Check it Out!
Linda, your example of that Recreation and River Area in Tennessee has a
western counterpart in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the
San Francisco Bay , established in 1980. In fewer than ten years it
became the most highly visited recreational area in the entire national
park system. Its stated purpose contains these words: "In order to
preserve for public use and enjoyment certain areas of Marin and San
Francisco Counties, California, possessing outstanding natural, historic,
scenic, and recreational values and in order to provide for the
maintenance of needed recreational open space necessary to urban
environment and planning, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is
Also stated in its extensive and detailed Management Objectives is
"to develop a trail system for the use of hikers, bicyclists, and
equestrians." This General Management Plan (1980) is an impressive
volume. BTW, it specifically provides for the continuation of three
stables within its boundaries -- the same three stables that they
threatened last year to close, that have so upgraded their water runoff
and so mitigated their facilities' impacts, that the water tests are all
within F&W standards for acceptable water quality parameters. We're
still meeting on the stables issues, but the stables are still there and
Other ways of achieving user-friendly park status that will also
protect the resource are County parks and County-owned recreational
facilities; regional parks and recreational areas; public utilities
with a recreational sector, conservation trusts with a strong
recreational mandate in their Statement of Purpose; and I'm sure there
are others. And, national forest lands and BLM lands ARE being used by
recreational users, by permit and regulation for sure, but that's
reasonable. You're right, the definitions of land use are in many
shades of grey.
One more comment about the statement re public lands lost to use by
being sold to developers: in my county, Marin, once land is acquired
by a public agency and put into public domain, be it federal, state, or
county, it is locked in, and NEVER available for sale to a developer.
In fact, in Marin, in most cases, they won't even let power poles,
transmitters, or water storage tanks be constructed on public lands
after it has been so acquired and so designated.
Some groups with attitudes will try to get closures to horses by
claiming impacts that the horses MAY have on the land, and then
challenge us to prove them wrong.
The Envirohorse group that I talked about last December came together
just to prevent this type of action by getting horse science research
going PRO-actively rather than RE-actively. We're still gathering info.
Cheers (;-), Connie B
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Check it Out!
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