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[ft-l] Re: FT-L digest, Vol 1 #440 - 1 msg



I know Deborah Stewart-Kent has for many years had the idea
of an "Orange Blossom Coalition" of hikers, bicyclists and
equestrians that could work together on trail development,
land acquisition issues, political lobbying, etc.  One of
the big problems, however, is that while the FTA can claim
to represent hikers state-wide there appear to be no
corresponding organizations for street cyclists, mountain
bikers and horseback riders and horse-drawn wagon groups.
So until a state-wide coalition comes into being it's up to
the local folks to work with the other users.  YOU are the
FTA, not the few people in the offices in Gainesville or
Tallahassee.

Where the original concept among landowner and user groups
is a corridor of land in which all users can build their own
trails and DO build and maintain their own trails, the
multi-use concept has worked.  The Cross Florida Greenway
proves this.  Osceola County is now looking at developing
the same type of system and we need to be active in
supporting such initiatives - usually they are county-wide.
Another example is the mess in Wekiwa Springs State Park
that caused such a flap a couple of years ago - where the
temporarily assigned land manager gave in to mountain bike
pressure and gave them permission to use our trail.  Wylie
Dykes talked quietly and directly with the mountain bike
group and showed them alternate routes they could use that
would limit their use of the FT.

Also, as I am out and about on the trail I have come to
believe that the vast majority of all the users DO follow
the trail rules and guidelines.  It's the 5% who are out
only for themselves who spoil it for everyone else.  And
that 5% occurs among all user groups, hikers included.


Deb

>
> Personally, I would like to see FTA open negotiations with
the bike and
> horse people to bring them into the process of using
trails properly
> even if this means eventually having multi-group use of
the trails. They
> use the trails anyway, lets get them to contribute their
time, money,
> and people resources to help build and maintain the
trails. Building
> such alliances with the individual contacts and
friendships that will
> result should  bring a wider awareness of acceptable
behavior on the
> trail. It is obvious to me that the present situation is
not good and is
> slowly going downhill.
>
> JMHO. :)
>
> - Carl