Jeff Blewett, Cal4Wheel Natural Resources Consultant
SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER
Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 19 ordered California’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home, making it the first state to impose that strict mandate on all residents to counteract a looming surge of new infections.
The order takes effect immediately and remains in place “until further notice.” Californians are not allowed to leave their homes except for essential purposes. The mandatory order allows Californians to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats.
People can leave their homes to care for a relative, a friend, seek healthcare services or commute to jobs deemed essential.
This hits all of us hard, but for our community it seems worse. We are very independent individuals who enjoy the wide-open spaces that our Jeeps, Toyota’s, dirt bikes and UTV’s get us to. Most of us live to off-road; we are always planning the next trip, and to be stuck indoors for how ever long this “shelter in place” order lasts may just drive us crazy.
If you just can’t take it anymore and have to get out and enjoy the great outdoors please do your part by following the CDC guidelines by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
Here are some COVID-19 (coronavirus) OHV related updates.
CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS DEPARTMENT
State parks announced today the temporary closure of all campgrounds in the state park system (including all SVRA’s) to support state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches will remain open. Restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
The Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt directed the National Park Service to temporarily suspend the collection of all park entrance fees until further notice.
Other states and municipalities have implemented similar policies waiving fees to parks in an effort to support social distancing. At a majority of park locations, outdoor spaces remain open to the public.
DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Death Valley NP will be implementing new guidelines issued from the White House, CDC, and local and state authorities to promote social distancing.
As of March 18, 2020, all visitor centers are closed, ranger led programs have been cancelled, and the following campgrounds are closed: Emigrant, Mesquite Springs, Texas Springs, Furnace Creek, Sunset and Stovepipe Wells.
They have made the health and safety of the visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Death Valley National Park their number one priority. The National Park Service is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the situation and will update us when things change.
UNCLE TOM’S CABIN
Uncle Tom’s cabin is a popular wintertime destination up near Georgetown on the road to the Rubicon Trail. They have decided to temporarily close the bar in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 virus. Please respect the wishes of the property owner and stay off the Uncle Tom’s Cabin property.
Here is the press release that they issued:
“There is nothing we care about more than the safety and well-being of our customers and our community of family and friends. With the effects of the outbreak being felt more each day, our primary concern and area of focus is the health and safety of our communities.
In these uncertain times, we must all do our best to help ease the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Following recommendations from local authorities on limiting public gatherings we will be CLOSED.
We apologize and for the first time in 156 years under these conditions, feel this is the best course of action for the safety and well-being of our caretakers and customers.”
Both Frank Raines and LaGrange OHV areas have been temporarily closed by Stanislaus County to effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 virus.
FRIENDS OF THE RUBICON ANNUAL MEETING
The meeting scheduled for April 4 has been temporarily cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date.
Cal4 will do its best to keep you updated on all things OHV during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
Please remember, if you do decide to go out into the world and enjoy your favorite OHV area or trail , do your part to maintain social distancing, not only does this protect you, but it also protects your family and friends from exposure to the COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The Rubicon Trail Board of Directors hopes you are able to get out and enjoy nature and the things that you love by staying healthy. Be safe and remember to always “Buckle Up”.