Aug 23 2012

Access: New Tahoe area FS plan avoids snowmobile issues

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the US Forest Service have released the draft of a new management plan that distills their policy guidelines for the next 20 years. The bureaucrats new plan does not appear to address winter recreation – implying no changes to their decades old plan. If there were no known conflicts or complaints by backcountry skiers that might be okay. Off the top of this writers head it seems there are at least two pressing issues that could be improved upon. First and foremost are the ongoing conflicts between human and machine powered backcountry users and, secondly, limited access points due to a lack of plowed parking areas.

Letter Writing Campaign
To help change that the Sierra Club is hosting one last letter writing and pizza party this evening to influence a change to address winter recreation in the plan. If interested meet at the North Lake Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach from 6:00 to 7:00pm.

You may submit your comments directly via email to:

Or via snail mail to:
Draft Land Management Plan
35 College Dr.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Don’t lollygag around. The final day for comments to be accepted is August 29th, 2012.

A semi-automated form letter covering important points of concern drafted by Snowlands.org is available here. It is easily customizable. Just be careful what you ask for, you might get it. In other words, asking for controls and restrictions on the other guy (snowmobilers) will inevitably result in controls and restrictions on everyone (backcountry skiers) which is the antithesis of the lure of the backcountry.

My $0.02
Personally I’d rather deal with snowmobilers in my own way (skiing more remote areas) than through further restrictions to all our “rights.” I must admit that is a somewhat naive approach and prone to abuse. Nonetheless, one pressing point missing is the need for more access points (plowed trailheads) which would disperse users over a wider area (the antithesis of the control bureaucrats thrive on) and potentially minimize conflict.

© 2012