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[pct-l] Re: the horse wars

howdy pcters,

two quick comments...

kelly flowers wrote...
> but most I've met have been courteous and lawful.  Frankly, there are hikers
> who do as much damage as horses.  And, even worse in my experience, are
> free-roaming cattle, as far as polluting water sources, overgrazing fragile
> areas, and damage to the trail (where they have access to it).

Yes!  Any of you folk ever visit Santa Rosa Island?  I'm sure many of
us have seen overgrazing and polluted water but to operate a cattle 
ranch on a small island within a national park is ludicrous.  Coming
accross cow dung, piles of it covered w. flies, whilst hiking windswept
canyons bedecked with many rare plants-- and with the exciting 
history of the Chumash in the back of one's mind-- is enough to make
one vomit.
> From: lemieux@cyberport.net (Laurie Lemieux)
> This is just another opinion, but since I work for the government I see a
> lot of bickering over political issues.  Why can't we as a culture just get
> along.  Horses cause problems, so do hikers.  We sure are stuck up on
> ourselves since we can't ever seem to see the other persons point of view.  
> Ah well,  here's to those who volunteer to keep the trail  in a condition so
> we can ALL enjoy them.

My experience has been that trail damage is most often the result of
natural forces, fire, overgrowth, water-- now i've met some fine
trail builders, and they know how to minimize the damage of natural
forces, but even they admit that trail will only last so long.

The second most common cause of trail damage comes from its use
immediately after a rain.  This i got from a study comparing
mountain biking damage to hiking damage.  The study concluded that
there was very little damage to the test trails by mtn bikers or
hikers *except* after a rain when the tread is still wet.  At this
point the damage is fairly equal.  I suspect this would hold
true for horse use as well.  Of course, the horse ads that extra
little smelly surprise one doesn't *usally* find from a bicyclist
or a hiker.  Horse shit, or that of other creatures, is not
particularly harmful to a trail, however.

happy hiking, happy trails, davearnt

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