After decades of fighting to keep our public lands open to the public, Eldorado National Forest is now CLOSED - the first of who-knows-how-many-other National Forests that will surely also wind up closed. The wonders of this scene are about to be relegated to the history books:
Unless we fight NOW and fight HARD, we have already lost this long war of attrition against our taxpayer-funded land managers and liberal-funded "environmentalists."
Really? Is the problem really this severe, or am I simply being melodramatic?
It's for real, folks. Take a look at the list of closed trails at the end of this post. How could anyone in their right mind think that the family in the above photo is harming the environment and should be locked out of Eldorado National Forest?
Pirate4x4's Land Use Forum has several long discussions in which the bigwigs in the fight to keep your public lands open are obviously disappointed, flustered, and disheartened, and are working to develop a solution to this problem before it's too late. I think this article from the Lake Tahoe News does a great job of illustrating the disservice to the American public, and the reader comments show how far out in left field the anti-access crowd truly is.
I'm not a fortune teller, but I think (I HOPE!) that this theft of the last remaining public forest lands in California's El Dorado County may finally be the straw that's broken the camel's back. Not only is the general public getting sick and tired of these system-wide land closures and the wasted tax dollars, but the U.S. Forest Service and the true science-based environmentalists are too.
Is there anything you and I can do to help preserve these public lands FOR the public instead of FROM the public?
Right now, the only sure thing is to join and support BlueRibbon Coalition. They are taking the lead in this fight, along with Cal4Wheel, UFWDA, AMA, and other pro-access environmentalist organizations.
Here's the list of trails that have been closed. Keep in mind that most of these are old Indian trails that existed long before the Forest Service was created to manage this National Forest as a "Land of Many Uses." The Forest Service's website even outlines their Mission, Motto, Vision, and Guiding Principles in which these route closures are in clear violation:
9N95 Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
9N83 Clover Valley/Deer Valley Trail; 4WD connector between Hwy 88 and
Hwy 4; route recognized in Mokelumne Wilderness designation
9N82 Squaw Ridge and access to western portion of Mokelumne Wilderness
9N54 Access to Leoni Meadows
9N15 Access to Calif. Dep’t of Fish and Game land at Leeks Spring
9N08 Access to Stockton Municipal Organization Camp
9N04 Access to Squaw Ridge and western portion of Mokelumne Wilderness
9N01 Access to Meadow Lake and dispersed camping
8N35 Access for dispersed recreation
8N23B Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
17E28 Motorcycle trail connection between Mud Lake and Long Valley (Bear River Reservoir Area)
17E24 Connects Mud Lake to Squaw Ridge
17E21 Connects Horse Canyon motorcycle trail with Squaw Ridge, Allen’s Camp trail, etc.
17E19 Allen’s Camp motorcycle trail
17E17 Bucks Pasture motorcycle trail
17E16 Motorcycle trail to Little Round Top
17E12 Motorcycle trail to Lovers Leap
14N58 Access for dispersed recreation. Meadows on private land at the start of the road and one meadow on NFS land.
14N39 Access to Richardson Lake; significant for dispersed recreation; meadow crossings on both private and public land
14N27 Access to Bunker Hill Lookout and beyond; Route crosses public and private land
14N05 Access to County maintained toilets along Rubicon 4WD Trail; meadow crossings on both private and public land
13N24 Access to Rubicon River and Deer Creek Trail
12NY15 Access for dispersed recreation
12NY06 Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
11NY32 Access to Aspen Creek Recreation Residence Tract; the road through the meadow on public land is no longer used
11N70 Access for dispersed recreation
11N26F Barrett Lake 4WD Trail; rerouted around some of the meadows and stream crossing
11N23F Provides an extension to the Long Canyon 4WD Trail
11N22 Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
11N09A Access to Sayles Canyon Trailhead
10NY06 Portion of the Long Canyon 4WD Trail
10NY05 Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
10NY04 Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
10N98 Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
10N32 Access for dispersed recreation
10N26 Access to Cody Lake Trailhead, access to Cody Lake and Cody Lake Boy Scout Camp
10N21 Long Canyon 4WD Trail, popular 4WD trail away from other dispersed uses
10N14 Access to Bucks Pasture Trail
10N13 Strawberry 4WD Trail and portion of road connecting County Road
with Strawberry Trail; significant recreation opportunity that is
popular with multiple user groups
10N06 Route appears to be used for general dispersed recreation
10N03 Access to Devil’s Gate Recreation Residence Tract
10N01 Access for dispersed camping near Carson Pass (adjacent to Hwy 88)