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[pct-l] Re: horses on pct / blisterfree

>As long as this subject has been referenced off-subject, I'll degenerate
>things further by asking: does the PCTA acknowledge that horses in fact
>cause any damage to the footpath, and, if so, what are their offerings for
>a solution?  It would seem to me that soil erosion is nothing to take
>lightly, in light of the fact that it doesn't just "grow right back."
>What can I expect to find in the way of damage when I do my hike next year?
>- - Blister>Free

having hiked the AT, and a fair amount of the PCT in the sierra, and being
coordinator for 90 miles of the PCT, i can give you my perspective.

in the sierras, at least, you won't find nearly the awful conditions that
exist along the AT in the smokies (illegal horse traffic, by the way, but
abused nonetheless).  i think this is directly related to the climate.  out
west is MUCH drier than back east, and it's when it's muddy under hoof that
horses can really cause damage, especially in heavy use areas.

also, trails are constructed and maintained with horse traffic in mind.
although i can ride, i have always been a backpacker.  now as a maintainer
for a foot/horse path, i can truly appreciate the differences in
construction technique and considerations.  a trail properly constructed
for horses can withstand the punishment better than one constructed solely
for foot traffic (pun not intended, but credit gladly accepted).

as a volunteer representative of the PCTA, i acknowledge that both foot and
hoof traffic cause damage to the treadway.  as the PCT has been designated
by congress as a dual-use path, it is the PCTA's responsibility, in
conjunction with the forest service, to ensure that the trail is
constructed and maintained accordingly to minimize degradation.

ke kaahawe AT92 TYT94
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