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RE: [RC] re: Bryce and wilderness - Maryben Stover

What a dilemna, I have to agree with Joe or Truman.  Joe wins.  I think endurance rides do not have a negative impact on land.  Also, the wilderness rules are so strict that normal people cannot use the areas.  I know that my advancing age and arthritis make it pretty impossible for me to go anywhere where motor vehicles are allowed.  And I don't mean driving up and down the trails but getting close enough for some kind of access..........mb

Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 16:30:14 -0700
From: jlong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [RC] re: Bryce and wilderness

Truman Prevatt wrote:
Wilderness designation is a two edged sword. It preserves the land in its native state for future generations and provides current generations with the opportunity to travel is country on foot or horse back in more or less it's unspoiled state.

On the other hand competitive events cannot be run in wilderness areas which impacts the AERC. In some areas, there is a limit on the size of groups. I like to ride Wilderness areas, but I have mixed emotions on the compatibility of endurance rides as they are currently run in Wilderness areas - I don't think they are.

There might be a middle ground where special sanctioned rides for lifetimes miles only - no placements, on BC, no miles counting in the current year standings - could be defined that would satisfy the provisions of the Wilderness act while allow these lands to be used for endurance rides - just not "competitive rides."

I personally believe that the preservation of  our natural heritages passing on at least some of our wild places to future generations is a responsibility of our society. If we don't - all future generations will see is pits from strip minds, blown off mountain tops with all the debris in the valleys were streams and brooks used to run from mountain top mining. As one that grew up in Western KY strip mine country watching Mr. Peabody's Coal Company rape and plunder the land - we can do better.

One of the best weeks I have ever spent was a week long back packing trip in the Maroon Bells Wilderness in CO. Six days and seeing few other people than the three others in the party in some of the most beautify country on the face of the earth. BTW of the other people we say one group was two women on  horse back so the issue is not riding Wilderness on horseback - it's competitive events.

The Wilderness act is what it is. It is not going away.  If we want to use Wilderness land it's time for the AERC to fashion a ride format that can be held using wilderness areas in such a manner that is consistent with the preservation of the land and the law.

I cannot agree.  We've been losing endurance trails to Wilderness designations for a long time, the Alabama ride lost a beautiful trail to it over 20 years  ago.  There is nothing about competing vs. just riding that has anything to do with preservation, or wilderness.  I'd say we need to try to persuade our legislators  to amend the Wilderness rules to allow events such as endurance rides as long as no structures are built and no permanent markers are used.

Until some accommodation like that is made, I will oppose all expansions of wilderness -- as it is now it locks up vast tracts of OUR public land to be the playground of a tiny minority.

Joe Long  aka ChipRider

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[RC] re: Bryce and wilderness, Cindy Collins
Re: [RC] re: Bryce and wilderness, Truman Prevatt
Re: [RC] re: Bryce and wilderness, Joe Long