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Re: [ft-l] Trail monitoring needed

On Sat, 7 Aug 1999, sherry n cummings wrote:

> In the loxahatchee chapter we try to have a monthly hike on all of our
> trails on a year-round basis.
> we find a lot of interest throughout the summer, although we shorten the
> hikes somewhat to fit the terrain and the heat index.
> paul cummings

	It is good to see some summer hiking activity in Loxahatchee
Chapter. I visit many of the trails that Suncoast Chapter administers and
note that the sign-in sheets at the trailheads often are almost blank. We
have a large chapter and a large geographic area, but we don't seem to have
many hikers. Our new officers have embarked on an active campaign to
increase hiking and work activity participation among the members. They are
working hard at 'member-outreach'.

	We seem to have adequate participation in trail development and
maintenance (although we could always use more bodies and hands!), but the
recreational hiking aspect is not very active. I go out every weekend to
one of our properties or occasionally to a site in an adjacent chapter, and
I seldom meet anyone on the trail. When I do, that person is usually NOT an
FTA member and often is unaware of the FTA. I always encourage them to sign
the register and offer to provide some information about FTA. However, when
I return to the trailhead, there are not any more names on the register
than when I started (ie - my name is still the last one on the list).

	We do have a list of 30 +/- activity leaders. Most of them are
active in trail maintenance/building. Some lead a few hikes each year and
some have been inactive for a while. We suffer from a split between the
'Builders' and the 'Users'. 

	Of the members who do get out on the trail, it appears that most
only attend a scheduled hike. Few people take off for the woods for a day
without having benefit of an 'official' hike, and never in summer.

- Carl

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