon Trail, please contact FOTR and you will be removed from this emailing list.”
“This forum is not being monitored by FOTR representatives, although discussion is encouraged and FOTR members might post up and answer questions and offer opinions, any comments or questions aimed directly at FOTR should be emailed directly to FOTR.”
A new position within FOTR could be created within FOTR, call it the ‘Public Relations’ person but limit the duties to dealing with emails, fliers and letters.
This person would work directly with the Trail Boss in creating Press Releases, maintaining the email lists for forums and for OHV clubs and for actually sending out the Press Releases.
The last thought in this category is to send out a questionnaire to all current FOTR volunteers, past volunteers and possible future volunteers in order to find out why volunteerism and leadership is down. Possible questions have already been forwarded to RTF. This should be sent out after an email list for forums and clubs has been developed.
Rebuild/Redirect the FOTR Leads list
This has been mentioned before but I don’t believe or never heard that it had been completed.
Currently, the Leads list falls flat when topics are brought up for discussion. If you’re going to be on the Leads list, you should make the time to get involved with the issues brought up on the email list.
I’d suggest asking each person to send a one page summary of why they want/should be on the Leads list. I don’t know how many people are currently on the Leads list but it shouldn’t be more than ten percent of the General list.
Once the new list is compiled and working, the Trail Boss should monitor who is failing to partake in the conversations. If you’re not taking part in the conversation, you get a warning; if you don’t step up and become part of the conversation; you’re off the list.
I’d like to see this change in order to drive more people to take part in discussing the current topics/issues facing the Rubicon Trail.
There is an FOTR organizational chart and responsibilities for each position floating around from 2010. I believe it was a Bebe creation. Let’s fill it in.
Looking at the list, the only name I could fill in right now is that of Jerry Reffner as Trail Boss.
I currently hold the position of liaison with the TNF. John Briggs is the liaison with Placer County. Kade Hendricks is the current liaison with the LTBMU. Not major roles but they would fall in under Planning if the chart were expanded in detail. I know of no other roles current filled.
The suggestion above about clubs and forums could be driven by a Comms Chief. Below I suggest a Plans or Ops Chief to maintain a current “To Do List”. An RTF director should be the Finance Chief as RTF funds most of FOTR’s efforts.
I think in order to fill these positions we need to detail out the role and responsibilities of each and every position including the role of Trail Boss.
To Do List(s)
Create a single list of things to do for the entire trail. Then, prioritize or choose items from the list for 2014. GPS each issue. This summer, I will be getting GPS numbers for each item on the Tahoe Side to do list.
Currently, we have FOUR different “To Do Lists” floating around:
- Geographically east to west, by Doug
- A categorized but not prioritized list, by Rusty
- The Tahoe side priorities, by Tahoe side users
- Placer County’s priorities from ’13 FOTR meeting, by Kansas
This duty should fall to a Planning or Operations Chief. I do not favor a single person deciding what FOTR should work on. I’d like to see a committee working under Plans/Ops of six to eight people sit down and keep an eye on what issues face the trail and which are priorities.
This committee should maintain a list of 4-5 items that need to be done on the trail. This list should be posted on the FOTR website.
- Develop an FOTR mission statement
- Define the objectives of FOTR
- Maintain the FOTR website with current information
- Reach out to motorcycle, quad and side-by-side users
- Education of volunteers: Offer training for leading a crew or a project; writing letters, emails, grants; filling RICS positions; basic organizational skills
Just thinking out loud…
El Dorado County has reopened the Rubicon Trail.
FOTR will work the problem section this summer to prevent future closures.
Unless there is a heavy rain storm, the trail should remain open.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation has recently released information about the ability to ‘adopt’ a section of the Rubicon Trail within El Dorado County:
Okay, you’re asking, “I thought this website was about the Tahoe side of the Rubicon Trail?” Well, it is. Let me twist the story a little bit.
RTF has again stepped up to better organize getting maintenance done on the Rubicon Trail. They have worked out a plan with El Dorado County to have different clubs/groups/organizations to adopt a section of the world famous Rubicon Trail. Basic, routine maintenance and clean-up will be done by club members. Any major projects that come up will be led by the club but put out to FOTR for additional support as needed.
So, the Tahoe side twist is this, what about an “Adopt-a-water bar” program?
There were 28 ‘rolling dips’ (we all refer to them as water bars) built on the Rubicon Trail within the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) in 2001. Over the years they have received some annual maintenance but they could use a little more love. This summer, Placer County will use OHMVR funds to create more rolling dips and drains (like 35 of them) along the Rubicon Trail between Miller Lake and the turn at Barker Pass Road (Forest Road 03).
Why not ask OHV clubs to ‘adopt’ one water feature, be it a water bar, a rolling dip or a drain? All that would be asked of these clubs would be to do maintenance on their one water feature once a year.
Dozens of clubs, from all over the western United States, organize an annual club run to the Rubicon Trail. It would be a simple addition to that trek to stop at the clubs’ one “Adopt-a-water bar” and spend an hour or so clearing the drain, digging out any sediment and re-covering any bare spots with rock.
As FOTR steps up to help Placer with labor and thus ‘matching finds’ for the OHMVR grant, the clubs involved could volunteer to adopt whatever water feature they were working on. This would establish ‘ownership’ from the beginning and instil pride in creating and maintaining each feature.
There would be some details to work out, namely, a Tahoe side local might be needed to scout the water feature to determine if any materials would be needed for any maintenance effort each year and then get those materials dropped off prior to the maintenance effort but easily overcome.