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RUBICON TRAIL: OUTLAWS, IDIOTS and the TRAIL PATROL

We have started a volunteer trail patrol on the Rubicon. Right now it's informal and volunteer initiated, but soon we may have vests, note pads, ID, and even a radio that will hit the repeater for the Sheriff or the USFS law enforcement.

Your ideas would be appreciated. Either way we go at it, we must curtail the misbehaving that gives our sport a bad image. I'm even thinking that posting the offenders to a world wide web site would be one way to shed some light on their behavior. Join us at the POR BBS to kick this around. More here.

Here's what to do if you observe trail abuse or law breaking going on: Rubicon Trail Volunteer Patrol STARTS NOW!

Report violators and outlaws to our Trail Patrol captains. Friends of the Rubicon will pursue follow up with the appropriate law enforcement channels. Several cases have already been successful. FOTR tracked down the violators and we pursued the follow up with law agencies involved. It does work!

I need YOU to be able to identify the driver if at all possible. YOU need to ask him/her to quit what they're doing (nicely if you feel comfortable doing it). But BE A WITNESS.

Get their vehicle plate, vehicle ID as best you can. Keep a note on the description of where, what, etc. Take a digi picture. And get other witnesses if you can.

Send this info to me via email and we will stay on top of it and try to get corrective action. AND we'll publish the event (whatever is public knowledge) and who was out there trying to get our trail closed by being stupid and not listening.

Rubicon Trail Patrol Official Signup and Info Page

So what we're doing includes: OBSERVE, EDUCATE, IDENTIFY AND REPORT.  Further, we, the Trail Patrol must set the example for others to follow. So with that in mind, here is what you can do:

1. OBSERVE - fully assess the situation. Figure out what laws or ethical behaviors are being violated and how it impacts the future of our trail

2. EDUCATE: ask them to stop and explain why -- educate them as best you can without getting confrontational. Carry some Tread Lightly! brochures and hand them out. Carry FOTR brochures and hand them out. DO NOT get into a mix-it-up. Back off and just get the facts if the folks you are dealing with are fully felony stupid and might get physical

3. IDENTIFY: Identify the event and driver/rig -- try to see the and remember the driver's face. You may have to be able to literally pick out the driver from a line up type siutation. So remember what he/she looks like. Take pictures that include the driver, the rig, the activity and the license plate. Get a witness who can corroborate your report.

4. REPORT: Report it! -- to me, or if handy for you, the County Sheriff, the USFS Law Enforcement Officer or District Ranger. Be willing to stand up and be a witness if needed.

NOTE: State peace officers normally need to witness an event to take citation action. Federal officers need not witness it for federal citations. But either way, we need a good report and stand up witnesses. I can work with our law enforcement partners to determine whether the case should go the Sheriff, the USDA Forest Service, or both.

Trail Patrol members MUST set the example for others to follow. This includes camping away from water sources (at least 30'), carrying a portable toilet such as ThePett, and wheeling sober, safe and sane.

Trail Sanitation
and portable toilets. Carry one!

On June 23, 2004, with the help of Big Rich (Rich Klein of CalROCS), we launched a increased Trail Patrol effort. Nearly 50 folks attended a meeting in Sacramento, and we had both the El Dorado County Sheriff's office and USDA Forest Service law enforcement personnel in attendance. It was great and our Trail Patrol is officially supported by both agencies.

In 2005, Trail Patrol organization increased even more with Scott Emmons and Ken Howser taking the reins. We are now getting specialized training, special shirts, and ID badges, etc. These folks will organize large Trail Patrol efforts, and keep up a line of communication with local law enforcmenet agencies.

With your help, I will blast the names and photos (if you get one) of really bad violators ALL OVER THE INTERNET, as well as to law enforcement authorities. I will pursue it until motorized outlaws get the message that they're ruining it for all of us (and perhaps be responsible for closing our trail).

Trail Patrol members will be assisting law enforcement folks in several ways besides just our educational efforts. We might be used to carry gear for them in our rigs. We might assist with rides for them and their gear. We can help them with breakdowns and repairs. We can share lunch with them. We can back them up with our shear numbers in the event of any kind of loud or confrontational group that might be uncooperative. We will have a sign up system or notification system where we can coordinate our trail time with their trail time, so they know who's there to assist with Trail Patrol duties on any given day. Rubicon Trail Patrol Official Signup and Info Page

We will be there for our law enforcement partners!!! They will be there for us.

And also visit the Pirates of the Rubicon Bulletin Board for a place to chat about ideas for curbing motorized outlaws and improving our image. http://www.pirate4x4.com

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