ridecamp@endurance.net: Support of HR 936 ~ Restoration of "No Hands" Bridge, Auburn, CA

Support of HR 936 ~ Restoration of "No Hands" Bridge, Auburn, CA

Larry Suddjian (wstf@foothill.net)
Thu, 03 Apr 1997 20:05:25 -0800


Following is the letter recently sent to Congressman Joseph McDade
regarding the effort to secure an appropriation of $700,000 to stabilize
and repair "No Hands" Bridge. This letter has been sent on behalf of
the Western States Trail Foundation and the Western States Endurance Run
Foundation AND the thousands of persons concerned for the Western States
Trail. Our hats are off to Tony Rossmann, Counsellor for the WSERF and
WSTF and past president of the WSERF.

If you haven't already sent your letter, PLEASE get a letter off
tonight. The Committee on Appropriations will probably be taking action
on this bill next week.


Larry Suddjian, Vice President and Ride Director


3 April 1997

Honorable Joseph McDade, Chair
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Committee on Appropriations
2362B Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Support of HR 936 (Restoration of No Hands Bridge, Auburn, CA)

Dear Chairman McDade:

The Western States Trail Foundation (Western States Trail Ride) and
Western States Endurance Run Foundation (Western States Run) strongly
urge your SUPPORT of HR 936, Congressman Doolittle's measure to provide
appropriations to restore the historic "No Hands Bridge" near Auburn,

The Western States Ride and Western States Run represent the world's
premiere trail riding and ultramarathon running events, annually drawing
thousands of people to the Western States Trail for our one-day 100-mile
events that are considered the world's toughest single-day athletic
contest for horses and humans, respectively. Our constituencies
include riders and runners from every state of the Nation and many
countries overseas. In addition to our athletic prominence, we are
advised that our events constitute the single largest source of tourist
income to Placer County. We have also created partnership with Federal
officials who have jurisdiction over the trail; as a consequence the
Western States Trail is now a component of the National Trails System
and a portion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The No Hands Bridge forms an important component of the Western States
Trail and the Western States Ride and Run. It provides the only safe
means of the Trail passing across the American River from El Dorado to
Placer Counties, in the final miles leading to Auburn. Without the
bridge, we cannot conduct our events safely and along their historic

For the same reason, No Hands Bridge serves all of the hundreds of
thousands of people who use the upper American River Canyon for
recreation each year, forming a vital link in the exemplary trail system
there. Reopening the bridge is necessary to enable hikers and riders to
connect from Auburn to the entire trail system of the upper canyon.

Thus our Foundations and constituents have donated not only time, but
thousands of dollars, to assist the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in
stabilizing and reopening the bridge. Together these private donations
and pledges exceed $50,000. But the private sector simply cannot fund
the entire cost of restoration. Nor should we; the bridge is a Federal
property and Federal responsibility, one that the Bureau has recognized
in need of repair for nearly 20 years. Congressman Doolittle's HR 936
will simply fulfill the overdue responsibility of the Federal Government
to maintain this important recreational and historic resource.

We are grateful to Mr. Doolittle for his leadership in this measure,
and his statesmanship in separating the need for this important
recreational resource from the Auburn Dam issue. Indeed, HR 936 may
represent a unique measure in the recent sessions of Congress.
Preservation of No Hands Bridge as a recreational and historic resource
enjoys the unqualified and unanimous support of the Boards of
Supervisors of Placer and El Dorado Counties, the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation, the American River Coalition, and of course Mr. Doolittle
himself. After the years of conflict over the Auburn Dam issue, can we
not all find inspiration in, and take action from, the fact that No
Hands Bridge has united these various constituencies in seeking your
support for HR 936?

For these reasons, the Western States Trail Foundation and Western
States Endurance Run Foundation, in behalf of our thousands of riders
and runners across the Nation and around the world, ask your support and
your committee's support of HR 936.


Counsellor, Western States Run
In behalf of both the Western States
Trail Foundation and Western States
Endurance Run Foundation

cc: Members of the Subcommittee
Hon. John Doolittle
Hon. John Garamendi
Placer County Board of Supervisors
El Dorado County Board of Supervisors
Western States Trail Foundation
American River Coalition

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