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[at-l] R&R..the unanswered points....

In a message dated 6/14/01 10:49:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
bullard@northnet.org writes:

 You really don't get it.  No one is "enforcing" HYOH.  HYOH is about 
 freedom (remember freedom? It's what we fought all those wars for) to hike 
 the trail in the manner that is most meaningful to you without worrying 
 whether you are 'doing it right' according to someone else's rules or 
 'seeing the landscape the right way' or 'thinking the right thoughts'.

   ###  But you are wrong. It is very apparent that there is a dead set 
against view on establishing a traditional agenda. Somewhere the problems 
presently existing on the Trail arose from a feeling of acceptability for 
doing them. If you shut out the solutions, you are indeed "enforcing" HYOH. 
Persons ripping the insulation out of hotel walls in a drunken stupor do not 
feel validated by threats of traditionalism, they feel they are hiking their 
own hike without anyone trampling their sense of freedom by daring to 
question it. It isn't me who doesn't see the picture here.  
 We're not saying he doesn't have good intentions or that he has done 
 nothing.  We (at least I) are saying that we disagree with his methods, 
 with his insistence on his methods or none at all, on his degrading 
 comments about and ostracism of those who disagree and frankly, we don't 
 think his influence on the all those land deals was/is as great as you 
 purport it to be.  We have already explained why we think that.  If you 
 didn't read that part go back and read again.  <> The only banishing that 
has been 
 done is by WF.  Don't make him out to be a victim of our rejection.

   ### Nobody can account for his methods but WF. It has been said many times 
that no similar effort has been available elsewhere. As for his influence, I 
don't think too many have been trying that hard to search out the truth. As I 
said, I am convinced that his effort helped win 3 millions for the Gulf 
Tract. $Six thousand in contributions for the Place is commendable, 3 million 
for a permanent corridor is epic. The Trail's main currency is LAND! I detect 
an effort to minimize his achievements here * not admirable. It appears to me 
to be a negative approximating from persons who have divorced themselves from 
being current with his doings. 
    It isn't so much WF that is the victim but the Trail itself. Maybe 
reviling or scapegoating would be better. If Wingfoot's methods aren't 
controversial, the 12,000 acres in the Gulf Tract and unharmed land at the 
Mine at least prove he is competent and effective. I won't let the other 
matters become an excuse for not recognizing that. His insistence is no doubt 
a reaction to the bogging down experienced by useless worrying about infinite 
correctness instead of just doing it. Nervousness over infringing on rights 
is insubstantial compared to keeping the AT wild or uncrowded. Undoubtedly he 
has cut off this kind of unproductive speculation and just gotten to what he 
feels to be best for the Trail.  
 >. . . clip . . .
 You're still confusing 2000 miler status and thru-hiking.  ATC has never, 
 repeat NEVER required proof of thru-hiking because they have never 
 *recognized* thru-hiking.  The 2000 miler certificate is for *completing 
 the trail* regardless of whether it took one season or 40.  Their request 
 that Earl present evidence was not to recognize his hike as a thru-hike but 
 as a completion of the trail which he reported to have done in one season, 
 something that was regarded as impossible at that time.  No separate 
 thru-hiker status was created and the ATC certificate has always been 2000 
 miler status.  The notion that it should recognize thru-hikes only and that 
 there be a specific standard is WFs alone.

     ###  This is just semantics. Through*hiking is a contemporary well 
known, high profile form of Trail usage. 

              Another sign of being out of touch with what Wingfoot is doing 
and engaging in untrue propaganda against him is the fact that he never says 
anywhere that through*hikes are the only recognized form of hiking. He goes 
to lengths to explain that all forms are legitimate, but the through*hike has 
been loosely overseen and a need exists to try and create a formal standard 
by which it should be recognized, just as 2000 miler status is recognized. 
Your point is too much a technicality to put the weight on it you do. They 
still demanded proof and took the accomplishment seriously.
     Anyhow, you make a case for the need to do so since so many people 
through*hike now.  ATC would not take through*hiker counts through HF if it 
wasn't a specially recognized form. Grasping again vs the argument.
 >  ******The next would be one that promotes behavior true to the Trail's
 >  definition by ATC as a primitive place to be upheld.
 Benton MacKay never intended the trail to be hiked end-to-end at all much 
 less in one season.  As for cell phones not fitting with his prospectus, 
 well a lot of us aren't to crazy about them either but arguing that they 
 don't fit MacKay's intent is like arguing that they are unconstitutional 
 because  they don't fit with any provisions thereof.  Cell phones didn't 
 exist and weren't contemplated by either document so it's nonsense to argue 
 that they don't fit.  BTW - MacKay didn't get 'that deep' as you put it. He 
 threw out an idea and others took the ball and ran.  Kind of like the 
 Pitney and Bowes ad (the dreamer and the doer). Avery was probably the 
 biggest mover and undoubtedly most hard ball guy in getting the AT off the 
 ground and he didn't do it for thru-hikers either.

     ###   Nobody can argue the fact that through*hiking and the AT are 
virtually synonymous in today's age. You can keep referring to that tired 
point of the AT not being designed for through*hiking, but just looking at it 
today tells you it is. The through*hike is probably the first image the Trail 
brings to the public's mind. It is a great adventure and people identify it 
as such. It is time to at least admit it is going on out there on the Trail.
    Your next statement is the equivalent of saying that the constitution did 
not foresee capturing and paralyzing people with Star Trek phasers, so there 
can't be any constitutional relevance involved. If you absorbed what MacKaye 
said in the prospectus, the Trail was meant to be a refuge from reminders of 
civilization's technology and a sanctuary of pure undisturbed, remote nature. 
He went very deep indeed. So much so that if you look at what is threatening 
our planet in our present day, his thoughts can be considered prophetic. 
Avery also didn't suffer fools lightly and took flak for it. Through*hiking 
is not an embarrassing family secret, nor is keeping the Trail primitive.   

 It's more than "very difficult".  There is a world of difference between 
 Denali and the AT.  Start with the fact that the AT has a gajillion access 
 points compared to Denali.  Just how would you propose to police access to 
 the AT?  That same solution has been proposed for the High Peaks in the 
 Adirondacks and rejected as a logistic impossibility.  The AT has waaay 
 more access points than the High Peaks area.  You'd have to hire an army of 
 trail cops to patrol the trail and they'd end up doing as much wear and 
 tear as the people they kept off not to mention destroying any sense of the 
 escape that MacKay intended.

   ### Playing the devil's advocate to the point of preventing useful change 
serves no purpose. An effort could be made and a word put out. Look at the 
Smokies permit system presently working on the Trail already. They could let 
more people in to Denali, but they don't because it would infringe on 
wilderness quality. I have some other suggestions I would like to post 
separately. ATC relies on donations.
 >I'll turn it around and ask what, then,
 >would your solution to the high season crowding be?
 There is *no* comparison between Denali,(or most of the other National 
 Parks) and the AT.  The majority of the NPs are not smack in the middle of 
 highly populated areas.  Yes, there are exceptions like the NP in downtown 
 Philadelphia but they don't try to limit access there.  The nearest 
 comparison I know is the Adirondack Park which is a mix of public and 
 private land all within the park's boundaries.  We are still wrestling with 
 the balance there but I would remind you that 'traditionally' (as in 'the 
 way it used to be') all the land in both places (Adirondack Park and the 
 AT) was privately held and there are some who would like it to be that way 
 again, in which case there would be no trail.
 Like it or not the trail will change.  Some of the change will be for the 
 better, some not, but any attempt to turn back the clock with appeals to 
 'traditionalism' is doomed from the outset.  Any demand that everyone 
 support the trail in the same way, through the same forum is also doomed to 

     ### If efforts to prevent this from happening are fought instead of 
backed the change will most certainly occur. What you say could be true, but 
I'm not sure if that would be the fault of the forum for the failure. If 
fruitless conjecture is the preferred method I don't think any forum will 
succeed in doing what needs to be done.
 Our best bet is to discuss and educate one another then each make our own 
 contributions as best we can whether it's money to buy land, writing to 
 politicians or talking LNT with folks we meet out there.  That's what 
 happens on AT-L.  It doesn't involve sending carbon copy emails through a 
 prescribed web site that we know politicians will discount or ignore. That 
 isn't a put down of WF.  It's just people saying we don't buy into his 
 ideology and methods and we resent being ostracized and called names *by 
 him* for not playing the game his way.  If you feel that it's okay for him 
 to do that, but not okay for us to complain about it, well, pardon me, but 
 I think it's you that has the problem. >>

    ### Yes that does happen here, but, additionally, a passionate ripping 
down of other websites and their purposes does too. 

     Again, speaking in the worst way to minimize the conservation campaigns 
with false information only proves my point. The Trailplace e*form had you 
write your own words. That is not a carbon copy "roboform". Many Trail 
interested people would not have gotten involved without this form. The 
Saddleback postcards WERE counted according to the NPS follow up report. You 
people are propagandizing the worst scenario without checking your facts 
first. This same person said he heard of no WF influence. This sounds like 
looking for the first available weak excuse to downplay WF to a list really 
not interested in knowing the facts. I also took a print*out and physically 
mailed it to the appropriate office. It was all my own words in its entirety. 
If the politicians made an effort to ignore this they broke their public 
trust and maybe even the law. For all I know they saw the volunteer 
contributions for the Place and kicked in the Gulf Tract as their response. 
Stranger things have happened. Both sites would be serving the Trail at that 
point. One site trying to destroy the other would not. 
    If you feel comfortable seeing it that way OK, I can't stop you. I myself 
will comfort myself in the 3 millions and 12,000 acres while the rest of you 
were so busy taking offense. Petty, partisan politics while the Trail is 
burning *that is the problem...