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El Dorado County Transportation Department

Preliminary Application Comments

 I support El Dorado County’s grant request – funding these four complementary grant proposals would further support the Rubicon Trail, for which OHMVR has already established strong support.

The G08-03-06-D01 O&M grant for Development of a Rubicon Trail Restroom at the Ellis Creek Crossing Area would replace several rough-hewn user-built units, and could be easily serviced from the 14N05 road just to the north, with cooperation of the Forest Service, who has already expressed support for this concept in the monthly Rubicon Oversight Committee meeting.

The G08-03-06-G01 O&M grant for Ground Operations on Rubicon Trail near the Ellis Creek Crossing is an entirely different issue but would be complementary to the G08-03-06-D01 O&M grant for Development of a Rubicon Trail Restroom in the same area. The campground area on the West side of Ellis Creek needs extensive maintenance and drainage work, as does the trail extending West past the intersection of the Loon Lake Inter-tie and the Rubicon Trail, until the large expanse of granite East of the Devil’s Postpile. Purchasing the rubber-tracked dump would assist with this maintenance and drainage work in the area, and also add an important tool to the County’s Rubicon maintenance fleet. Similar equipment has well-proven itself on Wentworth Springs work projects in 2007 and 2008, but renting this specialized equipment really adds up – owning it definitely makes better sense. No other vehicle we’ve tried works as well in the tight and rugged confines of the Rubicon Trail.

The GO grant would also fund on-going trail maintenance, sanitation, trash disposal, and trail markers, all of which are important parts of El Dorado County’s continuing leadership on the trail, in conjunction with the Eldorado National Forest, Friends of the Rubicon, and Rubicon Trail Foundation.

The County’s longer-term G08-03-06-P01 O&M Planning grant proposal would develop and start planning for multiple Rubicon Trail Restroom facilities further in the trail.

The County’s G08-03-06-S01 Education / Outreach grant is a larger scope of outreach than the County has done to date – it makes sense to engage an information specialist to assist with updating and expanding the information available about the Rubicon Trail, and its importance to El Dorado County. We can continue the current informational efforts, buto to put together a consolidated campaign, it makes sense to work with a market research specialist. [Randy Burleson - 4/6/09]

 The instructions at the OGAL site tell the public to email the applicant, however, I can't find anyplace on the application with the applicant's email. So, I'll send you my comments and ask you to forward them to the applicants.

1. El Dorado County Sheriff Law Enforcement grant: This grant appears to be a waste of money. Everyone acknowledges that the Rubicon requires foot patrols. Light bars and sirens?? Kind of silly when their vehicle (they don't say what they'll be driving, but given they destroyed a specially built Rubicon patrol vehicle, I doubt it will be a patrol car. At any rate, they'll be driving 2 mph, so I don't see a need for a light bar and siren, other than to let all the evil-doers know the sheriff is on his way. Best use of the sheriff is to stop illegal vehicles in Georgetown or on Ice House Road. We all see them every weekend; vehicles that aren't street legal being driven to the trail. On the trail, they need to be plain clothed and on foot.

2.  El Dorado Dept. of Transportation: El Dorado County has received several hundred thousand dollars in grants over the past several years and so far has almost nothing to show for it. The trail is in worse shape today than it was before they began getting grants. It is scandalous that the OHV Division audits have allowed them to get away with this. I want to see the County have the funding it needs to manage the Rubicon, but first it needs to deliver on the nearly $400,000 it has already received to complete a management plan.

Throwing more money at the trail without a plan is foolish. The OHV Division already funded one toilet facility feasibility study; that study determined use of wag bags was the sensible way to go. Now they want another feasibility study. Further, the county is now saying the Rubicon is a public right of way but the county is not responsible for its maintenance. This suggests they have no legal right to apply for grants for use on the Rubicon. This needs to be settled before they get another dime. They can't have it both ways. [Karen - 4/5/09]

 Using the website to submit comments is so confusing and frustrating I do not want to waste my time further to try to figure it out.

I support all the grants from El Dorado County and Rubicon Trail Foundation.

I support Forest grants IF they are going to use the money to improve OHV opportunity. If they are going to use the money to close I am against those grants. If it is ambiguous at all, I am against those grants. [Scott Johnston - 4/3/09]