By John Arenz

Great Attendance at January 2020 ROC

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: .  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)

Restoration                                        $50,000

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 .

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.

By Chris Cowan

12th Annual Black Tie & Boots- Thank You to Our Supporters

12th Annual Black Tie & Boots


Another goal has happened, this year we saved money on NOT having invites printed and due to the popularity of this event we sold out by January 8th.  Truely amazing to have the support of the community behind this event to honor “Randy Burleson” with the Rock Award and to support our beloved Rubicon Trail.  We thank each of our supporters and sponsors.

We are actively looking for raffle, silent/live auction items.  If you have a great item you would like to share with us please contact us at or call 888-678-2426.

Thank You to our Sponsors

Gold Cadillac

Jeepers Jamboree

Jeepers Jamboree Cook Crew


Rubicon Springs Silver

Madhatters 4×4 Club

4×4 In Motion

Daryl & Lori Warden

John & Barbara Arenz

Mountain Transit Authority

Jeff Blewett

Mott Roofing/Gordon Mott

Dan & Alison Dreyer

Toys on the Rocks

LineX of Rancho Cordova/Tyrone Miller

Duncan Farms & Holden Sheet Metal

Rubicon Trail Adventures

Auburn Jeep Club

Brian & Julie Petrie

Two Guys Trail Gear/Arabia’s Overkill

Black Tie & Boots Sponsor

Gallery & Barton, APLC – Jesse Barton



Mission: To enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon trail, while ensuring responsible, motorized, year-round trail access.

Vision: To be the trusted stewards of the Rubicon Trail, ensuring sustainability for the experience of the users.


By Chris Cowan

Snow Wheelin’

Well the weather is finally changing and it looks like there will be SNOW finally this winter. 

There is lots of information out there, most important things to remember:

  • Tell people where you are going and when you plan to be home
  • Bring snow gear and extra supplies as you never know what is in store for you.
  • Know your weather conditions

Mission: To enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon trail, while ensuring responsible, motorized, year-round trail access.

Vision: To be the trusted stewards of the Rubicon Trail, ensuring sustainability for the experience of the users.

By Chris Cowan

Rubicon Trail Foundation Board Seat Elections December 11th

At our December 11th  meeting, the Rubicon Trail Foundation will hold elections. There will be a two board seats available; Lori Warden recently resigned her seat. I would like to thank Lori for her years of service and dedication, we will miss her but look forward to her continued support and volunteerism. We also have 1 additional seat that has been open.


If you would like to step up and run for a board seat, you should know that there is an expectation of involvement that has a fairly high standard based on what has been accomplished by our board to date!  Our meetings are once a month in the Placerville area. We have created a committee structure to get work done and each committee is run by at least two directors. That means you can get help from outside the Board!


There is also a fiduciary ( responsibility to the public for funds managed by the foundation.  Below, is the section of our bylaws that discusses Directors. Also, below there are some generally accepted guidelines for basic responsibilities of a non-profit board.


Our goal is to have a very diversified cross representation of Rubicon Trail users on the Rubicon Trail Foundation Board. Of course, a love of the Rubicon is a requirement too!


Nominations/applications will be open until Monday @ noon December 9th.

If you are interested, please prepare a short biography and submit it to any Director. or

The mission of RTF is: To enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year round trail access.

From our Bylaws:
SECTION 2. Qualifications
Any person may serve as a Director of this corporation as long as they have a proven interest in the Rubicon Trail and are 18 years of age or older.
Other qualifications for directors of this corporation shall be as follows:
Rubicon Trail motorized users, owning 4-wheel drive vehicles, who participate in regular cleanups and projects affecting the Rubicon Trail, and who are active in working with other Rubicon Trail motorized recreation users. The Board of Directors shall be composed of at least 60% of Trail Users.


Thank you for your support,


David Thomas

President, Rubicon Trail Foundation




What are the legal responsibilities of nonprofit boards?
Under well-established principles of nonprofit corporation law, a board member must meet certain standards of conduct and attention in carrying out his or her responsibilities to the organization. Several states have statutes adopting some variation of these duties which would be used in court to determine whether a board member acted improperly. These standards are usually described as the duty of care, the duty of loyalty and the duty of obedience.

Duty of Care
The duty of care describes the level of competence that is expected of a board member, and is commonly expressed as the duty of “care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances.” This means that a board member owes the duty to exercise reasonable care when he or she makes a decision as a steward of the organization.

Duty of Loyalty
The duty of loyalty is a standard of faithfulness; a board member must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization. This means that a board member can never use information obtained as a member for personal gain, but must act in the best interests of the organization.

Duty of Obedience
The duty of obedience requires board members to be faithful to the organization’s mission. They are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization. A basis for this rule lies in the public’s trust that the organization will manage donated funds to fulfill the organization’s mission.


What are the basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards?
Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards
1. Determine the organization’s mission and purpose. It is the board’s responsibility to create and review a statement of mission and purpose that articulates the organization’s goals, means, and primary constituents served.
2. Select the chief executive. Boards must reach consensus on the chief executive’s responsibilities and undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position.
3. Provide proper financial oversight. The board must assist in developing the annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place.
4. Ensure adequate resources. One of the board’s foremost responsibilities is to provide adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission.
5. Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability. The board is ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to legal standards and ethical norms.
6. Ensure effective organizational planning. Boards must actively participate in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the plan’s goals.
7. Recruit and orient new board members and assess board performance. All boards have a responsibility to articulate prerequisites for candidates, orient new members, and periodically and comprehensively evaluate its own performance.
8. Enhance the organization’s public standing. The board should clearly articulate the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the community.
9. Determine, monitor, and strengthen the organization’s programs and services. The board’s responsibility is to determine which programs are consistent with the organization’s mission and to monitor their effectiveness.
10. Support the chief executive and assess his or her performance. The board should ensure that the chief executive has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the organization.






Office Member Since ofc start ofc end seat start seat end
President David Thomas 2011 Jan-19 Jan-21 Dec-19 Dec-21
Vice President Ken Hower 2011 Feb-18 Jan-20 Dec-18 Dec-20
Treasurer Jonathan Carlos 2016 March-19 Jan-20 Dec-18 Dec-20
Secretary Chris Cowan 2010 Jan-19 Jan-21 Dec-19 Dec-21
  Mike Gerondakis 2017     Dec-17 Dec-19
  Jeff Blewett 2014     Dec-16 Dec-20
  Dan DeWolf 2008     Dec-17 Dec-19
  Rusty Folena 2004     Dec-17 Dec-19
  Matt Warden 2015     Dec-17 Dec-19
  Laura Blake 2018     Dec-17 Dec-20
  Lori Warden 2014     Dec-17 Dec-19
  Cole Sweatt 2014     Dec-17 Dec-19
  JC Jenkins 2016     Dec-16 Dec-20
  John Arenz 2008     Dec-16 Dec-20
  Open Seat
El Dorado (NV) Open Seat    
Placer (NV) Open Seat          


By Chris Cowan

RTF Meeting Changes

The Rubicon Trail Foundation meetings are on different dates for the

next two monthly meetings.


Wednesday, November 20th &

December 11th which is the second Wednesday.


Meetings start at6:30pm


Marshall Foundation Building

1124 Sherman Street, Placerville, CA 95667


Join meeting at this link or just type in the meeting ID.

Meeting ID: rubiconmeeting

U.S. Toll: +1 206-462-5569

Meeting PIN: 2559 99 6734

U.S. Toll-free: +1 855-552-4463


By Chris Cowan

2020 “Rock Award” Nominee

 12th Annual Black Tie & Boots Dinner & Auction

March 14, 2020

Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort in Jackson, CA

This year the Foundation has voted to honor:

Randy Burleson with the Annual “ROCK Award”,

our lifetime achievement award for serving the trail

Randy has been an active OHV user and responsible land use advocate for over 20 years.  Combine that with being an editor for 4×4 Wire, a contributor on Pirate 4×4 Forums and a volunteer for many work parties.  He was also at the first formation meeting for Friends of the Rubicon and an early FOTR Volunteer.  Randy was the founding Secretary for the Rubicon Trail Foundation, the second President of the foundation and has been the Chairman for Sierra Trek for Cal 4 Wheel.   Randy was part of the Pleasant Lake re-route and helped cut brush to define the new route on the Rubicon Trail.  Randy was also instrumental in taking part on the 1st Placer County Tour on the Tahoe side and is a Volunteer Leader & Land Stewardship (VLLS) Graduate.  Randy is a friend to all and is always willing to share his knowledge.


The 12th Annual Black Tie & Boots Dinner and Auction committee are actively looking for Sponsors and auction items.

Tickets will go on sale January 1, 2020.  If you would like to be a part of this special event please contact Chris Cowan at 888-678-2426, e-mail her at, or visit our website at or like us on FaceBook for more information.


The Rubicon Trail Foundation is federally recognized, non-profit organization dedicated to the future health of the Rubicon Trail.  The Rubicon Trail Foundation acts as the support for Rubicon work projects, Friends of the Rubicon, and as a liaison with local government organizations. This support can range from getting approval for projects from the appropriate agencies, to feeding the volunteers, to buying the supplies needed to maintain the trail. We also fight the efforts of others to close or restrict use of the Rubicon Trail System.  All funds raised help to enhance the future health of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year-round access.


Our Officers and Directors represent a wide variety of Rubicon Trail users and supporters.  These include trail users, land owners, county representatives, manufacturers, and Rubicon event organizers.  For more information on getting involved or supporting the Rubicon Trail Foundation please call us at 888-678-2426 or visit our website at

By Ken Hower

Visiting RTF Property in Winter

As the colors turn on the leaves, that first big snow storm is potentially just around the corner. Travel on the Rubicon during this time of year can become a life or death struggle faster than most people are aware.

Visiting the RTF Property after the Little Rubicon Crossing and heading down to FOTR camp requires going down Trash Can Hill.  TCH is fairly steep, and in the best of conditions, can be a struggle.  While the RTF Property is open to the public 365/24/7, in winter conditions be extra vigilant.

  • Check the weather conditions on Thursday before your planned departure.  Check our Condition Page for current and potential weather.
  • Read our vehicle preparation page. This time of year you have to be highly self-sufficient due to reduced traffic.
  • Always have enough food and water to make it several days beyond your expected departure.
  • Pack warm clothing beyond what you think you’ll need.  Expect the unexpected.
  • Know where the Trash Can Hill winch plate is before going down.

If you follow these basic tips, you can keep your trip from turning into a life or death struggle.

By Chris Cowan

Thank You- 1st Annual Off the Rocks Show & Shine

The 1st Annual Off the Rocks Show & Shine

was a HUGE Success!

Thank you to Dry Diggings Distillery, all our vendors, donors, all our volunteers, and especially YOU our participants who came out and supported this event.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation raised over $5000!

Here are your Show & Shine Winners:

Mall Crawler- Kim Riggs

Trail Worthy- Scott Lewis

Best of Show- Jesse Barton

People’s Choice- Justin Tominson

Thank you to our Event Sponsors:

Power Tank

Ruff Stuff

Tailgater Tire Table

My Off Road Radio

Currie Enterprises, Inc.


Warn Industries, Inc.

Trail Forged Off-Road


J&W Auto Wreckers

West Coast Differentials


Rack it

Eagle Radiator

Marlin Crawler

BT Consulting

Mission: To enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon trail, while ensuring responsible, motorized, year-round trail access.

Vision: To be the trusted stewards of the Rubicon Trail, ensuring sustainability for the experience of the users.