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Re: [RC] permanent marking of the BH 100...Not! - Jim Holland

Dawn....

Dawn, please re-read my post. I did not say it was a "fact" that this
policy will be implemented nationwide. It is JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION that
it will be eventually. It's only a matter of time. I hope people DO get
up in arms about the POSSIBILITY...they should. 

"Resource concerns"? WHAT resource concerns? That's FS double-speak.
Please be specific, if you know. To the best of my knowledge, this
arbitrary edit was solely a "policy decision" that was made by the FS
without ANY input from ANYBODY. It was "annnounced" with the opportunity
to comment, but IMO, they didn't "announce" it very loudly, especially
to equestrian groups. 

I served on a Task Force with hunters, hikers, environmentalists,
equestrians, trail specialists and other concerned citizens for over a
year establishing the guidelines for the Cohutta Wilderness Limits of
Acceptable Change policy. Everybody had their say, everybody made some
concessions, and politely listened to everyone else's view and
position.  We all left pleased with the results and proud of our
accomplishments. Equestrians (and other groups) lost the right to camp
in some sensitive areas and other things, but that policy left
equestrians the right to ride cross country in the COHUTTA (Georgia)
Wilderness in groups of three. That is also true of the BIG FROG
(Tennessee) Wilderness. This is acceptable in the WILDERNESS, but not in
the National Forest? Where was the public participation for THIS
decision?

Wanna bet that the FS doesn't revoke our cross country privileges in the
Wilderness as soon as all the appeals are over on the current policy? In
spite of the fact that the Wilderness policy was developed by concerned
citizens who LOVE it, CARE about it, clear trails in it, haul trash out
of it, police it, rescue tourists in it, pass out LEAVE NO TRACE tags,
etc. 

In spite of the fact that you work for the FS and have not heard of such
a "master plan" doesn't mean their isn't one. 

Some of the local FS people here had never even READ the plan for the
SouthEastern Forests when I asked them about it, and the local office
didn't have a copy of it. In fact, one employee assured me that the "FS
would never do that", and "won't enforce it", so don't worry about it. 

There were NO changes for motorized vehicles in the SE Forest plan.
Same-o, Same-o. The ONLY change for users was to ban equestrians from
riding anywhere except "designated trails" and "numbered FS roads". 

Just out of curiosity, you didn't say what you do for the Forest Service
in the SE? Are you involved in policy decisions? If so, sure would like
to hear some details on the decision other than "resource concerns". 
Studies? Task Force results? What is the rationale that could justify
such a radical change without a study of the impact on users, land
values, and overuse of the few (none in some areas) designated
equestrian trails.

Jim, Sun of Dimanche+, and Mahada Magic



RDCARRIE@xxxxxxx wrote:

In a message dated 2/9/2004 4:41:35 PM Eastern Standard Time, lanconn@xxxxxxx 
writes:

If the
current ban of horses on anything except numbered FS roads and
"designated" horse trails in the SE National Forests is allow to stand,
the rest of the country is next.

IMHO, this is a test. The long term plan of the FS is to
implement this
rule nationwide.

Jim,
I don't know where you've heard that the FS plans to implement some rule 
nationwide to limit horses to numbered roads and/or designated trails, but 
please be sure of the facts before you post something like this.  This is 
exactly the kind of misinformation that starts getting spread around, passed 
on, etc. and before one knows it, people are up in arms about something that 
is not even happening or about to happen.  How do I know that the FS does not 
plan to limit horses to roads and designated trails nationwide?  Well, for 
starters, I happen to work for the Forest Service...and in the agency's SE 
region where you state that this is occurring.  Yes, I know that on some 
forests and/or districts there are resource concerns that are prompting the 
agency to limit various trail users, including equestrians (although it is 
the motorized trai users who are experiencing the greatest limitations).  But 
there is no evil master plan that I am aware of to limit horses to roads 
nationwi!
de.
Believe me, as a FS employee *and* an endurance rider, I do keep tabs on 
those sorts of things, even though I work as a wildlife biologist.

So continue to alert people to important issues...but be sure of the facts 
before you do.

Dawn in East Texas (yes, part of the Southeastern Region of the FS)


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Re: [RC] permanent marking of the BH 100...Not!, RDCARRIE