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Old 04-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Thats good news for the trail. I just hope that with the increased traffic will all of the other trail closures that the Rubicon can always remain open.

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Old 04-22-2012, 01:24 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Thanks for the link....my comments are made... hopefully she'll read it.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:49 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Has anyone read what we are losing with option 3

CA4WDC - The CA4WDC finds that Alternative 4 most closely reflects the stated goal of the County and the recreating public who wish to enjoy this route

Don't think for a minute this is a total success for us. We are still losing some important stuff. Plus annual testing to see if the trail is to be closed.

The easement width of Little Sluice would be reduced to 75 feet from 200 feet. Reducing the number of visitors which would slightly reduce disturbance of small fish and amphibians and their larval stages at Spider Lake and associated ponds/wetlands.

CA4WDC - At Little Sluice the County requested 175’ of easement in an area of primarily solid rock. The reduction to 75 feet is not well justified
total width of 200 feet (175 feet in addition to the 25 foot standard width).

A saturated soil management strategy would be used to address motor vehicle use during the wet season.
If the annual monitoring repeatedly demonstrate that the erosion control features applied pursuant to the SSWQPP are not reasonably effective at achieving the goals of the SSWQPP, then the County will close the Rubicon Trail to public motorized vehicle use during spring peak runoff conditions.
If periodic closure during spring peak runoff conditions is ineffective at achieving the goals of the SSWQPP, the County will impose a seasonal closure of the Rubicon Trail

We lose the spur NSRELD-63-V that allowed camping near spider lake. I thought we were going to finally get access to that area. But we are losing all disperse access in and around the LS area.

At Buck were are losing some camping that is on granite, just as you leave the area heading to the springs. . There will be no dispersed use at that end of the lake either. See map.

They will be closing 2.55 miles of routes.

WTF from page 135
If Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs had resided along the Rubicon Trail in the past, it is likely that they had been collected and removed by recreationists.

The other thing is each area is still marked as wetland, like the trail goes though them.

Barton - We are concerned about the use of the word “wetland” through the DEIS. It appears to be used to generally describe any area that has water in or near it for any part of the year. According to the USFS publication, one of the identifying characteristics of wetlands, from both ecological and statutory points of view, is the presence of hydric, or wet, soils. Hydric soils are defined by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as “soils that formed under conditions of saturation, flooding or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic
conditions in the upper part.”
We see no evidence that the USFS undertook the necessary investigation to determine whether seasonally saturated areas met this definition. To the contrary, we have looked at many of these areas and find them indistinguishable from areas of dry high ground. We are concerned that by loosely stating that these areas are “wetlands”, the document has unnecessarily and inappropriately created a new set of environmental
concerns. We suggest that all references to the word “wetlands” be removed from the document in the absence of the empirical evidence that defines them as such.



There is some good stuff too.

Buck Island Lake Outlet would be an elevated rock ford vs a bridge they wanted to add last year.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:23 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Barton - We are concerned about the use of the word “wetland” through the DEIS. It appears to be used to generally describe any area that has water in or near it for any part of the year. According to the USFS publication, one of the identifying characteristics of wetlands, from both ecological and statutory points of view, is the presence of hydric, or wet, soils. Hydric soils are defined by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as “soils that formed under conditions of saturation, flooding or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part.”
We see no evidence that the USFS undertook the necessary investigation to determine whether seasonally saturated areas met this definition. To the contrary, we have looked at many of these areas and find them indistinguishable from areas of dry high ground. We are concerned that by loosely stating that these areas are “wetlands”, the document has unnecessarily and inappropriately created a new set of environmental
concerns. We suggest that all references to the word “wetlands” be removed from the document in the absence of the empirical evidence that defines them as such.
Craig, good to see people reading this closely, and you are correct, it is not a total win, we got some good with some bad. The panel B folks probably feel the same way.

As I'm sure you know, appeals cannot be made based on content (as in, "I don't like this outcome"), just on process (as in "your process was flawed and therefore this outcome is flawed"). The above quote from RTF's comments form the basis for an appeal that we may or may not undertake...we just don't know yet. We're still reading, just like you!

Thanks again for staying engaged.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:43 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Yup -- this is not all rainbows and unicorns, but it is a pretty decent deal, IMHO, especially if we do the homework to set up defensive appeal points. What sucks is it that it layers on top of Eldorado National Forest's Route Designation / Travel Management which lost us all the side routes to Rubicon, since they administratively dodged reviewing them, and accordingly excluded them (thus they were closed with no real comment allowed!). This Easement process gets us some of those routes back, which is good, but we need to see this across the landscape of loss that goes back a few years -- look at it in context.
* Little Sluice (LS): I don't think the LS easement width is much of a change over what's actually in code right now, courtesy of Route Designation, but has not been enforced. With the exception of Winter Camp, camping in the decent campsites near little sluice has been effectively illegal, if not enforced as such, since the Travel Management decision. Set camping aside, and this is a parking limit, not a camping limit. If we wanted to nitpick, 75 feet is actually *WIDER* than the one-vehicle-length guideline of Travel Management, so this easement agreement actually *increases* legal action around LS -- it is the enforcement of existing rules that will decrease access in practice.
* Buck Island (BI): Change in usage is similar near BI -- we 'lose' access with this easement agreement to areas we had been allowed to use only through lack of enforcement. The Forest railroaded us into closure with Travel Management, even if they didn't fully enforce it, and this agreement actually legalizes some camping that would otherwise be lost. That 'dispersed use' are at the east end of the lake was fantasy -- there was never a chance that ENF would allow that, IMHO, and it was included as a strawman bargaining chip (good game/negotiation strategy, that!).

The annual monitoring verbiage is indeed pretty scary, as that is how the Center for Biological Duplicity and Center for Sierra Nevada Consternation have targeted closure in the past (they lobby for unrealistic monitoring and then sue the agency for not being able to deliver on the very monitoring that the anti's made unimplementable in the first place). The difference in this process is that El Dorado County (EDC) has proven to be such a strong and willing partner. I honestly do believe that EDC will wade into court if necessary to combat Karen and her band of merry oppositionists.

The saturated soil management strategy to address motor vehicle use during the wet season is already a part of the County's response to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board's Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) -- this bears close watch, but to date, our partners in EDC have focused on monitoring, not closure, and have repeatedly underlined that with such little winter use, most always over a deep cushion of snow, impact to the soil and watershed is negligible. Continued participation and monitoring in the Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC), and trail users have GREAT representation there with regular participation from RTF, FOTR, and CA4WDC.

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Old 04-23-2012, 12:11 PM   #31 (permalink)
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WTF from page 108 (w/o maps)
If Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs had resided along the Rubicon Trail in the past, it is likely that they had been collected and removed by recreationists.
Must be likely the recreationists swiped the frogs while on a mosquitofish planting foray.

Also on page 108 (w/o maps):
"Perennial wetlands and ponds at or near Winter Camp, Little Sluice and Spider Lake had mosquitofish, a non-native fish planted by recreationists for reducing
mosquitoes. Surveys in these habitats have not found Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs." (they already got "collected")
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #32 (permalink)
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(as in "your process was flawed and therefore this outcome is flawed").
LOL this is the exact tactic they are using against us.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:47 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Craig, good to see people reading this closely... thanks again for staying engaged.
For sure!

Craig, you spotted a great opportunity for comment on "recreationists collecting and removing Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs" near the Rubicon Trail. This is full speculation, and needs removed entirely -- either that or they need to add similarly unsubstantiated speculation about certain short, retired forest rangers harvesting the frogs for their long-rumored ability to add length and thickness to mustaches. I understand that frogskin is perfect for use in banjo drum heads, as well, and I have seen a certain banjo-pickin' closurist slinking around Rubicon with what could easily be a frog-harvesting bag, about the size of a camera bag.

Similarly, disturbance of the larval stages of small fish and amphibians and near Spider and its associated ponds has exactly *nothing* to do with the Rubicon Trail, and we need to comment the hell out of that. The RTF comments quoted call that: Rubicon doesn't pass through meaningful 'wetlands' in this area. We need to get that wording changed, or build-in solid groundwork for future appeal.

FWIW, any contributions I make for lawsuits on or near Rubicon will channel through RTF ... these guys have almost *zero* administrative overhead, so most every penny dedicated to legal defense will *go* to legal defense, and not be diluted across staff between donor and lawyer. Add to this RTF's relationship with mostly-pro-bono counsel with specific experience in water issues, and this is a no-brainer. Invest locally for local issues, invest regionally for regional issues, and invest nationally for national issues. All are important, but I'll be working to fund RTF's dedicated legal fund.

Randii

p.s. - in the interests of full disclosure, I have been a director, secretary, vice president, and president of RTF, and am now a past president. I'm pretty biased in favor of this organization, having participated deeply in it. That said, very few non-profit organizations have such low administrative overhead, or such a tightly-focused mission. When you donate to RTF, you*know* those dollars will be spent in support of the Rubicon Trail.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:49 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Removing frogs and planting non native mosquito fish might likely be crimes. Sounds to me like they are accusing us of a crime?

I don't know who wrote those comments, but I will be finding out, you just can't willy-nilly accuse someone of a crime.



Here is a description of Habitat

Quote:
Habitat

The Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog has a territory that spans from northern Oregon, down California's coast where it most commonly found, and into Baja California, Mexico. They prefer to be in streams and rivers versus still ponds and perfer flowing water that has either rocky substrate or sunny banks and rivers and streams that contain shallow areas that still have water flow.
Quote:
Habitat

The habitat of the mountain yellow-legged frog consists of glaciated lakes, ponds, tarns, springs, and streams in the upper elevations (above 6,000 feet generally) of the Sierra Nevada. The adaptations that allow them to live at these high elevations and cold temperatures have made them highly vulnerable to introduced fish species. The species is usually associated with montane riparian habitats in lodgepole pine, yellow pine, sugar pine, white fir, whitebark pine, and wet meadow vegetation types, and range from southern Plumas County to southern Tulare County.

Clearly, the issue with the Mountain Yellow Legged Frogs is non native trout and years of stocking previously fishless Alpine Lakes. There are so many studies on this I don't know how we always get brought into the mix.

Oh wait....



Quote:
Western Mosquito Fish

Western mosquitofish can easily survive in a variety of habitats from brackish sloughs and salt marshes to warm ponds, lakes, and streams. They are most common in shallow, stagnant ponds, along the shallow edges of lakes, and in disturbed portions of low elevation streams. They are often associated with beds of aquatic vegetation but will avoid moving too deeply into these beds if the plants are densely packed. They can live in temperatures from 0.5°C to 42°C, pH levels of 4.7 to 10.2, and salinities as high as 58 ppt but prefer areas at 25-30°C, 7-9 pH, and salinities under 25 ppt. Due to their unique head shape mosquitofish can push their mouth to the absolute edge of the water’s surface where oxygen is just being dissolved. This allows them to live in bodies of water with extraordinarily low oxygen levels, as low as 0.2 mg/L. They are opportunistic diurnal feeders capable of eating from the surface, the bottom, or off of aquatic vegetation, depending on where food is most abundant at the time. Their diet can include mosquito larvae, algae, zooplankton, terrestrial insects, and various other invertebrates, but are opportunistic enough to eat whatever is most readily available. If they have the chance they will choose to eat the largest food items they can swallow in order to get the most nutritional benefit out of each foraging movement. Algae and diatoms make up more of their diet when food is scarce but even cannibalism is a common option provided mosquitofish populations are high.
Their temp range is 41* Fahrenheit to 107* degrees Fahrenheit I'm pretty sure the water stays well below 41* F for most of the year.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:18 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Their temp range is 41* Fahrenheit to 107* degrees Fahrenheit I'm pretty sure the water stays well below 41* F for most of the year.
.5C is 32.75F
not 41
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:21 PM   #36 (permalink)
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oops, I calculated 5 not .5 (I admit it, I was wrong )

They PREFER 25-30C

I guess my point is, If we the 4x4 community were planting mosquito fish, we'd have to be doing it annually.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:54 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Has anyone bothered to read snowlands website? They were obviously a major commenter in the FEIS.

The Rubicon Trail, a county road, is arguably the most famous four-wheel-drive trail in the world. Unfortunately, it is also a source of a million cubic yards of soil that has eroded into streams and lakes on Eldorado National Forest.

Who's ass do they pull these fictitious numbers?? you only get 3 guesses.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:11 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Has anyone bothered to read snowlands website? They were obviously a major commenter in the FEIS.

The Rubicon Trail, a county road, is arguably the most famous four-wheel-drive trail in the world. Unfortunately, it is also a source of a million cubic yards of soil that has eroded into streams and lakes on Eldorado National Forest.

Who's ass do they pull these fictitious numbers?? you only get 3 guesses.
I have seen that figure thrown around for years.
I think I calculated that would have to be a trench 9 feet wide and over 10 feet deep for the entire length of the trail....including all the granite slabs
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #40 (permalink)
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The Rubicon Trail, a county road, is arguably the most famous four-wheel-drive trail in the world. Unfortunately, it is also a source of a million cubic yards of soil that has eroded into streams and lakes on Eldorado National Forest since the Pleistocene era.
Fixed it for ya
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:35 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Who's ass do they pull these fictitious numbers?? you only get 3 guesses.
Marty Harzell's non-peer reviewed rapid ASSessment we should have sued them over when we had the chance.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:38 PM   #42 (permalink)
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For sure!

Craig, you spotted a great opportunity for comment on "recreationists collecting and removing Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs" near the Rubicon Trail. This is full speculation, and needs removed entirely -- either that or they need to add similarly unsubstantiated speculation about over zealous individuals transporting endangers speces to promote there expansion only to learn they died over the winter.
I fixed it a bit
How does one go about adding these comments or removing other such comments?

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Old 04-28-2012, 09:26 AM   #43 (permalink)
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All in all, still looks like good changes for once
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:59 PM   #44 (permalink)
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All in all, still looks like good changes for once
Option 3 requires more study's and annual checks. This opens the door for seasonal closer.

Option 4 is a better fit.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:47 PM   #45 (permalink)
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It actually wound up being pretty fair… not always a safe bet with the Bee.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/15/472...r-rubicon.html

El Dorado County takes over Rubicon Trail easement
lkalb@sacbee.com
Published Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012

Nothing comes easily for the Mother Lode's historic Rubicon Trail. For years, the 22-mile recreation trail has been at the center of a tug-of-war, pitting all-terrain vehicle devotees – those who love the route's challenging twists and climbs – against conservation groups dedicated to ensuring that a well-used stretch be shielded from erosion and decline.
That conflict endured years of ambiguity over who had responsibility for trail maintenance, resource management, safety and law enforcement.
On Tuesday, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted to accept both control and responsibility for a U.S. Forest Service easement covering the stretch inside the county – one of the most popular and challenging available for off-highway vehicle use.
Along with that came negotiated conditions of easement transfer: In wet winter months, as long as rain or snow melt aren't likely to rinse contaminants from vehicles or to generate sediment from tires, the trail will stay open.
If the contaminants and sediment are expected to enter the watershed, the trail will close until conditions improve.
Soil conditions are to be monitored by the county and analyzed with the U.S. Forest Service.
State water officials – and some four-wheel enthusiasts – say planned improvements to the watershed and trail are pivotal to access for off-roaders.
"These improvements protect the water quality so the trail can stay open," said Wendy Wyels, supervisor of compliance and enforcement for the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. "But if the improvements don't protect water quality, then the trail will be closed."
El Dorado County Supervisor Jack Sweeney, an off-road vehicle enthusiast who took the lead in the county on the issue, called the Rubicon Trail resolution a great achievement.
"The county and the Forest Service were both remiss for allowing there to be a 50-year period when there was no maintenance" of the trail, Sweeney said a day before the board's action.
Now, he added, the county is equipped to keep the trail usable and to make sure the runoff creates no environmental damage.
Conservationists also are touting the settlement, which was reached after a number of groups appealed a U.S. Forest Service decision last spring to transfer the easement to the county.
The April decision by Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy also authorized construction of a new bridge, a number of erosion control features, and six toilets.
The county already has spent two years working on trail improvements.
The county has raised funds as well for public education on topics such as stream sedimentation, oil leak pollution and the problems of driving in prohibited areas.
Some off-road enthusiasts, mindful of the new conditions of trail use, are worried that it's only a matter of time before their access is restricted.
"There are some people (who use the trail for recreation) who trust that this will work out good," said Scott Johnston, president of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports the trail system and aims to keep it open for users. "And there are other people who think that by engaging in this contract with the Forest Service that it's the next step to the time when the trails close."
Karen Schambach of the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation as well as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said she has no desire to see the trail closed.
"I just want to see the resources protected," she said.
Schambach said that a decade ago it was clear "to most reasonable people that conditions had deteriorated to the point where something had to be done."
She said her groups along with two members of the Rubicon Oversight Committee approached the regional water board "with our concerns about the sedimentation, the petroleum-based product spills, the gasoline, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid and human waste.
"Subsequently (in 2009), they issued a cleanup and abatement order to both the county and Eldorado National Forest."
Off-road groups rail at the suggestion that they are not also environmental stewards.
"This has always been a push-and-pull kind of thing," said Randy Burleson, past president of the Rubicon Trail Foundation. "The trail users, of which I am one, do a lot of cleanup and volunteer work. We consider ourselves to be environmentalists."

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