As part of a court decision, 42 trails in the Eldorado National Forest were closed pending review of compliance with Forest Service water standards. Some of these trails reopened after it was determined they already complied with appropriate standards, but many important trails remained closed pending further review. The Deer Valley/Blue Lakes Trail remained closed primarily because of the new listing of the Yosemite Toad as a threatened species while the trail had been closed.
CORVA worked with stakeholders and the Forest Service, and proposed a new alternative countering the original Forest Service proposal . CORVA's alternative would allow the Forest Service to open the Deer Valley/Blue Lakes trail for the maximum amount of time while providing appropriate protections for the threatened Yosemite Toad. CORVA is the California OHV organization started enthusiasts tasked with representing off-road interests at all levels of government. This includes research into all aspects that may cause closures of roads and trails, including analysis into all scientific and pseudo-scientific issues that may be used as an excuse for closure.
In this case, Ken Clarke, CORVA president searched for all relevant information relating to Yosemite Toad mating criteria and CORVA then proposed an alternative based on science to allow the trail to reopen for the maximum amount of time each year. CORVA Deer Valley Alternative
After consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, CORVA's alternative was adopted leading to the reopening of this spectacular trail. Thanks go to many people involved in the project, including Doug Barr of the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo's.
The Deer Valley/Blue Lakes Trail reopened to the public on August 3rd. 2017 for the first time in many years!