At any one time, Snowlands Network is engaged in a number of projects that cover a wide range of lands and activities that have the potential to affect backcountry, human-powered, winter sports. For example:
- Our greatest efforts currently focus on the management of the Rubicon Trail, the management of the Lake Tahoe Basin, and the management of the greater Hope Valley east of Carson Pass on Highway 88.
- We are following several slow-moving management projects such as Giant Sequoia National Monument and the potential development of Donner Summit on Interstate-80.
- We are actively seeking remedies to Forest Service regulations that unfairly and significantly impact human-powered winter recreation, such as the OHV Rule that eliminates the requirement that snowmobile use be managed.
- We are looking at the use of new technologies to reduce the cost of monitoring and provide better enforcement.
List of Current Projects
Lands Monitoring. Snowlands Network, through its lands monitoring project, provides an easy method for anyone to report trespass, winter related conflicts and environmental damage. >>> More
California Snowmobile Project. Snowlands Network, together with other petitioners, filed a lawsuit challenging the State of California's recent approval of its 10-year over snow vehicle grooming and trailhead plowing plan. The lawsuit, filed on January 19, 2011, claims that the plan did not adequately address impacts to wildlife, air or water quality, or conflicts with quiet winter recreation. In early 2012, the lower court ruled against the petitioners. The petitioners have appealed. >>> More
Adopt An Area. Our adopt an area project asks skiers and snowshoers to be our eyes and ears when they visit their favorite backcountry destinations. To participate all you need to do is pick an area that you plan to visit several times this winter and at the end of each trip send Snowlands a summary of your trip using our quick and simple online form. >>> More
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Management Plan Revision. The LTBMU's current management plan is 20 years old and is out-of-date with respect to winter recreation; the revised Plan needs to consider the huge increase in demand for winter recreation and the affects of new technologies such as high power snowmobiles. The Forest Service has completed the scoping phase of the revision planning. The Draft Plan is scheduled for Fall 2010 and the Final Plan is scheduled for Fall 2011. Snowlands Network is taking an active roll in the planning process because the outcome will have a huge impact on the future of muscle-powered winter recreation in the Lake Tahoe area. >>> More
Rubicon Trail. Rampant abuse of this historic jeep trail has resulted in impacts to the environment that includes sedimentation and the discharge of petroleum products and human waste into streams and lakes. The use of these vehicles in winter ruin the Polaris Ski (and Snowshoe) Trail for others. A decision by the Central Valley Regional Water Control Board on April 23, 2009 affirmed our position and requires the Forest Service and El Dorado County to improve the management of the trail. Snowlands is now in a mode of monitoring progress on development and implementation of new management practices. >>> More
Quiet Quadrant. This project is part of Snowlands Network’s participation in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit planning process. Snowlands combined their Martis Peak (Brockway Summit) and Tahoe Meadows (Mt. Rose Highway) projects, with a new project at Spooner Summit, to create the Quiet Quadrant project that aims to bring to the Tahoe Basin a balance between motorized and non-motorized winter recreation opportunities. >>> More
Alpine County Winter Recreation Project. The adoption of the Alpine County WRP by the Forest Service, a result of 17 years of work by Snowlands and its predecessor to establish a winter, non-motorized designation for the Forestdale Creek area east of Carson Pass on Highway 88, brings us to the next phase that includes implementation, monitoring and enforcement. >>> More
Anderson Ridge Non-Motorized Winter Recreation Area. Five years of working with the snowmobile community, the Forest Service and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division ended late in 2008 when representatives from the California Nevada Snowmobile Association stated that they had no intention to continue to negotiate a mutually beneficial plan that included the creation of a non-motorize winter recreation area on Highway 88 between Foster Meadow Road and Mormon Emigrant Trail (Road). Simultaneously the new District Ranger displayed absolutely zero interest in proactive management of winter recreation. Snowlands is considering new strategies. >>> More
Giant Sequoia National Monument. President Clinton’s Presidential Proclamation creating Giant Sequoia National Monument included strict controls over the use of motor vehicles, including snowmobiles, in the park. Snowlands is following the management planning process for the park to make sure that the motor vehicle requirements are strictly followed. >>> More
Kirkwood Power Line. The Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District desires to replace their diesel generators with a powerline that will bring in “grid power” to the ski resort on Highway 88. This project would reduce air pollution, but would dramatically impact the visual beauty of the area if not done appropriately. >>> More
Donner Summit Development. The new owner of Royal Gorge Nordic Ski Resort and extensive land in the area desires to build more than 1000 units, ski lodges and ski lifts in the currently quiet development of Serene Lakes. >>> More
Yellowstone National Park. The National Park Service under the Clinton Administration determined that the best management of Yellowstone required that the use of snowmobiles be phased out and the use of snow-coaches be expanded. The Bush Administration did additional studies until their third one concluded that snowmobile use was okay. This is a national issue that Snowlands deems critical because political power was used to shape how our first national park should be managed as opposed to letting science speak for itself. >>> More
OHV Rule. The OHV Rule, which became effective December, 2005, is a positive step in the management of wheeled off-highway vehicles, but strikes a devastating blow to the management of snowmobiles. The Rule repeals the pre-existing laws that required the management of snowmobiles and simultaneously exempts snowmobiles from management under the new law. In August 2010, Snowlands Network actively partnered with Winter Wildlands Alliance and ninety other environmental organizations to petition the Forest Service to amend the Rule to require active management review of snowmobile usage on national forests. >>> More
Forest Orders. A prerequisite for enforcing a motor vehicle closure is that the Forest Service have in place a valid "forest order" that stipulates that the area is designated non-motorized. More and more forest orders are not getting renewed. That translates to no authority for the Forest Service to enforce vehicle closures. >>> More
Remote Sensing. The goal of this project is show the feasibility of improved on-the-ground monitoring and enforcement of snowmobile trespass through the use technology and more efficient use of limited Forest Service funds. >>> More