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Re: RC: Hike the Hill: Trails Advocacy Week

The rep from the AHS at the Clemson Trails Symposium was very clear in
her distaste (pardon the pun) for horse manure.  She was onr of the few
speakers I did not agree with.  I wonder if she truely represents the AHS


Susan Brehm wrote:

> I'm delighted to see the discussion of trails on RideCamp,
> particularly since it's Trails Advocacy Week.  The American
> Hiking Society (AHS) sponsored Hike the Hill this week, with
> training in lobbying, as well as presentations by
> representatives from the federal agencies that are
> responsible for our national trails, parks, forests, etc
> (National Parks Service, National Forest Service, BLM, OMB
> and more).
> I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment, it's going to take a
> little time to absorb all the information presented.  The
> AHS is very welcoming to those of us from the horse world
> and several attended including Connie Berto and Nancy
> DuPont.
> What stands out most of all to me is that this is a
> complicated issue and will not be solved overnight.  There
> are huge funding problems -- our government does not have
> enough money to fully fund every program.  We have to
> compete for every dollar.  Not only that, but there are some
> serious management and accounting problems within the
> government agencies that will take time to fix.  Add to that
> the disagreements between users of forest and park lands
> (hikers, bikers and riders).
> I believe that we can reach compromises on the trails issue.
> Not every trail is appropriate for horses.  But that still
> leaves many that are.  What we have to do is work with other
> users, compromise on sharing the trails, and be willing to
> work to maintain them.  We need to be careful in approaching
> the government agencies and only use threats as a very last
> resort.
> I would strongly encourage everyone to take part in the
> trails advocacy process.  Connie Berto is looking for more
> members on the AERC Trails Committee.  Find out what the
> conservation groups are doing in your area.  Find out what
> the other horse groups are doing in your area (the largest
> number of equestrian trail users are pleasure trail riders).
> I came away from Hike the Hill with a good feeling that many
> positive changes are taking place.  Most of our congressmen
> are trying to help us preserve our trails.  We've got a long
> way to go though, and it's going to take all of us working
> to accomplish our goals.
> SusanB
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