Rubicon Trail Foundation
Thank you for accepting the following comments on the grants submitted by the Rubicon Trail Foundation:
1. Ground Operations Grant #G09-04-22-G01
The ground operations grant that has been submitted by the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) is an extremely modest grant request considering the amount of work and the complexity of work planned for the trail. RTF has a very good track record of use for previous grants and a high rate of completion for previous grants. When looked at in a cost-benefit ratio of amount of money requested to amount of visitors benefiting by the proposed project, the acquisition cost for the three trailers falls to less than .60 cents per visitor day. In contrast to other grant requests, this grant represents a very good value to all users of the Rubicon Trail. I can't think of a better use for grant money from the OHV trust fund. I fully support this grant request.
I must also recognize the collaborative nature in which the work on the trail has been conducted, with cooperation and collaboration from all interested parties; RTF, El Dorado County, and representatives from the Eldorado National Forest.
2. Education and Safety #G09-04-22-S01
The Rubicon Trail holds a treasured place in the hearts of many OHV and 4WD enthusiasts not only around the state, but around the country. Because of this status, the trail sees more use than many other trails around the state, and therefore holds more chance for abuse, or misuse of the trail. The Rubicon Trail Foundation is dedicated to educating all users of the trail about proper use of the trail.
The Education and Safety Grant seeks to continue their education efforts by way of training and staffing educational kiosks, with an emphasis on sanitation and automotive fluid control methods. The staging areas for this outreach program are appropriately placed, and when adequately staffed with a combination of volunteers and paid staff, will prove effective to control inappropriate behavior on the trail. These methods have been developed and refined over time, and this grant request seeks to continue a proven system, rather than asking for funding to develop a new system. This is an important difference - it is a highly appropriate use of funds to support a method that has a proven success rate.
Again, when looked at on a cost/benefit ratio, the requested grant amount translates to about $3.00 per day for educational materials and staffing that will directly benefit the trail, with a minimum of administration costs. I fully support this grant request.
In summary, those of us in the OHV community have experienced the difficulty of defending our right to access our trails. Both of these grants will enable RTF to act in a pro-active manner, maintaining our ability to use and enjoy the Rubicon Trail for generations to come. I fully support both these grant requests, and commend RTF for the dedication to the health and well-being of the Rubicon Trail. [Amy Granat - 4/5/10]
I would like to add my support for the Ground Operation grant and the Educational grant request. The Rubicon Trail Foundation has shown tremendous leadership in organizing programs not only to physically protect resources, but also educate and inform the recreational public on how to minimize their impact on the resource. Closures of these areas remain a viable alternative if the RTF's efforts are not supported. The plans to maintain the area not only benefit the trail, but also local and distant economies with the number of visitors that come too El Dorado County and Placer County to enjoy the Rubicon Trail with there families, too also buy supplies and etc. and that has a positive effect on the vendors of off road equipment, but also food, camping gear, resorts, and motels in the area and at the origin of the visitors. We know that without their continued ability to not only generate volunteer support for this unique trail in which a almost a ownership happens of the trail when people physically work on the trail and spill there sweat on it, but also financial resources that we would face could severely limited options when visiting this area. The Rubicon Trail Foundation is trying to preserve and maintain a very historic route through the Sierra Nevada Mountains that my family has used for more than 50 years. It remains a popular destination for individuals and clubs from all over the world and we strongly urge funding of the RTF grant requests. [Rusty Folena - 4/2/10]
Grants G09-04-22-G01 and G09-04-22-S01 - I would like to give my full support for both of these grants applied for by the Rubicon Trail Foundation.
I know of no other group that is so dedicated and passionate about maintaining a trail and educating OHV users on responsible use of OHV trails.
They consistently strive to be the best and exceed the expectations. Monies they receive is always money well spent and ends up benefiting the trail, the forest and all its users. [Rick Ferdon - 4/2/10]
Everyone asking for Grant money does it with honorable intentions to manage our public lands , provide sustainable recreation and protect resources. I agree with all of that and am not one to say "do not fund" but there are exceptions from my point of view.
In reviewing these grants for 2009/2010 It it is alarming how the % of actual work on the ground changes from one agency to another. From experience I would like to see no more than 5% of the grant request for staff under Ground Operation go to management. The key to sustainable recreation on our public lands are for our grant money to be spent on the ground.
Every single grantee should be preaching "Stay on Designated Trail" regardless what your job is, it is the responsibility of every person involved with OHV that this message has to pushed.
Every single grantee should encourage those that are law abiding citizens to put pressure on the "Willfully Ignorant" to change their way so that we can have a "Sustainable OHV recreation" for future generations.
Lastly I want to thank every single person involved in working on OHV recreation for your time and dedication . [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 3/28/10]
I would like to indicate my support for this grant request. The Rubicon Trail Foundation has shown tremendous leadership in organizing programs not only to physically protect resources, but also educate and inform the recreational public on how to minimize their impact on the resource. Closure of these areas remain a viable alternative if the RTF's efforts are not supported.The plans to maintain the area not only benefit the trail, but also local and distant economies. It makes little sense to buy an OHV if there is no opportunity to use it legally. Further the number of visitors, supplies etc. that are purchased have a positive effect on the vendors of off road equipment, but also food, camping gear, resorts, and motels in the area and at the origin of the visitors. Since many of my constituents come from Central California, we appreciate the opportunity to be informed of trail courtesy and maintenance afforded by the efforts of RTF. We know that without their continued ability to not only generate volunteer support for this unique trail, but also financial resources that we would face severely limited options when visiting this area. It remains a popular destination for individuals and clubs from my district and we strongly urge funding of the RTF grant requests. [Mark D. Cave, Central California Vice President, California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs - 3/25/10]