Del-a-Grams are my newsletters and updates on land use and access relative to California. I publish them as I can, and when things are heated up in certain areas/topics. These topics are short and sweet and may require more communication and research on your part (with me and other land use folks); but the idea is to give you enough to go on.
Many Forests are conducting their public meetings for the Route Designation process. Eldorado NF (Rubicon Trail, Rock Creek, etc.) meetings are coming up right away. Public comment period runs 45 days. Get your written comments in. Get your club to write a comment letter. We all get one letter -- one from Cal4, one from BlueRibbon, one from you, one from your club, etc. You can write more; but basically you'll be counted as one. Write about all the topics and trails that affect you. Watch the Internet for bullet points and comments we can all use. Visit key internet sites like: www.muirnet.net; www.cal4wheel.com; www.sharetrails.org (public lands); and www.pirate4x4.com.
Here's the deal with Route Designation: If your trail is not on the map, you will no longer have a trail (or riding area).
Labor Day weekend is our biggest fund-raiser of the year for the Rubicon Trail -- The Cantina for the 'Con. The Rubicon is more than a trail; is it our icon of four-wheeling and our poster child for motorized access and volunteerism. Friends of the Rubicon is the biggest and most powerful coalition ever assembled for just one trail. And now we have a Rubicon Trail Foundation (tax deductible) to help us raise money and keep this icon alive and well forever. We need your help.
Donations are tax deductible. This Dysfunctional Organization (TDO) has done amazing things with this idea of servicing tacos in the spillway and raising money. First year they raised $5500 for the trail. Second year, $8500. This year we want to go higher -- $10,000. Please donate, buy tickets, show up and eat tacos, and get a business buddy of yours to donate to the raffle. Go here for more.
If you are a web master, club newsletter editor, editor in general, land use person, or just really want to be tuned into what is happening in land use and the articles I produce monthly, go here to sign up.
This picture depicts an "ice cloud" on top of a hot wildland fire. Big fires produce their own weather patterns. I know. I fought fire for 26 years in Cal-Fire (used to be CDF). But more than that, big fires produce their own brand of politics.
It was unnecessary and ludicrous to basically close the Tahoe National Forest to OHV traffic because of "fire threat." Unfortunately, the scare tactics of some anti-access groups and politicians looking to reap a profit, puts us in the position of being closed out.
However, because of the fire closures and restrictions, and most likely last minute cancellation of Trek by the Forest anyway, CA4WDC Board of Directors made a good decision to cancel early, rather than get cancelled at the last minute. Many people travel from afar to attend Trek, and vacation plans are made early as well. It was tuff; but the right choice.
Sadly for those homeowners who lost so much, this fire in Tahoe was predicted by fire service scientists and managers twenty (yup, 20) years ago. In 1987 CDF and the Pacific Northwest Range and Experiment Station (USDA Forest Service) hosted a fire professionals conference at Fallen Leaf Lake (where this fire occurred). We called it Wildland Fire 2000. So OK, we were off by seven years.
The point is, the anti-access radical protectionist advocates got the do-gooder politicians to lay such severe restrictions on homeowners, that even dead trees could not be felled, or brush removed. Everyone claimed it would contaminate Lake Tahoe. Bark beetles have taken over most trees in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Many are dead or dying. They can't be harvested or treated due to ludicrous rules and regulations, imposed by radical greenie types.
Naturally fire loves dead trees -- so there you have it. One careless camper or backpacker leaves a campfire unattended, and kaboom, we have wildfire. And the USFS can't stop fires like this. Nature has to be the stop tactic (rain).
Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) has set the example world-wide for how to build a coalition and save a recreation area. Banding together in a larger coalition -- a "friends" type group -- is the way today to save a trail. One club can seldom stand alone any more. Maintenance of the trail and education of the users are essential to keeping an area open. It's just too big of a job for one club. Besides that, in numbers and unity there is strength. Start one for your riding area or trail. It WORKS! Read more here.
Our latest article talks about how we can stop the Wilderness Train. Read (download) it here.
##End of July Del-a-Gram ##