Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wilderness & Trail Closures

Wilderness proposals are not voted on by the public, but by Congress (fat pale vampire-like people who have never even been on a trail). Yet, with a stroke of a signature, they can close millions of acres and thousands of miles of trails off to everyone but hikers and horseman. Somehow they think that a 1500 pound horse with hooves does less damage that a bikerider with a 25 pound bike (with the weight dispersed over soft rubber.) Anyone who claims this, has NEVER been backpacking in the Sierras, where trails have become deep multi-lane trenches of pulverized horse crap. But, this is besides the point...

Designating the lands as "Semi-primitive Back Country Recreation" areas instead of Wilderness would allow protection for the lands and ensure continued shared use of public lands. Closing more trails to multiple use would only serve to concentrate use and exacerbate problems on remaining trails. In many places, the only trail maintenance is done by mountain bikers and motorcycle riders. Trails would literally disapear without these users. But the special interests with deep pockets, powerful hollywood-type environmental groups and rich horseman groups, are lobbying congress to close access.

Chris Horgan of Stewards of the Sequoia is fighting the good fight. He realizes how threatened our access to public land and trails really is. He says this: "Every form of recreation on public lands has one thing in common, access. Without access one cannot enjoy mountain biking or dirt biking or camping or hunting or fishing or horseback riding or hiking. The issue is not OHV use. It is whether we stand united for access for all or whether we allow access to be restricted to a few. Do we encourage volunteerism or encourage intolerance?" You can read more about it and sign the petition at NONE of the proposed wilderness areas are recommended by the Forest Service (they are supposed to be the experts) but congress tends to listen to the special interest groups with the money. Get involved - this is happening everywhere!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

No comments: