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Re: [ft-l] Day hike or thruhike

On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 TOKTAADN@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 1/3/00 10:33:51 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
> cstrohme@com1.med.usf.edu writes:
> > My
> >  own preference is toward day hikes on local trails. I don't understand the
> >  emphasis on the FNST as opposed to local trails.
> It's simple.  If we develop our Trail with the long distance hiker in mind, 
> we broaden the appeal of the Trail to more users.  That's not to imply that 
> long distance hikers are "better" than other users.  They just help us keep 
> our focus -- which by the way is stated very clearly in membership 
> correspondence from the FTA -- that we need to work on the weak links to make 
> the dream of a single connected Florida Trail a reality someday.
> Some chapters have been myopic in their trail building and maintenance 
> habits, allocating too many resources to the well-used trails in their region 
> at the expense of some parts of the trail that are only of interest to the 
> long distance hiker.

	I do not consider it *myopic* to allocate chapter resources to
areas where chapter members want to spend their time!

>  Usage by 
> long distance hikers of the Appalachian Trail, which is the granddaddy of 
> long distance hiking trails, amounts to only about 2% of all hikers annually. 
>  Overwhelmingly, it is used for day hikes, picnics, nature study, etc.

	I would suggest, rather, that it is myopic to allocate a large
percentage of the resources to the advantage of only 2% of the users. 

	If thru hikers want a better maintenance schedule for these
neglected sections of the trail, let them put the crews together to
accomplish the work. It is to their benefit to do so. But if they want to
come in from out-of-state to walk the trail and then leave with another
notch on the hiking stick, I don't see any reason to go out of my way to
accomodate them.
	I don't think FNST was mentioned in 1966 when I first joined FTA.
We just wanted places where we could enjoy a hike, usually a day hike, but
sometimes an overnighter. The FNST and the continuous thru trail has become
a monument with a base of mush.
	In my chapter, I advocate using our resources where the results
will benefit the members of the chapter. I guess that makes me *myopic* in
that I believe in serving the members rather than outsiders. I suggest that
FTA should get back on track and pay attention to the needs of the members
rather than chasing those holy grails of 'publicity', 'recognition', and
'nice write-ups' in national magazines.

- Carl

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