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[pct-l] Horses and Trail Damage

>Hey!  I have this new contraption that carries people and gear into the
>wilderness areas.  It isn't motorized so it can go anywhere that hikers
>go.  It weighs about 2,000 pounds but puts all of that weight onto four
>posts only about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.  Yes this applys quite abit
>of pressure to the trail and therefore grinds up and pulverizes most
>trail materials creating a powder/dust condition that at times hides
>lurking rocks that can turn ankles of unsuspecting hikers and tends to
>cause accelerated erosion.

Minor accelaration compared to what Nature does to unvegetated compacted

>Oh, and the contraption ejects some waste material onto the trail that is
>biodegradeable over time but may attract certain insects in the short
>term.  There are also emissions of fluid material that are precisely
>timed to be emitted into bodies or streams of water.  This fluid material
>can promote the growth of some wicked little bugs that make people sick
>if they dont treat this water before they drink it.

What disease does a horse carry that you feel is a threat to you? Wet lands
also attract insects. Perhaps we should fill them in?

>Now I know it seems like there might be alot of objections to this
>contraption but it is capable of enabling people who are otherwise unable
>to access remote wilderness areas (and, well, yes also those who are too
>lazy and unwilling to sacrifice the comforts of home for the experience
>of the wilderness).

Anyone who rides a horse into the wilderness better be willing to walk out.
As a member of a SAR unit, I am not only willing to walk out myself, but
allow some hiker a ride on my horse. OK, this doesn't apply to the
commercial packers.

>Now I'm applying for a permit to the National Forest Service to see if
>they might have any objections to me taking this contraption into the
>most delicate wilderness areas of the Western U.S.
>What do think my chances are of getting approval?
>I will not apoligize for my feelings on this matter.  When I'm told to
>"get the hell off the trail!" by an ill mannered pack guide, leading ten
>fully loaded pack horses along the pristine wilderness trail that I'm
>trying to enjoy, and no one else that I have ever met on the trail has
>spoken to me in that way (let alone anyway but in positive friendly
>terms) and then this pack train leaves the trail in the conditions that
>we are all familiar with, then I feel rather justified in being offended:
>by the pack guide, by the horses/mules, and by the people who allow this
>charade and insult to continue upon our National Wilderness Areas.  I'm
>not even upset with the nice people who have paid this guide to take all
>of their stuff up there.  They are meerly taking advantage of a system
>that allows them an easy way to experience this.

Actually there are 2 possibilites: 1) The pack guide was a jerk more
concerned about himself, or 2) You failed to obey the rules of the road, and
he wasn't very polite. Which reason do you have for telling me to get the
hell off the trail?

>If I owned a helicopter service I would be mad as hell that I'm not
>allowed to drop people off and pick them up in wilderness areas.
>Afterall the only impact a helicopter has, noise, is temporary.  Compared
>to the damage and impact that horses place on the areas, a helicopter is
>Ah, now I feel better getting that off of my chest.
>PS (Yes the logging matter is more serious.  However, all offenses to the
>trail are serious and should be addressed and curbed.)
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Duncan Fletcher

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