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

Snow Repository

Over the last several years, there has been an increasing problem with Placer County, contractors, and local homeowners using the Tahoe entrance to the trail as a snow repository.  Those of us who live in snow country know how hard it can be to find a place to store snow when plowing and clearing roads, but taking the snow from one public road and placing it in another is not a solution, it only migrates and exacerbates the problem.

Doug Barr (of The Other Rubicon) and Ron Briggs (Tahoe FOTR lead) have been working on this problem for several years and have asked RTF (and just about anybody they can think of) for help.  RTF has gotten involved at the level of attending meetings, making phone calls, and offering help with education.  Our stance is that we are not asking anybody to DO anything, but we are insisting that they DO NOT move snow onto the Rubicon McKinney Road, an open public road.  As Mr. Barr points out, this is an illegal act.

Recently RTF directors attended a public Zoom Meeting (it was cancelled in person) with Placer County representatives and neighbors.  At that meeting we stated our position and offered to create and place signage to remind folks not to dump snow in the roadway.  Here is our follow-up letter:

PlacerCountySnowRemoval-11-20

 

By Chris Cowan

Great Collaboration and Work to keep Rubicon OPEN for ALL

Part of education that often is not noticed is working on the trail and collaborating with others.  The Tahoe National Forest Service reached out to us, Friends of the Rubicon, Jeepers Jamboree, and the CA OHV Division to get some much-needed work on Cadillac Hill & Observation Point not to make it easier but to keep the trail preserved and open for all.

Joe Chavez, the Tahoe National Forest OHV Resource Tech put together this great PowerPoint presentation.

https://www.rubicontrailfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/HO-127_Siller-Rubicon-pt1-R.pdf

The picture above was to stabilize the bottom of Morris Rock, reducing siltation and damage from oil spills. Using RTF trailers, large rocks were loaded and brought to the site by volunteers, and then placed by the excavator. This creates a rocky challenge for trail users and prevents future damage…win win!

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 www.rubicontrail.org.

By Ken Hower

Rubicon Toilets Upgrade

Last Fall, Edio Delfino and All Coast Builders (www.allcoastbuilders.com ) and James Hardie Building Products (www.jameshardie.com), offered to El Dorado County via Rubicon Trail Foundation to donate materials and services to rehab all the Rubicon toilets with new more durable siding.

Last week, with coordination from RTF and All Coast Builders, seven of the ten Rubicon Rest Stops (trail bathrooms) were stripped and rehabilitated with new concrete siding and trim provided by James Hardie Building Products. This was a coordinated effort to move material, strip, and re-side the public bathrooms with a superior product that will last for decades and be non-combustible, resistant to sun, wind, animals, and insects.

The result is a transformation!

Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to thank El Dorado County Parks, All Coast Builders, and James Hardie Building Products for their collaboration to make this project possible. Look for the rest of the toilets to be updated and all to be painted to their former colors before season end.

Each toilet was rehabbed removing rotten wood, and woodpecker holed wood.

They were properly wrapped for the elements.

Arnold’s rock toilet was in the worst condition, given it is one of the oldest toilets on the trail. It now has decades of new life.

By Chris Cowan

Bio Response/ Spill Kits

There you are enjoying your trip and then snap, pop, creak! What is that dripping now?

El Dorado County has been providing spill kits for several years now, implemented by the El Dorado County Environmental Management Dept. and funded by a grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board. However, the Rubicon Trail Foundation knows that you may head to different areas to explore or like to have spares in your rig or just need the Bio Response. We have the Bio Response and spill kits on our website just for YOU. If you are local (Placerville area) we can possibly meet up with you or if you need them shipped order below.

https://www.rubicontrailfoundation.org/shop/

In the Kit your will find an absorbent pad that is used to soak up oil off the ground or even water, an RTF oil rag, and there is also Bio Response in there that is friendly to the environment. Just follow the directions on the bottle on how to use. You will find Disposable bins at the trail heads for safe disposal of your used Oil Spill Kits.

One of the best ways to prevent spills is to do a simple pre- trip inspection of your rig and address any issues before you get to the Rubicon. Tighten bolts replace gaskets and such.

If everyone does their part the Rubicon will be Oil free.

By Chris Cowan

Why is having a HAM Radio license important?

What happens if you break down on the trail?

My husband(family) left and has not returned home yet?

The Rubicon Trail Foundation fields many questions about the Rubicon Trail each day especially during the summer & winter months.  This year we have noticed many more coming in with people from all over heading to the Rubicon as a lot of vacation venues are closed or cancelled due to the pandemic.

There is little to NO Cell Service on the Rubicon Trail.  HAM Radios are great because you can communicate with people all over the world if licensed and get help if needed in an emergency situation.  It is very important to pack appropriately (food and clothes/blankets) and always tell people where you are going and when you will return.

Recently RTF bought a new Daniels UHF transmitter and receiver for the ham repeater.  This $5000 commercial quality repeater will make the ham repeater very reliable for years into the future.  Frequent users of the system are aware that the radio team (Frank Yost, Ray Pledger, and John Arenz) work on the system consistently through the season.  This new repeater will be super sensitive with great audio, and will not need the constant tweaking and repair the current system does.  Best of all, it will continue to be reliable when no one is around to fix it!

How to get a HAM Radio License:

You will need a License to Operate A Ham Radio, you can contact any local amateur radio club for more info, or take Advantage of the classes that RTF sponsors. This Class is designed to take you from zero to HAM radio operator in no time at all. Its typically held in the Sacramento Valley area, in El Dorado Hills.  Due to COVID, we aren’t anticipating a class until 2021. John.Arenz@RubiconTrailFoundation.org    or http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class

If you already have a Ham Radio License here the frequencies used on the Rubicon-

146.805 -.600 PL123.0
The KA6GWY repeater, covers the west slope of El Dorado County and the Sacramento area.

145.350 (repeater transmitter), odd split to 146.205 (repeater receiver), PL123.0 
The Tahoe Basin KA6GWY repeater, linked 24/7 to the 805 ELD repeater, coverage in the Tahoe Basin.

146.805 simplex, no PL
This is the repeater output frequency of the KA6GWY repeater. Nice to have so that you can talk to
your friends right in front of you, still listen to the repeater, but not tie it up when simplex will work just fine.

444.9875 +5.00 PL156.7 
The Rubicon repeater located near Spider Lake, coverage on all of the Rubicon Trail except east of Barker
Meadows OHV trail.

444.9875 +5.00 PL 107.2
Same as RUBI except that when using this PL it links to 805ELD and 805 TAH.

444.9875 simplex, PL107.2 
This is the repeater output frequency of the Spider repeater. Nice to have so that you can talk to your
friends right in front of you, still listen to the repeater, but not tie it up when simplex will work just fine.
Note, PL is used because some users decode PL on their handheld radios.

By Chris Cowan

Rattlesnakes on the Rubicon

The Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to remind you that there have been siting’s of rattlesnakes on the Rubicon.  Pleae be aware of your surroundings.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind/do:

  • Watch where you place your hands and feet when removing debris. Consider wearing heavy gloves, especially when working outdoors and dealing with brush, leaves, or piles of lumber. Consider wearing boots at least 10 inches high especially if working near water areas where snakes may be present.
  • Remember, snakes often bite only when threatened. If you see a snake, step back and allow it to proceed.
  • If bitten, call 911 immediately! Pay attention to the color of the snake and the shape of the snake’s head to help with treatment. Have someone take a photo, if possible.
  • Keep bite victims calm and reduce movement to slow the possible spread of venom. Lay the victim down so the bite is below the level of the heart. Cover the bite wound with a clean, dry dressing. NEVER cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom.

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 www.rubicontrail.org.