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Saved PA Trails?!?

I just wanted to share what the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources (DCNR) sent to me regarding horse trail use in
PA.  Early this year, DCNR was updating the rules for using public lands
in PA.  The wording that they proposed using essentially shut all trails
to any use but hiking unless the trail was specifically posted for the
"alternate uses" - mountain biking, horseback, snow mobiling, etc.  This
was not their intent (?), but would have had the effect of closing miles
of trails that were traditionally intended for horse travel.  (Old stage
coach roads, forest trails, etc.)  (They stated that their intention had
been to exclude alternate uses on approximately 18 trails (out of 100's)
that had traditionally been for foot traffic only.)  There had also been
concerns over a mountain bike race that tore up some wetlands areas in
PA last year (routed that way by the ranger, not the ride manager) - any

John & Helen Stacy of MD alerted me to this in time to submit my
comments to DCNR via email.  DCNR sayas it had NEVER had such an
outpouring of comments on this type of subject before email.  :-)  (They
haven't met Ridecamp!)

Bikers and Horse folks overwhelming supported dropping the restrictions
to their mode of trail usage.  (>860 people)  A small minority asked to
see the trails closed to these users since the "damaged trails
irreparably" (~115)

Due to the strong feelings of the public during the comment period, the
wording for trail closures was dropped but DCNR promised that it will be
revisited again in the future.

I think we just won a temporary respite, but the battle rages on.  If
anyone hears of the next comment period for trail use regulations in PA,
please post here!  I'm always willing to share my "comments"!  I ride
these trails, & I wouldn't want to lose them.  A lot of CTR & Endurance
rides are put on using these trails - these rides would be greatly

Linda Flemmer

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