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[pct-l] Re: Horses on the PCT

Tom Best <spot@onr.com> wrote:
>What is the current situation with horses on the PCT?  Are they a
>problem?  Is the problem being addressed?  What management efforts have
>been tried?  Will I be hiking knee deep in horse shit all the way from
>Mexico to Canada?

You won't be hiking knee deep in horse shit all the way from Mexico to

Certain sections of the PCT in the High Sierra are over-used by both hikers
and horses. There is trail damage in these areas caused by the large number
of pack trains from the commercial pack outfits that have been operating in
these areas for years. There has been little government effort to reduce
the number of pack trains, and in the Inyo NF at least, the pack outfits
are exempt from trailhead wilderness permit quotas. I think this is more of
a Forest problem than a PCT problem, since the over use is not limited to
the PCT. On the plus side for the pack outfitts, they are often first the
ones to clear the tread of blow downs in their areas.
In perspective, and compared to the Motorcycles in So-Cal, the cow grazing
and  logging in No-Cal, OR and WA, the horses are of little concern.
Jardine makes a big issue of them in his Hikers Guide, but from a through
hiker perspective, I just don't see the problem, especially with miles of
tread destroyed by active logging, and dozens of miles of clear-cut from
past logging on the trail, I think the chain saw is more of a problem than
the horse hoof. I mention Jardine only because every anti-horse discussion
seems to lead back to him. Personally, I think that his Jihad against
horses is more rooted in a personal beef with the PCTA than it is with
trying to protect the trail..............

Just my opinion of course.

Brick Robbins
San Diego, CA          
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