There will be CHP Search and Rescue activity at Magnolia Staging Area in Cronan Ranch (Friday, May 22). This activity will take up most of the parking there.
According to the Empire Mine SHP Visitor Center, the Rangers have opened the Penn Gate Staging Area to local vehicular traffic yesterday - including the horse assembly area behind the chained gate. Even though the trails have been open to local hikers, horses and bikers, the parking area was closed to encourage dispersed use.
According to California State Parks:
Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people at the park or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
1. Practice social distancing.
2. Wear a mask (or bandanna) when passing others.
3. Do not gather in groups.
4. Communicate with others so you can keep a distance on the trail.
5. Recreate close to home.
All developed recreation sites on the Tahoe National Forest are now open. Trash removal services remain limited – please pack out all trash and waste. Toilet facilities remain limited, please plan accordingly.
Day Use Sites, Trailheads, Boat Ramps, and Staging Areas status:
Gold Lake Road
o Sierra Buttes Trailhead – Inaccessible, snow just passed Packer Lake
o Gold Country Equestrian Trailhead -open
o Golden Quartz -open
o Oregon Creek Day Use Area -open
Highway 89, North
o Pass Creek -open
o Woodcamp Boat Ramp – Inaccessible due to snow
o Donner Picnic Area - Open
o Castle Valley – Inaccessible due to snow
o Boca-Stampede Road
o Prosser Boat Ramp -open
o Boca Boat Ramp - closed due to water level
o Stampede Boat Ramp -open
o Boca Town Site – open
o Prosser OHV – open
o Vista Overlook - open
o Dark Day Boat ramp/picnic area -open
Mosquito Ridge Road
o French Meadow Boat Ramp – open
o Big Trees Nature Trail – Accessible, windfall on access road and trail
Foresthill Divide Road
o Manzanita – opening Friday, May 22 (day use only). Fees apply May 22.
o Parker Flat OHV staging area -open
o Sugar Pine OHV staging area-open
To see the original posting on the Tahoe National Forest Facebook page, CLICK HERE.
Thousands of public comments highlight the divisive rule that requires e-bike access to all BLM and National Park Service trails used by traditional bikes. Photo credit: Colorado Sun
AFTER a couple days of hard hiking last fall, Tim Brass thought it was time to track down a motor. He was bowhunting in a trophy unit near Creede, and plenty of other hunters were using a motorized trail for swift access.
His friend offered an e-bike. Brass got his elk.
“Best hunting experience of my life. And that tool made it a lot easier to get the elk out of there, I’ll tell you that. It made it bearable, for sure,” said the Colorado policy director for the 40,000-member Backcountry Hunters and Anglers group.
But that pedal-assisted hunt wasn’t enough to flip Brass into a wholehearted embrace of e-bikes. He points to wildlife surveys showing animals increasingly bothered by all types of explorers adventuring deeper into Colorado’s wildest lands.
“Do we want people to be able to ride a bike twice as far in a day? Do we want to allow them where motorcycles can’t go? What if we know the impacts to wildlife will be greater?” Brass said. “The fact is, these things have a motor that lets people go deeper and further much easier than ever before. It can be a bit of a slippery slope when it comes to allowing motorized use on non-motorized routes.”
Allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails, as ordered by the secretary of the Interior Department last fall, is pitting traditional pedalers versus e-bikers as federal land agencies craft rules to implement the new order. Cyclists fear the embrace of electric-assisted pedalers could get all bikes banned from trails. Trail builders worry about impacts from motorized bikes that can reach more than 50 mph. E-bikers fret their opportunities to explore public lands could be relegated to motorized thoroughfares.
Thousands of public land users are flooding the public comment portals in what is emerging as one of the most controversial rules in years for the Bureau of Land Management.
If you wish to comment and know more about the proposal, CLICK HERE.
To go directly to the BLM E-BIKE proposal public comment page, CLICK HERE.
For Jake Roach, the CEO and co-founder of QuietKat, the Eagle-based maker of off-road e-bikes, the conflict boils down to “outdoor elitists” who are able to power themselves into the backcountry.
“I think what you find is that currently in public lands access, it’s basically set up to really benefit the individual who has a lot of time and is in really good shape,” said Roach, whose QuietKat has seen explosive growth in recent years. “That is not necessarily the demographic of the typical American taxpayer.”
Roach is helping to mobilize the growing swell of e-bikers to sway federal land managers to allow the electrified rides. He hopes to spread the idea that e-bikes might not only open public lands to a wider range of users, but disperse those users across public lands.
“The first mile is crowded, but once you get past that first mile, it can get lonely,” Roach said. “Spreading out the public on public land can only add value. There’s a perception that outdoor elitists want to keep public lands for themselves and that’s not a fair assessment of how public lands should be used.”
The Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all last month proposed rules that would open non-motorized trails to electric-powered mountain bikes. Each agency is asking for public comment on the plan. The rule comes from a controversial order issued in August by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt directing the agencies’ managers to develop rules allowing e-bikes on all bike trails.
Bernhardt’s Secretarial Order 3376 described how electric motors on bikes “expanded access to recreational opportunities.” Bernhardt shifted the definition and regulation of e-bikes from motorized vehicles to bikes and gave land managers 14 days to craft rules that allow electric bikes everywhere bicycles are allowed on National Park, BLM and U.S. Fish and Wildlife lands.
It’s taken a bit longer than two weeks, and the proposed rules — all published in early April — stop short of Bernhardt’s call for immediate opening of all non-motorized trails to e-bikes. The BLM’s proposed rule for e-bikes, for example, directs local land managers to “generally allow” e-bikes on bike trails “where appropriate” using decisions made in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
(While allowing e-bikes on traditional bike trails, the rules — and Bernhardt’s order — prevent e-bikes from any wilderness trails where mechanized travel always is prohibited.)
The agencies are collecting public comments on the rule through June 8. The Park Service and Fish and Wildlife plans are not proving too controversial, with a total of about 500 comments on the agency’s online portals. (Each of those agencies largely prohibit bikes on backcountry trails, so the rules add e-bikes to largely motorized routes where bikes already are allowed.)
But for the BLM, which manages nearly 500,000 miles of roads and trails, the comments are piling up thousands deep as human-powered advocates and e-bike users square off.
BLM spokeswoman Maribeth Pecotte said the agency is studying e-bike use on non-motorized trails using analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act and its community-surveying processes for developing travel management plans that determine where certain types of vehicles are allowed.
Pecotte said the agency expects the public-comment process will identify areas where e-bikes “are totally appropriate” and meet community goals and objectives set in regional resource management plans.
“And there will be places where they might not be appropriate,” she said.
The agency is closely examining areas where BLM trails connect with county or Forest Service land that might have different rules for e-bikes to make sure there is consistency for trails that traverse different management areas.
Pecotte said the agency wants to conduct site-specific planning for e-bikes, measuring their impact as well as the perspectives of local trail users. She suspects more people are growing accustomed to e-bikes and the end result of the BLM’s review will expedite that acceptance by opening more trails to the electrified rides.
“The more people are exposed to e-bikes, the more they accept them as time goes by and I think they will come to accept them more as they become more prevalent,” she said.
E-bikes are grouped into three categories. Class 1 e-bikes have a motor that kicks in when the rider is pedaling and tops out at 20 mph. Class 2 e-bikes have a motor that doesn’t require pedaling and also tops out at 20 mph. Class 3 e-bikes have motors that deliver power only when the rider is pedaling and go faster, up to 28 mph. Those classes are getting blurred though as e-bike technology grows. Southern California’s Hi-Power Cycles, for example, is making an 82-pound mountain bike with an electric motor that can hit 55 mph.
It’s that blurring that troubles Scott Winans, the longtime head of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association. For more than a decade, he has guided his team of volunteer mountain bikers in building and maintaining hundreds of miles of rolling single track across the Western Slope. Since 1989, the group has built trails for non-motorized use, with banked berms and tight turns made for pedalers, not throttle twisters. The group’s trail work is largely on BLM land, making the Colorado Plateau a national testing ground for new e-bike access rules.
COPMOBA is supporting Class 1 e-bike access on some, but not all non-motorized trails it maintains around five communities in Western Colorado. They oppose Class 2 or Class 3 e-bike access on any non-motorized trails. But most importantly, the association wants land managers to follow the same public processes it followed for more than 30 years of trail-advocacy work.
Winans and his association have issues with the top-down order allowing e-bikes. He hopes this current round of public comment is just the first of many more rounds of public review allowing local BLM land managers to craft trail-specific management plans for e-bikes.
That’s the process Western Slope mountain bikers have been following for decades as they work to develop new trails on BLM land, Winans said. And it’s part of the process any time there’s a change to the agency’s local travel management and resource management plans.
“This is tough because we have such a solid community coalition that has come together to address trails from a local perspective and a bunch of stakeholders have worked together for many years to build a great plan and the feds, in essence, throw that out the window,” Winans said.
There’s a similar sentiment on the Uncompahgre Plateau, where farmers, hunters and water-users in the North Fork Valley spent decades crafting a plan that would limit oil and gas development in the valley only to have that plan dismissed earlier this year under the Trump Administration’s “energy dominance” agenda.
The system of public land management is not built for sudden shifts through presidential agendas or secretarial orders.
Highlighting recreation in land management processes is arduous, and it’s taken decades for the outdoor recreation industry to win a seat at the land-management table alongside energy and agricultural interests. It takes years of work to win approval for a new trail before shovels hit dirt, as evidenced by the 12 years of planning behind the Grand Valley’s new Palisade Plunge trail off the Grand Mesa. The community has to be shown the value of the trail to sway public support, land agencies have to work together and plans must follow environmental laws, Winans said.
“Getting a project from idea to implementation is just a huge, huge process,” he said. “Just because a secretarial order flows into the community and makes a statement that this change is very straightforward, well, just saying that does not make it true.”
Winans says e-bike advocates should be wary of celebrating a top-down order that suddenly changes decades of planning and work.
“All these long processes and tools, they are really important to keep in the toolbox for the future,” Winans said. “The ship that runs slowly moderates extremism. Sometimes you may hate that it’s so slow to turn, but sometimes it saves your bacon and prevents bad decisions from flowing into the system on a moment’s notice.”
The Boulder-based International Mountain Bike Association — or IMBA — is crafting its lengthy analysis of the proposed e-bike rule. The association’s executive director, Dave Wiens, said this public comment period will lay the foundation for trail-by-trail identification of e-bike access in future planning by the BLM.
He (IMBA) hopes the BLM requires environmental study for every trail network that shifts non-motorized use regulations to allow e-bikes.
IMBA, the umbrella organization for more than 200 local mountain bike associations, does not support Class 2 or Class 3 bikes on non-motorized trials. The group’s primary concern is that expanding access to e-bikes could lead to human-powered bikes losing access. That worst-case scenario looks something like this: If an e-bike is now regulated like a bike, maybe instead of fighting e-bikes it’s easier to change a trail designation to prevent all bikes.
“We’re well-positioned to be balanced in our assessments and consider any implications that could impact mountain biking at-large, in order to always protect access for traditional, non-motorized mountain bikes,” Wiens said.
Roach has seen his QuietKat company grow from a start-up in 2012 to a national leader in the e-bike industry. He considers QuietKat as part of the growing overlanding business, where travelers deploy well-equipped vehicles to venture beyond defined paths. While his QuiteKat bikes work well on roads, he’s focused on off-road and not necessarily competing against urban bikes.
His bikes are sold in 126 Bass Pro shops and about 150 independent retailers, and soon QuietKat will launch a branded bike with Jeep. A demo of the Jeep-branded QuietKat appeared discreetly in the carmaker’s Super Bowl commercial.
TO SEE THE COMPLETE ARTICLE AND PHOTOS IN THE COLORADO SUN NEWSPAPER, CLICK HERE.
The Eldorado National Forest is increasing access to the public by providing additional developed day use recreational opportunities with limited services. Restroom facilities will open as soon as personnel can mobilize and safety and cleaning supplies are obtained. We encourage visitors to check our website and social media pages for the most up-to-date information on what is open so that you can plan your visit. You can also call your local ranger station during normal business hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
We continue to recommend that you recreate locally. All visitors should practice self-sufficiency during your visits to national forests. Recreating responsibly will help ensure that expanded access to recreational facilities, services, and opportunities continues. Responsible recreation practices should be maintained at all times, including:
For more information, please visit the Eldorado National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado. Updates on recreation will also be posted on the Facebook and Twitter sites at www.facebook.com/eldoradonf and www.twitter.com/eldoradonf.
Contact(s): Jennifer Chapman, (530) 957-9660
The Placer County Planning Commission welcomed comments from the public Thursday evening regarding the Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion project.
No decisions were made during the meeting. Lisa Carnahan, senior planner for the Placer County Department of Public Works, Parks Division, shared a brief overview of the project’s aspects and history.
According to Carnahan, the county has a conditional use permit for the existing Hidden Falls Regional Park and will be requesting a modification of the use permit to expand to the trail system. In addition to adding parking and expanding the trail network from 30 miles to 60 miles, the project would also add supporting facilities such as fencing, emergency and maintenance access roads, bathrooms, picnic areas, wells, viewing platforms, drinking fountains, benches, kiosks and signage, equestrian amenities, bridges and stream crossing and animal-proof trash and recycle receptacles.
Carnahan also shared how the county has mitigated some community concerns received before the meeting, including increased traffic and traffic safety, land use and fire safety.
A traffic analysis showed local roadways have the capacity to safely handle the additional traffic generated by the expansion project, Carnahan said. Cramer Road showed a safety impact, however, the installation and upgrade of traffic control devices would reduce the impact to less than significant. Additionally, safety impact at the Twilight Ride entrance would be mitigated through a tapered entrance and a left-turn lane. Carnahan also said Caltrans’ project to add roundabouts on Lone Star and Lorenson roads and a center median would lessen the anticipated traffic and collisions on Cramer Road.
According to Carnahan, there will be no change in the zoning, and it will remain as farm zoning with the project. Cattle ranching and grazing will also continue.
“Ever since the western portion of Hidden Falls was opened in 2013, we had cattle out there with people and haven’t had any problems out there,” Carnahan said. “We want to work with the ranchers and come up with great solutions so that both the public and the cattle ranchers can work together out there.”
The county has spent more than $2 million to reduce fire risks at the regional park. According to Carnahan, three landing zones for helicopters, 120 acres of shaded fuel breaks and a 12,000-gallon water tank with a fire hydrant are in the park to mitigate fire risks.
“We are very happy to say that since 2006 when the park originally opened, we’ve never had a fire started by the patrons,” Carnahan said. “While we’re not resting on our laurels, by any means, we continue to look at fire very seriously.”
Carnahan said the county will also look at implementing park closures during extreme fire weather days this summer. Additionally, the county has been working with Placer County Fire and Cal Fire for the new areas to ensure each parking area would have a helicopter landing zone, a 12,000-gallon water tank and fire turnarounds.
Following Carnahan’s presentation, the planning commission listened to comments provided by the public. At least 43 reservations to comment had been made by the time the meeting started, and many were against the expansion.
Comments ranged from supporting or opposing the project, requesting the commission to reconsider mitigation approaches for traffic, habitat and agricultural impacts or asking the commission to consider the approval of e-bike use within the regional park.
“Our members fully support the overall findings of the DSEIR as being less than significant, including wildfire, and support ... the Hidden Falls Trails Expansion, including 30 miles of trails, three additional parking areas and other park amenities as proposed,” Jeff Foltz, member of the Gold Country Trails Council, said.
“My concerns about the Hidden Falls Expansion are that any money spent there takes away from other parts of Placer County,” Linda Adams, a Roseville resident, said. “I know here in Roseville and in Granite Bay especially, there are parks and recreation areas that have been promised for years and nothing has come of those so I’m very concerned about a large amount of funds going to one project. ... Another concern is that we do not know the cost of the Hidden Falls Expansion. It would be nice to know what the cost of that project will run so we know how much will be taken away from other Placer County projects.”
The public comment period lasted more than two hours, allowing community members to call in to share input regarding the expansion project.
“Holding an evening session, I think, was really valuable for the comments,” Nathan Herzog, planning commission member, said. “We heard the public, we heard the issues that were shared today. We appreciate your involvement and participation, and want to make every effort so that you get a voice here.”
Public comment regarding the project will continue to be accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 20. After comments have been received, commenters will receive a formal response to their comments through a CD copy or a link to the final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report.
There will be municipal advisory meetings, as the public health directive regarding COVID-19 allows, during the summer and fall, followed by a Parks Commission meeting, according to Carnahan. The project will then be presented to the Board of Supervisors in the fall.
To see the complete original article in the Gold Country Media, CLICK HERE.
Folsom State Recreation Area will be opening Granite Bay, Negro Bar, Beals Point, Brown’s Ravine and Nimbus Flat tomorrow.
UPDATE (May 15, 2020) - As California State Parks begins its phased reopening of parks and beaches in compliance with state and local public health ordinances, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
What is open now?
Park entrances at Folsom Lake SRA are open to vehicular traffic:
The remaining park entrances are still temporarily closed to vehicular access, meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Parks will be reopening several parking and vehicle access areas in ASRA starting tomorrow as part of the Governor’s Stage II Roadmap.
The following areas will be reopened during this phase:
The following areas will remain on a soft closure status (area open to entry, but parking closed) and will be evaluated for reopening regularly:
State Park Campgrounds, special events and tours throughout the state will remain closed at this time.
For more information, CLICK HERE.
The goal of this campaign is to inform all trail users what and how to email comments of support for the Hidden Falls Expansion to the Placer County Board of Supervisors.
These links include content to to help you email including content, contacts, bullet points, everything.
How to email a comment.
Full details on how to email a comment are on this page of the Placer Trails website:
Want to know more about the expansion?
Full details on the Hidden Falls Expansion Project are on this page of the Placer Trails website:
May 4, 2020 ou can now reserve campsites in California State Park campgrounds from August 2 onward. Because of COVID-19, there's no guarantee that the campgrounds will actually be open in August and beyond, but there is hope.
Photo Credit: California State Parks
May 1, 2020 statement from California State Parks park continues to be temporarily closed to vehicular access, meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Go to Reserve America HERE.