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10-Point Plan for the Rubicon Trail

Friends of the Rubicon
Dedicated to keeping the Rubicon Trail open.

10-Point Plan to Manage the Rubicon Trail

And supporting clubs and organizations

Submitted to the news media, Rubicon Oversight Committee
and several interested parties on July 26, 2004.

BACKGROUND:

In our ongoing efforts to preserve the beauty and integrity of the Rubicon Trail, and to maintain environmentally sensitive motorized access to the trail, Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) proposes a 10-Point Plan to resolve  the recent Spider Lake Emergency Closure, and to ensure the future of motorized access to the trail. 

During July 2004, El D orado County (by Board Resolution) and the USFS (by Forest Order) closed Spider Lake to all entry due to public health and safety issues.  A key issue is human waste and sanitation. Trail users and supporting organizations have collaborated to develop this 10-Point Plan to help the governing agencies and interested parties ensure a viable and healthy future for the Rubicon Trail.  FOTR takes ownership of this trail and offers an intensive, user-initiated approach to keeping the trail open and accessible to everyone.

PURPOSE:

The specific purpose of this 10-Point Plan is threefold: 1) to ensure continued and historical access to the trail; 2) to mitigate current and future environmental and health issues along the trail; and 3) to prevent further closures along the trail.

PLAN ENDORSEMENTS and SUPPORT:

Except for #3, the Rubicon Trail Permit System, this 10-Point Plan has the acceptance and endorsement of a majority of Friends of the Rubicon and organizations represented. The permit proposal does not have a full consensus of the various users and recreational organizations.  Any kind of exploration or study of a permit system would require extensive committee work and stakeholder involvement.  Nonetheless, FOTR proposes this as a possible solution worth consideration and study over closures or further restrictions.

FOTR advocates more town hall type meetings and user input in the implementation of the proposed solutions presented in this plan.  Further, the Rubicon Trail Master Plan should be re-evaluated to take into account the opportunities and proposals presented herein. 

The remainder of the 10-Point Plan (minus #3 Permits) is endorsed and supported by the following organizations:

Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR)
California Association of 4Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC)
California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA)
United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA)
Off Road Business Association (ORBA)
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

1.  MANDATORY HUMAN WASTE DISPOSAL CAPABILITY:

FOTR proposes to support, help develop and if necessary administer a mandatory “pack it out” portable toilet/human waste disposal system along the trail for any trail user.  This could be part of the Rubicon Trail Permit (#3 below).  Users would be given several options for packing out human waste.  This effort would support the ongoing effort by Eldorado County started with OHV Trust Fund money.  

Environmentally safe systems would be used on the Rubicon Trail, such as those provided by ThePett system which are landfill and dumpster safe (non biohazard).  FOTR would further support and help develop receptacles at designated collection points for human waste rendered “landfill and dumpster safe”. Motorcyclists and quads could be exempted from this requirement as their term of stay is much shorter than other users. Further, this requirement could be limited to just overnight campers.

FOTR is willing to work towards a solution that best fits the needs of the governing agencies, clubs and associations, and users of the trail.

2. KIOSK STAFFING and EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH:

This plan proposes to develop and help administer kiosk staffing at the Loon Lake entrance where most users enter the trail.   Both volunteers (Rubicon Trail Patrol and FOTR members) and law enforcement personnel would do the staffing and educational outreach.  Sanitation issues could be addressed here, with possible give away products to meet the objectives of “Pack it out.”  Information kiosks should be considered at other entrances which would be manned during holiday periods.

3.  EXPLORE the OPTION of a RUBICON TRAIL PERMIT SYSTEM:

FOTR proposes to support, help develop and as necessary administer a back country trail permit system to manage the carrying capacity of the Spider Lake area.  Should this proposal be acceptable, FOTR is also willing to assist in exploring the option of expanding this permit system to trail use.  Permits would be free, with no limit or cap.  Permits would serve as an educational tool, much like a camp fire permit.  Users would sign the permit verifying that they know the trail rules and have the capability of “pack it out” for human waste.

NOTE: This item has the least consensus among users of any item in the plan. Many organizations and associations do not support even exploring a permit system. Therefor no claim is made here as to supporting and endorsing organizations, except for FOTR. A majority of FOTR folks agreed to explore the idea and see what the options would be for carrying capacity management on the trail.

4. CAMPING DESIGNATION and DEVELOPMENT at SPIDER LAKE :

FOTR proposes to help the USFS and El D orado County develop and construct campsites around the Spider Lake area, with designated access routes.  Camping would be on a permit system, validated by a sticker, obtained in advance by the user, or just first come first serve.  Reservations would be an option during this exploration of ideas.  Law enforcement officials will have clear definitions of legal vs. illegal camping.  Human waste will be intensely managed (See #3 above).

5. CAMPING DESIGNATION and DEVELOPMENT at BUCK ISLAND LAKE :

FOTR proposes to help the USFS and El D orado County develop and construct campsites around the Buck Island Lake area, with designated access routes.  Camping would be on a permit system, validated by a sticker, obtained in advance by the user, or just first come first serve.  Reservations would be an option during this exploration of ideas (See #8 below).  Law enforcement officials will have clear definitions of legal vs. illegal camping.  Human waste will be intensely managed (See #3 above).

NOTE: Camping designations at these crowded and popular areas would not eliminate dispersed camping along the rest of the trail.

6. INCREASED FINES FOR TRAIL VIOLATIONS:

FOTR proposes to support and advocate increased fines (bail schedules) for violations such as not having portable toilets, illegal camping, off-trail travel and resource damage.  This effort will be additionally supported by the ongoing Volunteer Trail Patrol already in existence. Volunteer Trail Patrol members will be instructed in observing and reporting techniques for camping and other trail violations.   

These efforts will be fully coordinated with law enforcement officials having jurisdiction over the trail and the surrounding area. FOTR still encourages law enforcement officials to be present on the trail more, to enforce the rules we have, especially on busy weekends.

7.  TRAIL PATROL:

FOTR proposes an increase in user education, combining the best efforts of established organizations and programs with an active Volunteer Trail Patrol.  FOTR will also encourage Volunteer Trail Patrol members to attend any training or orientation that law enforcement personnel would  offer. Volunteer Trail Patrol members will be instructed in observing and reporting techniques for camping and other trail violations.  These efforts will be fully coordinated with law enforcement officials having jurisdiction over the trail and the surrounding area.

8.  RSVP CAMPING:

Study an RSVP system for designated camp sites at Buck and Spider using a sub committee of the ROC and interested parties representing recreation organizations.  FOTR will participate and help include user input from various recreational pursuits that use the trail. Many trail users and clubs/associations/interested parties would need to be included in this study for it ever to work.

9. RUBICON OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (ROC):

Strengthen the mission and purpose of the Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC) -- to ensure adequate user and interested party input into the future of the trail.  Finish and implement the Rubicon Trail Master Plan being developed by the ROC.  FOTR proposes to assist with this process in any way needed.

10.  SIGNAGE:

Sign the trail with a permanent signage system and finish the survey of the trail.  Publish the survey and make maps available to the public as soon as possible.  FOTR will assist in distributing the maps and placing the signs. Signs would be installed in compliance with El Dorado County standards, and Rubicon Oversight Committee guidelines.

SUMMARY:

FOTR avails itself to all interested parties in solving the issues and concerns on the Rubicon Trail. Our mission is to preserve this trail for future generations to use and enjoy, and to keep the trail alive and well for motorized and non-motorized recreation.  This collaborative, user-initiated 10-Point Plan offers sound proposals to both perceived and real issues and concerns on the Rubicon Trail.

 Please contact Trail Boss, Del Albright at (209) 304-7693, or visit our Rubicon Trail Home Page at http://www.delalbright.com/Rubicon/rubicon.htm.

 

RUBICON  LINKS
Directory for Rubicon Pages FOTR - About Us
Hotels Sign Me Up (FOTR)
Restaurants (nearby) Work Days?
Maps When to Run?
Books (About the trail) ROC Group
Directions to Trail Heads Jurisdiction (over trail)
Vehicle Minimum Upgrades? Sponsors of FOTR
Sanitation (Toilets) Rubicon Springs
Trail Ethics (Rules) Donating to the trail
Camping Trail Signs
Law Enforcement Pett Toilet System
Leave a Tow Trailer Parking Near Trail
Rent: Trail Guide/Rigs FAQ's & Directory
ATV's Jamboree Dates
Photos of FOTR At Work Trail Patrol

SIGNUP for Workday

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