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Re: Federal Government and Liability

The FHA is the Federal Highway Administration...yes!!!!  And it is NOT limited
to engine power.  It is for foot trails, horse trails, bike trails, ATV trails.
You need only apply, do the proper study (environmental impact, etc,).  Only
problem is that they pay for it when you are up front money.  BUT, the
project CAN be done is stages and payment done in stages.

The BCH is NOT in favor of "adopt a trail" or other "volunteer" programs.  They
were WELL represented at this Symposium.  They act as volunteer "coordinators"
and help to the extent they will pack in supplies for workers. And, you are
right.  There is hardly a state east of Colorado that has a chapter.

In my own state (with a horse council only interested in the show ring) we have
a college that has been sending it's students to Colorado to work on maintaining
and building trails.  Maybe they don't know we even NEED them here?

My trails have been closed from December 15 to April 15 to "avoid erosion".
Bullshit.  We also learned from this symposium that letting trails "rest" does
NO good if they are not planned well and maintained to begin with.  I have over
30 miles of trails and the 13 mile loop next to me has one 50 foot section that
could be deemed as able to be damaged by horses being on it when wet...yet they
close the entire trail system!!!

I am surprised that even 50 people bought permits here (this may include all
three districts...the other 2 districts being at least a two hour drive away).
The rangers spend almost all their time on the ATV trails (MILES away) and I
NEVER see a ranger NEAR our horse trails.  We ride anyway, permit or no permit.
The only way to get a permit is to go to town and buy one.  NO signs are posted
at trail heads.  You would not even know about it if:  1.) you were not on their
mailing list (I am), or 2.) saw it in the newspaper (which I do not get). I live
RIGHT on the trails..a short walk (1/4 mile) and I am there.  There are trail
heads, and there USED to be a horse camp, but the bridge going in is unsafe, no
one would fix it, so no one used the camp, so it was abandoned (and vandalized).
We are VERY angry with their unfulfilled promises. Now I hear a rumor that since
the PEOPLE camp is under used, they MIGHT convert it into a horse camp.  Funny,
I've lived here ten years and even though the people camp is less than 5 miles
away, I have never been in it...I'll have to take a look and see if it will
accommodate us suitably.

When I get back from Dubai, I will be pushing for meetings with the USFS.


Duncan Fletcher wrote:

> Teddy -
> What is FHA?
> There are community groups already doing trail maintenence. But not enough.
> Many trails are far from population centers. Many sections require a day to
> hike in and a day to hike out leaving weekend help impractical. Maintence in
> this state is difficult. E.g., one 8 mile wilderness trail (read that no
> chainsaws) had 140 trees across the trail after an easy winter. Add erosion,
> flood damage, rock slides and just normal wear.
> The go in circles community is not going to be much help. BCH is the
> organization with a dedicated interest in this subject and I squeak through
> them - on a district, forest (state) and national level. I feel they need to
> expand. There are few chapters east of the Rockies.
> Does that mean there are only 50 horsemen riding the trails? Are the riders
> riding directly by horse to the trail (bypassing the fee system - the fee
> here applies to parking within 1/4 mile of the trailhead)? Its hard to
> squeak very loudly with those kind of numbers. But I do agree we need to
> squeak.
> Duncan Fletcher
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Teddy Lancaster <>
> >Don't get me wrong...I NEVER said I object to fees.  BUT, another thing I
> >learned at the Symposium in SC is that the FHA has over $30,000,000 in
> funds
> >available for trails maintenance, development and preservation.  I just
> need be
> >applied for. So don;t let YOUR forest ranger give you that excuse.  We were
> >given a COMPLETE list of FHA phone numbers and people to contact regarding
> >this.  I even KNOW of people who have done this!!!
> >
> >Furthermore, there are PLENTY of groups out there looking for "community
> >service" and they have been used to help maintain and develop trails.
> >
> >From my end, I see a great deal of rangers sitting on their butts waiting
> to
> >collect retirement.  You may not see it where you are, but I sure do here.
> >
> >Furthermore, the horse people are NOT united... when the AHC states they
> have
> >had little interest in the subject, you KNOW most of their members go in
> >circles...the show and training ring, that is.
> >
> >There is MORE money in ATV's, Mountain Bikers and Hikers than there is in
> >, guess what happens?  In my own Nat'l Forest, they collected 50
> user
> >fees for horsemen this year and 5000 for ATV users.
> >
> >The squeaky wheel gets oiled...'bout time we started "squeaking: don't you
> >think?
> >
> >teddy
> >

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