Way back in 2011, 42 OHV routes within the Eldorado National Forest were closed because someone filed a lawsuit claiming they were damaging near by meadows.
A few years later, 18 of those routes were reopened after it was determined that they NEVER were damaging near by meadows. Yes, it took years.
The Deer Valley Trail, although cleared of damaging near by meadows, took longer to reopen due to endangered species concerns.
Well, the ENF has finally finished repairs to all of the routes in questions and all of the once closed routes have now been reopened. Of course, most of those are approaching their seasonal closures so check for the status before you head out.
Here is a link to the Forest Service news release:
What I would ask all of you to learn from this is you need to need to develop a very close relationship with your local FS representatives.
What should have happen in this case was local OHV clubs keeping an eye on these trails to do maintenance in certain places to prevent damage to near by meadows. Now it’s hard for the basic Jeeper to know when that type of damage is being done but a few of these trails were obvious issues.
The Richardson Lake Trail was one case. For a few years I had notices a section that literally went through a meadow and it was looking bad. I had a plan in the back of my head to move small boulders to eliminate the mud by harden the crossing, but I never acted on it. My bad, the route was closed for years.
With a close relationship with your local FS rep, maybe there could be an immediate field trip to each meadow to evaluate, in a very public way, the condition of each trail and to develop a plan to repair each trail rather than close it.
The anti-OHV people will do anything to close our trails, we need to do everything to keep them open.
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.
If you don’t know the name, maybe you’ll recognize them as the R.O.C.
They want your input! And they’re coming to you to get it. Keep reading.
The ROC is El Dorado County’s effort to bring people together to better manage the Rubicon Trail. Vickie Sanders runs the show. She’s been making things happen on the Rubicon since the early days of FOTR. No one has done more for the Rubicon Trail than Vickie Sanders, no one.
The ROC meets every third Thursday of the month at the El Dorado County offices off Forni Road in Placerville at 8:30am. It’s great for those in the area of the western entrance to the Rubicon but not so convenient for the rest of us in Truckee, Tahoe City, Reno, Carson, Auburn, ETC.
Well that’s about to change. El Dorado County is taking the ROC meetings on the road.
We will be holding several meetings of the Rubicon Oversight Committee at various locations in an effort to get the education and coordination message out to a broader group of interested parties. Please pass this information along. Let me know if you have any questions.
WE ARE TAKING THE ROC ON THE ROAD
Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC)
- To educate a larger group of users on the educational program for the Rubicon Trail
- To discuss maintenance efforts and how we work on the El Dorado side of the trail
- To help facilitate maintenance activities in Placer County
- To get more clubs, groups and individuals involved
- To provide a holistic approach to the Rubicon
AGENCIES THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE:
- Tahoe National Forest
- Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
- Eldorado National Forest
- State Parks OHV Division
- Placer County Sheriff’s Office
- El Dorado County Parks Division
MEETING DATES, LOCATIONS AND TIMES:
May 30, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
North Tahoe Event Center
8318 North Lake Blvd.
Kings Beach, CA 96143
June 4, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
Murphy House at the Auburn State Recreation Area
501 El Dorado Street
Auburn, CA 95603
(El Dorado Street is HWY 193/49 as you head out of Auburn south towards the river crossing)
June 27, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
California Conservation Center
1949 Apache Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
This is most likely due to the rumors that El Dorado County is looking to sign an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that would allow El Dorado County to manage the Placer County portion of the Rubicon Trail.
For the most part, this would be a very good thing. Vickie and El Dorado County has done wonders to mange, maintain and honestly, to keep the trail from being closed.
Placer County has been reluctant to step up their game and put more effort in to managing the Rubicon Trail. Placer has done things for the trail over the years but more needs to be done. El Dorado has demonstrated the willingness and ability to do just that.
My concerns are the actually being addressed by this mobile meeting plan. Over the years, the ROC has made many major decisions regarding the Rubicon Trail. If you weren’t in the room that day, you didn’t get a say in the decision. I drove to ROC meetings in Placerville, from Sparks NV, many, many times, as the Placer side user representative. It’s a 2.5 hour drive each way for a two hour meeting. It got old.
Once I stopped attending the meetings, I felt out of the loop. There were no efforts to continue to reach out to people not in the room. Even being on the email list for “all” things ROC, they didn’t reach out. The ROC made decisions that effected the Tahoe side of the trail and yet they didn’t reach out for input prior to the decision and implementation.
I am encouraged by this effort to reach out to the “other” side.
Let’s let Vickie, El Dorado County and Placer County know that the Tahoe side users care about the trail and we are willing to work with anyone and everyone that wants to better manage the Rubicon Trail.
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.
California Off-Road Vehicle Association
Draft letters attached
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.
Recently, I’ve posted about the possible end of the CA State Parks OHMVR Division and CORVA’s (CA Off Road Vehicle Association) promotion of a bill to keep that OHV funding source in place.
There is now a bill that has been put forth to END this grant funding for OHV.
If you do nothing else this year for OHV, make a call or send an email to your local elected representative to support the continuation of the CA State Parks OHMVR Grant Program and oppose SB 249.
As a citizen of Nevada, not California, it’s a little tricky for me to contact “my” elected CA representative. But I will use the CA address of my family cabin at Tahoe and submit that I recreate (read as bring money to spend) in CA and the continuation of this grant program with promote me to continue to recreate in CA.
This is HUGE people. I don’t often ask for my readers to act. This blog is for your enjoyment and education. I didn’t start this blog to promote myself or any ’cause’. I try not to rant too often. But, I am promoting this cause because if we lose our OHV funds, our trails will close do to lack of maintenance.
The old saying is: “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” Well the new quote will be: “If you didn’t speak out to save the CA State Parks OHMVR Grant Program, you can’t complain when your OHV sticker funds go to maintain a State Park that doesn’t allow OHV use and our OHV trails get closed.” Not as catchy but you get my point.
Contact your politician and tell your friends to do the same.