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[ft-l] Re: Unauthorized usage on the FT (was Fw: PresidentsDay weekend hike)

Dear Deb, Amen! We don't have near enough signs on our Trail. How is the 
public to know! Would help with membership if we gave them the 800 number!
Sylvia  (: (: (:

>From: "Cricket" <D_Blick@email.msn.com>
>To: <ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
>Subject: [ft-l] Re: Unauthorized usage on the FT (was Fw: Presidents Day
weekend hike)
>Date: Thu, Feb 22, 2001, 10:57 AM

> I think Tom MIGHT be right on this one.  I hiked from Clearwater Lake to
> Juniper Springs in the Ocala for F-HATT and just south of Alexander Springs
> ran into two  gentlemen on a huge four-wheeled ATV driving down our trail.
> I stopped and informed them they were on a hiker-only trail and pointed out
> the signs.  They responded that they were volunteers maintaining the trail,
> cutting blowdowns with a chain saw.  They needed the ATV to haul the "heavy"
> chainsaw.  I told them that we were FTA volunteers who helped maintain that
> section and that we didn't use motorised transport on the trail, but walked
> the chainsaws in from the nearest forest roads.  Since they were both twice
> our size I wasn't sure whether they were impressed or incredulous that two
> little ladies would do such a thing :-).  They said they had been doing it
> all week all along the trail, so it's possible they had worked through the
> wilderness area as well.
> Anyway, we again told them that they were doing a fine job with the
> clearing, but needed to get the ATV off the trail.  They went south and we
> went north, so I don't know whether they left the trail after that or not.
> When I talked with them about what they were doing I couldn't figure out
> whether they were FS volunteers (people can get a free weeks stay in the
> forest campgrounds in return for several days volunteer work in the forest)
> or lived just outside the forest.
> Back at the Clearwater Lake trailhead I admonished two separate bicylists
> who were coming in off the hiking trail.  I would hope that all FTA members
> do this with any unauthorized users on our trails.   You don't have to be
> nasty or condescending (altho it's hard when the trail is consistantly
> marked with hiker-only signs).  Just be firm, friendly and informative.
> Along this same line, while conducting Trail Inventory up in Blackwater
> River State Forest earlier this month we encountered an equestrian riding
> along the Juniper Creek Trail.  He was crossing one of the newly-constructed
> SCA bridges there.  Horse, man, toddler cradled in the man's arms and large
> dog - probably about 2,000 lbs on the 14-foot bridge at one time.  You
> should have seen the bridge bow in the center!  As this was a newly-cut
> trail no signage other than orange blazes was up yet, so we couldn't be too
> hard on the guy for being there.  But I suggested to the chapter volunteers
> that they get signage up ASAP to indicate hiker-only status.  Especially on
> the bridges - for liability reasons, if nothing else.  Maybe a load capacity
> sign?!?!   Just points out the importance of signage in trail construction.
> We can't jump on non-hikers using our trail if the trail is not adequately
> signed.
> Deb Blick
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