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El Dorado County Transportation Department

My thanks to the El Dorado County (EDC) Department of Transportation (DOT) for submitting this detailed set of grants, many working in close partnership with the Eldorado National Forest (ENF).
        Project Title   Grant   Match   Total Cost
- G10-03-06-A01 Acquisition     56,833  23,352  80,185 
- G10-03-06-G01 Ground Ops Phase I - 2011        201,713  71,423   273,136
- G10-03-06-G02 Ground Ops Seasonal Drain/Crossing Imprvmnt     100,353 41,955  142,308
- G10-03-06-G03 Ground Ops WW Springs Rd near AF CG Trail Mnt   87,025  34,598  121,623
- G10-03-06-G04 Ground Ops -Annual Maintenance & Operations     95,837  32,883  128,720
- G10-03-06-S01 Rubicon Education & Outreach    94,580  33,960  128,540
I’d like to commend the County for proposing these grants as meaningful chunks to be considered on their own merits, instead of aggregating them into a monolithic, inseparable chunk. Batching a bunch of unrelated projects together the way other agencies have done may be a practical means of submission, but it also allows just about every box to be legitimately checked on the Evaluation Criteria when they are considered in one massive chunk. This is quite an advantage for scoring – possibly an unfair advantage, when other Ground Ops grants are scored and ranked against these aggregate multi-projects. I applaud the County for taking the high road, and hope that these individual grants will be scored generously with that in mind.
       
-- ACQUISITION GRANT - Rubicon Trail Restroom at Winter Camp --
El Dorado County, Eldorado National Forest, and the private property owners along Rubicon Trail have been working together well to formalize the route as mandated by the Regional Water Quality Board’s CAO. The County has completed the initial survey work and the Forest has committed to provide the NEPA work – these efforts will lead up to initiation of formal public right-of-way acquisition, and eventually, a final easement. Eldorado National Forest deserves big thanks on this cooperation, as well. This sort of inter-departmental cooperation is exactly what Rubicon needs more of!
This grant proposal makes good sense, and is the logical next step in a long series of steps that OHMVR has supported along the way. I support this grant to complete this series of steps towards formalizing a final easement that guarantees the availability of year-round motorized access to the Rubicon trail.
 
-- GROUND OPERATIONS GRANT - Rubicon Trail Ground Operations - Phase 1 - 2011
I fully support DOT’s GO Grant Application for Phase I Ground Operations in 2011, :
* Creating the 2010 Maintenance Activity Plan (MAP) with the GO work related to this Phase 1 Project
* Updating a comprehensive Soil Conservation Plan (SCP) with Engineering Details and Report
* Working with the various Trail volunteer groups and DOT Maintenance Staff to review and confer on the schedule and work assignments within the 2011/12 MAP and SCP
* Implement the 2011/12 MAP and SCP
* Continue the trash disposal services of existing dumpsters at Loon Lake and at Tahoma
* Purchase and installation of raised pavement reflectors and flexible marker posts to delineate the trail
* Update the "Record Drawing" and complete post maintenance operations activity and monitoring reports.
The MAP and SCP plans are critical tools that are needed to ensure continued use of the Rubicon Trail, in the time/schedule provided, focusing on the sections of trail listed. Continuing sanitation efforts, trash disposal, and trail marking is of obvious benefit, as well, keeping users on the trail and reducing their impact by ensuring that collection resources are available for their waste. The last bullet just ties together documentation for all of this activity, which can be used to substantiate continued progress toward the CVRWQB’s CAO.
 
This is a big project, and a correspondingly large grant request, because it represents catch-up work that is needed to clear a backlog of maintenance, and is another step in implementing a long-term resource management maintenance and operations plan for Rubicon, with cooperation between EDC DOT, ENF, CVRWQB, and trail users. It is a pricey project, but the reward will be to further secure the ability of motorized access to continue to use the Rubicon Trail, which is well-known as the oldest premiere OHV route in the United States. This Phase 1 Project passes through the highest-usage recreational areas (as Ellis Creek, Spider Lake, and the Little Sluice area), and it makes great sense to address the trail west of Thousand Dollar Hill first. I fully support funding this grant!

-- GROUND OPERATIONS GRANT - Seasonal Drainage Crossing Improvement --
Here, as well, I fully support DOT’s GO Grant Application for Seasonal Drainage Crossing Improvements as they relate to fulfilling the Saturated Soil Water Quality Protection Plan, and attaining compliance with the Clean-up and Abatement Order issued by the Regional Water Resources Control Board. These project improvements will improve/replace existing structures and install erosion-control BMPs, as well as install Trail delineation BMPs.
 
-- GROUND OPERATIONS GRANT - Ground Operations Wentworth Springs Rd near Airport Flat Campground Trail Maintenance --
I support DOT’s grant application to regrade and armor the three miles of Wentworth Springs Rd. from Airport Flat Campground to the intersection of Wentworth Springs Rd. and USFS Road 14N07, using standard OHV trail
BMPs. This section of trail has been left out of the Rubicon Trail System management, and this grant will bring it up to standards that will allow proper use and maintenance, especially after the bridge is reinstalled over Gerle Creek.
 
-- GROUND OPERATIONS GRANT - Ground Operations-Annual Maintenance & Operations --
I support DOT’s grant application to provide annual routine maintenance on the Rubicon Trail to stay in compliance with the Cleanup and Abatement Order issued by the Regional Water Resources Control Board. El Dorado County has installed various BMPs to date as part of the CAO efforts, and these BMPs need evaluated and considered for maintenance annually. Summer inspections are simple, but winter transportation is more difficult, and this grant proposes purchase of snow mobiles and a trailer, so that DOT can inspect the Trail in the winter. This grant proposal makes great sense to evaluate and maintain all the hard work scheduled or already in place.
 
-- EDUCATION GRANT - Rubicon Education & Outreach --
I support DOT’s grant application to continue and expand the successful bandana and sticker campaign that was initiated in 2010. Trail users have received it well, and post-trip surveys show good success in communicating the message – let’s stick with what has been proven to work!
 
General to all these applications, it bears noting that EDC has solid relationships with OHV coalitions and organizations like Friends of the Rubicon, Rubicon Trail Foundation, and the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs has provided volunteer support for many decades. These clubs, coalitions, and organizations work tirelessly, and can help deliver the volunteerism that thesegrant application identify. I hope EDC continues to maintain and improve these relationships to drive education and volunteerism, but beyond that, many hundreds more undocumented hours are devoted to the Rubicon Trail every year by OHV volunteers. I encourage the County to work even harder to formally document these hours, it will draw them closer to the volunteers and helps with the match to OHMVR. This is truly a win-win-win proposition, since it binds state and local resources together to work on the trail resources that they all value. [Randy Burleson - 4/4/11]


While I agree with the need for these operations for the most part, I am not convinced the money being asked for is being spent in the best possible ways.  I have several other concerns as well listed below:

G10-03-06-G0: I support the operations efforts, but as with other projects am concerned with the amount of “armoring” or filling that occurs and the amount of trail marking/signage.

G10-03-06-G02, G10-03-06-G03, G10-03-06-G04: I don’t feel that OHV users should be funding the purchase of snow mobiles for $26,000.  For one, snow mobiles do not actually work that well on the Rubicon as the snow conditions are often not agreeable to snow mobile travel.  I have witnessed this on several occasions including a search and rescue attempt.  I can produce visual evidence of this as well if needed. [Morgan DeRodeff - 4/4/11]



While I agree with the need for these operations for the most part, I am not convinced the money being asked for is being spent in the best possible ways.  I have several other concerns as well listed below:
 
G10-03-06-G01: I support the operations efforts, but as with other projects am concerned with the amount of “armoring” or filling that occurs and the amount of trail marking/signage.
 
G10-03-06-G02, G10-03-06-G03, G10-03-06-G04: I don’t feel that OHV users should be funding the purchase of snow mobiles for $26,000.  For one, snow mobiles do not actually work that well on the Rubicon as the snow conditions are often not agreeable to snow mobile travel.  I have witnessed this on several occasions including a search and rescue attempt.  I can produce visual evidence of this as well if needed. [Morgan DeRodeff - 4/4/11]


G10-03-06-A01: I completely support the Acquisition Grant Request submitted by El Dorado County. The importance of the Rubicon cannot be underestimated to the 4WD Enthusiast community, and this acquisition request is critical to the ongoing process of keeping the Rubicon open to public travel. El Dorado County has used previous grants appropriately and responsibly, and the county should be commended for all their support to 4WD recreation.

G10-03-06-G01/2/3: I also support the Ground Operations grant requests submitted by El Dorado County. The continued access to the Rubicon Trail is predicated on the completion of the work related to the Clean-up and Abatement Order, and other sorely needed maintenance to the trail. This work is well-planned and previous grants awarded to El Dorado County have been used responsibly and appropriately to continue OHV access. This is a well-constructed grant request, and should be awarded to the county.

G-10-03-06-S01: I want to give special support to the continuation of the excellent Education and Safety Program initiated last year by El Dorado County. The bandanna campaign has proven both effective and popular among enthusiasts, and has increased awareness and compliance in solving sanitation problems. There can be no better use of OHV Trust Funds in order to keep the Rubicon Trail open to all OHV enthusiasts. The is a great campaign that deserves to continue. [Amy Granat - 4/4/11]


Please see attached comments. [Karen Schambach - 4/3/11]