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[pct-l] Re: Meadows and sheep


It is very hard to discuss such heavy thoughts in e-mails. I do take every
thing light-hearted and I enjoy discussing such topics. Another person
suggested that I go to a horse oriented forum, but How can I help if I don't
hear from hikers. 

<Technically, I guess you are right since there is more area cleared than
forested area left from what was <originally here.

I think there are more forest now days with our high tech fire control. Can
you imagine an intense fire that would consume two thirds of the US! I know
some trees thrive off of fires. The natural process would take hundreds of
years. The clear-cut areas from logging are all full of weeds and are almost
impassable. I think the wildlife do good in it. I would still like to see
them clean these up into happy little meadows.

<So living in the outdoors and calling yourself a Naturalist makes you an
expert?  How do you define the <term "Naturalist", did you go to school,
study intently and/or collect knowledge of such things <empirically?

From childhood I was a fanatical lover of nature. Since 1981 I have not
lived in a normal house with power etc. My life has revolved around studying
nature. I made a bamboo hut where I lived for two years and had a full lab
set up. A group of biologist found my camp and freaked out. I helped them
find and catch cow birds. They were impressed by my lifestyle and said not
to get into biology because it is all book work. I was doing what they
dreamed of doing. I had a large library of nature books and my favorite
study was game management. So for several years, I have studied the effects
of man and how we can be the care takers of the earth in a beneficial way. I
studied the effects of logging, and have worked on cattle ranches and
studied their effects. Why the obsession, I don't know.

<I am a geologist with two degrees.  Does this make me an expert?

I think it does. Great job! Doesn't mean you are 100% right. I am just a
poor field editor:) 

<You call yourself a Naturalist and yet you express this hatred for a
natural process?  I can't imagine that <you would suggest we cut down the
trees that are invading the meadow.

 I love natural meadows the most. I can sit and play for hours in them! A
natural meadow naturally keeps the forest out. But I see beautiful meadows
that are not natural yet look natural, that are being lost to weeds and
trees. The invading trees can be trimmed when they are seedlings, with no
ugly stumps left.

<I also agree that individual horse riders do little harm compared to the
commercial outfitters, but isn't that <like saying that individual mountain
bike riders would do little harm compared to a commercial outfit of

I didn't mean to come down so hard on the commercial Packers. I think it is
great that people can get a chance to ride in the wilderness that could not
do so any other way. As a backpacker, I always avoided these areas because I
could find many places to satisfied me. As a horse packer, I do not enter
heavy use areas unless there is no other route. So far, I have only seen
trail damage around horse camps. About 20 miles from them, only the hardest
riders ride and there is little damage. I know a commercial stable by MT
Theilson in OR. I didn't see much damage from the hundreds of trips out.  I
wish I had some time to study this problem. For now, I only have people as
yourself feeding me info. I am sure there is a way that commercial packers
can enjoy the wilderness with out conflict. Maybe two separate trails. I
don't think the deer would mind another route. Animals are not afraid of
horseback riders. I see far more animals on the back of a horse. They run
for their life if I am on foot. Even walking silently in moccasins. But I
would never say that hikers cause stress to animals or that hikers are

I think the wilderness is important to all of us. If only backpackers could
go to the mountains, this would hurt the people who need it the most. What
about all the office weak people who could not carry a pack or the elderly
or disabled. Horses are the greatest to me. I also understand peoples point
that do not like horses. I bet if you were on the trail riding one of my
fine animals for a week, you would also be thinking of ways that would help
decrease conflict. When I get down your way, look me up and lets go for a
ride! I really hate the thought of causing any damage and to take away any
wilderness experience for the hiker searching for solitude. I could  never
give up my horses. I have about $40,000 rapped up in horses and gear. A lot
of hard work for something I love more than anything. All I can do, is do my
very best to enjoy my trip without upsetting as many people as I can. 

Best wishes

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