LTBMU Open House & Rubicon discussion

Simple Man

Hello everyone,

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has just announced an open house meeting to discuss OHV grant opportunities for Thursday, March 28th from 4-7pm.

This is the same old open house but with a twist. While the LTBMU is just checking off a box of the grant paperwork by holding an open house, there will be a special Rubicon Trail discussion at 5pm.

The LTBMU has funds for a HUGE new kiosk at the staging area. They also have funds to pave the staging area. These things should happen this summer. The Hi-Lo’s and other volunteers should be a part of these projects. Dates for each will need to be determined. Our input will help decide these date.

Please take the time to stop by the USFS Office to offer your opinion and to just show to let the FS know that we are willing to be involved in the future planning of our OHV trails.

If you have any questions, please send me an email.


[email protected]

Sorry, but the PDF didn't copy and paste well...

USDA Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Region
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

News Release
For Immediate Release

March 22nd, 2019

Media contact: Lisa Herron
(530) 543-2815
[email protected]
Twitter: @LakeTahoeUSFS

Forest Service hosts open house for OHV grant application

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
will host an open house to provide information and seek public input on the annual California
Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR)
Division grant application. The OHMVR application requests funding for trail maintenance, and
operation of facilities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) access in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The open
house will take place on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at the Forest Service office in South Lake
Tahoe, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. There will be no formal presentation,
instead the public may arrive between 4 – 7 p.m. and visit informational stations, talk with staff
and ask questions. The 60-day grant application comment period began Tuesday, March 5 and
ends Monday, May 6.

For requests for reasonable accommodation access to the facility or proceedings, contact Adrian
Escobedo at 530-543-2758 or email [email protected].

For more information on the application, grant process or how to comment, contact Jacob Quinn
at 530-543-2609 or email [email protected].

willys dave

Active member
Big new Kiosk, paved staging area, filled in areas with rocks, who likes where all this is headed ? what's next ? Maybe a Mc Donalds in the middle of the trail ? Are we being led down the trail of the taming of the best and most famous trail possibly in the world ? Am I looking at all this wrong ?


New member
The hardest parts of the Rubicon have been paved for 20+ years...just getting to or past the staging area was quite a challenge back then.
At least its still open :)

Thanks for the notice on the meeting:

RE: The open house will take place on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at the Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe

Simple Man

A little history...

Back in 1999, the Lahontan Water Authority issued a "Cease & Desist" order to close the Rubicon within the Lake Tahoe basin. It was all about water quality issues where the seasonal creeks crossed the Rubicon. Lahontan contended (correctly) that vehicle traffic over the creek crossings caused erosion, thus sedimentation flowing down stream, possibly getting all the way to Lake Tahoe.

In 2000, Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) was formed. A plan was formed and set in to motion.

In 2001, more than 200 people worked with Placer County to move 180 tons of crushed rock while building 28 rolling dips (wrongly called water bars). So, now when a vehicle crosses a seasonal creek, it's over rock, not dirt, and no erosion occurs. Lahontan lifted the "Cease & Desist". It's the ONLY time they have lifted a "Cease & Desist".

Can't remember the year, but El Dorado and the El Dorado National Forest (ENF) were served with a "Clean-up & Abatement". Not as bad as a "Cease & Desist" but one step away. So, millions of dollars have been spent to harden the Rubicon Trail within El Dorado County. These were your OHV green sticker and gas tax funds spent to save the trail and keep it open. The "Clean-up & Abatement" order has been lifted. This was all about water quality not making the trail easier.

In the ENF, Some hard spots were made easier. But there is no longer an erosion issue at those points. One section of the trail was moved away from the lake and rerouted over granite. Many obstacles were removed in order to harden the spot (more likely in order to get large equipment further in the trail) and then replaced.

The Tahoma staging area is getting paved for water quality issues. This will also prevent dust issues and teenagers doing doughnuts in the parking area. Hopefully, the area will be striped for parking, eliminating people from parking in ways that block traffic and take up too many spots.

The new kiosk will have a much more inclusive map (8'x4') for the area, thus educating the users of ALL the OHV opportunities in the area. I have shown the map on my website:

If anyone out there has issues with "where this is all headed", please show up at the meeting and voice your concerns. Quoting Del Albright, "A complaint is not valid until it's told to someone who can do something about it." So, Dave, make your complaint valid. If you can't make the meeting, email me and I will pass along your concerns. But don't complain if all you do is sit on your couch and type on your keyboard.

Getting this done right on our OHV trails takes our participation.

The big issues on the Tahoe side are Cadillac Hill and the mud area west of Miller Lake. If we don't work on Cadillac Hill, it will become impassable. And I'm not talking about impassable to unbuilt rigs, I'm talking about impassable to any vehicle. The mud area is another water quality issue that could get the trail closed. Placer County is currently denying any accountability. They're not even answer calls or returning emails. Without Placer County involved, there is not grant money to fix these issues. There are many creek crossings type issues along the trail that are straight forward but need funding to complete.

El Dorado County has offered to 'manage' the entire length of the trail and has drafted a "Memorandum of Understanding", that if signed by both parties (El Dorado & Placer), would allow El Dorado to apply for OHV grants for the entire trail. My understanding is that Placer doesn't even want to sign that as it might show that Placer is ultimately responsible for the Rubicon Trail.

Making things worse, Supervisor Montgomery, Placer's supervisor for the Rubicon area, has taken a job with the state. Not that Montgomery was pro-Rubicon (she and her husband have Jeeped it), but now her position is up in the air and probably not looking good if the 'board' appoints someone from 'over-the-hill' to serve in her position until an election.

Bottom line, if you have an opinion about how you want our OHV trails managed, step up and voice that opinion. I'm just letting you know of an opportunity of where you can voice your opinion to someone who can do something about it.

PS - not many people can say they were on the trail before the road to the staging area was paved, 1984. Although I was on it before it was paved, I wasn't driving. I don't remember that section being that difficult but the bridge over "Car Wash" was built at the same time. FYI, I bought my first Jeep the following year and although I still have that 1947 Willys, it hasn't run in years.


Well-known member
Premium Member
Thanks doug. Caddy is a mess. Single vehicle width causes issues (and flared tempers) when large groups meet, headed in opposite directions.

Simple Man

Single vehicle width causes issues

For the record, nobody is proposing to make the Rubicon two lanes wide. We're not looking to put a yellow stripe down the middle.
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New member
I read it as they are trying to close it...again

the roads that used to be open up there and then got Green gated was really sad

Simple Man

So who do you see as "they" in this scenario? Anti-OHV people will always be trying to close every OHV in this country.

It's not a FS road. That is the reason there is no seasonal closure on the Rubicon Trail. But they claim they have the right to close it. The only time I've heard the FS close the Rubicon was during the King Fire due to safety. For the record, the ENF and LTBMU both closed the Rubicon. Actually, they closed the forest. But, the Tahoe National Forest never closed their section of the trail or their forest. There are closures on the Eldorado but due to the agreement with the county and Central Valley Water Authority, during times of very large runoff.

Placer County used to voice that it was a recognized 'public right of way' but not a road maintained by the county. Now they are silent on the issue.

Yes, 42 trails were closed recently because one person filed a lawsuit about OHV trails sending sediment in to meadows. There was a counter lawsuit by OHV users against the Forest Service. I was a plaintiff in that lawsuit. If more people had been involved in trail maintenance BEFORE the first lawsuit, there never would have been a lawsuit.

Here's the example of that: I frequented the Richardson Lake Trail (14N39). I noticed the meadow crossing and recognized it as being bad. This was an OHV trail going right through the middle of a meadow. I thought about how to harden it. At the same time, Placer had grant funding to fill the low spots on the Rubicon. The dirt they used was loaded with small boulders. As the bulldozer graded the fill dirt on the trail, the boulders were pushed to the side. I realized that if I placed all those boulders in the trail where it crossed the meadow, it wouldn't be a muddy mess and draw the attention of anti-OHV people. But I never got around to it and that meadow was one meadow issues that got 14N39 closed. If I had done what I knew needed to be done, the trail wouldn't have closed. Eventually, the FS did the job properly by clearing out the mud, placing boulders, special cloth and crushed rock to rebuild the trail, right across the meadow.

All of those trails have been repaired and reopened. Some were not going to be reopened but the users let the FS know that would be unacceptable. Those trails were reopened because the users told the FS what we wanted.

This is your opportunity to tell the FS what you want.

There are still trails in that area we need to fight for. Some of those fights we will win and some we will lose. But if we don't fight at all, we lose all the trails.

I'll challenge you to cite a current green gate that does not open seasonally in the greater Rubicon area, unless you meant somewhere else by "up there".
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New member
Thank ya for the info and history.

From 68-88 I spent 2-6 weeks Every year up there. 2 weeks solid every year from 68-88, 17 miles past ice house camped next to creek.
I remember when the only thing was Ice House, when Robbs went it it was luxury, even though the thought of them even having a phone was not gonna happen.

Being ~20 yrs old and locked up low gears new tires w a race engine and two weeks "stuck" camping next to a creek w mom n dad n friends, made for I traveled every road i could up in crystal Basin reservoir area..
I remember in the late 70's and early 80's the daily road trips we would take from base camp would now be closed..hence..Green gated.
back then you could drive any where you wanted, and I did, I'd been driving the ruby since I was 5, was fun to find challengin spots.
but when all the fun spots started to be closed it was definitely a bummer.

when I say they...I mean THEM-those people who want to infringe on our rights.

Thanks again for the info, greatly appreciated.

Trying to bring awarness to the cause is my goal.