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[pct-l] horses: more ignorance

Dave Gomberg responded to Vaughn, Ron who wrote:

>>  I would like to post
>>the idea that anyone who has the resources to do a thru-hike or section hike
>>of the PCT should feel compelled to join the PCTA.  

>Except for the notion that the PCTA is an avid advocate of the use of
>hooved animals on the trail (horses, etc.).  

Once again Mr Gromberg is showing his ignorance by opposing membership in
the PCTA because he hates horses. 

I hope that if he hikes the southern 600 miles of the trail he looks at all
of the trail work that the PCTA has done on the trial to keep the brush
back. If he opposes the PCTA so much, perhaps he should walk through the
uncut chaparral instead of on the trail that has been maintained by the
"evil" PCTA.

Just to prove how unclear he is on the concept, he says this:

>And to see what serious trail damage looks like, take Bright Angel Trail to
>Phantom Ranch from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  

The damage he quotes above, and the damage that you may see on the PCT, and
other trails all come from one place: <<<<The overuse of the trail by
commercial pack outfits>>>> NOT the use by recreational equestrians. The
problem is the business use of the trail, not the horses.

Folks, most of the problems that stem from public use of the wilderness all
come from OVER use. 

The a for mentioned packoutfits have used their considerable political pull
to get themselves exempted from the wilderness permit trailhead quotas. The
problem is not the horses/mules per se, but the fact that a commercial
operation has permission from the US Government for unlimited use of the

If you want to fix this problem, don't boycott the PCTA. Write your
congressman and ask why the commercial pack outfits have an exemption from
the trailhead quotas called (in the Inyo National Forest, anyway) "Packer
Override." The Inyo NF has no problem restricting YOUR access to the
wilderness as a private citizen, but won't limit the commercial use by a
few businesses that cause this damage

The extremely small use of the trail by recreational equestrians has little
or no impact on the trail: There just aren't enough of them. Recreational
equestrian groups do more than their fair share of helping maintian the trail.

The PCTA draws its mission from the National Trails Act of 1968
(http://fatty.law.cornell.edu/uscode/16/1244.html) which designates the PCT
as a footpath and equestrian trail. 

The PCTA's mission statement just reflects the PCTs designation in the
National Trails Act. There are much more important fights than this one,
and the PCTA needs all the help it can get.

Did you know that over 300 miles of the PCT is on private land and has as
little as an 8 foot easement? Did you know that the "comprehensive
Management Plan for the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail" says "In
situations involving residential, commercial, or industrial development the
purpose of the trail is to get the traveler through in the safest way with
the leas impact on private land owners."

Did you know that a significant portion of that 300+ miles are slated for
"residential, commercial, or industrial development?"

Did you know that in a few years, if the PCTA does not win this battle,
through hikers may be hiking a very long way down an 8 foot wide alley
through "residential, commercial, or industrial developments?"

We've got bigger problems than a few miles of rutted
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