Editor’s Note: Del Albright, long-time off-road enthusiast and advocate for land use and trail access, recently published a column regarding concern for the Rubicon Trail. Below is his column as well as information about how to get involved.
WORRIED ABOUT THE RUBICON TRAIL
IS GOVERNMENT LISTENING TO THE USERS?
I left my leadership position in Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) and the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) a few years back, thinking that we had laid a positive foundation to continue these incredible efforts to keep the Rubicon Trail open to all of us…all year; for all types of rigs; with challenges for us all.
NOT THE CASE!!!
I am sorely disappointed in the way the trail has changed in the last few years, and I am not afraid to step up and say that government is NOT listening to the users. Not in this case. Something is wrong and we need to bring some slap down on the deaf ones who “govern” our use of public lands in the case of the Rubicon Trail.
From the blowing of the Gatekeeper, conducted like an ambush in war, unbeknownst to users and unspoken in public forums beforehand; to the resizing and near paving of Little Sluice in spite of comprehensive surveys and public input against such maneuvers behind the scenes; to the changing and possible closure of Soup (Bowl, Kitchen). It is NOT what the users have asked for and have said in public forum. Government is NOT listening.
And do we have some of our own supporting these insidious, sneaky, behind the scenes moves? I’m not sure; but I am sure that the folks I talk to, do NOT support these radical changes to the Rubicon Trail.
Oh, let’s ask ourselves who has invested tens of thousands of hours in hard work, sweat, blood and back-breaking work in making this trail a trail for all? Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR), that is who. Since the first work party in the summer of 2001, and hundreds of work parties since then, every summer….FOTR has earned the key to this trail. Why does Government think they know best on this one?
FOTR earned tens of thousands of dollars in grant money for government agencies to help us manage the trail, maintain the trail, and mitigate the issues with erosion and use. So why would not government LISTEN to the users in how the trail should look in the future? YOU GOT ME.
Here’s my suggestion for you if this does not wrap your winch the right way: 1) make sure your membership is current in fighting outfits like BlueRibbon Coalition and Cal4wheel; 2) make sure you’re participating in Google groups for FOTR with your voice being heard; and 3) donate to those groups fighting for access THE RIGHT WAY, for you.
More on BRC here at http://www.sharetrails.org
More on Cal4 here at http://www.cal4wheel.com
More on Del at http://www.delalbright.com
Whatever you do; do NOT let your voice go unheard. Back it with donations and memberships. Be in the game. It is OUR public lands we are talking about.