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.


LTBMU fails to get ANY grant funding!

Here is an email I received this morning (May 18 @ 9:40am). It appears that the LTBMU has failed to get ANY OHV grant funding from CA State Parks.

Good morning Mr. Barr,

I hope all is well with you.

Walt Saborio forwarded me your email regarding the LTBMU.   Unfortunately, the LTBMU was disqualified for this grant cycle for failure to follow appropriate regulations.  You may contact them if you have questions about their application.

If you have any questions on the program or the grant cycle, please let me know.



From: Saborio, Walt@Parks Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 8:36 AM To: Fernandez, Sixto@Parks Subject: FW: LTBMU grant

LTBMU doesn’t change grant

The Lake Tahoe basin Management unit (LTBMU) wrote a CA State Parks OHV grant for repairing and maintaining a mountain bike trail. There was nothing in the grant for any 4wd trails. The single track mountain bike trail did allow motorcycle use so technically the grant was legal but way off track.

The users commented. In a process where grants usually gets one or two comments, this grant received 16 comments. One was posted under the LEO grant or it would have been 17. All were negative. All wanted more than just the mountain bike trail funded for the 2015 grant cycle.

I just learned that the LTBMU asked CA State parks about adding a “general fund” request to the current mountain bike grant. The LTBMU was told that would not be approved as CA State parks prefers detailed grants for specific projects. The LTBMU did not submit any detailed additions to the mountain bike grant. They did ask for funding to keep the pit toilets open on the shoulder seasons weather permitting.

The LTBMU did not listen to the users. That or they were just lazy and didn’t want to take the time to write out a few specific grant additions. These additions were listed for the LTBMU in the comments of the users: the Sand Pits, Twin Peaks, Rubicon Trail, etc. It can’t take that long to write a request for Twin Peaks: boulders/rock – $5000, equipment to move rock – $10,000; signage – $2000. Or the Rubicon: Hand crew for vegetation along paved road – $2000, signage – $3000, engineering oversight for working with Placer county to maintain rolling dips – $8000.

The LTBMU continues to avoid managing OHV. The LTBMU has a duty to maintain and manage OHV trails regardless if the personal views of the workers there are anti-OHV. The LTBMU continues to claim poverty. They even asked me if any of my clubs would have funds available to purchase signs for the trails! The LTBMU is obligated to properly manage OHV regardless of their funding woes. And when the LTBMU knows the views of the users and the needs of the OHV trails and fails to write a grant to fully fund the proper and professional management of those trails, they have failed as managers.

The problem with the LTBMU failing as managers is that we may lose trails. I continued to point out that the Eldorado National Forest had 42 trails closed as the result of a lawsuit, only because those trails were not regularly maintained. The LTBMU’s management game of “whack-a-mole” is reactionary. We need to become pro-active about OHV management in our forests, not just the LTBMU.

I’m not sure of the direction I think we should take on this issue. I will make an effort to sit down with the head ranger, Jeff Marsolas, to make sure THE boss knows of our OHV concerns. If you have any thoughts on how we can ‘motivate’ the LTBMU to more properly and professionally manage OHV, please let me know.

LTBMU grant comments are in

The public has spoken regarding the proposed grant requested by the LTBMU. In short, the public does not support a grant that does not support four wheel drive trails. Specifically, the public does not support mountain bike trail maintenance with OHV funds.

Here is a link to the comments on the LTBMU grant request:

Most of the comments are from South Tahoe locals who either drive Twin Peaks or ride the Sand Pits. These locals not only use our public lands for OHV enjoyment but they also step up and volunteer to maintain these areas. Both the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s and STORM (South Tahoe Off Road Motorcycle club) members took the time to comment. Thank you to everyone that commented.

Hopefully, the LTBMU will read and act on the comments and include 4wd trails and the Sand Pits in a rewrite of the grant proposal.

This is how the process is supposed to work. Let’s hope it continues to work.

New Rubicon Area OHV Trails Map

So, some time ago, I posted a new map of OHV trails in the area of the Tahoe side of the Rubicon Trail.  Since then, I’ve learned a lot about using Photoshop. The old map was 72dpi, the new map was 300dpi. The old map was a cluttered mess. The new map is leaner and cleaner.

I’ve bounced different drafts off a lot of people including those within the Forest Service (FS). Some in the FS were not overwhelmingly in support. Some had concerns over the possible differences between my map and current MVUM provided by the FS.

I’ve gone further to distance this map from the official FS MVUM. The FS MVUM is a legal document used to notify the public as to what trails are open for public use. This new map is not intended for navigation nor is it to be used to determine what trails are currently open. This map displays ALL the OHV trails in the area but does not report which are open and which are closed. All but the Rubicon are seasonally closed. At least one is partially closed due to meadow issues.

It is the users responsibility to know where they are at all times and the status of the trail they are driving. Please visit the forest website and read all forest orders that may apply.

Hot off the presses:

Tahoe side OHV trails.flat2

I’ve created a flier from this map to be handed out to users. Here is the front side of the flier with information on the names of trails, seasonal dates for the opening of those trails (which could be changed at any time), ham freqs, agency contact information, etc.

TOR - trifold cover

I’ll be handing this map out at the Reno Motorsports Show this Friday and Saturday. The maps will be there Sunday but I have to work. Stop by and pick up a few. I’m still open to comments about what could make this a better map for the users.