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Spider Lake Closed Again (2005)
The Rubicon Trail Famous Spider Lake Closed Once Again (and forever to vehicles)

Citing the need to protect natural resources (in other words resource damage), the USDA Forest Service Eldorado National Forest has closed Spider Lake (again). Last year it was closed for human waste and possible fecal coliform getting into the lake.

This year (2005) it is closed for motor vehicle damage to vegetation and resources around the lake. More here.

Further, the Forest wants to ensure no motor fuel/lubricants get into the lake from people camping too close to the lake with their vehicle. You can still walk/camp near the lake. You just can't have your vehicle within the closure.

Once again, we face the same issues of no one really doing much about the damage or problems, other than Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR). Nothing has been done by El Dorado County or the USFS to really manage the trail or fix the problems they have found.

Certainly the USDA Forest Service has done nothing to fix the issues on their land (the closure area). In spite of persistent FOTR requests to camping sites, designated access and other management of the area around Spider Lake, to date, nothing has been done.

FOTR stands by the demand that Emergency Closures (like this one) should be reserved for when management fails. There has been little or no management here, so it's hard to accept another Closure. There is no excuse. As of July 20th, 2005, there still are NO PLANS to fix or repair anything.....just the Closure.  It is wrong.  It is mismanagement at its best.

As of today, July 20th, FOTR just got word that the closure notice is finally posted on the USFS web site (obscurely at best, but there nonetheless). FOTR received our information from second hand USFS sources and handouts at meetings. Go here to see the USFS posting: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/about/regs/orders/

There are signs showing the closure on the kiosk at Loon Lake now. And as of July 1st, there are carsonite signs in place around the Closure. Oh, you ask, when did the Closure go into effect? May 27, 2005.  So if you were in there between Memorial Day and now, you were in violation of a Forest Order. Don't sweat it though.....it was not posted nor was adequate public notice given.

I cannot help but keep asking the following quesions:

  • Why more management isn't taking place before restrictions and closures?
  • Where is our OHV Trust Fund money going if we have to keep facing closures and threats of closures?
  • Why routes and camp sites have not been designated in and around Spider Lake to make sure we all know where we can go?

What this closure means is that you cannot camp with or have your vehicle within the closure area.  Here is the map for 2005.

Click here for a larger map of the 2005 Closure

See the USFS posting of the Closure.

See the map here of the 2004 Closure.

See the map here of the 2006 Closure (oh, just kidding, so far).

If you want to contact the USDA Forest Service about this closure, here is the info:

Forest Supervisor
Eldorado National Forest
100 Forni Road
Placerville, CA 95667

530-622-5061
530-642-5122 TTY

ENF Visitor Information
530-644-6048

Join FOTR if you want to make a difference.  It's free.

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