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

News Release

Contact: Joe Flannery 530-478-6205 or 530-587-3558 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 ( 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


(530) 478-6158





Cadillac Hill bypass blocked

Author’s note: I was going to hold off on this just to space out my posts but a conversation  online just now made me decide to post it. For the record, I don’t alter the trail. I repair the trail. My work is pre-approved by the Tahoe National Forest or involves getting water off or across the trail in order to minimize erosion. (Also pre-approved; generally not specifically.)

Unfortunately, there are those out there that alter the trail for their own personal gain, either making the trail easier or making the trail harder. Some are trying to do good work but skip too many steps and the work doesn’t last and sometimes hurts.

In order for keep our trails open, safe and maintained properly, we must all speak up when our opinions are being asked. We should volunteer when we can. Comment on grants, attend your local FS meetings, join organizations that fight for your ‘pursuit of happiness’!   Rant Off.


A new illegal bypass has appeared on Cadillac Hill this summer. I don’t know when it appeared or who started it but it’s not the first of it’s kind. Not twenty yards from this one was a previous attempt to bypass the trail around a difficult section.

You can see the ‘new’ bypass looking straight in to the photo. The top of the old bypass is in front of the bumper of the Jeep on the right side of the photo.


I get that people are tired and sometimes broken when they are driving out, but that doesn’t mean you are allowed to make an easier route. Please stay on the trail.

The bypass was blocked by moving a rather large log to block the route.


Both ends of the log were drilled and rebar was placed to prevent the removal of the log. I know this will not prevent those who really want to remove it from removing it but they will have to work at it and they will know they are doing something wrong.



Signs were placed on both sides of the log to let people know that this is the will of the forest service, not an individual.


Not wanting to hide from the work I perform under the guidance of the forest service, I put the logo of this website on the sign along with the USFS logo and the CA State Parks logo because they mange and fund respectively a large portion of the maintenance of our OHV trails.

We are our own worst enemy sometimes. Driving off trail and creating new route just gives the anti-OHV people more ammunition to use against us and to close our trails.

We need to work together. There are those who illegally modify the trail to make it harder and there are those who illegally drive off trail to find an easier route. We need to find a middle ground.

If you would like to discuss this issue further, please email me


Rubicon Ronin

Meeting with the LTBMU Supervisor

This afternoon, I sat down with Jeff Marsolais, the forest supervisor of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, for a half an hour. When I say half an hour, I mean 30 minutes, almost to the second. I got 30 minutes in the seat in his office. I had three typed pages of notes to get through so I talked fast. But that’s easy for me.

Although he didn’t have time to respond to all the issues I brought up, he said he’d get back to me. So, what did I bring up? Here’s a brief outline of topics:

Who is the OHV lead for the LTBMU?

Should be full time and year round but not 100% OHV focused.

Needs to be pro-OHV not just someone doing the job.

We need consistency and quicker responses from the LTBMU.

AAT agreements and paperwork

The Forest Service needs to be quicker and proactive on approaching and supporting clubs willing to adopt

Rubicon Trail

Limbs cut off years ago need to be removed or chipped

The main sign at the staging area

Staging area maintenance

Recreational Opportunity Guide – finish it or drop it

General signage along the trail, paved and dirt sections

Other trails

Buck Lake Trail

Twin Peaks

Middle Fork Trail


CA State Parks – start writing next years now, include more people in the process

Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Foundation Grants

How did the Corral Trail get a full time, eight person crew to work that trail since the OHV grant fell through?

He did say he might be interested in a ride out on the trail to see first hand what’s going on. That would be a great education for him!

This one meeting won’t end these issues but now we all know the main guy at the Basin has been told how all those underneath him have dropped the ball over the years.

Latest Tri-forest OHV Rubicon Area OHV Trails map

Here is the latest version of a map that combines the three Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) and the Eldorado National Forest (ENF).

The TNF asked me to include ALL campsites in that section of the forest. Done.

The current TNF MVUM has a mistake. This map corrects that mistake. So this map is now more accurate regarding what trails are out there but not all of the trails listed are currently open. The Richardson Lake Trail is currently closed at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The LTBMU trails do not open until May 30th.

It is the users responsibility to know where they are at all times and to know what trails are currently open to wheeled traffic. Contact the specific forest for details.


LEOs on the Rubicon Trail

Last May, I organized a meeting of different law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction over the Rubicon Trail: Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Tahoe National Forest, CA State Parks and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

What I wanted to avoid was the lack of communication and the inconsistency of enforcement that plagued the El Dorado side of the trail when law enforcement started patrolling there years ago. The goal of the meeting was to do a face to face meeting of the different agencies and officers who would be patrolling the trail.  We weren’t trying to solve issues or plan out the 2013 season but just get everyone in the same room.

The Rubicon Trail runs within Placer County and the county recognizes the trail as a public right of way, therefore, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction on the trail. The Sheriff has put in for and was awarded OHMVR grant money to buy a side-by-side capable of getting anywhere on the Rubicon.  The Rubicon will not be the only place the sheriff will use the side-by-side. Any OHV trail within Placer County can be considered the jurisdiction of the Placer County Sheriff.

The Tahoe National Forest has also received OHMVR grant money. They share law enforcement officers with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.  The TNF also has an awesome ‘OHV Recreation Specialist’ that is a pleasure to work with. She and the TNF understand that motorized recreation is a legitimate use of our public lands. She also has access to the TNF’s newly built up Jeep Rubicon to patrol OHV trails within the forest.  The Jeep currently lives in the Auburn area but can be requested for use in the Truckee/Tahoe area when needed.

The CA State Parks LEOs have been on the Rubicon Trail for years, but only on the El Dorado side.  For 2013, things changed. The park service decided that El Dorado sheriffs and the ENF could handle the west end of the trail (This was before the county removed the ability of the FS to cite for county laws.) and so they moved their operation to the Tahoe side. The plan is to store a side-by-side at the nearby Sugar Pine State park and trailer it to the trailhead to use.  They also have an officer who drives the state’s Jeep Rubicon, that is quite capable, and he loves to get it out on the trail. They are working to store equipment at Rubicon Springs so they can patrol on the way in, spend a night or two and then patrol on the way out.  Again, the state parks LEO can patrol any OHV trail, so they are not limited to the Rubicon.

The meeting went well and all who attended were glad for the opportunity to put faces to the names of those officers in their sister agencies.

For 2014, I look forward to working with the different LEO agencies to maintain the safety of the OHV trails and public lands on the Tahoe side of the world famous Rubicon Trail.