“Each year thousands of people enjoy a world-class off-road experience on the Rubicon,” said Vickie Sanders, Rubicon Project Coordinator for El Dorado County. “The problem is that the waste generated can cause significant water quality issues.”
Last year the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board issued a Cleanup and Abatement Order to El Dorado County and the U.S. Forest Service to address water quality issues stemming from the use of the Rubicon Trail. Since then El Dorado County has identified the trail location, installed various BMP’s (Best Management Practices) such as waterbars, and rock filters, and completed a user count.
“The Yellow Bandana Campaign is a fun educational concept that user groups have embraced because they realize that long-term health and availability of the trail depends on good stewardship today,” said Sanders. “Eventually we expect to see a lot of four-wheel rigs with yellow stickers and bandanas on the trail.”
Off road coalition Friends of the Rubicon with support from Rubicon Trail Foundation has organized a Volunteer Day on Saturday, June 26 from 8:30AM to 4PM. Over 100 volunteers are expected to work with county staff on trail improvements from the Loon Lake Kiosk to Gatekeeper, a famous trail obstacle. The day also marks the official kick-off to the Yellow Bandana Campaign.
The California State Parks Off Highway Vehicle Division is also supporting El Dorado County’s efforts through a $1.2 million grant. The county plans to hire dozens of seasonal workers this summer with the grant funds to advance trail improvements before next winter.
“Our goal is to improve sanitation and prevent sedimentation, all while putting people to work,” said Supervisor Jack Sweeney, a long time trail enthusiast.
More information about the Rubicon Trail and the Yellow Bandana Campaign is available at: www.YellowBandanaCampaign.com.