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Old 07-31-2009, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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RTF Position on Little Sluice

Please forward the following position statement and press release to your contacts and networks as appropriate!

RTF’s Position on Little Sluice
Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) supports a full public process led by DOT to address unsustainable concentrated use near Little Sluice. RTF believes that there is no single easy answer to the multiple challenges of Little Sluice and the immediate area around it and welcomes the opportunity to work within a public process to develop a multi-pronged plan that coordinates agencies, organizations, and volunteers.

Randii
Randy Burleson
President, Rubicon Trail Foundation
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Please forward the press release to your contacts and networks as appropriate!

Quote:
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RUBICON TRAIL FOUNDATION
Contact: Randy Burleson
E-mail: Randy.Burleson@RubiconTrailFoundation.org

PRESS RELEASE: RUBICON TRAIL FOUNDATION STATES POSITION
Position Statement by Rubicon Trail Foundation in regards to:
the Little Sluice, on Rubicon Trail in El Dorado County

Placerville, CA July 30, 2009
Little Sluice is a short section of the world-famous Rubicon Trail in El Dorado County, California that experiences heavy recreational use and uneven agency management. Recent complaints in the Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC) have drawn specific attention to these issues, and beg a closer look at the history of this well-loved area.

In 1992, the first large boulder was rolled in to the Little Sluice. No agency action was taken in response to it or to subsequent events in Little Sluice until the County, in cooperation with the Forest Service and private property owners, closed Spider Lake in 2004. Since then, few significant agency actions have taken place, and none have adequately managed the issues related to concentrated use of the Little Sluice area. The only agency to take positive action on the Rubicon Trail has been El Dorado County Department of Transportation (DOT). The Forest Service (USFS) has failed to implement its 2008 Route Designation and has signed the area adjacent to the Sluice more than 150 feet away from the trail. This failure to address parking and related camping has allowed continued unsustainable concentrated use near Little Sluice, in spite of strong efforts such as distributing WAG bags and spill kits; installation of new vault toilets at Loon Lake; outreach from the kiosks, roving trail patrol, and mid-trail staff; and internet-based education.

Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) supports a full public process led by DOT to address unsustainable concentrated use near Little Sluice. Change is needed because of vegetative loss over the years (bushes), potential damage to the cypress tree, re-occurring vandalism, water shed impacts downstream, and risk of oil contamination in the Little Sluice. RTF believes that there is no single easy answer to the multiple challenges of Little Sluice and the immediate area around it and that at minimum, the following solutions must be considered:
* USFS to support NEPA processes for bathroom installations
* USFS to encourage sanitation via multiple solutions (not just personal sanitation solutions)
* EDSO and USFS to cooperate for law enforcement, with emphasis on enforcement against drinking and driving as well as prevention of off-trail travel
* Agencies to correctly place and enforce trail centerline and trail boundary signage to discourage off-trail travel
* Agencies to consider possible reroutes to mitigate environmentally untenable sections of the trail
* Agencies to plan implementation/education/enforcement to ensure that changes in one area don’t just divert impacts to other areas
* Any mitigation plan to include measures to protect the big cypress tree above Little Sluice
RTF is willing to consider any solution, up to and including reduction of rocks in Little Sluice, but believes this should not be the first or only option considered. If agencies, organizations, and volunteers can come together, RTF believes solutions can be found that require less destructive management techniques.

Overall, RTF believes that successful intervention at/near Little Sluice will require a multi-pronged effort that coordinates agencies, organizations, and volunteers. RTF welcomes the opportunity to actively work within the public process along-side other members of the public – this is a public right-of-way, and we need to work together to identify specific goals and measurable outcomes.

RTF appreciates the efforts of FOTR volunteers over the last 8 years. We know that with continued cooperative support from RTF and FOTR trail stewards, the Rubicon Trail will be an environmentally sound, viable, year-round trail accessible to the public for years to come.

The public is invited to comment to Tom Celio tcelio@co.el-dorado.ca.us - RTF will work to consider all options and opinions brought forward by all individuals and groups, whether new or old, and is committed to supporting a County decision that is the best for the trail.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation was formed in 2004. We are a federally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year-round trail access. The Foundation works with individuals, 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

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Old 07-31-2009, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well Balanced.............Well..after a further complete read...........I need to add a few things here for RTF to consider. While there is no way to perfectly phrase everyting written I will guarantee the following..........You have just given Karen, Monte or Rich some great ammo for the CAO or to use however they see fit.

1st Quote: "This failure to address parking and related camping has allowed continued unsustainable concentrated use near Little Sluice,"

2nd Quote: "Change is needed because of vegetative loss over the years (bushes), potential damage to the cypress tree, re-occurring vandalism, water shed impacts downstream, and risk of oil contamination in the Little Sluice."

No response needed just thinkin.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't like the tone in that memo. Not at all. All I keep reading is "unsustainable concentrated use". Bitching at the FS for allowing too much room for parking and camping.


They way I read it, RTF wants no person 25' off center line, the rocks gone ultimately, and no room for camping.
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have to agree with Keith. From reading the memo it sounds to me like RTF is focused/set on doing away with little sluice.

Sure it says

Quote:
RTF believes solutions can be found that require less destructive management techniques.
but that doesn't change what the rest of the memo conveys.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I don't like the tone in that memo. Not at all. All I keep reading is "unsustainable concentrated use". Bitching at the FS for allowing too much room for parking and camping.


They way I read it, RTF wants no person 25' off center line, the rocks gone ultimately, and no room for camping.
thats the way i read it also.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Keith View Post
They way I read it, RTF wants no person 25' off center line, the rocks gone ultimately, and no room for camping.
Don't put words in my mouth, Keith.

RTF isn't pushing creation of that policy....USFS already HAS that rule and they are just not enforcing it, IMHO to give us rope to close the whole damn trail. If you objected to the USFS rules, you should have fought them at the time. Who here carried an appeal all the way through other than me? Any of you cats involved in the lawsuit? Those aren' RTF rules, so don't make it an RTF deal and don't try to pin rock removal on a press release that does NOT say it.

Sorry you don't like the tone, Keith. This is my board's view, and that's what we see: concentrated unsustainable use. That everyone is talking fixes like 'Douche the Sluice' and better signage suggests that they know there is a problem. It ain't puppies and rainbows, and this press release acknowdges that and commits to work the issues.

Randii

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Old 07-31-2009, 06:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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RTF has decided to let the politics of ROC determine policy?

There was no compelling need for this press release. It is especially premature since the Little Sluice focus with a larger 4X4 public participation was just getting going. I know RTF has been dealing with the issue for awhile but the general 4X4 public was not. Actions were being taken.

Certainly the USFS has a big chunk of responsibility for the problem, however, I disagree there has been any "strong efforts" concentrated on Little Sluice - the things mentioned have been for the trail at large.

Instead of letting the 4x4 public debate and participation in the Little Sluice policy process develop further - this is an attempt to become a control point for that process. It will fail both RTF and the 4X4 public.

You're having a rough week - this is going to be very divisive for RTF and I don't understand why RTF fails to see it. "On the bright side", interest in this forum will probably go back to the way it was.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Alright, I've got a full keyboard at my disposal...no more thumbs on my Treo.

While other folks are lobbying for rocks to blasted, RTF has a press release saying that such destructive methods shouldn't be the first or only option considered, and that the agencies that have ignored the problems should step up and be part of the solution... and there's a problem with that?

Yes, there are problems. Failing to acknowledge them is like insisting the world is flat. Every few years, a new rock 'falls' into the Sluice... that's a problem, especially when it bares the roots of centuries-old trees. Continued spills are a problem, as are bushes driven over (pictures below in post 27: http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showp...4&postcount=27). ALL of these things can be mitigated if the users AND the agencies step up, but they have to be addressed, and RTF has stepped up to help drive this. If you believe that the current situation at Little Sluice is sustainable, you have your head stuck in the sand -- if you don't think they can be solved, you have your head stuck up your <ahem>. Half-a-hundred vendors are gearing up for an August 15 meeting about "Solutions for the Sluice " -- they admit that there are problems, but are stepping up to plan solutions.

Man up, folks. Denial ain't impressive, and I don't think you will be able to sell "No Change" in the public process. Let's work together to solve the problems, instead of trying to convince each other that the world is flat.

Randii

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Old 07-31-2009, 06:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Little Sluice

This sounds like a damed if you do damed if you don't kind of thing I'd hate to be in your shoes Randii. Good luck puttin out fires dude.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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RTF has decided to let the politics of ROC determine policy?
You're going to have to explain that for me to even START to understand what you're saying, Charlie. I can't even begin to respond without a hint of background.
(Well, maybe I can. This Press Release has nothing to do with ROC. When RTF takes a position, we Press Release it, like we did back in April: PRESS RELEASE: Rubicon Trail Foundation Takes Position. We think it is important for our public to understand what we are doing -- us being a non-profit for public good and all...)
I still need more info, though... what's up, Chuck?

Nothing RTF has said in this Press Release precludes the public process that will follow, narrows its options, or discouraged 'actions from being taken.' We've reminded the agencies that they need to step up, and reminded the users of the same... and set the goal out in front of all of us that if we do, that less-destructive methods of management may be achieved (i.e. not breakin' the bloody rocks up!).

Charles, strong agency efforts HAVE been announced for the Little Sluice area... but they have not been delivered, and that's IMHO a HUGE part of the problem.
* The Sheriff was funded and they aren't patrolling past Ellis (let's ignore the 4 quads, Cherokee, 4Runner, and Wrangler they've had).
* USFS has 2 FPO staff on the trail in 2006 and 2007, 3 on the trail in 2008, and NONE issuing cites this year (they often camped at Spider so that they could focus attention on Little Sluice).
* USFS continues to fail to enforce its own parking/driving rules at Little Sluice, but park with one wheel on a blade of grass at Buck Island, and BANG, you're forking over $270 (differential enforcement, anyone).
We won't even get into the hot-potato game USFS is playing with the CAO -- they're trying to petition their way out of it in on one hand while refusing to assist with it on the other hand (refusing to site vault toilets other than on a trailhead, and insisting that WAG bags are the only acceptable solution). The only agency player that's really stepped up is the Department of Transportation, with continued sanitation and spill kit giveaways (tens of thousands of dollars there), good maps, and great work on the ground on the Wentworth section of trail. RTF and FOTR have been pulling our weight with outreach from the kiosks, roving trail patrol, and mid-trail staff; and internet-based education... but without USFS and the EDSO pulling their weight, complaints continue at Little Sluice... and their complaints are getting increasingly better documented.

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Originally Posted by chasinternet View Post
Instead of letting the 4x4 public debate and participation in the Little Sluice policy process develop further...
That's a sack of something I can't say on this forum.
RTF will be driving the information to trail users, as we have done for five years -- and we'll be at the table representing those that can't make it (it sure would help to have more letters from the users representing themselves, but we'll do our best with whatever we get). Show me the words that 'attempt control' -- we "fully support a public process" and we "believe that there is no single easy answer" (like the one being shopped so regularly around ROC: blasting the box).
From above: RTF will work to consider all options and opinions brought forward by all individuals and groups, whether new or old, and is committed to supporting a County decision that is the best for the trail. Where's the 'control?'

Walk in my shoes for a while and tell me there was no compelling need for a press release, with people who keep asking me what my position is and what RTF's position is. Not only do we generally do it as a matter of professional course, but the users have been demanding it.

RTF Directors and Officers worked hard to pull together this Press Release, it wasn't easy because we are such a broad array of users... and we stand behind it.

Randii
Randy Burleson
President, Rubicon Trail Foundation

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Old 07-31-2009, 07:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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well put

Thats the kind of answers I like to see comin from a good leader keep up the good work
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have to agree with Keith. From reading the memo it sounds to me like RTF is focused/set on doing away with little sluice.
This simply couldn't be further from the truth. Where does this come from?

That's not what I and the other Officers and Directors are about, and it stuns me to hear that after the thousands of hours and dollars we annually put on the trail. We're not in some ivory tower, we're out there on the trail -- many of us just about weekly. We're doing small maintenance on our own, and supporting larger maintenance through Friends of the Rubicon and Jeepers Jamboree -- we're working with the agencies at least monthly to enable work projects in the first place. We're working for you -- because we love the trail, and we know you do, to.

Folks have been complaining at the ROC for years (and not RTF folks) about Little Sluice -- RTF is working to ensure that the public has a voice. If we'd have wanted to blast the Sluice, we could have just helped shush it through on the down-low -- how many of you folks attend the ROC, read the minutes, or talk with DOT? Instead of turning our head, RTF insisted that a public process was necessary -- kinda ironic, since the anti's who normally demand everything needs to be NEPA-ed, CEQ-ed, and played to the public were instead asking thet DOT just "Get in there and do it" with no public notice required.

RTF could have left Little Sluice in the crosshairs of the Water Quality Board earlier this year, but we fought hard to get it pulled... and we succeeded. If we wanted to 'do away with the sluice,' it would have been simple to just let it slide back then.

RTF fought for and acquired grant funds for mid-trail staff, and every day from early July through late September, an RTF-funded Mid-Trail Staffer is out the remaking contact with people and doing education, handing out wag bags and brochures/maps. That's a tough job these days, since explaining the laws is simple, and explaining why they aren't being enforced is complicated. One of the areas we are focused on is Little Sluice, because we WANT to see it kept open.

RTF believes that successful intervention at/near Little Sluice will require a multi-pronged effort that coordinates agencies, organizations, and volunteers. Closure is NOT acceptable, regardless of how many bypasses there are -- but we're gonna have to work hard to mitigate the issues so that we can 'Save the Sluice.'

Randii

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Old 07-31-2009, 08:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know RTF people take phone calls. I did check with you a few hundred posts ago if you wanted a discussion on public message boards - once released the water finds its own course and it certainly has been running wild - LOL

I generally leave the Internet stuff public but RTF has my number if you would like to talk privately and you are welcome to call anytime. I have had very little privacy in my life so I am use to explaining stupid things I say on the record and off - living in a glass house has some freeing aspects once you get use to it. I don't post private information because there are some nuts out there.

I'll try biting off a small piece so the post doesn't go on for pages.

>>>Recent complaints in the Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC) have drawn specific attention to these issues, and beg a closer look at the history of this well-loved area.<<<

There are years of meeting minutes showing ROC complaints for all sorts of things - some of them the same complaint year after year. So why is this particular ROC complaint getting so much attention in the here and now?

You have been going ape saying we have to email Tom Celio now! Tom Celio, however, has also committed that there is going to be a public input process for this issue sometime in the future - you have not shared what has caused the great alarm to prompt this call for now.

If you start yelling “Danger, Will Robinson!” but are not explaining why the emergency exists, I have observed you enough to know you have your good reasons - but it still has to be addressed in some way or runs the risk of becoming ignored in the future. Is this where the trust issue comes in for you?

>>>RTF is willing to consider any solution, up to and including reduction of rocks in Little Sluice<<<

The trail is under a CAO - anything that does not directly address the CAO should be a side issue because the CAO is the only authority that can close the trail.

Why is reducing rocks even being considered as acceptable to RTF?
How is that an environmentally correct solution?

The vandalism and "it is not the way it was" thing is rough for us as individuals - I know what having that happen feels like but that is a whole different conversation than the environmental issues.

If making the trail easier makes it environmentally acceptable then there are other sections that definitely need to be taken down. I have pictures too if we want to start that.

I am not seeing a problem with people hiding their heads in the sand - never let the few determine course for the many.

Who wants to take the boulders down? - the inclusive list, not just the usual antis... I could attempt a list from things in the minutes and elsewhere but I would rather have your input since you claim the minutes are wrong (I have a sneaking suspicion some at ROC is not going to agree about that either but yes, possible. Perhaps the RTF representative is going to need to learn to object to minutes before they are approved or I'm afraid when things go legal (or with the Water Board staff) - you're toast).
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This simply couldn't be further from the truth. Where does this come from?
Randii, it says it in your press release. I am not trying to put words in your mouth.

"The Forest Service (USFS) has failed to implement its 2008 Route Designation and has signed the area adjacent to the Sluice more than 150 feet away from the trail. This failure to address parking and related camping has allowed continued unsustainable concentrated use near Little Sluice, in spite of strong efforts such as distributing WAG bags and spill kits; installation of new vault toilets at Loon Lake; outreach from the kiosks, roving trail patrol, and mid-trail staff; and internet-based education."

What that means to the average guy like myself is, RTF wants the FS to enforce the centerline rule. That means, no camping near the LS, PERIOD! It is six(being a smart A) bushes and granite slabs. It hurts nothing to camp there. What is the problem? How does a potty at Loon do any good for needing to poo anywhere else on the trail? Again I ask, where is the HARD FACTS to point to any hazards regarding contaminates from vehicles or people? I understand that fluids are spilled, and some unknowers will leave white flowers, but after YEARS and YEARS of the same behavior, are the numbers there to show it? And, you state that your efforts with WAG bag, education, patrols, staff, and Loon toilets, are not effective. Even in spite of your strong efforts. Maybe it is just me, and I have poor comprehension.

RTF says the FS has failed, which means RTF wants to keep people 25' off centerline as a maximum around the LS. What else can I take from that?

Please explain to us what unsustainable concentrated use is. Is that place really the enviro hazard people says it is? Really????? Like I said in other posts, I sling more bar oil around in one days of wood cutting than I ever have my entire wheeling life.


Quote:
That's not what I and the other Officers and Directors are about, and it stuns me to hear that after the thousands of hours and dollars we annually put on the trail. We're not in some ivory tower, we're out there on the trail -- many of us just about weekly. We're doing small maintenance on our own, and supporting larger maintenance through Friends of the Rubicon and Jeepers Jamboree -- we're working with the agencies at least monthly to enable work projects in the first place. We're working for you -- because we love the trail, and we know you do, to.
Yes, your efforts are GREATLY appreciated Randii and others. I'm certaintly not trying to step on your efforts.

Quote:
Folks have been complaining at the ROC for years (and not RTF folks) about Little Sluice -- RTF is working to ensure that the public has a voice. If we'd have wanted to balst the Sluice, we could have just helped shush it through on the down-low -- how many of you folks attend the ROC, read the minutes, or talk with DOT? Instead of turning our head, RTF insisted that a public process was necessary -- kinda ironic, since the anti's who normally demand everything needs to be NEPA-ed, CEQ-ed, and played to the public were instead asking thet DOT just "Get in there and do it" with no public notice required.
What are the complaints? Who are the folks? Complaints of the public, having fun in public lands? Is that what pisses them off?

Quote:
RTF could have left Little Sluice in the crosshairs of the Water Quality Board earlier this year, but we fought hard to get it pulled... and we succeeded. If we wanted to 'do away with the sluice,' it would have been simple to just let it slide back then.
They backed down cuz they did not have the data necessary to pull the plug. Their hypotheticals cant cut it.

Quote:
RTF fought for and acquired grant funds for mid-trail staff, and every day from early July through late September, an RTF-funded Mid-Trail Staffer is out the remaking contact with people and doing education, handing out wag bags and brochures/maps. That's a tough job these days, since explaining the laws is simple, and explaining why they aren't being enforced is complicated. One of the areas we are focused on is Little Sluice, because we WANT to see it kept open.
Sure it will be kept open. It will be a smooth as the surrounding slabs, and no people will be able to camp anywhere near it.

Quote:
RTF believes that successful intervention at/near Little Sluice will require a multi-pronged effort that coordinates agencies, organizations, and volunteers. Closure is NOT acceptable, regardless of how many bypasses there are -- but we're gonna have to work hard to mitigate the issues so that we can 'Save the Sluice.'
There only needs to be one bypass, not many. It is and has worked just fine without harm for a long time. How many, what kind, and from what agencies are these Prongs going to be? If the agencies are not going to enforce what is in place already, then I see no option other than to crack the rocks, and make camping illegal in the area. That will help keep the traffic off the trail, or at least I will be one less on the trail. I am not even on the trail right now, but I feel as if I am being watched, and am doing something wrong. Between Officer Ken, and the microscope shoved so far up my arse, I would not even want to come close to the Rubicon.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree with Keith and Kevin on this one. While some statements in the press release are accurate others give credit to land closurists arguments and bad science used to back them. The way to win a debate is to disarm your opponents argument, not agree with them.

I can no longer back the actions of the RTF.

Thank you but no thanks!

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Old 07-31-2009, 09:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It is what it is, and if we can pull the Little Sluice SOLUTIONS meeting off and get the commitments we need from the folks who attend, I think RTF will be behind us all the way.

That said, now is not the time to rest on our laurels, there is still a crapload of work to do.

Pardon my french

NEVER GIVE UP, I WON'T , EVEN IF I HAVE TO DOUCHE THE SLUICE MYSELF, IT'S GONNA GET DONE.

Aug 15th, 5PM, Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom.

If you are going to be a part of the solution BE THERE!

kthxbye
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I can no longer back the actions of the RTF.
Whoa... Hold on

While I Disagree with RTF in THIS issue, they have done much for our access and the trail, and they will continue to do so. Quite possibly more than most of you realise.

I hope everyone else understands that. Just becuase we disagree with ONE issue with RTF DOES NOT mean that we should not recognise it's accomplishments and not give them our support on other issues.

I support RTF wholeheatedly EXECEPT on this issue. Not supporting them just becuase of this issue will do nothing but hurt us and the trai. It's what th anti's want.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Add an "L" and and "E" to that last post. I am on my Got-damned blackberry and for some reason can't fix it. (Could also be the coors lites that did that)
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Okyour right Kurt. ...SO on this one issue I feel toldly sold down the road though.



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Old 07-31-2009, 10:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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A problem for RTF is they have, in effect, announced they will (reluctantly) support reducing the boulders since they call the idea a solution.

RTF will have to hold their breath and see if it happens - they just handed the antis the way to significantly weaken 4X4 support for RTF - just have to get the DOT to reduce the boulders and it will take years for RTF to recover - if ever because RTF appears to refuse to believe the community will unite against the reduction of boulders.

So, while I might guess why RTF thought they had to get out in front and "take one for the team", I see it as the organization just shot itself in the foot by attempting to represent wider interests than just the 4X4 user community majority on a highly charged issue.

If the reduction happens, and RTF has not strongly condemned it - it will then have shot itself in the head and that will be that.

What amazes me is none of this was necessary - why kick the box sweaty dynamite now so RTF becomes the one it blows up on? Could have just continued to drive support for solutions and left the reducing boulder issue alone. I have seen no reason mentioned for RTF seeing reducing boulders as a possible environmental solution.

RTF is good people - sorry to see them get this wrong. Well, everyone makes mistakes, I'm definitely not into throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Let's see what happens as the brat develops
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Bottom line:

I propose two years for us to educate the "up and coming" user base and to clean up the box before any action is taken.

I will personally work on mitigating the supposed damage to the enviroment. (Which is KNOW is BS and over-exagerated)

I will push bio-degradable fluids, camping elsewhere, staying off private property and packing poop out.

If that means the box and soup bowl will stay as is, I am sure I will get a ton of help and support.
How bout it?

Two seasons?

Trail boss? I volunteer to be the "box bitch"
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:13 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I have seen no reason mentioned for RTF seeing reducing boulders as a possible environmental solution.
Appeasement
The real enviromental solution is to have the FS enforce the Route Designation. Dispersal of the crowds by giving them no place to park or camp.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:14 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I agree with Keith.. The tone is way off and looks extremely negative in a bad way..If that is what is intended or not that is the way it comes across to me too.. Just my 2 cents
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Charles, I don't have your contact info, that I'm aware. An email to Randy.Burleson@RubiconTrailFoundation.org can resolve that (my PMs are chock full on this board right now). I'm cool with doing the discussion in public, but I respectfully think you're way off. FWIW, I'm pretty open about stuff, and can deal in public, but talking directly is sometimes faster than even the fleetest of fingers. My phone number ain't staying up forever... just for a bit.

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So why is this particular ROC complaint getting so much attention in the here and now?
Up to this point, RTF has been able to blunt these many complaints by focusing attention on the improvements, and we've kept moving forward. The anti's say we were dragging out the process, and I honestly believe we are/were continuing to make solid progress on the ground between DOT, RTF, and FOTR... but the anti's have finally built up enough leverage from beneath andenough influence from abobe to force a public process to consider change (remember, they have been working this for YEARS)... and that critical mass is why this is a big deal hear and now. I'm trying to channel email to Celio so that he has something to work with on the record -- there's a whole lotta words on this forum, but not much in his inbox... and I know for certain that the anti-recreationists are putting plenty of words in from their side.

This has been swelling towards a boil for a long time (we have reported that along the way), and now I think they have critical mass. If that puts me out there as Chicken Little, and this whole thing flickers out after brief public process, with no real actions, I'll eat my hat... I'll eat Kurt's flat bill hat... I'll drive up to Susanville and east Keith's white fluffy smurf hat, too... all with a smile, because I'd so richly *LOVE* to be wrong. Most of the folks who attend ROC with any regularity have told me that they don't think I'm wrong, that this has reached a point where something pretty much HAS to be done, so here I am trying to get some letters in Tom's inbox with better suggestions than messing with those rocks.

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The trail is under a CAO - anything that does not directly address the CAO should be a side issue because the CAO is the only authority that can close the trail.
I fully agree that we should focus our efforts on the changes suggested by the California Geolgical Survey... but I feel the ground moving (figuratively) at the County level, and think something is gonna be done to change the situation at Little Sluice. If anyone wants to be involved in that process, NOW is the time to step up with specific suggestions. The CAO doesn't exclude other actions, and IMHO, the anti's would LOVE to distract us with Little Sluice and in so doing, prevent timely closure of CAO issues, leaving us delinquent and at risk of CAO closure.

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Why is reducing rocks even being considered as acceptable to RTF? How is that an environmentally correct solution?
If the agencies and volunteers can't be made to step up, what other options exist beyond closure? Threat of removing/breaking rocks is the only thing that got some folks to think about this -- hopefully that motivation is also enough to keep them in the game to correct whatever problems are identified during the oncoming public process. I believe that if the identified problems are not corrected that the rocks *WILL* be reduced, regardless of what the 'wheeling public desires.
'Environmentally correct' in this case is the lesser of two evils. The anti's believe that cracking the rocks is THE solution -- they've touted it as the first solution, and it is just about the only solution they bring to the table other than closure. In mentioning those rocks, RTF acknowledges that the anti's are bringing that solution forward, and then goes on to say that we believe this should not be the first or only option considered. If agencies, organizations, and volunteers can come together, RTF believes solutions can be found that require less destructive management techniques. Including mention of the rocks frames the debate, and clearly states that we'd like the agencies/orgs/vols to pull together to avoid having to go to the extreme of changing rocks.

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The vandalism and "it is not the way it was" thing is rough for us as individuals...
View it from an agency perspective -- that's who will be making decisions. Vandalism may be too strong a word for some users, but if this happened on any other County road or park, that's what the agency would call it.

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If making the trail easier makes it environmentally acceptable then there are other sections that definitely need to be taken down. I have pictures too if we want to start that.
It isn't "harder" or "easier" that's a problem for most of the ROC complainers -- they have a host of other complaints, most of which speak to impact in the area and not the size of the rocks. While *I* do not believe that rock size is a problem, that the complainers most certainly do, and the agency will need to decide who to listen to...

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I am not seeing a problem with people hiding their heads in the sand - never let the few determine course for the many.
Do you not see that we are inexorably heading to some agency action? Do you honestly believe that the agency will accept 'no change' as an option? We have an opportunity to SHAPE their action through thepublic process -- let's use it!

As for the few determining the course of many, that's a great idea, but politics is often the exact reverse of this. Think how many thousand miles of Forest Karen has closed forever, and think how many hundreds of thousands of users she has thwarted, then tell me I'm wrong. She's crafty, well aware of the rules, willing to abuse the rules, and well-connected... and she's targeting one of the best-known sections of trail on one of the best-known trails in the world.

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Who wants to take the boulders down?
Off the top of my head I recall: retired USFS dude, a banjo-maker, a professional anti-OHV activist, a former outfitter, a representative of a local historic society, a dune-buggy guy, and a host of agencies for whom changing the rocks would be easier than changing their enforcement or programmatic execution.

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