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[CDT-L] Politics

The late Tip O' Neil (I believe) said "All politics are local".  When he
said that, he meant that politics have an effect on everyone, whether
they live in the Beltway or not.

On a CDT scale, I truly think that maxim applies. Consider, out in the
vague geographic area known as "the West", 85+% of the land is government
owned. Think about that.           Uncle Sam has a large impact upon how
things are conducted out here past the Mississippi. Be it water rights,
management of BLM land and NF land, Native American reservations, etc.
Now consider where most of the  CDT  goes through.  

 I think political discussion is necessary (and, I must admit, less than
pleasant part) of any discussion of the CDT.  As others have pointed out,
hikers are a hard group to organize. The very nature of our lifestyle
stresses individuality. But if we do not organize, and ,yes, get involved
politically for our interests, the characteristics that make the CDT so
appealing will be diminished.   The ORV crowd will out spend and out
lobby hikers, greatly diminishing the hiking experience.  A repeat of
Rocky Mtn National Park could happen (where one of the most beautiful
parks in this country is essentially off limits to long distance hikers),

Jim pointed out that most of us on this forum have move passed the "nuts
and bolts" issues of hiking. We are comfortable with the gear we use, we
know that gear is just a means to an end.  I would hate to see
discussions of the CDT limited to strictly what kind of pack to use,
where the best place for a mail drop is. 

So for better or worse, politics has more of an effect on the CDT than
any of the other National Scenic Trails.  I think the CDT is at a
crossroads, what we decide (or not to decide )  to do NOW will have an
effect for a long time.

Ok..enough rambling.


ps. is there a digest mode for CDT-L? Traffic has picked up a wee bit. :D

..the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their
dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
--T. E. Lawrence
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