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Disabled Equestrians should have access to Public lands
Hello Fellow Equestrians.
Would anyone be interested in helping organize the following? We have
to find new ways to justify keeping horse access in public property.
Would a letter like this help to keep the trails open to disabled
horsemen and their riding friends? I do not believe we would actually
have to follow through with any legal action, which would be very
expensive and difficult.
Association of Disabled Equestrians (ADE)
TO: Any Federal, State, or local Land Management Entity.
The ADE represents individuals that are disabled and use a horse or mule
to provide them access to trails in the outdoors. The causes of their
disabilities are varied, and include accidents, old age and disease.
Some of the areas affected are knees, lungs, hearts, backs and ankles.
In spite of the diversity of aliments, they all share a common solution
to their disabilities: they use a horse or mule to carry their worn
bodies to the places that millions of Americans enjoy. The beautiful
high country of the Sierras, the rolling hills of the California coast,
and many other public parks and forests.
The ADE is very concerned about Federal, State and Local agencies that
are restricting, limiting and reducing the use of horses on the public
trails they are responsible for. There appears to be a concerted effort
by some people who seem to think such restrictions are somehow good for
the environment. We disagree with this conclusion, but the issue we are
concerned about is far more important.
The Americans with Disabilities Act , Public Law 101-336 enacted July
26, 1990 and the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title
II, subtitle A, of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of
disability in all services, programs, and activities provided to the
public by State and local governments. A disability as defined by ADA is
a " physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more
of the major life activities of an individual". To watch the roar of
the falls in Yosemite, see the snow-capped peaks of the high Sierras,
listen to the wind rustling in the aspens, these are truly a major life
To deny disabled horseman the right to use their horse to access the
country is a clearly a violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act. We are requesting public agencies that are engaging is such acts
to cease and desist. We do not want to see our funds and public funds
spend on a lawsuit to enforce our rights. But if we are denied our
rights, this will be our only recourse. We would rather work with the
agencies to improve the trails, raise funds for outdoor programs, expand
horse camps, and raise public awareness.
Please keep us informed of your progress in complying with Federal Law.
Let me know if any of you would be interested in helping with this
approach, or any ideas you might have.
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