While respect and thanks for what has been done in the past certainly should be done - I don't think the current intermingling of conflicting interests is going to solve the issue for 4X4. The area has a lot of people in government positions (Sacramento area survives on government employment) and they can't be expected to go against the bureaucracy.
FOTR should be supported because it is mostly a grassroots org but the astroturf potholes need to be fixed. IMHO, FOTR hands are tied in some areas and perhaps they can get untangled from the spiders web but I don't know. To make matters worse there are some nuts in the larger 4X4 community there that are so proud of the Rubicon way of doing business that they want to help run the whole state.
Like it or not - letting the Rubicon work out its own problems - which is what some of the people involved largely have done and want (except send the money) - is probably not only not going to work - its going to sink many other trails in the process.
I rarely use the Rubicon but I know the implications for where I do go - places I can drive all day and rarely see anyone. That is the problem - Rubicon damage control would be difficult and we better find a way to handle it now or its going to be too late.
I was going to post last week about Carnegie - a California off-road sate park - i.e. a state run designated area for off-road. Never been there, from past readings it has a lot of dirt bike riders and some from the 4X4 community.
I think it was great that people from Friends of the Rubicon and Friends of El Dorado showed up at Carnegie.
Carnegie was ordered closed by a judge with a taste for radical judgments after the antis filed suit. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26096
The issue was off-road vehicles cause sediment (dirt) to eventually find its way into streams etc. "the waters of the State".
I saw it as having little to do with Carnegie - the Central Valley Regional Water Board is both Carnegie and the Rubicon. The antis would use Carnegie, which had a small user base, against the Rubicon and if it works then all trails in California would fall from one action.
Not a bad plan - but I knew the one thing the California structure will not stand for, especially attorneys, is upstarts that don't pay them homage first and go after the bureaucracy.
I was curious how the Jerry Brown Attorney General's office would proceed when Brown has designs on running for governor and the office has many that embrace radical environmental agendas. Not good press - Brown vs. environmentalists.
They have jumped in and it is now with the California Appellate court.
The legal papers from the AG's office don't bother to dispute, and in some ways affirm, the antis position that off-road vehicles produce dirt sediment, dirt is a pollutant therefore has to be viewed like any pollutant, and therefore off-road vehicles are polluting the water of the State.
So, regardless of the outcome, the Attorney General's office has rolled over on the antis viewpoint. The legal argument against the antis is one with a long history - you can't go to court because you failed to first exhaust administrative remedies -so I think the Judge that ordered the closure gets slapped down.
So, with AGs position on dirt in hand - each side gets to spin it as victory and if Carnegie actually falls then the antis also achieve their Disneyland dreams of closing trails at will.
As I mentioned the Rubicon situation is complex.
As many here know, I do not support the "old school" way business is being done there. Unfortunately, the Rubicon was left largely to locals who vehemently protect the "private club" authority and control information - this is the way things were done in many areas, not just the Rubicon. The local interests mix 4X4, land owners, and businesses that make money off the trail.
The Rubicon may go the way of other areas in California where the locals and those of us "in the know" get keys to gates and can do pretty much what we always have done. All it takes is butt kissing some officials and help them when some of the brethren gets unruly.
I guess part of getting old is I won't take keys - you let us in or gate us out but no more "going along to get along" so I can get mine and the rest are on their own.
Some people will not care if the Rubicon gets knocked down to become whatever a stock JK can tackle or perhaps whatever the Jamborees wish to use. Shouldn't we make it a road so treacherous old men can relive their youth? LOL (I wonder if these people knew they didn't need a Little Sluice Bypass - Little Sluice wasn't "vandalized" until 1992)
YouTube - Vintage Rubicon Trail Jeepers Jamboree