CANTINA FOR THE CON

This weekend is the Annual Fundraiser for the Rubicon Trail Foundation, Cantina for the Con … John & Rene will be heading up for the event and doing a little trail running too, maybe a night run. Please let us know if you are interested in joining us.
We will have our HAM radio on the Madhatter channel.

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August 2015 meeting audio now available

Audio transcript from the August 2015 meeting is now online here:

http://madhatters4x4.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Aug-2015-Meeting.mp3

Meeting highlights:

  • Sierra Trek report
    • Good run on Thursday, some breakage at WH1 and below WH3, but we got to Meadow by 4:30pm
    • River run Thurs was good – only a handful of folks actually went all the way to the river
    • Historic run was interesting, got to see inside of train sheds around Truckee
    • Saturday Art & Mark helped with FoF & the Wheelers for Wounded on a river run. Vets had a blast and were a hit on a parade thru camp after the run
    • Raffle was very successful. Many thanks to Stephanie and Nikki for all the help in the booth all day Friday and Saturday. Thanks to all that helped overall. Raffle drew in almost $12K after all tickets and expenses. Silent auction went well too.
    • John wants to re-weld our sign at Meadow Lake to move the Madhatters plate to the top.
    • Our AAT section below WH5 is staying good and solid. Other sections of the trail need work.
    • Picture album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskez33RH
  • September events coming up
    • Cantina for the Con – Labor Day weekend. Craig and Carol helping with the taco feed, Kurt & Terry, John/Rene & Greg, Josh, various others planning to go.
    • Club Picnic – Sept 12-13 – will be held at Airport Flat campground. We will do maintenance on the Rubicon at the Wentworth Springs entrance to clear the silt traps and then do a pot luck back in camp Saturday nite. Working on plan for the meat, everyone should bring stuff to share.
    • Barrett Lake run - rescheduled to Sept 26-27 weather permitting. Lots of interest from folks to run Barrett since its reopened for the first time in years.  Entrance gate is 86″ wide. If you can’t fit, you can’t be on the trail. Plan is to go in Saturday morning, camp at the lake and come out Sunday. Hike to the historic airplane wreck site if there is time/interest.
  • October events
    • Chris G. is leading Slick Rock Oct 10-11. Plan is to secure the group campsite area along the road by Utica Reservoir on Friday and the run the trail Saturday.  Full details at the Sept club meeting.
    • Oct 27 is last club meeting for 2015.
  • November events
    • Chris & Dustin are looking to lead a trip to Hollister Nov 7. More details at the Sept/Oct meetings.
    • Panamint Valley Days (Cal4 event) is Nov 13-15. George is going, maybe others. Details to come.
    • Thanksgiving Week in the Desert – Nov 22-29. Art is planning to have base camp at the Calico Ghost Town campground and do day trips from there around the Calico area, Stoddard Valley and maybe as far down as Lucerne Valley/Cougar Buttes. Will post info on campground shortly as folks will need to get reservations.
  • December events
    • Club Xmas party – need to settle on a venue by the Sept meeting and get plans together. John/Rene volunteered their place again if there was no other takers or solid plan for a different venue.
  • 2016 runs
    • Start thinking about runs for next year – we want to get it locked down by the October meeting.
  • Scott Hansen voted in as a new member – welcome Scott (2nd time as a Madhatter member). Nickname?
  • Scott received the Boner Award after having his from wheel come off shortly after leaving the Meadow Lake road due to a missing stub shaft.
  • Trail maintenance – some work coming up on the Fordyce (between 1st water crossing and WH1, and around WH3 – 3.5). Our area is still solid. Rubicon work party needed around Gatekeeper on Oct 10th.
  • CORVA club conservation award given to Madhatters for 2014.
  • Proposed bylaws changes presented by Darrell. Drafts of new text distributed in paper as well as email. Voting will take place at September meeting.
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Urgent letters needed for PG&E conservation easement donation around Meadow Lake/Fordyce Lake!!!

Folks, PG&E is in the last stages of a donation of property around Meadow Lake and Fordyce Lake to a conservation easement to be held by the Bear Yuba Land Trust. Most of the items in the easement plan don’t have issues with them, except for two important bits:

  • omission of the Fordyce ‘Committee Trail’ from their maps and language in the plan that do not permit off road travel on non-identified roads. The omission puts the continued use of the Committee Trail in serious jeopardy. The BYLT folks are not in the business of being in support of OHV in any form.
  • omission of camping around Fordyce Lake (which exists today and PG&E was in the process of expanding). The plan with the BYLT explicitly removes camping as a ‘beneficial public value’ as part of their conservation plan (which of course only includes ‘passive’ outdoor recreation like hiking, fishing, sightseeing,…)

They are accepting protests until Aug 31 for this plan. The BYLT folks didn’t know there was camping at Fordyce, nor did they know anything about the Committee Trail. Clearly, they haven’t really visited the area that they are getting an easement to manage.

The very large Conservation Easement plan documents are here:

http://www.stewardshipcouncil.org/land_conservation/planning_units/fordyce-lake.htm

Note that its in excess of 200+ pages, so its not a small document.

The other documents I reference to provide evidence of the trail/route and the camping issue are the Hydro Electric licensing environmental impact study. These are huge docs (> 1000 pages), but the important bits are:

  • FEIS Volume 2, Appendix C, page C-3 – Map displays the “Committee Trail” with an OHV symbol on it.  It also displays the proposed campground development at Fordyce Lake.
  • FEIS Volume 1
  •   Page   67 – Mentions reducing flows of Fordyce Creek to enhance OHV annual event
  •   Page 414 – OHV use in the project is recognized
  •   Page 422 – OHV use at Fordyce Lake is recognized
  •   Page 430, Table 3-211 – Indicates that OHV use is a primary activity in the Fordyce Lake area
  • Page 462-464 detailing the camping use around Fordyce Lake
  •   Page 672 – Table discusses continued management of existing trails in the Comparison of Alternatives

 

I’ve uploaded the letter I sent to PG&E and the CPUC to protest the omissions.

http://madhatters4x4.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/PGE-protest.pdf

http://madhatters4x4.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/PGE-protest.docx

 

You can grab either version and add your additional comments, but please modify it in some way so it doesn’t appear like a form letter. Email & fax is good, there isn’t time to send via US mail.

Any questions, just drop me email or call me and I can explain further.

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Club picnic – Sept 12-13

With Deer Valley closed, the annual picnic run is being relocated to Airport Flat campground at the Rubicon. More details in the meeting next week from Trailboss John.

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Deer Valley

Deer Valley Meadow Restoration and Blue Lakes/Meadow Lake Road Maintenance Project

Deer Valley 4wd Meadow Restoration and Blue Lakes/Meadow Lake Road Maintenance Project

The Amador Ranger District has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Deer Valley 4wd Trail and Blue Lakes/Meadow Lake Road Project. 

Public Comments concerning this action will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of the notice in the Mountain Democrat (expected on August 14, 2015). 

Please see the attached letter for further information. The EA and supporting 
documentation are available at: Forest Service . 

If you would like a paper copy of the EA and/or supporting documents please contact Matt Brown.

Matt Brown 
South Zone Botanist
Forest Service 
Eldorado National Forest
p: 530-642-5110 
mrbrown@fs.fed.us

100 Forni Road 
Placerville, CA 95667
US Forest Service

 

Also look at http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/land-use-issues/2131426-deer-valleymeadow-restoration-blue-lakes-meadow-lake-road-maintenance-project.html

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Drone Search & Rescue

Apparently we needed to expand our search grid. The South County folks found it down by the lake where the water truck fills up. It was in one piece and Don Spuhler is going to bring it to us. Thanks for the help.
Craig

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August club roster posted

The Madhatters club roster has been updated with the July meeting’s new member, Amber.  The roster is available in both PDF and XLS formats.  Please let me know if you have changes for your entry (address, email, phones, rig picture, ham info, rig mods, etc).

Find the updated roster in the Madhatters web site’s Members section.  Sign in using your Madhatter web site credentials.  If you don’t remember your credentials then send Art or Darrel an email and one of us will get you setup.

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July 2015 meeting notes and audio

Audio recording of July 2015 meeting available here: http://madhatters4x4.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/July-2015-Meeting.mp3

 

Highlights from meeting:

  • Trip report from July Lower Fordyce run – the 16 hour ‘day run’ (“The Longest Day” or “The Fordyce Death March”) – in at 9:30am, out at 2am. John & Art highly misjudged the rate of travel with the group and we got to WH2 as the sun was setting. From there to the top of Committee took another 4 hours. Ugh. Mostly minor carnage: Sherry – two tires de-beaded & rocker panel dents. Amber – dented oil pan and shredded front drive shaft boot. Gary – broken front axle.Tony – seized rear locker. Lisa – failed front u-joint by the time she made it home. There was no welding required or any major recovery needed. Ok, Larry needed to be winched off a few tree roots/stump, but its a Bronco thing :-)
  • Tom isn’t able to make it to Trek to run the raffle – had to go in for emergency surgery for a detached retina.  We got it handled with Dave/Rene/Art/John/Kurt/Terry, etc.
  • Sierra Trek coming up next week. Kurt/Terry, Dave Jones, Rene, etc will be up this Friday/Saturday to tape off our section and set up tents. For folks doing the Thurs run, we have 10 rigs signed up. Plan is to meet at Jones’ cabin Weds nite, grill/bbq dinner there and get a decent nites sleep. For Thurs we will skip staging and head in before the rest of the groups via the Indian Springs entrance. Art is going to do some photography/video  so we need to be out in front to do this.
  • Barrett Lake is open again, so we are going to try to get a weekend in Sept to run it. August looks filled  with other clubs swarming there.
  • Cantina coming up over Labor Day weekend – its a good event to help with the trail.
  • Sept picnic – Deer Valley is still closed. Looks like the plan is going to be to camp at Airport Flats and play on the Rubicon and check out our Adopt-a-Trail section the same weekend.
  • Slick Rock in October is still on. Chris will have final plans for the August meeting.
  • Thanksgiving week trip to the desert – looking at options including Panamint, Calico, Johnson Valley/Stoddard Valley. George inquired about Saline Valley, but the nudity around the hot tubs in Saline might be an issue for folks with kids or weak stomachs.
  • Amber voted in as a member. Welcome Amber!
  • Boner award – where to start with all the ‘fun’ on the July Fordyce run. Nominees: Larry for having his Bronco almost flopped by some tree roots (and roots that even Sherry was able to clear :-), Art&John for really bad trail time planning for the Fordyce run, and Amber for her balancing on a boulder on the WH1 bypass. Larry won it by one vote!
  • Easter Jeep Safari next March – the campground that John & Rene wanted to go back to starts taking reservations Aug 1. Rene will send mail out with the details.
  • Voted on proposal by Art to have the club cover group camping fees for events, including club runs (like Trek and the Chalet rental @ Loon Lake for the Rubicon run), work parties where we have to pay for group camping. It would not cover Larry’s hotel costs or individual camping fees like at Cisco Grove. Motion passed. Treasurer will manage the budgeting of this annually and raise any issues if they come up, but we won’t keep voting on these individual expenditures any longer.
  • Dennis mentioned whether we wanted to try to host a club hospitality room at Convention next year. Cal4 apparently had issues with clubs serving alcohol and that won’t be happening again, so not clear whether we’d get people in the room without booze. In any case, it appears the host hotel is out of suite rooms anyway.
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July club roster posted

The Madhatters club roster has been updated with our two newest members.  The roster is available in both PDF and XLS formats.  Please let me know if you have changes for your entry (address, email, phones, rig picture, ham info, rig mods, etc).

Find the updated roster in the Madhatters web site’s Members section.  Sign in using your Madhatter web site credentials.  If you don’t remember your credentials then send Art or Darrel an email and one of us will get you setup.

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COUPLE OF THINGS

1) Sierra Trek registration is due July 22nd. Please let me know if you have any questions.

2) Madhatter gear order being placed. I have just sent an email with the link. Let me know what you need.

Rene

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