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Rubicon Meeting minutes

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by TopOff, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

    Jan 16, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Folsom, ca
    I got this second-hand, as I was out of town.


    About 50 people were present for the meeting, most people with a club affiliation of some sort. Guests were Dennis, USFS Law Enforcement, and Daphne, a great recreational advocate and activist.

    Some displays were set up with pictures of past projects, the Pett portable toilets (http://www.delalbright.com/Rubicon/rubicon_sanitation_pett.htm), overhead photos of the entire trail for the survey, and some foil packets for packing out cigarette butts (they don't biodegrade as fast as you might think).

    Del opened the meeting with introductions around the room and sang a song he wrote. He also did a drawing for a cowboy poetry CD he did. I've never seen Del in person before - he's a great speaker, and all around a good guy who cares a lot about the Rubicon.

    The primary topic of the day was discussion on law enforcement. Due to mainly budgetary reasons, staffing is down for law enforcement presence on the trail. The primary problem area, no surprise, was drinking. It's not an easy and clear-cut topic, since alcohol tends to lead to other problems on the trail. While most people wheeling with a beer aren't drunk and causing a problem, it IS illegal. Expect authorities to get tougher in enforcing open-container laws. As long as you wait until you are at camp before you start drinking, they don't really care. They also aren't going to bust you for having a trash bag full of empty cans because you are picking up litter. However, if you are holding a beer in your vehicle you will get a ticket - as reported first hand by somebody at the meeting. In the end this is a good thing for us, because it reduces problems on the trail and gives us a better image as wheelers.

    Another primary concern is illegal fires during no-fire season. Dennis said they cracked down on this last year by doing after-dark patrols.

    The survey for legally defining the Rubicon trail is nearly complete. There will be a legal easement and legal bypasses where we can wheel. But if you wheel outside the easement you will get a ticket. Maps should be available by summer with the official trail and bypasses documented. There are also plans underway for trail markers, even through the granite areas.

    Sanitation issues continue to be a problem. Del handed out the last of $10000 in Pett and cardboard toilets. About a dozen cardboard toilets were handed out, and the last 3 Petts.

    Representatives for Nevada and Bay Area FOTR regions gave summaries of what happened at their respective meetings. Basically, these regional groups just provide outreach to interested folks who live further away.

    As far as projects for 2004 go, the main project is to get the kiosk moved. General trail maintenance projects are also planned, but no schedule has yet been set in stone.

    For the upcoming elections, the California League of Off Road Voters at http://www.clorv.org/ have published on their site information on where candidates stand on land-use and recreational issues.

    This is a group of people who clearly care about the Rubicon and land-use and recreational use in general - people willing to step up to the plate to make things happen, not just sit back and say "gee that sucks".

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