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[ft-l] mullet wrapper article

I could not agree more!! It is unfortunate that our local papers do not giv=
e the FT more press time than they do,if they do. To my recollection I have=
 not seen an article in the Gainesville Sun in some time that concerns the =
FT. The sad part is that the  Trail Headquarters is here in Gville. Does an=
yone know if the headquarters sends press releases out to the usual suspect=
s in the News outlets in our state. I would think the major issues such as =
large sections of trail completion, issues with funding, land allocations,e=
tc would warrant a press release. This might get some of these media outlet=
s to possibly take interest in doing articles on or human interest intervie=
ws that deal with hiking the trail in Florida.

It is amazing that most people out there do not know that the Florida Trail=
 exists. Should we explore more options to expose people of the state or th=
e region for that matter, to what our trail has to offer? I know as with ev=
erything else that there are budget constraints. Some papers accept article=
s from local people for publication, this maybe an avenue to explore. I am =
going to contact the editors of the Gainesville Sun, specifically the local=
 editor and suggest that they do an article on the FT since they ran a coup=
le pertaining to the AT. Will even put a word into our local college rag to=
 see if they try and get someone to do an article.

Unfortunately when most people outside our state think of Florida they thin=
k of the more southern beaches, the Keys, the road in Daytona that every dr=
ives around the world to the left and the Mouse House. It will take time an=
d effort on all our parts to start getting the word out and expose our trea=
sure to more people. I unfortunately will not be able to make the annual co=
nference, but maybe this issue could discussed.


-----Original Message-----
From: David L Rohe [mailto:drohe@fs.fed.us]
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 11:57 AM
To: Grant, Brad
Cc: ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net; ft-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: RE: [ft-l] mullet wrapper article

I am certain that the article was done well, and I am certain that the
people that were interviewed were interesting and informative.  I am,
however, developing a slight pet peeve regarding Long-distance trail
articles IN FLORIDA, that don't use the FNST as the basis of the article.
I know everyone has heard of the AT, but how do we expect greater
recognition for the FNST and the Florida Trail System if our own local
(read: Florida) papers don't use us as the destination rather than the AT.
I know that we get coverage for the FT in most of the papers, and I have a
great respect for the AT, and those that hike it.  I simply feel that the
FNST should be the focus of any Long-distance trail article that is
published in Florida.  If I lived in NC, I would certainly expect said
article to be about the AT or if I lived out west, then maybe the PCT or
CDT, but I live in Florida, and gosh darnnit our trail deserves the respect
of our local media on a consistent basis.
      Unfortunately the problem is even bigger that this though.  I led a
hike in Torreya State Park recently.  The trail there is a part of the
Florida Trail System and is maintained by the Apalachee Chapter.  While on
the hike, we met two hikers going the other direction.  I very politely
hailed them, and inquired about their day, their hike, and where they were
from.  They said they were having a wonderful time and that they lived in
Chipley, FL.  I then quite naturally asked them if they were FT members (I
don't know everyone's face yet :))  They looked at me strangely and said,
"Gosh no, we hike the AT not the Florida Trail."  I think they may have
also mentioned that they were ATC members.  There is nothing wrong with
being a ATC member.  Many FT members also belong to ATC, or AHTS (Alabama
Hiking Trails Society), and many others.  The thing that bothered me as I
wished them well upon their way, was that these hikers, who live in
Florida, obviously do some hiking in Florida, and would be a great asset to
the organization, was their apparent disdain for the FNST.  They said that
they only hiked in Torreya because of the ups and downs.  I mentioned the
challenges of the trail along the FNST, but they shook their heads, as if
to say "Sure there are challenges, now move along."
      Sorry to everyone for the rant, but this has been growing in me for a
while, and I guess that article was the match on the dry straw.  I'd like
to finish by saying that the AT is the Granddaddy of trails, and the FTA
has a wonderful relationship with the ATC.  But we've been around over 35
years.  What more do we have to do, because I for one will walk across hot
coals, lead anyone who doubts in Bradwell or Big Cypress, only tell me so
we can get started!


                      "Grant, Brad"
                      <brad.grant@sfcc.edu>           To:      David L Rohe=
 <drohe@fs.fed.us>, ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net
                      Sent by:                        cc:
                      ft-l-admin@mailman.back         Subject: RE: [ft-l] m=
ullet wrapper article

                      03/03/2003 10:54 AM

They did run a multi page article in November of last year about a couple
that hiked  the AT earlier in the year. I saved it and am looking at it
right now. The couple was Merridith and Kyle Arola and it talked about the
training that they went through to prepare. Kyle was a former Marine but
due to some problems and the pain that ensued he had to dropout in VA.
Merridith continued on and finished. It basically painted a realistic
picture of the trials of the trail and even listed the gear that she used
in her 35 pound pack. The article was very well done in my opinion. It
definately did not make it sound like the average person could just strap
on a pack and go.

I don't know if they did not include an interview with a thru hiker in this
latest article for this reason, it might have been.


-----Original Message-----
From: ft-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net
[mailto:ft-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net]On Behalf Of David L Rohe
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 9:29 AM
To: ft-l@mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: [ft-l] mullet wrapper article

I don't suppose anyone in the Gainesville area would want to write a letter
to the editor thanking them for putting in a story about hiking, but asking
them why they didn't interview a FT thru-hiker?

Any takers?

Dave "Hatter" Rohe

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