Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council (RTCC)Posted: February 15, 2023 Filed under: Access, Maintenance, Travel | Tags: closure, maintenance, management, users Leave a comment
On Monday, February 13th, a public meeting was held at the Cal4 office in Sacramento. There were probably 20 people in the room and just as many on Zoom. The topic was a new way to get more user input regarding the management and maintenance of the Rubicon Trail.
Amy Granat (CORVA & Tread Lightly) and Roger Salazar (OHMVR Commissioner & CORVA/Cal4 life member) presented a new idea for managing the Rubicon Trail: the Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council.
The idea is to build off the example of the Rubicon Oversight Committee (formerly held by El Dorado County). This new group would bring together the users and get the users a seat at the big table along-side of the governing agencies that currently manage the Rubicon Trail.
The establishment of this new group goes along with the establishment of a new Rubicon Trail management process. The idea is to manage the Rubicon Trail as one trail from Wentworth Springs to Lake Tahoe. This could (and should) include the Ellis Creek Intertie. One of the bigger changes is the Forest Service (FS) will be represented by Region-5; that’s the FS headquarters in Vallejo, CA. The individual forests (El Dorado National Forest ENF, Tahoe National Forest TNF & Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit LTBMU) will not each have a seat at the new table.
The new ‘table’ will have El Dorado County, Placer County, US Forest Service, Ca State Parks OHMVR and the new Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council (RTCC).
The current MOUs between ENF, TNF, LTBMU, ElDo Co, Placer Co, CA St Parks and various law enforcement agencies will be amended to include RTCC and to establish a consistency in management and maintenance across the trail.
The make-up of the Rubicon Trail Coordinating Council will include five types of stakeholders: landowners, businesses, state OHV organizations, trail management ‘non-government organizations’ (NGOs) and OHV clubs. Each category will have two seats. It will be up to each category to determine their representatives. (That will be fun.)
The Rubicon Trail Collaborative Council will be housed as a non-profit under the CA Outdoor Recreation Foundation, which will also act as facilitators and representatives for RTCC. Amy & Roger will be those facilitators and representatives for the RTCC board.
If you are wondering if this will ever actually happen, I believe that it will. Amy stated that the larger agencies have already agreed to the idea, verbally, not yet in writing. The hard part is amending the current MOUs to get everyone to agree to the new wording. Again, those large government agencies have already agreed on the idea.
Similar agreements are already in place for other types of recreation and trails. In our world, The Dusy-Ersham Trail has a multi-MOU agreement and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) has a very similar agreement with all of the forests and counties that it crosses. Nothing on the PCT gets done without user input and approval.
This new management agreement will lift the decisions above any one agency, group or individual.
Moving forward, there is a plan to hold an organizational meeting of the RTCC this month. This meeting will probably include the first set of discussions about who will represent each of the five groups within RTCC.
Roger Salazar – https://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22606#salazar
Amy Granat – https://corva.org/board_of_directors; https://treadlightly.org/meet-the-team/board-of-directors/
California Outdoor Recreation Foundation – https://outdoorrecreationfoundation.org/
If you didn’t catch it, Amy & Roger will be the two user representatives at the new ‘big table’. The RTCC will provide them with guidance to follow as they talk with the ‘agencies’.
This new management arrangement should prevent illegal or unnecessary closures of the Rubicon Trail due to wildfires 20 miles away, because of possible snow fall heading toward the trail or any other arbitrary situation that may arise.
I’m extremely hopeful.