Wednesday, April 4, 2012: The California Off-Road Vehicle Association, CORVA, along with representatives from the Rubicon Trail Foundation and Friends of the Rubicon, met with the Forest Supervisor and personnel from the Eldorado National Forest in an attempt to ascertain details related to the probable closure of 42+ OHV routes, pending further environmental review.
Currently, the routes in question are to remain closed due to a ruling in a lawsuit brought against the Eldorado by the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and the Center for Biological Diversity. Regardless of seasonal closure status, the routes are ordered to remain closed, and the Forest Service is preparing the public for the most likely scenario of route closures, pending a new court order. The Eldorado has issued a press release found at:http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5362068
In the meeting, Forest Service personnel stated; “…there is a high likelihood that these routes, or portions of these routes may be administratively closed for an interim period”. It was clear that the intent of the Forest Service is to do the necessary environmental analysis as quickly but comprehensively as possible as needed, in order to reopen these routes to motorized travel, a time frame between 1 and 2 years.
CORVA encourages the 4WD community to continue working with the Eldorado on adopt-a-trail maintenance programs, and actively engage in the NEPA analysis that is planned for the meadow crossings on these 42+ routes. CORVA will support all the 4WD clubs with NEPA education through the Comments Project to insure that the comments made by our community will lead to the reopening of these trails to motorized travel.
We also encourage the community to work together, plan events outside of the closed routes, and CORVA looks forward to working with all the affected communities. Hunting enthusiasts, miners and rockhounders will all be affected by the likelihood of these closures, and it is our goals to bring these communities closer together to combat those entities bent on removing multiple use from our national forests.