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Long Leaf trails reopened

Thanks to SE endurance riders Charlene Bartholomae & Brenda Jeoffroy
(Louisiana), Sheila Hutcherson (Mississippi) and Roger Blalock, Mitch
Adair and myself (Alabama), the Long Leaf horse trails in DeSoto National
Forest (MS) are now once again open to groups for organized rides.  

We put in a long, hard day of work yesterday laying gravel and building
split-rail fences on two creek crossings to protect some endangered plants
growing in these areas.  The fences were set so that horses passing
through will have to cross the creeks in areas where the plant (Louisiana
Quillwort) is not growing.

The Forest Service provided materials and tools, from a super tractor with
auger attachment for digging postholes (thank goodness!) to gloves &
hardhats for the volunteers.  They just needed a few extra hands and some
focused encouragement to undertake this project, which we provided <g>.
The two rangers who worked with us were absolutely fantastic, sincerely
interested in protecting the plants while making the riders happy.  Each
time we had a discussion to decide where to run the fenceline, the ranger
would reply "Whichever way will make it better for the people on horses,
you people tell me how you want it."  

It was truly a pleasure to work with the volunteers and foresters
yesterday, and I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment that we were
able to complete the work in one day.  The fences are not just
utilitarian, but actually quite attractive.  Roger Blalock took some
photos and I hope will be submitting them and a story to the EN so you all
can read more about it.

Glenda & Lakota
Mobile, AL
AERC # M18819 & H27310
SE Region

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