Control of the management and maintenance of the Placer County side of the Rubicon Trail is being decided right now. Literally, right now.
Until recently, Placer County has denied any authority over the Rubicon Trail. Lately, they have decided they want or have a hand in it but don’t want the day to day responsibility of applying for grants and to manage the maintenance of the Rubicon Trail.
Placer County and El Dorado County are currently working on an MOU (memorandum of understanding) that will allow El Dorado County the full legal authority to manage the Placer County side of the Rubicon Trail. To be clear, this will give El Dorado County authority over the entire length of the Rubicon Trail. My understanding is that they are very close to making this a done deal.
On the surface, this is a good thing. Placer has failed to apply for and receive steady grant funding and really has been hands off for years. Read as no maintenance has been done on the Placer side for years. El Dorado County has been extremely successful in getting grant money for the Rubicon Trail.
The down side is the lack of transparency. El Dorado County is currently working with Placer County, the Tahoe National Forest (TNF), the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and who knows who else, in order to decide what maintenance gets done and when.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) had been the representative for the users for 15 years. Lately, El Dorado County cuts ties (probably not the best term) with RTF. I’m not sure, but I’m betting that RTF is not in the room when these negotiations are being made. I do not know of any user representative that is in the room.
Worse, projects that had been on the books to take place this summer season have been cancelled. The LTBMU cancelled the installation of a new kiosk at the Tahoma staging area along with cancelling the paving of the staging area. They literally waited until the last moment to inform some of the users. Note, the funding for these two projects ahs been in the LTBMU’s control for years. The RTF had scheduled to bring in a contractor to rebuild the 28 rolling dips within the LTBMU this fall. Again, at the last moment, the project was cancelled. They didn’t tell anyone until I went asking about it.
Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) who normally had worked closely with El Dorado County on trail maintenance projects has been dropped as a close partner and relegated to just another volunteer, ignoring their 20 year history of maintaining the Rubicon Trail.
I have been asking for information on what’s going on, where we’re going and who’s involved in making these decisions. I was told to call Vickie Sanders of El Dorado County. I replied that I didn’t want information for me but for all users. I asked that any and all information be posted for the public to view 24/7. El Dorado County and RTF have pushed back and said if you want information, call us.
El Dorado County is about to control our trail. All I’m asking for is for them to explain how that process is going to work, how they will keep the users and volunteers informed and how they will allow the users in to the decision-making process.
I don’t think I’m asking too much.
Okay, that probably got your attention.
Well there will be paving, but only the staging area. This is being done to prevent erosion.
The plan is not finalized but it looks like we might lose one or more of the trees in the center of the staging area. The strip between the Rubicon and the staging area will be thinned, hopefully giving us another parking spot or two.
Here’s an overview of the staging area. The three structures in the lower left of the staging area are the two pit toilet and the oil spill depository. The depository will probably move and the NEW kiosk will be placed in that area.
The area below the structures is a seasonal pond. And in case you’re wondering, it would be very difficult and expensive to expand the parking area.
There was talk of putting down stripes in order to bring some order to the way people park in the staging area. But by putting down stripes, the number of parking spots would probably be reduced. I think the final agreement was to not put down stripes this year and see how it goes.
There will be a handicap area painted in front of the pit toilets. And there will be a few no parking areas in front of the NEW kiosk and in other places to maintain flow through the area.
Speaking of flow, there is talk and some agreement about making the first entrance to the staging area (coming from 89) a one-way exit only, again to improve flow through the area and to encourage better parking.
Here’s a set of photos to remind you of the area. Yes, they are old photos but the area hasn’t changed much.
Wow, as I posted those pictures I realized how old they are…2009!
The old Hi-Lo’s sign is gone. The two FS kiosks have been reconstructed in to one. I sold that Cherokee years ago.
And I don’t care what day you visit the trail, you never pull in and find only one vehicle parked there.
I’ve already told you about my buddy’s recent trip out on the Rubicon. Well I finally got a few pictures.
You might think that it’s soft snow and easy going this time of year.
The front rig is on 37″ tires.
But you really need to keep an eye out for hazards.
That’s a fallen tree with its branches sticking up, ready to puncture your tire. Remember, a flat tire is how the Glacier Girl episode started.
Rather than cut the limbs off and continue, these guys did it right and dug out the tree and winched it to the side of the trail.
I had a photo but can’t find it.
Anyway, always keep an eye out for the unexpected and be prepared for anything.
California Huge OHV Victory
Future Secured by Bipartisan Legislation
BLUERIBBON COALITION/SHARETRAILS.ORG MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 19, 2017
Contact: Don Amador, 925-625-6287
FUTURE OF OHV RECREATION IN GOLDEN STATE SECURED BY PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION
POCATELLO, ID (September 19, 2017) – State lawmakers in Sacramento recently passed Senate Bill 249 that permanently reauthorizes the California OHV Program. This historic vote-which also included Senate Bill 159, a companion bill that contained the funding structure for the program-had precedent setting broad support from both the conservation and OHV communities.
The BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org (BRC) was part of a diverse OHV stakeholder group that championed the current OHV program managed by the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVRD) that is an important member of the California State Park family.
Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org, stated, “As a member of the 2007 drafting team that helped create the SB 742-based current program, I believe passage of the new SB 249 legislation honors the spirit and intent of our program that has been heralded as a national model for environmentally responsible OHV recreation.”
“I believe a lot of credit goes to the thousands of OHV enthusiasts, partners such as county sheriffs, and non-profit conservation groups, who took time to write letters and/or make phone calls to legislators and the Governor stating their strong support for the current program that granted monies to maintain trails, support law enforcement, open new riding areas and trails, fund important restoration projects, and pay for valuable rider education programs,” Amador continued.
“Credit should also be given to Senator Ben Allen, author of SB 249, for listening to concerns voiced by the OHV coalition, partners, and rural communities about how changes needed to be made to the original bill as that early version was simply too costly because it imposed an unwarranted level of additional environmental studies, reviews, and reports. The OHV Commission and State Park leadership also had key roles in helping resolve contentious issues with early versions of SB 249,” Amador concluded.
The OHV community and our conservation partners should be proud of the passage of this legislation that finally removes the sunset and makes our OHV program a permanent fixture at State Parks. We look forward to Governor Brown signing these bills in the near future.
For those of you following my website, you know of my issues with off-road hitches. Here is a link to the two previous postings:
The “Lock N Roll” Great Lake Forge hitch didn’t seem to like the tight turns and difficult terrain of the Rubicon Trail. I bent two of them! Though I must admit, I did roll the trailer twice with that hitch.
So I’ve moved on to the Max Coupler hitch by Kilby Enterprises:
After unbolting the previous hitch, I inserted a 18″ ‘receiver’ tube and drilled two vertical 5/8″ holes to mount the receiver tube to the trailer. A third horizontal hole mounts the unit in the receiver tube and trailer.
FYI, the wheeled trailer stand gets removed before hitting the trail.
I lucked out and the first hitch configuration I used to mount the unit to the Jeep got the trailer pretty level. If I hadn’t bent the stock Jeep ball hitch, I think this would be dead level.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get a chance to test the new set-up this season. Although I will be out on the trail, I don’t think I’ll be needing the trailer. I’ll post up again after I test it out.