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Who Can Attend This Symposium??

In today's mail, I received a copy of a brochure for a symposium to be
held at Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, Oct. 18-21, 1998.  

    These are  the topics of discussion:   "Accommodating Horse Trails in
the Management of Public Forest Lands;"   "Importance of Trails to the
Horse Industry;"  "The Equestrian and Other Trail Users:  The Issues;" 
"Horse  Trails:  Impact and Management" ;   "Managing Trail Systems;" 
"Other Trail Users Interactions with Horseback Riders" (with NO
EQUESTRIANS on the panel, but including representatives  from the
American Hiking Society,  International Mountain Bikers Association, 
Off-Road Vehicles Association, Trout Unlimited, Nat. Wild Turkey
Federation, and No. American Water Trails);   and  "Managing Horse

  From the brochure, here is the Purpose and Scope of the Symposium: 
"The purpose of the symposium is to address the issues surrounding a
RISING INTENSITY (emphasis mine) of use of forest trails by horseback
riders.  Symposium speakers will deal with:  (a) horse impacts on forest
trails and the considerations for managing those impacts,  (b)
equestrian-other forest user conflicts, and (c)  management of horse
trail campgrounds.  The scope of the symposium is national in terms of
landscapes, audience, and speakers. "

The brochure was sent from the Co-operative Extension Service of the U.S.
Dept. of Agriculture, Clemson Univ., Clemson SC 29634-0310.

The fee for the conference is $245.00 if registered before Sept. 15 1998;
after that, it's $275.00.  It includes materials, ice-breaker social,
breaks and Tues. evening barbecue dinner.  It  does not cover lodging or
transportation and other meals.   Refunds (Minus a $25. administrative
fee)  may be granted prior to Sept. 15.  No refunds after that date. 

Questions or requests for brochures should be directed to:   Ms. Donna
Arterburn (she is connected with Clemson Univ.).   Phone: (864) 656-0605;
 Fax  (864) 656-4780;  email   The brochure is
much more detailed with exact titles and times of various presentations
within the above parameters.

What concerns me greatly is that, looking at the list of speakers on the
panels, the hairs on the back of my neck started to prickle.  The list is
top-heavy with NPS,  Forest Service, Corps of Engineers personnel and
other agencies and special interest groups, and Very Light on equestrian
associations.    I am concerned that this will be a one-sided symposium. 
I worry that, down the road, views adopted at this conference will
greatly impact where, and how, we will be able to ride our horses.   CAN
I RAISE SOME INTEREST IN GOING TO THIS?   Can people arrange their
schedules?   We don't need polished speakers -- we need warm bodies to
listen in, correct any misinformation that might be floated by, and take
a stand against undue restrictions and over-regulation.    
 Riders, horsepeople, professionals, anybody,   on the East Coast, can
you please attend?   Can your local riding club underwrite some of your
expenses?    PLEASE??   Connie Berto, AERC Trails Chair

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