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Re: [ft-l] Florida Trail thru-hikers

"As it now exists the NST designation is really not deserved."

I sure hope this is not a widely held opinion of those who care about the
FNST.  If all trails had to meet the standard of "completion" before
earning national scenic trail designation, Congress would only now be
considering the AT for designation as a national scenic trail (Congress
designated it and the Pacific Crest Trail 32 years ago and the FNST 17
years ago).  In the meantime Congress has given the National Park Service
well over $20 million to purchase the remaining gaps in the AT using
condemnation when necessary.  After 20 years of land acquisition, the
remaining gaps in the AT are only now being closed.  The FNST has never has
been granted either funding or condemnation to protect the trail.  We have
only build FT and FNST where the landowner has granted permission out of
the goodness of their heart (there is nothing that requires them to work
with FTA and the USFS to establish the FNST on their land).  Only the AT
and Pacific Crest Trail are near completion, and nearly their total lengths
are on federal forest and park land.  It can be suggested the FNST is much
closer to its completion after 35 years than any of seven other national
scenic trails were after 35 years from their genesis (the concept for the
AT is nearly 80 years old).

According to our best estimates, 523 miles of the 1277 mile long trail are
certified as FNST making it 41 percent complete.  We estimate that another
464 miles or 36 percent could also be certified if routes and trail could
be build on existing public lands where we currently have gaps.  This
leaves 289 miles or approximately 23 percent where there are gaps in the
trail which a route must be acquired to establish the FNST.  This gap
mileage is primarily between Eglin Air Force Base and the Apalachicola
National Forest and between the Green Swamp and Three Lakes Wildlife
Management Area.

Kent L. Wimmer, AICP
Florida National Scenic Trail Liaison
Florida Trail Association, Inc.
(850) 942-9376 (w)
(850) 942-9305 (fax)
(850) 386-8442 (h)
Mailing address:
USDA Forest Service
National Forests in Florida
325 John Knox Rd, F-100
Tallahassee, FL 32303-4160

                    om                      To:     <ft-l@backcountry.net>                   
                    Sent by:                cc:                                              
                    owner-ft-l@backc        Subject:     Re: [ft-l] Florida Trail            
                    ountry.net              thru-hikers                                      
                    08/29/2000 02:16                                                         
                    Please respond                                                           
                    to ft-l                                                                  

It is great to hear talk of making the FT a real "thru" trail.  If indeed
it is ever completed as a thru trail, the attention it will bring may well
fuel expansion of loop and side trails.

As it now exists the NST designation is really not deserved.
* From the Florida Trail Mailing List | http://www.backcountry.net *

* From the Florida Trail Mailing List | http://www.backcountry.net *

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