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Re: Long Leaf trails reopened

Glenda R. Snodgrass wrote:
> 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.
> Hooray!...

Absolutely SPLENDID!  And from three different states, no less!
> 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." ...

At least half the reason for holding a work day like this is "ranger
relations."  Yes, the trail gets fixed, but the effort also creates a
positive image of horsemen in the minds of the park staff.  When the time
inevitably comes around when somebody makes the suggestion to close trails
to horses, the first thing that is going to cross the minds of those
Forest Service employees is this pleasant, productive day they spent
with you and these other distance riders.
> 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...

Thank you for carrying the horsemen's flag!

Linda B. Merims (who doesn't normally gush much :-)
Massachusetts, USA

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