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Re: [pct-l] the horse wars

At 10:21 PM 10/13/97 PDT, brick@ix.netcom.com wrote:
>I wonder if someone could answer me on this one.
>Are there any through hikers who have seen both horse damage AND logging
>who think that all this effort should be expended on arguing about horses
>on the trail?
>Just wondering.

I've seen both, but only in the East (where I hike).  They both upset me,
but in different ways.  The horse damage that bothers me the most is from
illegal traffic.  I was on a beautiful section of the Susquehannock trail
in PA this summer.  The Susquehannock trail is a footpath only trail, and
this section was only a couple of foot wide path notched into a steep
hilside.  You could see where the trail had given way under the horses
hooves.  Where the horses had gone around blowdown the ground was
completely torn up.  Also, I had to spend two days smelling fresh horse
shit.  On top of that, I felt that the riders had put their animals in
considerable danger.  I was pissed.

The same area of PA was completely logged around the turn of the century.
The logging practices then were horrible... the forest was clearcut and the
trimmed branches were left lying... to burn in uncontrollable wildfires
that sterilized the ground.  Erosion finished the job.  Today, there are
still areas where the stumps of the old trees are the only indication that
anything grew there other than lichen.

Anyway, while inconsiderate behavior by a few selfish people pisses me off,
I don't think it really compares to the wholesale environmental devestation
that primitive logging practices causes.

-- Jim Mayer
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