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Old 07-14-2012, 08:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Crossing the Rubicon 2012

RUBICON TRAIL FOUNDATION
Contact: Scott Johnston FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telephone: 530-409-8482
E-mail: President@RubiconTrailFoundation.org
Placerville, CA July 12, 2012
PRESS RELEASE: CROSSING THE RUBICON 2012
Foundation Agrees With El Dorado County to support Rubicon Trail Easement

El Dorado County (EDC) recently submitted an application for easement to the Forest Service (USFS) for the Rubicon Trail in El Dorado County, after lengthy negotiations, EDC, Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF), California Off Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), and other appellants withdrew their appeals of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), clearing the way for a landmark agreement re-opening spur roads near Buck Island, formalizing access in the area of Little Sluice, and installing additional bathrooms along the Rubicon Trail. This agreement will formalize an easement over USFS-managed lands, which culminates the process set in motion by El Dorado County’s Board of Supervisors vote in 2010 to reaffirm an 1887 resolution for the Rubicon Trail and its variants. Withdrawing appeal keeps this FEIS out of Federal Court, minimizing the likelihood of the kind of calendar-based closures that prevent months of access to most every other Forest OHV route in CA.

The agreement spells out limited monitoring of the trail improvements described in the County Department of Transportation (DOT) Saturated Soil Water Quality Protection Plan (SSWQPP), many of which are already implemented. The agreement combines with the FEIS to further define the trail and its variants, management responsibilities, remote and field monitoring plans, explicitly identifying all the elements that would have to happen simultaneously to consider closure, and where they would have to happen – all in response to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board (CVRWQB), Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO 2009).

Combined County and volunteer efforts have resulted in both visible and documented improvements in water quality, and the SSWQPP plan and improvements will help minimize trail erosion and vehicle-caused sedimentation. RTF commissioned an array of studies and testing to define the improvements and head off accusations of OHV-induced impacts to erosion and water quality, above and beyond what Mother Nature creates each year.

Scott Johnston, two-term RTF president, said, “This was not an easy decision. Intense negotiation/discussions melded multiple viewpoints, with individuals and organizations vying for position. Ultimately, OHV representatives and counsel prevailed, eliminating proposed seasonal closures, excessive monitoring, and overly broad language.” He added, “There’s still much work to be done, but this agreement sets the stage for continued cooperation between DOT, Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR), and RTF .”


This decision occurs in context of more than a million dollars of OHV-funded maintenance, creating local jobs and protecting one of El Dorado County’s key tourist attractions. RTF and the FOTR have worked with individuals and organizations to cooperate with the County, Forest, and other agencies, with the goal of sustaining responsible recreation on the Rubicon Trail, the world’s best-known OHV trail.

Rubicon Trail Foundation appreciates the efforts of EDC and the USFS to bring this matter to a successful conclusion. Bringing these people together and actually getting them to agree was a monumental task headed up by County Supervisor, Jack Sweeney.


The Rubicon Trail Foundation was formed in 2004. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the future health of the Rubicon Trail and our mission is to enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year-round trail access. FOTR and RTF works with individuals, 4x4 clubs, organizations, and agencies to maintain and manage the trail. Our Officers and Directors represent a wide variety of Rubicon Trail OHV users, land owners, county representatives, manufacturers, and event organizers.

If you would like to help with our efforts, you may send your tax deductible donations to:*
Rubicon Trail Foundation PO Box 2188 Placerville, CA 95667
Paypal donations or major credit cards by calling 888-6rubicon or by signing up for a Friends of the Rubicon work party at: www.friendsoftherubicon.com

More information is available at www.RubiconTrailFoundation.org

# # #

If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with a representative of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, please e-mail president@RubiconTrailFoundation.org

See the withdrawl letter here
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Good Job !
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Very nice!!
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well done sir, thank you. to you and all of Rtf & Fotr!
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome news!
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great news. Thank you all for the hard work.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Awesome news!!

s to all who worked so hard!!!










I really need to get up there this year
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I lost a lot of hair through the process.
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Click Here for a calendar of Rubicon Events
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I lost a lot of hair through the process.
Brazilian?

I went to the RTF meetings where this was discussed and decided (hey, they are open to the public), and the officers and directors worked especially hard on this.

USFS has fought hard to get off the hook that the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board put them on with the County, and the easement that results from the FEIS gets them pretty far toward that direction, leaving El Dorado County as the largest Responsible Party. The County has done a lot of work to repair and catch up on deferred maintenance, with great help by FOTR, but we've gotta remain vigilant to make sure that this continues to happen. The way I see it, this is a gut-check for users to make sure that the maintenance we've undertaken with our County partners continues...

The County is working hard on the big deferred maintenance issues, but servicing and maintaining, once the big stuff is complete, will significantly fall to us volunteers.

Randii
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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What Randy said....

The bottom line....If there are erosion issues.....It will require ROCK. I don't think anyone will be heartbroken over more rock.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I lost a lot of hair through the process.
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Brazilian?
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What Randy said....
That's just way too much information, Ken.

Randii

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Old 07-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You guys are awesome. It's great to see how a group of motivated, passionate people can make a huge difference. I am so grateful to those that fight to keep the trail open & accessible so that it will be there for my kids one day to grow up the same way I did.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I lost a lot of hair through the process.
As if you really had much hair to begin with.... !
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You guys are awesome. It's great to see how a group of motivated, passionate people can make a huge difference. I am so grateful to those that fight to keep the trail open & accessible so that it will be there for my kids one day to grow up the same way I did.
Ditto!
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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CBD's Press release:

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For Immediate Release, July 16, 2012
Contact: Karen Schambach, Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, PEER, (530) 333-2545
Lisa Belenky, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 385-5694

Rubicon Trail Deal Will Protect Water Quality

PLACERVILLE, Calif.— The Forest Service has agreed to increase protections for water quality in a deal with diverse interests that will allow improvements to the Rubicon trail, in El Dorado County, Calif., to move forward.

Conservation and off-road organizations, as well as El Dorado County, dropped their appeals of a U.S. Forest Service decision granting the county an easement for the route of the historic Rubicon Off-road Trail and approvals for trail improvements. Changes to the decision, negotiated and agreed to by the eight appellants, will require the county to close the trail when weather conditions are likely to result in runoff of sediment and petroleum products.

“This agreement is a win for everyone,” said Karen Schambach of the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and California field director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “It allows the county to proceed with bridges and erosion control, and includes a winter closure that ensures those improvements will not be destroyed by irresponsible use.”

“The trail improvements — along with the agreed-to process for needed closures — will improve protections for water resources and the many riparian and aquatic species that depend on these waters, including the California red-legged frog and Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog,” said Lisa Belenky, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Four conservation organizations jointly appealed the decision: Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, based in Georgetown where the Rubicon Trail originates; Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility; the Center for Biological Diversity; and Snowlands Network. The primary concern for these groups had been the erosion and water-quality issues that result from winter and early spring use of the trail, especially by so-called “extreme off-roaders.”

Currently the trail is under a “regional water board cleanup and abatement order” due to water-quality problems like sedimentation and petroleum-products contamination.

“It took last-minute efforts of all participants and a willingness to compromise on a plan that everyone can live with in order to make the settlement a reality,” said Marcus Libkind, chairman of Snowlands Network. “My only regret is that this same outcome was not worked out long ago.”
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Why do I feel like Neville Chamberlain in 1938?
From someone involved in our side of the conversation...........I kinda feel the same way. Time will tell how well we have done. Today, it seems good. We will need to work harder than ever to DO the regular maintenance and be sure the County lives up to it's side of the deal and continues to do the monitoring.

Will the trail be closed?? FOTR, and later RTF have been asking folks to not use the trail during the peak runoff period and a portion of the drying front for around 8 years now. My fear is that the work done will not be enough to see that stay voluntary even though the Water Board says it is good enough.

We still have much to do.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I went through today on my bike and the DOT was doing a lot of work filling in some of the damp / muddy areas just before little sluice with rock. Next they are working on the water hole between the Springs and the bridge.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
For Immediate Release, July 16, 2012
Contact: Karen Schambach, Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, PEER, (530) 333-2545
Lisa Belenky, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 385-5694

Rubicon Trail Deal Will Protect Water Quality

PLACERVILLE, Calif.— The Forest Service has agreed to increase protections for water quality in a deal with diverse interests that will allow improvements to the Rubicon trail, in El Dorado County, Calif., to move forward.

Conservation and off-road organizations, as well as El Dorado County, dropped their appeals of a U.S. Forest Service decision granting the county an easement for the route of the historic Rubicon Off-road Trail and approvals for trail improvements. Changes to the decision, negotiated and agreed to by the eight appellants, will require the county to close the trail when weather conditions are likely to result in runoff of sediment and petroleum products.

“This agreement is a win for everyone,” said Karen Schambach of the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and California field director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “It allows the county to proceed with bridges and erosion control, and includes a winter closure that ensures those improvements will not be destroyed by irresponsible use.”

“The trail improvements — along with the agreed-to process for needed closures — will improve protections for water resources and the many riparian and aquatic species that depend on these waters, including the California red-legged frog and Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog,” said Lisa Belenky, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Four conservation organizations jointly appealed the decision: Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, based in Georgetown where the Rubicon Trail originates; Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility; the Center for Biological Diversity; and Snowlands Network. The primary concern for these groups had been the erosion and water-quality issues that result from winter and early spring use of the trail, especially by so-called “extreme off-roaders.”

Currently the trail is under a “regional water board cleanup and abatement order” due to water-quality problems like sedimentation and petroleum-products contamination.

“It took last-minute efforts of all participants and a willingness to compromise on a plan that everyone can live with in order to make the settlement a reality,” said Marcus Libkind, chairman of Snowlands Network. “My only regret is that this same outcome was not worked out long ago.”


And we can rest assured that they will not be sitting back enjoying their most recent success and movement towards complete closure. I'm confident in my assumption that as we speak and read of this they are already working out methods and strategies to extend or maybe even sue for such things as the length of the melt period, methods to use the term "Wetlands" against us, incomplete monitoring, who is doing the monitoring, etc, etc.

While I do understand the counties and RTF's stand on not wanting to insight a law suit and or hold up the easement process, I would suggest that given the current document and it's content there will no doubt, ultimately be a law suit brought to the county by the likes of CBD, PEER and their ilk. I would also suggest that the very action of pulling their appeal was a master play to put other appellants in a position of having no choice but to follow suit. It is my opinion that with the current document and conditions surrounding the easement, we have given our enemies a "road map" and "Bullet Points" to sue over. Too many opportunities and specifics for the county to be scrutinized and criticized for. I'm sure they have the snow shoes ready to go and are formulating winter trips as we speak.

This was a no win situation for everybody and I truly mean it when I say, this was, I'm sure a very hard decision to make for every one involved. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. I just can't help but feel we may have just prolonged the inevitable law suits to come and may have even helped supply some what of an easier suit to win. Standards have been set to which now the county has to follow. This is untested territory and I guess only time will tell how it pans out.

With that said, I, as always appreciate everyones efforts and continual dedication to the preservation and maintenance of our great trail. I will continue to support and volunteer when and where I can. I just hope my kids get to do the same.

Thanks again,
Tim.
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Last edited by Curly; 07-16-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:27 AM   #22 (permalink)
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And we can rest assured that they will not be sitting back enjoying their most recent success and movement towards complete closure. I'm confident in my assumption that as we speak and read of this they are already working out methods and strategies to extend or maybe even sue for such things as the length of the melt period, methods to use the term "Wetlands" against us, incomplete monitoring, who is doing the monitoring, etc, etc.

While I do understand the counties and RTF's stand on not wanting to insight a law suit and or hold up the easement process, I would suggest that given the current document and it's content there will no doubt, ultimately be a law suit brought to the county by the likes of CBD, PEER and their ilk. I would also suggest that the very action of pulling their appeal was a master play to put other appellants in a position of having no choice but to follow suit. It is my opinion that with the current document and conditions surrounding the easement, we have given our enemies a "road map" and "Bullet Points" to sue over. Too many opportunities and specifics for the county to be scrutinized and criticized for. I'm sure they have the snow shoes ready to go and are formulating winter trips as we speak.

This was a no win situation for everybody and I truly mean it when I say, this was, I'm sure a very hard decision to make for every one involved. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. I just can't help but feel we may have just prolonged the inevitable law suits to come and may have even helped supply some what of an easier suit to win. Standards have been set to which now the county has to follow. This is untested territory and I guess only time will tell how it pans out.

With that said, I, as always appreciate everyones efforts and continual dedication to the preservation and maintenance of our great trail. I will continue to support and volunteer when and where I can. I just hope my kids get to do the same.

Thanks again,
Tim.
Agreed.

Sold out.

This was the place to bunker in for the fight.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Can we get some clarification?

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Scott Johnston, two-term RTF president, said, “This was not an easy decision. Intense negotiation/discussions melded multiple viewpoints, with individuals and organizations vying for position. Ultimately, OHV representatives and counsel prevailed, eliminating proposed seasonal closures, excessive monitoring, and overly broad language.” He added, “There’s still much work to be done, but this agreement sets the stage for continued cooperation between DOT, Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR), and RTF .”

Quote:
“This agreement is a win for everyone,” said Karen Schambach of the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and California field director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “It allows the county to proceed with bridges and erosion control, and includes a winter closure that ensures those improvements will not be destroyed by irresponsible use.”

“The trail improvements — along with the agreed-to process for needed closures — will improve protections for water resources and the many riparian and aquatic species that depend on these waters, including the California red-legged frog and Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog,” said Lisa Belenky, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:27 AM   #24 (permalink)
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^^^^ Yes, and dumb it down for people like me.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:01 AM   #25 (permalink)
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CBD's Press release:
Wait, what? You mean CBD and PEER lie?

Changes to the decision, negotiated and agreed to by the eight appellants, will require the county to close the trail when weather conditions are likely to result in runoff of sediment and petroleum products.

No additional changes limit access or dictate closure. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board's Cleanup (CVRWQB) and Abatement Order (CAO) ALREADY mandated monitoring, reporting, and consideration of restrictions, up to and including closure. There's nothing new on the table here, in spite of the Center for Bioligical Perversity's spew.
The County has been busting ass, as have FOTR's volunteers, and the State OHV Division and Rubicon Trail Foundation has provided funding to support these efforts. The quarterly reports mandated by the CAO show continued progress and improvements.
For the past several winters, users have voluntarily stayed off the trail during its wettest, melt-iest times, and no seasonal closure has been required yet. If the County catches up with deferred maintenance, FOTR and the County stay abreast of annual maintenance, and the users continue to tread lightly year-round, and especially minimize travel when the soils are completely saturated, no closure should be necessary.

Currently the trail is under a “regional water board cleanup and abatement order” due to water-quality problems like sedimentation and petroleum-products contamination.
None of this has *ever* been quantitatively proved with good science -- in fact, PG&E, County, and RTF studies (you know, the scientific ones) have never shown significant impacts caused by OHV.

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We will need to work harder than ever to DO the regular maintenance and be sure the County lives up to it's side of the deal and continues to do the monitoring.
This is a gut-check, folks... if you believe that the combined efforts of agencies, volunteers, and non-profits can complete deferred maintenance projects and drainage/bridge improvements, and then maintain them, then the easement is a good thing. If you don't... then the time to have participated was during the Water Board's meetings discussing the CAO, or during the County's meetings that discussed the easement (mandated by the CAO).

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Originally Posted by Curly View Post
I'm confident in my assumption that as we speak and read of this they are already working out methods and strategies to extend or maybe even sue for such things as the length of the melt period, methods to use the term "Wetlands" against us, incomplete monitoring, who is doing the monitoring, etc, etc.
Yep, they are... but then again, they have been doing that for a long time. If you really dislike the idea of closure (I do, and I know Tim's right there with me), then there's plenty of time to get involved with FOTR, RTF, and/or the County to work the maintenance, monitoring, and/or reporting (or supervise to make sure that it is done well) that has prevented closure thus far. I'm jumping back into more FOTR involvement after a few years of lighter duty. I was stoked to see some familiar faces checking back into FOTR after similar time away. Let's get together and work this... our efforts significantly affect the future of the Rubicon Trail.

I agree with Tim -- I appreciate everyones efforts and continual dedication to the preservation and maintenance of the Rubicon, and I will continue to support and volunteer time, money, sweat, and activism.

Randii

Last edited by randii; 07-17-2012 at 10:04 AM. Reason: emphasis added
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