By Chris Cowan

El Dorado County Rubicon Oversight Committee Meeting Info.

Zoom meeting February 10, 2021, 6:30 p.m.

Meeting Purpose:  For agencies to provide an update to the user community of issues and topics related to the Rubicon Trail and to get public input on grant applications for 2021. 

 

Agencies providing Updates:

  •         California State Parks Off Highway Motor Vehicle Division
  • Callan from State Parks introduced the new Deputy Director, Sarah
  • Sarah announced the 50th Anniversary of OHV and looking forward to meeting with everyone
  • Jenn discussed grant cycle- March 1st Applications Due, May 2-3 Public Comment, June 7th Final Applications Due, Sept. 2nd Post Awardees

 

  •         El Dorado County
  • Vickie provided a report that there was an increased usage in 2020 on Trail.
  • Weekly pumping was done on the restrooms
  • Helicopter project put 829,400 lbs rock on trail
  • Gabions were placed in some locations
  • Justin has moved out of state and Prescott will be taking his place
  • Adopt-A-Trail- areas not adopted – Loon Lake Intertie #1, Ellis Creek, walker Rock, Buck Island- if interested contact Vickie
  • Project List- looking for Kiosk volunteer and someone to do Buck Island Rest Stop, & special events
  • Other project to use excavator – Walker Hill Wall to the right of hillside due to erosion.  Improvement for Axle Rock, finish climb before Bowl 
  • Education Campaign is FIRE
  • Grants Applying for- Group Op (rock at Soup Bowl), education, maintenance, restoration & planning
  • Finish the following projects- Pumpkin Patch, Property Line, saw Tooth & Scout Hole
  • Jeep Corporation working with Electrify America who is working with County on charging stations- there are no locations as of yet

 

El Dorado County Sheriff’s -Michael Seligsohn will be in charge of patrolling the trail.  Background in boats but looking forward to Rubicon.

Placerville County Sheriff’s- Chris in charge of OHV on trail – looking forward to collaboration and being on trail more.

  • Bob asked if they are sharing patrol and -Michael Seligsohn said they are each in charge of their own counties.  Bob wants to work with each of them on JJ.  Chris mentioned he would love to collaborate and be on trail more.
  • Tim Peterson will be returning as well as Steve, Craig & Eddie for El Dorado County side.
  •         Placer County
  • Peter introduced himself and talked about snow removal and making users and community happier.  John Arenz commented on the great job with snow removal. 
  • John Arenz and Del Albright mentioned a desire for Placer County to be more involved on trail. Peter mentioned that there is not the political will to do so. 

 

  •         Tahoe National Forest
  • Joe Chavez talked about work done at mud hole
  • Tim Green asked if this was a temporary work around or permanent as the trail holds history.  Joe said temporary.  Tim mentioned that if the trail site moved it raises concern of losing historical parts of the trail.
  • Joe mentioned that they will not have big grant funds available this year but has 98,000 lbs of rock to fill from Barker Pass and the work they started in 2020.  Will need volunteers to spread rock.

 

  •         Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
  • Mike mentioned that they are paving the staging area.  John asked if they were putting lines and he said no.  John agreed 
  • Bathroom pumping will be done this year
  • Looking for volunteer for bathrooms

 

  •         El Dorado National Forest
  • Karl mentioned that they are putting more dumpsters towards Loon Lake side 
  • Not sure if they will have restrictions around campgrounds or not.

 

By Chris Cowan

Meet David Thomas

We have introduced you to our newest Board members but now we would like you to know about all our other board members. Meet David Thomas.

David Thomas just stepped down as President of the Rubicon Trail Foundation and now serves as a Director.  We would like to thank David for his contributions and work on behalf of the Rubicon Trail Foundation.

David was born and raised in Placerville, grew up with a love for the outdoors and a stepfather (Gary Bjork) that was active with the El Dorado Jeepherders and then in the Toys on the Rocks Off Road Club. David first ran the Rubicon Trail in 1980 and has not missed but a year or two since that he can remember. Active member in the Toys on the Rocks club and the Hangtown Crawlers also enjoys being a Jamboree Cook Crew volunteer. One of his other hobbies is pit crew for KOH and Baja teams. David and his wife Terri own and operate the Placerville Pizza Factory, his son and daughter are also trail users and love the Sierra Nevada’s.

Trail rig is a 1972 Land Cruiser FJ40 aka Nightlite and 2001 Jeep TJ.
David served as President from 2019 to 2021.

Directors

By Chris Cowan

Rubicon Trail Foundation President Message

I would like to introduce myself to you as the new Rubicon Trail Foundation President.

We are beginning another great year and with that comes many new opportunities.   I am very excited to be leading such an important Foundation, one that I have been a Director/Officer  since 2010.  I look forward to collaborating with each of you, the users and the stakeholders to work towards our mission statement and educate all users.

I was appointed on January 20, 2021 so I am just getting settled, but look forward to hearing from each of you on how to best serve you and our beloved Rubicon Trail.

I have two main goals as of right now for the Foundation: to enhance the future health of the Rubicon through education and to be trusted stewards of the Rubicon Trail.

As I take on this new role, I would like to thank David Thomas for his contributions and work on behalf of the Rubicon Trail Foundation. Also, to welcome Laura Blake as our new Secretary.

Due to the COVID pandemic we have been unable to secure a site to have our Black Tie & Boots event at this time.  Trust me, I am devastated.  We are working on planning some great fundraising opportunities, so please stay tuned. 

I look forward to many great opportunities of growing our Foundation and  to spread awareness of the importance of our Foundation to all users.  I am grateful for all of your donations and support.  I invite you to reach out and share your ideas, thoughts, and feedback.  Hopefully, I will see you soon at an upcoming meeting/event or on the trail.

Officers of the Rubicon Trail Foundation

Chris Cowan, President

Ken Hower, Vice President

Jonathan Carlos, Treasurer

Laura Blake, Secretary

Directors of the Rubicon Trail Foundation

Rusty Folena
John Arenz

Dan DeWolf

David Thomas

Matt Warden

JC Jenkins

Mike Gerondakis

Tyler Hovelsrud

Ron Cannon

Diane Hawks

Administrative Assistant

Amy Wylie

Sincerely,

Chris Cowan
President, Rubicon Trail Foundation

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

Vision: Our vision is to be the trusted stewards of the Rubicon Trail, ensuring sustainability for the experience of the users.

By Ken Hower

Laura Blake Elected Secretary

At the January officer election meeting, Laura Blake was elected Secretary of the Rubicon Trail Foundation.

Laura is a relative newcomer to the board, with her election in 2018.  Laura got into the weeds early and was instrumental in the creation of Rubicon U, an off-road education program.

Laura is recently retired from CDF, and is an avid Rubicon user with her family.  Laura is very active on the board and passionate about the future well-being of the Rubicon Trail.

Laura will be the Secretary of the Foundation until 2023.

By Ken Hower

Chris Cowan Elected President

At the January officer election meeting, Chris Cowan was elected President of the Rubicon Trail Foundation.

Chris has been a long-time member of the board of directors.  Originally elected in 2010, she was asked to join the board specifically to replace the vacant Secretary position.  Immediately thrown into business, Chris very quickly had to vote on the purchase of 317 acres from Mark Smith. Chris stated, “I cried. I thought how in the world are we going to pay for this?” But the incredible donors came through at event after event, leading to the final payment made in 2016.

Chris is very visible several times a year, as she has been the chairperson and co-chairperson of Black Tie & Boots for many years.  In addition, she has run Kids Club at Jeep Jamboree and Wine Tasting at Jeepers Jamboree.

Chris will be the President of the Foundation until 2023.

By Chris Cowan

Meet Tyler Hovelsrud

We have introduced you to our newest Board members but now we would like you to know about all our other board members.  Tyler joined our board in 2018.

Tyler’s interest with the Rubicon Trail started in the early 2000s when he attended a TLCA Rubithon event, it was his first trip to the Rubicon. He had a great time and instantly felt a deep connection to the area. Since then, he has been to the Rubicon Trail every year at least once, while most years he makes it down two or three times.

In 2007 he and his wife jokingly mentioned that we should get married at Rubicon Springs. It was originally laughed it off as a logistical nightmare, but the next day they decided they were up to the challenge. In July 2008 they hauled 19 friends and family members along with their dog from Loon to Rubicon Springs for their wedding. It was an epic trip; they had some incredible memories. In addition, we were able to give many guests their first Rubicon Trail experience.

By Chris Cowan

Meet Ron Cannon

Updated Bio-

Ron was born and raised in Placerville. He graduated from El Dorado High School in 1985. In 1991, married his first love “Tami” after dating for 5 years. He attended the police academy in 1995, served with the Placerville Police Department for 24 years, and retired in September 2020. Ron was also a volunteer firefighter for Diamond Springs/ El Dorado Fire for 10 years where he was a member of the volunteer firefighters association. He served as the President of the Union Mine Junior Rattlers youth football and cheer and served as the inaugural president for the merger of Hangtown and Timber Little League in 2009. He has always considered himself a public servant.

Ron became interested in off-roading relatively recently. His love for the Jeep developed after renting two of the JKU’s while in Hawaii on vacation in 2012. Upon return he found himself regularly having coffee with members of Jeepers Jamboree spending hours listening to jeeping stories (sorting through the BS), watching jeeping videos, and falling in love with the idea of owning a Jeep. In 2015 he purchased a used 2013 JKUR with the intent of building it for the 2016 Jeepers Jamboree. He built it with a basic lift, bead lock wheels, and all the steel he could find to protect it! The 2016 Jeepers Jamboree was “go big or go home” introduction to rock crawling that he and his wife both loved. Afterward he began volunteering at Jeepers Jamboree and he joined the Hangtown Crawlers. His newest goal is to Jeep the entire country, but the Rubicon Trail is his first love.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation became a source of information, so he began attending meetings, donating to Black Tie & Boots, volunteering at Cantina, and donating directly to RTF. Ron’s past experience serving the community makes him very familiar with the demands of organizational service. Being recently retired, Ron can now dedicate time to serve the greater good of the Rubicon Trail. He believes in private property rights and year round access to public lands with reasonable limitations for responsible conservation. Service to that end is his honor.

By Chris Cowan

Meet Diane Hawks

Diane was born and raised in the Bay Area and has always had an interest in vehicles since her family owns an automotive repair shop in San Francisco.  Diane used to build and show muscle cars in Northern California.  Her 1969 El Camino won a trophy at the Oakland Roadster show and her 1968 SS Chevelle won the best burnout contests at the Western Street Machine Association or WSMA events.  Her early off-roading experiences were with her 1973 F-250 and her 1993 Toyota pickup, where she would frequent Hollister Hills SVRA and Frank Raines OHV Park.  She also enjoyed riding her Yamaha Banshee with friends at Pismo Dunes.
Diane’s first trip to the Rubicon Trail goes back to 1995 with her 1971 CJ5 which had manual steering and manual brakes.  That trip was all it took for her to become addicted to the Rubicon Trail and upgrades for her Jeeps to follow.
In 2004, Diane and Scott bought horse property in Somerset where they raise Arabian horses.
Diane was a volunteer with the El Dorado County Search and Rescue OHV Team for 11 years. She has also done events on the Rubicon Trail such as organized trail staff for the Hi-Lander’s Annual Poker Run, driven female Veterans for Wheelers for the Wounded, attended Rubicon Scramble, Jeep Jamboree, Cantina on the Con,  driven for several OHMVR tours, and attended other various trips.
Diane has been the VP of the Hi-Lander’s 4wd Club for four years helping with conservation and maintenance work parties on the Barrett Lake Jeep Trail and Southfork Campground.  She also attends meetings and trail runs with other 4wd clubs, and is the admin of three Facebook off-road groups building relationships within the off-road community.
Diane brings many years of off-roading experience and looks forward to being a part of the Rubicon Trail Foundation team.
Current trail Jeeps:  2015 JKU Rubicon, 2003 TJ Rubicon, 1981 CJ8 Scrambler
By Chris Cowan

Merry Christmas!

The Officers and Directors of the Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas! 

Please be safe in heading up to the Rubicon and make sure to pack plenty of layers, let your loved ones know where you are going and when you should return, bring plenty of food and supplies in case of delays and use your best judgement when traveling in snow and on the trail.

Be Prepared

Be Prepared

Snow Wheelin’

Snow Wheelin’

Best wishes from your friends at the Rubicon Trail Foundation.