Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rubicon Trail Users Oppose Plan, Need Support

Friends of the Rubicon

Contact: Jacquelyne "Bebe" Theisen
Telephone: 530-888-8302
E-mail: bebehumr@gmail.com
Auburn, CA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RUBICON TRAIL USERS OPPOSE PLAN

Friends of the Rubicon fighting for Little Sluice and trail bypasses

January 20, 2010; Placerville, CA. Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) asks for user support to change the future of the Rubicon Trail in El Dorado County. El Dorado County Department of Transportation (DOT) will present staff recommendations at a public meeting, January 26th, at 2pm in the County Board of Supervisors Board room. DOT Staff has published a recommended Route Recognition plan so that the Rubicon Trail in El Dorado County is defined as ordered by the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board's Clean up and Abatement Order issued to El Dorado County and the Eldorado National Forest Service last spring.

Friends of the Rubicon is appreciative of the involvement of the Department of Transportation in working with all interested stakeholders to come up with a framework for the future maintenance of the trail - which FOTR looks forward to assisting the County in its implementation. However County staff recommendations do not reflect our user-groups priorities, consensus or recommendations.

FOTR will present a 10 minute counter-presentation to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on behalf of motorized Rubicon Trail users and the volunteers that work tirelessly to maintain the health of the Rubicon Trail. The presentation will focus on keeping the trail open, alive and well for all users.

Del Albright, Ambassador, Blue Ribbon Coalition and founding Trail Boss of Friends of the Rubicon said, “El Dorado County staff have been essential in developing a long-term plan for the health of the Rubicon Trail, but this current recommendation flies side-ways in a couple key issues critical to responsible users of the trail. FOTR has the right recommendations and we will be advocating to the Board of Supervisors to support FOTR’s approach.”

Of the three alternatives presented to the Board of Supervisors by the Department of Transportation, Friends of the Rubicon supports a modified Option 3 that includes all of the Recommended Variants and a maintenance corridor at Little Sluice and Buck Island. This should preserve all existing variant routes within the corridors currently on the Not Recommended list.

“After years of work and several public meetings, we still find ourselves in partial, yet significant disagreement with County staff,” says Jacquelyne Theisen, Trail Boss, FOTR. “At this meeting we plan to show, once again, how the responsible users of the Rubicon Trail know what’s best for an overall trail management plan, and are willing to make it happen on the ground,” she adds.

Friends of the Rubicon will ask the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to add the following Variants Not Recommended to Option 3 so that they are included in the Long Term Management plan currently being developed:

Map location (C) the USFS portion(s) (14N34B). This area is a historical ingress and egress to the Rubicon Trail, and highly valuable for the following reasons; It provides easy access for the extrication of broken or damaged vehicles, or those bringing in parts to repair a vehicle, or for expedited egress for an injured recreationist, or in the event of a wildfire, expedient access to two lakes for human safety. It does have very minor erosion issues that are very easily remedied.

Map location (D) a short section of trail east of Ellis Creek. This area is being requested for the following reasons; It is a section of the original trail, and provides a optional route of increased difficulty, which is a integral part of the Rubicon experience.

Map location (E) the obstacle known as Soup Bowl is a newer area of the trail, that provides a play area. The impression that the trail is constantly blocked and creates a safety hazard is an exaggeration. We are asking that it remains open and that some type of natural barrier be installed to prevent further vegetation loss and that regular maintenance plan be developed to prevent sediment loss.

Friends of the Rubicon is dedicated to working with El Dorado County DOT and the Eldorado National Forest Service to continue to provide the many hours of volunteer labor needed to maintain the health of the Rubicon Trail and to provide a unified voice to motorized users of the world’s most famous trail, the Rubicon.

If you would like to assist FOTR, participate at a FOTR work party or educational outreach efforts at one of our Kiosk information centers, please sign up here at: http://www.rubiconfriends.com .

The meeting on January 26th is located at:
El Dorado County
330 Fair Lane, bldg A

Placerville, CA 96667

NOTE from Del:  the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) will be presenting to the Board of Supervisors as well, with many of the same recommendations as FOTR.  More on RTF at http://www.rubicontrailfoundation.org/

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