We’ve decided the best way to keep trail users informed about the Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC) is to post a summary of the meeting here. ROC meetings are held by El Dorado County Parks Department from time to time, though with more regularity in the summer. The last one was July 2019, so it has been a while, so this meeting was very well attended.
This time the ROC was held at Wally’s Pizza Bar in Cameron Park. As always, El Dorado County Parks hosted and representatives from the Rubicon Trail Foundation, Friends of the Rubicon, Cal4Wheel, Tahoe National Forest, EL Dorado National Forest, Jeeper’s Jamboree, Rubicon Trail Partnership, Green Acres, and Rubicon Soda Springs attended. Of course there were many trail users and club representatives there as well.
The meeting moved quickly as there were lots of discussion items on the agenda.
Annual Report: Vickie Sanders from El Dorado County parks talked about the Rubicon Trail 2019 Annual Report that has been released by the County. It is available at their website at: https://www.edcgov.us/Government/Rubicon . The report contains information about trail work done by the county and volunteers, Adopt-A-Trail, events the parks department has attended, fund raising efforts, and a law enforcement re-cap.
Rubicon MOU: This was a discussion about the Memorandum of Understanding (a letter between agencies that outlines actions and responsibilities) between El Dorado County, State Parks Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR), the Tahoe National Forest, and The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The MOU creates the framework for El Dorado County managing maintenance efforts on the Placer County side of the trail. Since it is freshly signed, we haven’t really seen it in action, but the County expects work on the Placer County side to be in full swing in the coming season.
Grants: This was a discussion about upcoming OHMVR grants to El Dorado County for work on the trail. Grants are separated into the following categories: Operations and Maintenance, Planning, Restoration, and Safety and Education. The county has received the following grants this cycle:
Operations and Maintenance $750,000
Planning $140,000 (three year grant)
Safety and Education $101,000
These grants have a twenty five percent “match” requirement, meaning that the for every $75 the county gets from OHMVR, they must match that with $25 from other sources. On the El Dorado County side those other sources include SMUD funds, in lieu funds (funds from the OHMVR division in lieu of doing OHV work in the county), donated materials, and volunteer hours.
For the first time, this year El Dorado County will be working in Placer County. Because of legal restrictions, they cannot spend El Dorado County dollars anywhere except in El Dorado County. Both Forests are also unable to provide funding due to budget constraints. Placer County has said that they have no authority or responsibility for the trail other than law enforcement. This means that El Dorado County has asked for a grant for approximately $65,000 from Rubicon Trail Foundation. The foundation has only known about the request for a week or so and no decision has been made about the request. This would also be the largest grant we have made, and the largest annual expenditure we have ever made, so we don’t take it lightly. Stay tuned and we will let you know!
The County also talked about new grant audit requirements that are much more strict than in the past.
Maintenance Activities for 2020 Season: This was a discussion of some new maintenance activities to be undertaken in the 2020 season in addition to some that didn’t get done in the 2019 season. The county keeps a list of these activities online. Individual or group volunteers can sign up for these projects by contacting the parks department at 530-621-5360. The list can be viewed at the El Dorado County Parks website at https://www.edcgov.us/Government/Rubicon .
If anyone would like to suggest a project that is not on the list, the county encourages you to contact them with that information as well.
County Seasonal Help: The county hired one person for seasonal help at the kiosk greeting users and giving out information and spill kits. They would like to hire another for the 2020 season. They are also looking to hire someone seasonally to assist with toilet pumping on the trail.
County Pumper Truck Update: The county has collected $36,000 towards building the new pumper truck. They also have a truck that was donated by SMUD as a base vehicle and some parts from vendors. They are working on putting together a contract to build the truck now. (Note: The county has received a $5000 dollar donation from RTF, and RTF also donated an additional $6771 that were proceeds from the Marlin Crawler Roundup to the effort. Thanks to Marlin, Chris, and Mike for their dedication to the trail, they also donated $6771 from the event for an event total of $13, 543!)
Jamboree 5 year Parade Permit: The County reported that a resolution to grant a 5 year parade permit to Jeepers Jamboree will be on the Board of Supervisors agenda for their February 11th meeting. The permit has been granted to Jeepers Jamboree annually since 1979 to close the trail on the El Dorado County side during their event in order to facilitate their “parade”. The first five year permit was issued five years ago, and the new permit will also be a five year permit. The permit as submitted is unchanged in terms of reach or language.
El Dorado National Forest Open House: The ENF announced that they will be holding an open house for the purpose of vetting their OHMVR grants with the public February 12th from 4:00PM through 7:00PM at the Forest Supervisor’s Office at 100 Forni Road in Placerville.