The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to increase protections for water quality in a deal that will allow improvements to the Rubicon Trail to move forward, according to a statement from conservation groups this week.
Eight appellants, including conservation groups, off-road organizations and El Dorado County, dropped their appeals of a U.S. Forest Service decision granting the county an easement for the historic trail and allowing trail improvements, according to a statement from the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and Center for Biological Diversity.
Changes to the decision negotiated by the appellants will require the county to close the trail when weather conditions are likely to result in runoff of sediment and petroleum products, according to the statement.
The primary concern for the conservation groups that appealed the decision was that erosion and water quality issues would result from winter and early spring use of the trail.
The trail is under a Cleanup and Abatement Order from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board due to issues such as sedimentation and petroleum products contamination.