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Re: RC: Facts on threatened trail closures in all states?...
First of all, bless you for responding to my post. Secondly, can you get the
new version of this message to me by tomorrow? I'm facing deadline and
wanted to print it in the form of a report in TrailSavers.
What I found particularly of value was the Director's suggestion about
effective letter writing. However, I disagree with him about equestrians
being a "very narrow interest group." We've been perceived that way by the
public because the equestrian masses traditionally have been so bloody quiet
and complacent. It's time for California to take a break from obsessing on
endangered rodents and the like and to learn how fundamental the horse has
been to its history.
I've been following a re-zoning issue in the Santa Monica mountains (where I
grew up) that could ultimately shut down a lot of the horse operations and
curtail riding activities. There is a groundswell of equestrians who are
feeling moved to action by such a proposal. What horse groups lack is
visibility caused by a lack of organization, scope and "muscle." We spend
quantities in upkeep on a monthly basis ($5,000,000,000 spent nationally
last year just within the horse industry), far more than hikers or bikers
spend, in order to pursue our pastime. Yet, we're easily dismissed as a
"narrow interest group" This isn't helped by the fact that we often shoot
ourselves in the foot by factioning into opinionated subgroups. We need to
present a solid front to bureaucrats and anti-equestrian groups. But that
will only happen when horse people get fired up and organized enough to get
into the political arena both locally and nationally. After all, the *other*
trail interests have been doing it for quite some time now and just look at
what they've accomplished... :-[
Let me know if I can count on your piece to include in TrailSavers this
Thanks so much,
>From: Nancy DuPont <Htrails@earthlink.net>
>To: "B.E. Jackson" <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: RC: Facts on threatened trail closures in all states?...
>Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 19:57:07 -0800
>Almost on the same subject. We have not written the report yet, but we
>accompanied George Cardinet in a luncheon meeting with the new Yosemite
>National Park director, David Mihalic on Wednesday, January 26. With George
>Cardinet (President of Heritage Trails were about 24 equestrians,
>representing the same amount of organizations including
>CSHA Trails Chairman, Bob Svedeen, Gwen Aulin, Pres. of ETI who flew in
>for the day from So. Cal. as did Pat Peters, representing Norco and other
>orgs. Larry Difani represented the Back Country Horsemen of California.
>Nancy DuPont, rep. Heritage Trails, Amigos de Anza, NATRC, Region I,
>Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association, (I will get you the list).
>Purpose of the meeting was to refresh the new Director with the promises
>made to us two years ago and to define additional issues such as
>reinstatement of trails, campsites, staging areas and insuring that the
>Valley Stables will stay. The new Director, while he is most cordial and
>appreciative of the trouble we took to drive to the Valley in a storm to
>meet with him, was adamant that we did not need to convince him, but the
>public in the public review process. He reminded us that we were a "very
>narrow interest group." He stated that whatever was promised yesterday or
>before, was history. Forget it. Today is a new program. Anything promised
>by Jerry Mitchell or by the study group prior to now is no longer valid.
>What he did say is that we as equestrians must state, in writing (form
>letters won't get it, they will ignore them) what we want. We must say
>specifically what we need. ie: "We need more parking space because we have
>to unload our rigs to access the trail head." "We need group campsites for
>25 horses in an area that accommodates a support rig." "We need additional
>trail heads to access your 800 miles of trails." "We need additional back
>country campsites so that we can do a progressive loop ride into the back
>country, otherwise we can only ride in about 15 miles and back to the same
>trail head which is 30 miles and the maximum a pleasure rider can do in one
>If we specify exactly what we want, our requests will join the fat book in
>which everything else is written and presented. The planners, whoever they
>may be bring this together into a public hearing where we duke it out with
>other user groups such as the rock climbers, hikers, bird watchers,
>bicyclists, biologists and distance backpackers." We will be presented
>with 4 draft plans (alternative choices) to vote on and then the Park will
>do what they want, as usual.
>I might add that to change the original status quo, you need a public
>hearing. There was never a public hearing when they reduced the horse camp
>from 100 to 50 and then to 30 and then to 24. Now there are, in Tuolumne
>only 3 camps for six horses each. No public hearing was held to make these
>Nancy DuPont, Executive Director
>1350 Castle Rock Road
>Walnut Creek, CA 94598
>Our Mission: To preserve and protect trails and answer the question, "Where
>are you going to ride your horses, and where are you going to keep them."
>Telephone (925)937-7661 FAX (925) 943-7431
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