Rubicon Tour & maintenance plan

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.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 


2018 FOTR Meeting

The annual FOTR meeting took place this morning at the Metal Cloak facility in Sacramento.

There was a good turn out; a couple of speakers; elections; food; etc.

Important to the Tahoe Side, Eldorado County is looking to get in to a memorandum of Understanding with Placer County to mange the Placer County portion of the trail. Vickie Sanders, with Eldorado County Parks, has always been there for the Rubicon Trail. She has now formally stepped up to help manage the Placer side.

Let’s hope that goes through.

The agreement would allow Vickie to write a single grant that would cover the entire trail. The debate of why can they do that on their side and we can’t argument would be gone as the trail would be managed by one agency. FYI, the LTBMU is onboard with the new management possibility.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation is looking for a caretaker to manage their property this coming season. I believe I heard it will only be open on weekends June through Sept. This season might bring two cabins on the property which would allow a caretaker to stay throughout the week and keep the property open seven days a week. The property swap agreement to allow a road to the property requires a caretaker in order for the property to be open to the public.

Tahoe side to do were discussed. Priorities are going to be set and volunteers will be needed. Please contact the newly re-elected Trail Boss, Shannon Chard at LaughingPlace76@yahoo.com if you would like to volunteer to work on the trail.

If you did work on the Rubicon within Placer County last year, please document your hours and get them to Shannon or Kansas with Placer County. If you do work this coming season, again, get your hours to Shannon or Placer County. Your volunteer hours count as cash for matching funds the counties need to come up with in order to get grant money.

Work on Cadillac Hill has already been scheduled at the lower Hairpin. Jeepers Jamboree is leading that project.

John Briggs has stepped down from the Tahoe Side Lead position after three years of service. FOTR is looking for someone to take over this position. John and others will be helping out who ever takes on that position.

 

Rubicon Ronin


TNF open house for 2018 OHV grants

The Tahoe National Forest will be holding an open house for users to voice their opinions on what needs to be done to our TNF trails. I’m going to try and make this one but I won’t stay the full three hours.

I encourage everyone to stop by and talk OHV with those that manage our resources. It’s a great time to et to know those involved.

 

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region TAHOE NATIONAL FOREST 631 Coyote Street Nevada City, CA 95959 www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe/

News Release

Contact: Joe Flannery 530-478-6205 or 530-587-3558 jflannerye@fs.fed.us February 5, 2018

Open House Planned for Tahoe National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Program Grant Application

NEVADA CITY, Calif. – The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled an open house in preparation for an annual application to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, to request funding for trail maintenance, restoration, development of facilities, law enforcement, and planning for off-highway vehicle (OHV) access.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the Forest Service will host an open house from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for individuals and organizations to provide input and review proposals for the application.

“I encourage anyone interested in the OHV program to drop by this informal open house to discuss their ideas on these proposals,” said Joe Chavez, Tahoe National Forest Trails Program Coordinator. Written comments are encouraged by February 23.

These annual grants provide important funds for the Forest Service to develop and maintain trails and trailheads, repair winter storm damage and restore trailside environments, as well as provide patrolling and monitoring of these areas. When finalized, the grants will be available for public review and comment on the State of California’s website (http://ohv.parks.ca.gov) from March 6 – April 2, 2018.

What:              Open House to discuss off highway vehicle grant proposals

Where:            Tahoe National Forest Headquarters

631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA 95959

Upstairs conference room (enter from upper parking lot behind building)

 When:             Thursday evening – February 15, 2018

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Questions, comments or letters can be directed to:

Joe Chavez, Forest Trails Program Coordinator

Tahoe National Forest, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA 95959

Email: joetchavez@fs.fed.us

(530) 478-6158

 

 

 

 


OHV grants available to clubs

Extreme Terrain has a program for helping clubs with projects on their local trails. They call it the “Clean Trail Grant Program”. They will award up to $250 to a club doing trail maintenance on a public trail. There are very few requirements and the grant application is (pardon the pun) extremely short and simple to fill out.

Along with awarding grants to clubs, Extreme Terrain has donated to the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s raffle that we hold every year at our annual Poker Run. Here’s a link to our Poker Run if you haven’t signed up yet:

https://www.laketahoehilos.com/gamblers-poker-run-registrati

This summer, I’m hoping to use this grant program for local trails in the Lake Tahoe Basin area. The Hi-Lo’s will go through the process and I’ll report back on how smooth it works out.

If you’d like more information on the “Clean Trail Grant Program” click the link below and go to the Community Support section and click on the “Clean Trails” photo.

https://www.extremeterrain.com/clean-trail-initiative-program.html

It’s free funding for the projects you’re already planning to go out and do. Why not let Extreme Terrain help with the funding?

 

Rubicon Ronin

 


OHMVR Program update

A little back story, the current system in place to provide funds for OHV trail maintenance, among other things, through green sticker funds was due to sunset or go away. The bill needed to be re-approved, preferably without a sunset date.

Before a pro-OHV bill could be drafted, the anti-OHV people got a bill (actually more than one) drafted dumping the program and benefitting their anti-OHV agenda.

Here is the latest on the possible loss of our OHV grant funding program…

Update on SB 249: with a lot of help and support from many members and supporters of the OHV community, something we initially thought may be impossible has actually been achieved!

Just a few short months ago, we never would have believed we could take out 90% of the objectionable components of SB 249, and rewrite the bill using current law as the basis moving forward. From that point on, our coalition worked with the OHMVR Division looking for improvements to environmental reporting and monitoring of SVRA’s, which will help defend our parks from frivolous lawsuits in the future. SB 249 now calls for removing the sunset, giving us a permanent OHMVR program and grants program both protected by statute!

All because of your calls and communications to your legislators, and justified anger at the original language in SB 249, we were able to convince the author and his sponsors to work collaboratively with us to craft an OHV bill. There is little left in the current SB 249 that was originally contained in the bill, although there are some compromises that won’t hurt the program but benefit the environmental community. We’ve evaluated every word in these bills to make sure there is no hidden language that could hurt our parks, our access or our grant funding to the best of our ability. It’s been a lot of hard work by a united OHV community that brought us to this point.

Now we need you to support both SB 249 and SB 159, the associated bill that renews the greensticker registration program. Call your legislators, and please ask them to support the current versions of these bills with amendments because the author worked collaboratively with OHV representatives to craft a bill the OHV community  supports.

I’ve attached the two draft letters written in cooperation of the OHV community stating our united support for SB 249 and SB 159. I am asking all of you to use your contacts with local politicians, law enforcement and county government, along with your elected legislative officials ,and ask them to support both SB 249 and SB 159. 

It is very important we get the votes in the legislature to pass both these bills so we get a permanent OHMVR program!

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I wouldn’t pass along this request unless I firmly believed in these bills.

Amy Granat
Managing Director
California Off-Road Vehicle Association
916-710-1950

 

Draft letters attached

SB 159_Coalition Letter_Asm Appro_Draft_9-7-17 (Rev)

SB 249_Coalition Letter_Asm Floor_Draft_9-6-17

 

So here is where we need to support those working so hard to allow us to got wheeling. Email, write and call your elected officials. It doesn’t take much to figure out who your representatives are and to send them an email.

Send an email in your name, your spouse’s name, your kids names, your dog’s name. Flood their office with letter of support for these two bills.

It’s your right. Fight for it or lose it.

 

Rubicon Ronin