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Discussion Starter #1
Would signs at the entrances and along the trail keep people on the trail, thereby reducing bypasses and erosion???

Dels' FOTR email.

Hi all: last night I represented FOTR at an impromptu meeting with the OHV
Commission (CA Dept. of Parks and Rec). Others in attendance included the
commercial vendors on the Rubicon, CA4WDC, Daphne Green (OHV Commissioner),
and Dana Holland (Gatekeeper program on the Rubicon). Our purpose was to
get all the players together to see where things are headed on keeping the
trail open; talk about the success of our McKinney/Rubicon Drainage Repair
Project; discuss where we go from here; and how we can all work closely
together to coordinate our Rubicon efforts. It was a good meeting.

There is quite a ground swell building to duplicate what we did on the
Placer County side. By duplicate, I mean the working relationship with the
County and the great work we did to keep the trail in a condition that
satisfies the control type agencies. As you know, the rest of the trail is
in El Dorado County. So we're talking about ways to build our
relationships with that county like we did with Placer County (Tahoe side).

We spent quite a bit of time talking about some of the spur roads,
bypasses, off shoot roads, etc. along the trail. Also the fact that the
entrances to the trail are not marked (signed). There was some talk about
putting signs up at the starts (McKinstry, Wentworth, and Loon) so folks
know where the trail starts and where the trail really is. A kiosk was
discussed too. But the group last night was very interested in getting
some feedback from FOTR as to this problem. DO WE NEED SIGNS? HOW BEST
WOULD WE DO IT?

One of the objectives of Commissioner Green is to ensure that folks don't
get off the trail and make new roads. She was hoping that perhaps a
signing program might help this situation. For those of you that wheel the
rough trails a lot, you've seen how bypasses develop and eventually
contribute to drainage and erosion problems. We FIXED that on the McKinney
section of the road with our waterbar building operation. Now we need to
think about the rest of the trail. If we go fix some of the drainage
problems and close a few side roads, and agree on what bypasses to leave,
perhaps signs would help keep folks on the right trail (especially around
the slabs and the entrances. What do you think?

Further we talked about the sanitation options (toilets). Just so you
don't hear any rumors, nothing has been done yet about toilets at Spider
and Buck Island. We're still in the talking stages. Great ideas are out
there, but we have hoops to jump thru which I'll talk about in later
emails. The main thing is that we need to keep that as one of our next
priorities because sanitation is a biggie and the problem gets worse every
year. Weekends are seeing 500 plus users on the trail just from one
entrance alone. The Rubicon is VERY popular and we're going to have to
accommodate sanitation needs sooner or later. I'll talk more about this
soon. But I wanted to let you know that we're still trying to come up with
options, ideas and plans. Maintenance (pumping) is a big deal. You can't
just put in toilets and leave em for very long. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

One thing the group asked of FOTR is that when the OHV Commission is ready
to give out grant money, that FOTR be ready with pen in hand to write a few
letters to the right folks. I'll keep ya posted on that one.

Well, that's enough for now. As things develop, we'll communicate this way
and exchange ideas. NOTE: if you respond to this, I'd be helpful to those
of us that get tons of emails NOT to resend the whole message. Just cut
and paste the paragraph you're responding to, and send your reply. If you
just want to philosophize a bit about all this, PLEASE do not resend the
whole message or the rest of the list will be on me like flies on a full
outhouse. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
Thanks, DEL


Del Albright
Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR)
Moderator, FOTR Email List
BlueRibbon Ambassador

FOTR Web Site: www.friendsoftherubicon.htm
(209) 286-1009 Mailto: [email protected]

[ 09-06-2001: Message edited by: FLASHLIGHTMAN ]
 

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I have mixed feelings about signs.

Signs ease the newcommer as to where the trail is. Keeps people off of areas they shouldn't be AND possibly increases the amount of people on the trail.

Signs are typically targets for those half-wits that shoot at everything and anything.

Signs could be considered a souvenier item and thus may not last long on the trail.

I think they definately would aid in keeping traffic where it's supposed to be but the maintenance to keep readable signs on the trail may exceed the value.
 

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I for one think it's a good idea. I know a lot of people say "if you don't know the trail, you have no business being up there", the only problem is, people DON'T always know the trail, yet they still want to run it. The people who "know" the trail don't own it, it IS a public road after all, so everyone should be free to use it.

I think some standard Forest Service road markers would be fine and I think it WOULD actually cut down on the amount of "off the beaten path" driving that is occuring now. I have seen a lot of people wandering around looking for the trail and I myself have been lost up there a couple of times (before I had run it a few times).

My vote is "YES" put some signs up!
 

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I thought I'd add....

The BLM allows the Red Rock 4Wheelers in Moab to actually paint trail markings on the rocks.

This would be a cost effective way to mark the Loon side entrances and the slabs as well as anywhere a rock face could be painted.
 

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I'm probably going to open myself up to flames, for I did not make the first work party, but here's my .02.....
two schools of thought out there that i've heard...
First is to make the trail harder to approch, this to "keep the bozo's out" (this from many hardcore rig owners)
Second leave the trail as is with the signage stated to help keep everyone where they belong. I like the idea of signage to address the trouble areas, but we all know that idiots will mess with the signs, or just ignore them. somehow we need to educate the general 4x4 crowd on the concept of treadlighty. the continued making of new bypasses or routes will just make it harder for us to keep what we already have. I love hardcore wheeling, but mess'n around off the trail on the con is just wrong....and could lead to having to wheel at places like Praire City or Hollister....
 

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Perhaps a sign at the beginning (spillway) that would list recommended equipment and damages to be expected if not properly equipped? (I realize this isn't going to stop anyone, but it may make them think) I have seen everything from a stock Geo Tracker to full blown "point and shoot" rigs up there. I don't care how elusive you make the trail, people are going to "try their luck" so why not send them down the correct path. If "Gatekeeper" isn't enough to discourage them (the Tracker was not) then they are going to tear their chit up no matter what. It makes me ill to see all the spur roads and bypasses because people don't know where the fawk they're going. I say point them in the right direction at least, beyond that, they are in control of their own destiny. Like I said, the "hard core wheelers" don't own the trail, and they may be banned from using it if we don't stop the bypass/spur road creation.

Make the signs very plain with no reference to "Rubicon Trail" issue a forest road number (probably already has one) and use those ugly ass brown forest service markers referencing that number.
 

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I've only been on the trail once with a group. Even some of the others who had been there before got a little mixed up when the trail starts to split in the woods on the way in from Loon.

If it hadn't been for others who had been there many times before, I would have missed the correct trail in a few spots.

Some type of a marker (sign or painted on) would be beneficial to keep everyone on the trail. Painted signs on the slabs (as Belly Dragger pointed out) would be a great way to keep people in the right areas. Some type of basic trail marker (with reflector) would work in the other areas.

The argument of "if they don't know where the trail is, they shouldn't be here" isn't the right way to handle this. People will still come out here because it's one of the most well known trails in the country. We must educate these people that are coming to keep them on the right path so it doesn't get closed.
 

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Another possible benefit, if it's marked and people are caught in the "undesignated area" they can be ticketed by the Forest Service and/or law enforcement for doing so. Throw a couple of hefty fines on people and I think the problem would be almost eliminated. Stupid people seem to know each other and the "word of mouth" would get around.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by Chris Geiger:
<STRONG>Stupid people can't or don't choose to read. It's the stupid people that are the problem.</STRONG>
Not entirely, i can remember a few times, late at night straying off "THE TRAIL" by accident and getting lost and frustrated.
I think some kind of reflectors up in the trees or rock would help people stay on the trail at night.....simple and hard to mess with unless they become TARGETS, and then, YES, stupid people are the problem.
 

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signs are a good idea! I make it up to the con every year for 4/5 days. I go in and out all the entrances and I am always following the tracks across all of the slabs and wondering if this is the "correct way". I usually end up missing the turn off to the true sluice and half to walk around to find each end. Last time I was there I was going in Sunday and I could here people leaving talking back and forth across the radio because half the group turned left to loon and the rest went straight.
Yes some jackass will shoot, steal or deface them from time to time, that does not change the fact that they would help more than hurt. As Putzboy says it would make enforcement easier as well.
 

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Flame suit on <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

Yes, sign's. Showing the entrances and along the trail.

It's an increasingly popular 'public' place. Not everyone that uses it is 'hardcore' or a local that know's every rock. Brandon once pointed out you can pick an easy line or a hard line and it's true, you can make the trail what you want. You can only do though if it remain's open, and with out controls when recreational areas start getting over run they get closed or severly restricted. I don't like restrictions, most of the time my personal thought is those controls and restrictions suck, but to keep from loosing it you have to maintain order.
 

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I think Belly Dragger and Chris G. said it best... I can see punk idiots pulling the signs as souvenirs, and THEY make up the bulk of the problem. The amount of trash on some of the trails around here is amazing...you think members of a local organized 4x4 club take old appliances and tires with them on trail rides? It's the locals who are trashing the places, then blame wheelers. It's a losing battle, because we are a lot more visible, and few people outside the sport understand wheelers. Heck, most members of my own family think I'm nuts because I like to climb big rocks with my Cruiser...
 

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A few words from a NEWBIE

Speaking as one that has not let been through the Rubicon.

I have been involved with offroading for 10 plus years, first as a stupid teen, tearing up the trails in Hollister, to now as a responsible adult who cares that access to trails remains available. I can understand the problem with not knowing where the trail is, and also agree that marking the correct trails is an excellent idea, both for those who care and those who don't know better. The markers will require upkeep, but so does the trail. (I intend to make the clean-up in October) I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. Given the chance I think most people would stay on the trail, especially if they know they are leaving the trail.

Joe <IMG SRC="smilies/smokin.gif" border="0">
 

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hmm
signs would be nice, it would help people to stay on the trail, but also i see them only lasting a few weeks before someone shoots them steals them or what not

Painting something on a large rock would work (little harder to steal and/or shoot up) but it might look bad, but as flashlight man was saying, some reflectors would be sweet
 

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Hell Yes it needs signs!!

It's a county road, mark it like one! There are already forest service signs marking blocked off bypasses, so why not take it a step further. If it's a legal offshoot mark it with a sign. If it's an illegal bypass, block it and mark it with a "no motor vehicles" sign. To discourage sign theft, make it a federal offense (theft from the forest service) and prosecute anyone caught with an illegal sign to the full extent of the law. Nail the Fawkers to the cross.

Maybe a nice sign at each enterance to the trail is a good idea. Not just a plack, but a little information station with a good sized map and a large list of the "rules of the trail" with the fines and possible consequences spelled out clearly for the slow people in our sport.
 

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How about Speed Limit signs? Say 35 MPH?

Kidding.

One thing we are trying (in the San Bernardino Nat Forest) is to use the RIGHT sign. Instead of "ROAD CLOSED", we are using "Area Closed for Revegitation".

Start the trails with the "Stay on Designated Trails", then it will just be reinforced when they see the next signs.

People don't react well to just being told that the "ROAD IS CLOSED". We are hoping they react better if we give them a ligitimate reason (or at least some kind of reason).

Steve G
 

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YES, everytime I leave spider I get lost heading out????????He he, reg plain brown arrows would work, and some reflectors for night would hel, I drove off the main around the aligator pit at night, went 100 yards down into a camp, lights on waking people up I guess, going towards loon, I don't want to bother people sleeping, a few signs would be great. I remember a group of 5 or so of us comeing out from last years cleanup, around 10pm, bottom of the slabs, and we are lost to were the trail goes up the slabs for 15-20 mins! those epoxy reflectors on the slabs would save your ass sometimes, yellow or blue ones <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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I like the sign idea. A good kiosk at the entrances w/ maps and other trail info (like rig recommendations, what to expect of the trail, etc.) would be good.
I'd also like some stuff along the trail on the slabs and in the woods too to keep me on the right trail, especially at night.
Sometimes I'd like to be able to explore the other entrances/exits besides Loon that I don't know yet, but since they're not labeled, I just end up lost and probably not where I'm supposed to be. <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">

Originally posted by SeaBass44:
<STRONG>those epoxy reflectors on the slabs would save your ass sometimes, yellow or blue ones <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"></STRONG>
Those sound good for the slabs, but how about white ones so they'll blend in w/ the granite better? They'd still be not too hard to find in the daylight, but easy to find w/ headlights at night. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Another thing might be an approved stencil to spray paint on rocks along the way. Kinda like the ones they put by storm drains now that say "Flows to river," etc.
 
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