By Chris Cowan

Happy 4th of July!

The Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!

Although things feel a bit different after being sheltered in place and everyone is looking for fun things to do so please remember to stay safe.

Alway buckle up on the trail, bring out what you brought in (maybe even pick up if you notice trash left behind, and carry wag bags.)

With the nice weather finally upon us there will be many people and rigs on the trail.

Trail Etiquette-

  1. Know before you go- Do you need any permits?
  2. Tread Lightly
  3. Leave No Trace
  4. Be Prepared for all weather and conditions
  5. Let yourself be known- communicate with others on the trail how many rigs are in your party.
  6. Leave plenty of space between you and others
  7. Don’t Drink and Drive
  8. Stop to help others
  9. Leave no man behind
  10. Make sure all campfires are safely put out

By Chris Cowan

Rubicon Trail Foundation Monthly Meeting- Change for June

This month’s meeting, June 17, 2020 we are only available to meet via Zoom and will not be at its usual location in Placerville.  Please join us at 6:30pm PDT.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 3302 7400
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By Chris Cowan

Be Prepared

This weekend the weather will be cooling off after a HOT week. Make sure that when you pack you bring plenty of clothing layers, tarps, sunscreen, shovels, enough food and then some extra in case of delays, always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return and be SAFE!

Since the temperatures will change this weekend always be aware of fire restrictions.  Start by getting a campfire permit from any CAL FIRE, U.S. Forest Service, or BLM station or office. Your campfire permit is valid from the date issued until the end of the calendar year. Permits are required to have campfire or portable gas stoves on public lands. Check to ensure there aren’t any local fire restrictions in the area. During periods of high fire danger, campfires may be restricted. Also, keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby at all times.

  • Choose a safe location
  • Clear a minimum 10feet around fire
  • Extinguish your fire with the “drown, stir and feel” method

This was just posted on fire restrictions:


By Ken Hower

Placer County Crawlers and Slo Town Crawers Deliver Final Rubicon Rock Marker

Memorial Weekend 2020, marked the final chapter in a 10 year project by the Rubicon Trail Foundation to place markers at key locations on the trail.

Over the years, markers have been placed at the Kiosk, Intertie, Little Sluice, Old Sluice, etc.   Most of them were delivered by the Placer County Crawlers.  In May 2013, the majority of the rocks were placed, with the most difficult being Big Sluice rock.

This year, the Slo Town Crawlers and Placer County Crawlers teamed up to deliver the final marker to the Rubicon Springs.  However, this time the rock almost didn’t make it!  Due to a rollover on the Indian Trail descent, the rock spent a portion of the weekend waiting for reinforcements.

But the crew came back later in the weekend, and connected the trail to a new rig, and headed off to Rubicon Springs.

Later in the day, they MADE IT!  The final rock had arrived!

The crew set out to place the rock and was able to take a celebration photo with the rock in place.  Congratulations to so many who worked very hard to place these rocks on the trail.

Never forget…there’s always a ham!  Thanks again to the Placer County Crawlers and Slo Town Crawlers.

By Chris Cowan

Sanitation on the Rubicon Trail

The Rubicon Trail Foundation, in 2010, built a Unimog as a “proof of concept” to solve the issues of sanitation on the trail. Now that the Rubicon Trail Foundation has proved after many toilets cleaned and pumped by a volunteer on our board taking about 10 hours, split between two days each cleaning, El Dorado County Parks & Recreation has decided to take on this task.

Sanitation is always a concern when on the trail. While there are outhouses on the Rubicon Trail, sometimes there are many individuals visiting the trail and they cannot take that much usage. 

There are always people who leave “white flowers” behind that soil our precious land. What is a “white flower”?  It is toilet paper left behind.  The preferred sanitation system on the Rubicon Trail is wag bags. What is a “wag bag”?  It is a safe, eco-friendly human waste disposal system. Each kit is pre-loaded with a gel/deodorizing powder. All you need is a portable toilet like a PETT Toilet or any other portable toilet. You simply follow the instructions that are printed on the bag and it makes a safe, viable way to dispose of human waste safely in any garbage receptacle. Pack it in Pack it Out is the easiest solution to the sanitation problem on the trail. Always dispose of them in a trash bin, NEVER in toilets.

You must be prepared so you should always carry some. Just with any other garbage, human waste, sometimes must be hauled out. Using a wag bag makes it easy to do so.

We are always happy to provide you with some before your next trip, so contact us at: or call us at 888-678-2426.



By Chris Cowan

Be Prepared this Saturday

⚠️ A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for elevations above 4500 feet Saturday.

🌨️❄️ Snow returns to the mountains Saturday! Chain controls and travel delays are possible, with 4 to 8 inches of snow above 4000 feet.

🚗 If you have Sierra travel plans, prepare for slick roads, chain controls, and travel delays!

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

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