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Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks

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avatar Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 12:35PM
Horse packing in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks is on hold because a San Francisco judge says the parks are violating the federal Wilderness Act. The issue percolated for years before exploding last month, leaving packers one chance in May to forestall a ban that many say will cripple their industry. Wednesday, Rep. Devin Nunes stoked the fire by blaming the Obama administration for caving to environmentalists and not pushing for a compromise

http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/04/2788652/national-parks-horse-packing-on.html
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 12:58PM
As a long time llama packer, I cannot feel any sympathy for them. Horse packers have gone to great lengths, spreading outright lies, to get llamas banned from trails. I'm glad it's coming around and bitting them in the ass.... pun intended. Llama
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 01:48PM
I take it llamas just don't want their picture taken.

In response to the article.... I hope it stays permanent.

Edit: Since I backpack and have seen firsthand just how much damage horses can do.
This is where I am coming from. If I listed where they are allowed even within Yosemite
off trail I'd get ill. I hope that we can move to the future and really get people on board
with Leave No Trace. This isn't the wild west anymore. Get horses and mules out of
the backcountry. Yeah, sorry a few horsepackers lose their jobs. Many have lost jobs
for various advancements in the past. Move on.

Flame away



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2012 04:06PM by chick-on.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 05:56PM
Quote
chick-on
I take it llamas just don't want their picture taken.

In response to the article.... I hope it stays permanent.

Edit: Since I backpack and have seen firsthand just how much damage horses can do.
This is where I am coming from. If I listed where they are allowed even within Yosemite
off trail I'd get ill. I hope that we can move to the future and really get people on board
with Leave No Trace. This isn't the wild west anymore. Get horses and mules out of
the backcountry. Yeah, sorry a few horsepackers lose their jobs. Many have lost jobs
for various advancements in the past. Move on.


I would be more in agreement with this sentiment if all the backpackers and day hikers faithfully followed the leave no trace tenets too. But a good many don't. I've seen damage done to the wilderness from the activities of packers, backpackers, and day hikers.

In regards to Sequoia and Kings Canyon, I think it's unfair to single out just the commercial packers. All commercial outfitters, even those that just organize backpacking trips or day hikes into the wilderness areas should be put on hold until the Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park Wilderness Stewardship Plan is finalized and adopted. Just don't single out the commercial packers.
.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 06:01PM
Quote
plawrence
I would be more in agreement with this sentiment if all the backpackers and day hikers faithfully followed the leave no trace tenets too....
That's not relevant. Just because one use group does something doesn't mean we should let a group that causes considerable amount of damage to run free.
Quote

In regards to Sequoia and Kings Canyon, I think it's unfair to single out just the commercial packers....
Since they cause the bigger problem, they should be singled out.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 06:13PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
plawrence

I would be more in agreement with this sentiment if all the backpackers and day hikers faithfully followed the leave no trace tenets too....

That's not relevant. Just because one use group does something doesn't mean we should let a group that causes considerable amount of damage to run free.

Quote


In regards to Sequoia and Kings Canyon, I think it's unfair to single out just the commercial packers....

Since they cause the bigger problem, they should be singled out.

Just because one group of wilderness users might be causing a bigger problem than another shouldn't mean only that the biggest offender is singled out. The process should apply to all groups that can cause negative impacts to the wilderness.

If the judge feels that the Park Service shouldn't be issuing permits to the commercial packers because their Wilderness Stewardship Plan for Sequoia and Kings Canyon hasn't been completed then the judge shouldn't be allowing the Park Service to issue permits to other commercial outfitters that want access to the Kings Canyon and Sequoia wilderness areas. Singling out one group simply isn't fair or consistent, even if that group might be the worst offender in causing damage to the wilderness.
.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 06:47PM
Quote
plawrence
Just because one group of wilderness users might be causing a bigger problem than another shouldn't mean only that the biggest offender is singled out.
Actually, it should.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 07:46PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
plawrence
Just because one group of wilderness users might be causing a bigger problem than another shouldn't mean only that the biggest offender is singled out.
Actually, it should.

Yes, it most certainly should.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 10:01PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
Dave
Quote
plawrence

I would be more in agreement with this sentiment if all the backpackers and day hikers faithfully followed the leave no trace tenets too....

That's not relevant. Just because one use group does something doesn't mean we should let a group that causes considerable amount of damage to run free.

Quote


In regards to Sequoia and Kings Canyon, I think it's unfair to single out just the commercial packers....

Since they cause the bigger problem, they should be singled out.

Just because one group of wilderness users might be causing a bigger problem than another shouldn't mean only that the biggest offender is singled out. The process should apply to all groups that can cause negative impacts to the wilderness.

If the judge feels that the Park Service shouldn't be issuing permits to the commercial packers because their Wilderness Stewardship Plan for Sequoia and Kings Canyon hasn't been completed then the judge shouldn't be allowing the Park Service to issue permits to other commercial outfitters that want access to the Kings Canyon and Sequoia wilderness areas. Singling out one group simply isn't fair or consistent, even if that group might be the worst offender in causing damage to the wilderness.
.

I've mentioned in another forum that Deleware North operates the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp in Sequoia NP. I'm not sure how they supply the place, but I would think they use horses and/or mules. I'm wondering why they aren't affected, since they're a commercial business using pack animals on trails. Or perhaps nobody wants to piss off DNC.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 12:58AM
Quote
y_p_w
I've mentioned in another forum that Deleware North operates the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp in Sequoia NP. I'm not sure how they supply the place, but I would think they use horses and/or mules.

It's mules. They also supply the Bearpaw ranger station.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 05:22PM
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 05:18PM
I disagree. I have no problems with horsepackers and I'd like the ban reversed to allow them back in.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 05:28PM
I have no experience with horses in the wilderness, but it always seemed odd to me that they were allowed. It certainly seems contrary to the stated uses. And while it is impossible to leave no trace, horses have a pretty big impact.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 05:52PM
They should at least wear diapers.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 05:58PM
Quote
eeek
They should at least wear diapers.

Soft soled shoes too. The damage they cause is considerable. Their hay also brings in invasive exotics that can, and have, upset whole ecosystems.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 06:05PM
Quote
eeek

They should at least wear diapers.


100% in agreement. thumbs up

Can't stand all the horse and mule manure found on some trails. I've always found it ironic that the Park Service wants people to pack-out all solid human waste, but mules and horse can take a crap whenever and wherever they please.

If not requiring "horse diapers", the Park Service and Forest Service should adopt regulations that packers need to scoop up and bag the horse and mule poop their pack animals make, just like dog owners are now required in many cities to do so if their dog takes a poop in a public area or on someone else's property.
.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 11:06PM
Quote
eeek
They should at least wear diapers.

So true.

While we are at it... Any chance they can also remove all those cows out of Kennedy Lake? They just do not seem to belong there...
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 11:39PM
Quote
Catalonian Burro
Quote
eeek
They should at least wear diapers.

So true.

While we are at it... Any chance they can also remove all those cows out of Kennedy Lake? They just do not seem to belong there...

Grazing is actually allowed by the Wilderness Act. It's also specifically mentioned in the California Wilderness Act of 1984, which established the wilderness designation in Yosemite, SEKI, and most of the wilderness areas in the Sierra. There was already designated wilderness elsewhere in California (Desolation and Point Reyes are examples) before 1984, but this was the big one.

http://www.nps.gov/legal/parklaws/1/laws1-volume1-appendix.pdf

Quote

SEC. 103. (a) Subject to valid existing rights, each wilderness area designated by this title shall be administered by the Secretary [of Agriculture] concerned in accordance with the provisions of the Wilderness Act: Provided, That any reference in such provisions to the effective date of the Wilderness Act shall be deemed to be a reference to the effective date of this title.

(b) Within the National Forest wilderness areas designated by this title—

(1) as provided in subsection 4(d)(4)(2) of the Wilderness Act, the grazing of livestock, where established prior to the date of enactment of this title, shall be permitted to continue subject to such reasonable regulations, policies and practices as the Secretary deems necessary, as long as such regulations, policies and practices fully conform with and implement the intent of Congress regarding grazing in such areas as such intent is expressed in the Wilderness Act and this title;
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 09:56PM
Quote
Hitech
I have no experience with horses in the wilderness, but it always seemed odd to me that they were allowed. It certainly seems contrary to the stated uses. And while it is impossible to leave no trace, horses have a pretty big impact.

The Wilderness Act only said that there should be no "mechanized transport" unless there's some exception written into the establishing legislation, or it's an emergency (such as a helicopter airlift). Horses are most definitely not in that category.

Over the years this has been interpreted as meaning no bicycles or horse drawn carriages/wagons/etc. However, the interpretation has excluded wheelchairs.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2012 09:57PM by y_p_w.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 06:45AM
Quote
oakroscoe
I disagree. I have no problems with horsepackers and I'd like the ban reversed to allow them back in.

You know it's probably pretty obvious that I have a passion for the backcountry. With age comes a
deep respect for both the landscape and the animals that call it their home. I'm just a lucky
visitor that hopes to enjoy it and leave as little trace as possible. Many times I wish I wasn't
as affected by what I see both positively and unfortunately negatively. Horses and mules just
do so much damage, they really do. It breaks my heart. I think we can both agree that a tank
or motorcycle should not be allowed in. Horses are mules are not far behind them in the
damage they can cause. With regards to firerings. The problem there is that just too many
people find it necessary to build new ones and almost destroy an area. I'll give two quick
examples. Kibbie Lake. New fire rings there at a place that has a ban on them.
Upper Chain Lake. New fire ring was 10 ft. from water edge with alum. foil. Those are
pretty sad. Now I would call those people either very selfish or not educated enough in
the backcountry. I call a parallel to what I see every day on the walk to work... graffiti
and litter. I just don't and probably never will understand it. I "live" here. Why would I
want to have it look like that? Maybe I am selfish in these views but I don't think so.
I think I've shown enough in this forum for anyone watching that I am far from selfish
in sharing my passion for My Yosemite.

For the record I am aware of my own "Horse Footprint" and "Carbon Footprint" to and
from and within The Sierra. I'm not infallible.

Have fun out there
Respect
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 08:28PM
I just (re)joined the High Sierra Hikers Association http://www.highsierrahikers.org/ .
If you believe the horse packers should be regulated just as we hikers are, then join me and sign up today.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 05, 2012 11:22PM
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/22407/1

Agree with HSHA on their interest in banning livestock grazing in some Sierra Nevada areas. But creating a lawsuit then having a SF judge ban commercial horse packing in national parks will cause increased friction between the environmental community and more conservative groups. Some hikers and backpackers have always strongly disliked horses in the backcountry and would selfishly eliminate them if they could simply press a button to do so. Although I've never used horse services and been mid mildly annoyed with trails with heavy amounts of horse doodoo, I strongly believe these folks have their place in the backcountry like the rest of us though with reasonable limitations. There needs to be a balance of course that all parties can agree with and live with. And I am often not a fan of having lawyers sue to force change especially when they are from groups with fringe views.



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2012 11:26PM by DavidSenesac.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 06:40AM
I have no problems with horse packers, although I've never used them.

If I see horse/mule/whatever crap on/in/near the trail I walk around it.

The very nature of existence is change, and I don't particularly care enough about trails to care about the 'damage' that pack animals do, since the trails aren't particularly natural and wouldn't be there if it weren't for (wait for it.....) us.

Hypocrisy, thy name is 'man'.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 07:19AM
My concern with horses in the backcountry has less to do with the droppings they leave on the trail, and more to do with other impacts. We all know the usual horsepacking camps in the parts of the SIerra we love. They are heavily used, with barren, compacted earth, no living vegetation, and often will idiotic "camp furniture" as well. The furniture is the fault of the people, but that compacted earth with no vegetation is pure horse damage. In Emigrant WIlderness the whole north side of Grouse Lake has been turned into what looks like a parking lot for a car campgound by horse packers. They literally ride there every day, tether the horses there so people can "enjoy" the lake, and the ride home again. In no way is it wilderness.

And if you do the math, a single horse on the trail with its heavy weight and small footprint does 20 or thirty times more damage than a hiker. If we limit trail use to a certain number of hikers per day (which we do via quotas) then we should certainly limit horses in the same way. Where hikers over use an area, that area gets closed and protected to allow it to recover. But because pack stations always operation out of the same location, this doesn't seem true for them. The damage that these animals do by repeated use on meadows and loose rock trails is huge, and that trail damage never seems to get repaired effectively.

I am not philosophically opposed to horses in the High Sierra. There is a long history of horse riding in the mountains, and these animals do allow access to people ( and voters! ) who might not be physically able to enjoy the wilderness. But they should be under the same regulations and restrictions that limit the activities and impacts of rest of us



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 02:48PM
Neither would the roads... I think you care about those.

Try walking around this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,29235,32200#msg-32200

Yummy



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 03:08PM
Quote
chick-on
Neither would the roads... I think you care about those.

Try walking around this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,29235,32200#msg-32200

Yummy

And I've seen worse.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 03:59PM
Quote
chick-on
Neither would the roads... I think you care about those.

Try walking around this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,29235,32200#msg-32200

Yummy

Two completely different things, since horses aren't taken on roads, but cars are, and they're the main way people get to the park.

And as to the pic, so what? Go around it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2012 04:00PM by tanngrisnir3.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 04:11PM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
And as to the pic, so what? Go around it.

Okay, and just how to I "go around" the flies that attack me as soon as I'm near that crap?
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 04:53PM
Knew I was wasting my time as usual.

It went on for miles... I'm not kidding. So good luck.

I want to drive my tank in the backcountry now.
It won't do much damage.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 04:49PM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Quote
chick-on
Neither would the roads... I think you care about those.

Try walking around this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,29235,32200#msg-32200

Yummy

Two completely different things, since horses aren't taken on roads, but cars are, and they're the main way people get to the park.

And as to the pic, so what? Go around it.


But why in this day and age should hikers have to deal with it in the first place?

Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, dogs were allowed to poop anywhere they want and their owners were not required to pick up the dog's poop if it landed on a public spot or someone else's private property. Now many cities have laws requiring owners of dogs to pick up their poop.

It's not unreasonable to require equestrians and packers to pick up any manure that their horses and mules leave on a trail. The manure on the trail is a public nuisance and there's no reason why equestrians and packers should not be required to clean it up so the general public doesn't have to deal with it.
.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 05:02PM
Quote
plawrence
....It's not unreasonable to require equestrians and packers to pick up any manure that their horses and mules leave on a trail. The manure on the trail is a public nuisance and there's no reason why equestrians and packers should not be required to clean it up so the general public doesn't have to deal with it..
Several of my llamas do not poop on the trail. They stop, move off to the side, and then do their business. Some don't do that, but most llamas stop, to poop. They don't do it while walking. When they do poop on the trail I, and most other llama packers, kick the poop off to the side in a way that it scatters and you'd have to look hard to see that a llama had passed that way.

The difference is that equestrians don't have to walk through their own poop. Llama hikers do. We don't want to walk through anyone's poop and also want to be courteous and respectful to other trail users.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 04:56PM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
...And as to the pic, so what? Go around it.
We should not have to.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 06:32AM
Quote
Dave
Quote
tanngrisnir3
...And as to the pic, so what? Go around it.
We should not have to.

Eh. In the general scheme of things, this isn't something that ranks high on my list of concerns, but I can see we have a lot of sensitive souls here who think this is something of gravity and importance.

As soon as I see these same people agitating for the removeal of all trails, bridges and staircases cut in stone from the backcountry, I'll take such opinions seriously.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 07:00AM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Eh. In the general scheme of things, this isn't something that ranks high on my list of concerns, but I can see we have a lot of sensitive souls here who think this is something of gravity and importance.
So, you are saying that we have to walk through piles of horse manure because it is not high on YOUR list?

Quote

As soon as I see these same people agitating for the removeal of all trails, bridges and staircases cut in stone from the backcountry, I'll take such opinions seriously.
False comparison.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 07:28AM
Quote
Dave
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Eh. In the general scheme of things, this isn't something that ranks high on my list of concerns, but I can see we have a lot of sensitive souls here who think this is something of gravity and importance.
So, you are saying that we have to walk through piles of horse manure because it is not high on YOUR list?

No, I'm saying I don't care in general about it, and I don't find it particularly difficult to go around it. I didn't say anything about what you should or shouldn't do.
Quote


Quote

As soon as I see these same people agitating for the removeal of all trails, bridges and staircases cut in stone from the backcountry, I'll take such opinions seriously.
False comparison.

No, not at all. People are bemoaning the 'damage' that pack animals to. All three of the things I've mentioned here can easily be considered 'damage' to the wilderness, as they're unnatural, and would not be there other than for the acts of man.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 07:54AM
While it may be that some official backcountry constructions are horsesh*t, there is a clear difference between something that is designed, created and approved, vs. something that is at best and accidental by-product.

And it would be really bad reasoning to claim otherwise. IN other words, Horse...

well, you get the idea.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 09:29AM
Quote
balzaccom
While it may be that some official backcountry constructions are horsesh*t, there is a clear difference between something that is designed, created and approved, vs. something that is at best and accidental by-product.

And it would be really bad reasoning to claim otherwise. IN other words, Horse...

well, you get the idea.

Again, no.

Whether something is 'planned or not is, speaking of bad reasoning, what's known as a rationalization.

The claimed concern was about 'damage'. All four of these things mentioned, horses, bridges, trails and bridges all do some sort of damage, whether imagined or otherwise. That they may have been planned or not is utterly irrelevant to that fact.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 10:46AM
Quote
tanngrisnir3

The claimed concern was about 'damage'. All four of these things mentioned, horses, bridges, trails and bridges all do some sort of damage, whether imagined or otherwise. That they may have been planned or not is utterly irrelevant to that fact.


Actually well designed and well constructed bridges and trails help PREVENT damage to the wilderness by funneling people onto a path that (if it had been well-designed) helps prevent erosion and damage to the nearby flora and landscape. This is especially important in meadow areas where if there is no official trail then a myriad of social trails could develop resulting in extensive damage to the meadow.

.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 11:28AM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
tanngrisnir3

The claimed concern was about 'damage'. All four of these things mentioned, horses, bridges, trails and bridges all do some sort of damage, whether imagined or otherwise. That they may have been planned or not is utterly irrelevant to that fact.


Actually well designed and well constructed bridges and trails help PREVENT damage to the wilderness by funneling people onto a path that (if it had been well-designed) helps prevent erosion and damage to the nearby flora and landscape. This is especially important in meadow areas where if there is no official trail then a myriad of social trails could develop resulting in extensive damage to the meadow.

.

We'll have to agree to disagree, then. Simply by having these things where there are there is an effect, 'damage', as it were, on the otherwise natural environment, and steps and bridges will be around far, far longer than any trail

It's a philosophical issue, at core. If someone's going to talk the talk about 'damage', real or imaginary, then they should walk the walk.

For example, the Cassidy Bridge, near Balloon Dome. If there needs to be a bridge there over that river, perhaps humans shouldn't be there, or they should make a really circuitous route down or upstream to get across. That, and it could be considered an unnatural eyesore. Or the path up Half Dome.

Hell, while we're at it, why aren't people screaming about all the 'unnatural' rock climbing going on in the Yosemite Valley? Those people don't practise 'leave no trace', as their equipment is all over the rock faces.

Do you see how ridiculous this can become?
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 12:52PM
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Quote
balzaccom
While it may be that some official backcountry constructions are horsesh*t, there is a clear difference between something that is designed, created and approved, vs. something that is at best and accidental by-product.

And it would be really bad reasoning to claim otherwise. IN other words, Horse...

well, you get the idea.

Again, no.

Whether something is 'planned or not is, speaking of bad reasoning, what's known as a rationalization.

The claimed concern was about 'damage'. All four of these things mentioned, horses, bridges, trails and bridges all do some sort of damage, whether imagined or otherwise. That they may have been planned or not is utterly irrelevant to that fact.



Actually, the debate isn't about whether these things damage the wilderness. That may be where you are running astray. All "uses" have some inherent damage to wilderness.

The suit alledges that horse packers are allowed to use these lands without the same kind of limitations that the rest of us live under. IN other words, the debate isn't that horses damage the wilderness, and hikers do not. It's that hikers are part of a managed use system that reflects the damage that they cause, and can be adjusted to restore areas and allow them to recover. The National Park System adopted this plan, but did not put the proper controls in place for horse packers. They did for other users. Whether or not you agree with these controls is another issue. The suit simply requires the Park System to state clearly what those controls are, and how they are being implemented to protect the wilderness. And until they do, horse packers are not allowed to use the wilderness areas in the National Park System

Horse packers are NOT currently subject to these same limitations and quotas. In fact, the whole basis of this suit is not that horse packers should not be allowed. It is that they should not be allowed without first establishing the same kind of reasonable plan and use impacts that are in place for other users.

In fact, the PLANNING is the essential issue here. And that is not a rationalization--it is simply stating the legal issue at stake.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2012 01:37PM by balzaccom.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 02:15PM
Quote
balzaccom
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Quote
balzaccom
While it may be that some official backcountry constructions are horsesh*t, there is a clear difference between something that is designed, created and approved, vs. something that is at best and accidental by-product.

And it would be really bad reasoning to claim otherwise. IN other words, Horse...

well, you get the idea.

Again, no.

Whether something is 'planned or not is, speaking of bad reasoning, what's known as a rationalization.

The claimed concern was about 'damage'. All four of these things mentioned, horses, bridges, trails and bridges all do some sort of damage, whether imagined or otherwise. That they may have been planned or not is utterly irrelevant to that fact.



Actually, the debate isn't about whether these things damage the wilderness. That may be where you are running astray. All "uses" have some inherent damage to wilderness.

The suit alledges that horse packers are allowed to use these lands without the same kind of limitations that the rest of us live under. IN other words, the debate isn't that horses damage the wilderness, and hikers do not. It's that hikers are part of a managed use system that reflects the damage that they cause, and can be adjusted to restore areas and allow them to recover. The National Park System adopted this plan, but did not put the proper controls in place for horse packers. They did for other users. Whether or not you agree with these controls is another issue. The suit simply requires the Park System to state clearly what those controls are, and how they are being implemented to protect the wilderness. And until they do, horse packers are not allowed to use the wilderness areas in the National Park System

Horse packers are NOT currently subject to these same limitations and quotas. In fact, the whole basis of this suit is not that horse packers should not be allowed. It is that they should not be allowed without first establishing the same kind of reasonable plan and use impacts that are in place for other users.

In fact, the PLANNING is the essential issue here. And that is not a rationalization--it is simply stating the legal issue at stake.



There you go again bringing reason and clarity into a perfectly good debate.



Old Dude
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 02:37PM
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balzaccom
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tanngrisnir3
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balzaccom
While it may be that some official backcountry constructions are horsesh*t, there is a clear difference between something that is designed, created and approved, vs. something that is at best and accidental by-product.

And it would be really bad reasoning to claim otherwise. IN other words, Horse...

well, you get the idea.

Again, no.

Whether something is 'planned or not is, speaking of bad reasoning, what's known as a rationalization.

The claimed concern was about 'damage'. All four of these things mentioned, horses, bridges, trails and bridges all do some sort of damage, whether imagined or otherwise. That they may have been planned or not is utterly irrelevant to that fact.

Actually, the debate isn't about whether these things damage the wilderness. That may be where you are running astray. All "uses" have some inherent damage to wilderness.

Sigh. This is getting tiresome. My argument this entire time has included the fact that all uses of or entrance by may into the wilderness has some kind of inherent effect. That's why I was putting 'damage' into quotes. What is transpiring with the horses I don't particularly consider to be damage or damaging.
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The suit alledges that horse packers are allowed to use these lands without the same kind of limitations that the rest of us live under. IN other words, the debate isn't that horses damage the wilderness, and hikers do not. It's that hikers are part of a managed use system that reflects the damage that they cause, and can be adjusted to restore areas and allow them to recover. The National Park System adopted this plan, but did not put the proper controls in place for horse packers. They did for other users. Whether or not you agree with these controls is another issue. The suit simply requires the Park System to state clearly what those controls are, and how they are being implemented to protect the wilderness. And until they do, horse packers are not allowed to use the wilderness areas in the National Park System

Horse packers are NOT currently subject to these same limitations and quotas. In fact, the whole basis of this suit is not that horse packers should not be allowed. It is that they should not be allowed without first establishing the same kind of reasonable plan and use impacts that are in place for other users.

Yes, I'm quite aware of the specifics, thanks. Again, inherent to my argument is that the position that horse packers should not be allowed, at all, is asinine and based on emotion. Some people here are clearly indicating that they do not wish pack animals to be allowed in the wilderness at all. That is what I take issue with.
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In fact, the PLANNING is the essential issue here. And that is not a rationalization--it is simply stating the legal issue at stake.

PLANNING, as you put it, is central to the issue but not what I was addressing completely.

Again, I wasn't coming at this from strictly a practical angle, but also a philosophical one.

Sorry you missed that.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 08, 2012 09:06AM
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tanngrisnir3
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balzaccom
Quote
tanngrisnir3
Quote
balzaccom
While it may be that some official backcountry constructions are horsesh*t, there is a clear difference between something that is designed, created and approved, vs. something that is at best and accidental by-product.

And it would be really bad reasoning to claim otherwise. IN other words, Horse...

well, you get the idea.

Again, no.

Whether something is 'planned or not is, speaking of bad reasoning, what's known as a rationalization.

The claimed concern was about 'damage'. All four of these things mentioned, horses, bridges, trails and bridges all do some sort of damage, whether imagined or otherwise. That they may have been planned or not is utterly irrelevant to that fact.

Actually, the debate isn't about whether these things damage the wilderness. That may be where you are running astray. All "uses" have some inherent damage to wilderness.

Sigh. This is getting tiresome. My argument this entire time has included the fact that all uses of or entrance by may into the wilderness has some kind of inherent effect. That's why I was putting 'damage' into quotes. What is transpiring with the horses I don't particularly consider to be damage or damaging.
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The suit alledges that horse packers are allowed to use these lands without the same kind of limitations that the rest of us live under. IN other words, the debate isn't that horses damage the wilderness, and hikers do not. It's that hikers are part of a managed use system that reflects the damage that they cause, and can be adjusted to restore areas and allow them to recover. The National Park System adopted this plan, but did not put the proper controls in place for horse packers. They did for other users. Whether or not you agree with these controls is another issue. The suit simply requires the Park System to state clearly what those controls are, and how they are being implemented to protect the wilderness. And until they do, horse packers are not allowed to use the wilderness areas in the National Park System

Horse packers are NOT currently subject to these same limitations and quotas. In fact, the whole basis of this suit is not that horse packers should not be allowed. It is that they should not be allowed without first establishing the same kind of reasonable plan and use impacts that are in place for other users.

Yes, I'm quite aware of the specifics, thanks. Again, inherent to my argument is that the position that horse packers should not be allowed, at all, is asinine and based on emotion. Some people here are clearly indicating that they do not wish pack animals to be allowed in the wilderness at all. That is what I take issue with.
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In fact, the PLANNING is the essential issue here. And that is not a rationalization--it is simply stating the legal issue at stake.

PLANNING, as you put it, is central to the issue but not what I was addressing completely.

Again, I wasn't coming at this from strictly a practical angle, but also a philosophical one.

Sorry you missed that.

OK--if this is getting tiresome you can alway stop. grin. Some of us enjoy these boards, and the conversations that they engender.

And yes, planning is central to the issue. which is why your comment that there is no difference between accidental horsepoop and a bridge constructed over a creek is non-sensical. Still is.

And you are right. Planning is central to the issue--and yet you were not addressing it, which is why your comments seemed to have gone astray. I thought it would be a good idea to bring us back to the central point of the whole issue and get us back on track.

And I didn't miss what you wrote, I just chose to ignore it, becuase it was off on a tangent to the central issue. While there are both practical and philosophical issues here, the real focus is going to be on the legal approach, and that's where it will be resolved.

If you really want to talk about philosophy, I suggest a discussion of Rouseeau and the social contract, and how that applies to a large society trying to maintain some wilderness...in the face of the fact that the vast majority of that society doesn't use it or see it.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 08, 2012 09:27AM
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OK--if this is getting tiresome you can alway stop. grin. Some of us enjoy these boards, and the conversations that they engender.

And yes, planning is central to the issue. which is why your comment that there is no difference between accidental horsepoop and a bridge constructed over a creek is non-sensical. Still is.

And you are right. Planning is central to the issue--and yet you were not addressing it, which is why your comments seemed to have gone astray. I thought it would be a good idea to bring us back to the central point of the whole issue and get us back on track.

No, not nonsensical on the level I was discussing it which, again, was not necessarily on the practical level, but rather the philosophical 'grander scale'. What seems to have gone astray here is your ability to read (and address) what I actually wrote, not what you wish I would have addressed.
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And I didn't miss what you wrote, I just chose to ignore it, becuase it was off on a tangent to the central issue. While there are both practical and philosophical issues here, the real focus is going to be on the legal approach, and that's where it will be resolved.

No, it was tangential to what you consider the central issue to be.
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If you really want to talk about philosophy, I suggest a discussion of Rouseeau and the social contract, and how that applies to a large society trying to maintain some wilderness...in the face of the fact that the vast majority of that society doesn't use it or see it.

I never stated that I wanted to 'talk about philosophy'.

If you want to discuss what I was addressing, please do so, but it wasn't and isn't what you keep trying to turn this back towards. Otherwise all your doing is lecturing, and poorly so.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 06:37PM
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tanngrisnir3
No, I'm saying I don't care in general about it, and I don't find it particularly difficult to go around it. I didn't say anything about what you should or shouldn't do.
Basically, you did.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2012 06:38PM by Dave.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 08:14AM
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DavidSenesac
http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/22407/1

Agree with HSHA on their interest in banning livestock grazing in some Sierra Nevada areas. But creating a lawsuit then having a SF judge ban commercial horse packing in national parks will cause increased friction between the environmental community and more conservative groups. Some hikers and backpackers have always strongly disliked horses in the backcountry and would selfishly eliminate them if they could simply press a button to do so. Although I've never used horse services and been mid mildly annoyed with trails with heavy amounts of horse doodoo, I strongly believe these folks have their place in the backcountry like the rest of us though with reasonable limitations. There needs to be a balance of course that all parties can agree with and live with. And I am often not a fan of having lawyers sue to force change especially when they are from groups with fringe views.

That's the problem right there; the equestrian groups, and individuals, I've dealt with over the years are not interested in balance or agreements. I have no doubt that if equestrians could push a button to eliminate hikers from THEIR trails; they would. Several equestrian groups, mostly commercial packers, are trying to do just that with llamas. They do not want llamas on THEIR trails and do not want competition from llama packers. They are going to state agencies and are getting llamas banned from large areas. Alaska is in the process of banning all llamas from their trails. So, no, I don't see the equestrian groups as looking for any agreement.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 02:28PM
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DavidSenesac
But creating a lawsuit then having a SF judge ban commercial horse packing in national parks will cause increased friction between the environmental community and more conservative groups.

That was my thought as well. And shutting down Bearpaw (and other places like it) won't help anything either.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 03:38PM
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eeek
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DavidSenesac
But creating a lawsuit then having a SF judge ban commercial horse packing in national parks will cause increased friction between the environmental community and more conservative groups.

That was my thought as well. And shutting down Bearpaw (and other places like it) won't help anything either.

For the most part, I don't think that these activities are really what drives outrage from conservative groups other than maybe to scream that there's too much regulation going on. The NPS transportation issues the conservative groups are really going after are snowmobiles in Yellowstone and beach driving in Cape Hatteras.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 01:39PM
Dave your absolutely right about some of those equestrian users. But then too there are some equestrians and horse packing clients just as considerate and environmentally friendly as any of us. Generally backpackers by enthusiast group are easily likely to have the largest percentage of both environmentally friendly and those generally considerate and pragmatic in their approach to using wilderness. However in all groups are those more extreme and on the fringe that also may tend to be inconsiderate, careless, selfish, and destructive. Unfortunately it is also those same types that often tend to move themselves into positions of control. Of course that also mirrors our general society today that is highly politicized and strangled by backroom agreements and legal maneuvering.



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2012 01:41PM by DavidSenesac.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 06:45PM
I actually don't mind the poop that much. There are so many other things that I hate more about horses in the wilderness. In wet conditions the trail damage from horses is atrocious. There is a reason they invented a piece of construction equipment for compacting earth called the sheepsfoot. Horses are built for compacting soil and in the spring you can count on them turning everything to muck and causing who knows what to enter the water at stream crossings. Do you like hiking in sand? There are literally 100's of miles of trail in the sierra that are dusty sandy mush from horses. Cottonwood lakes to New Army pass comes to mind. I think I should be able to strap a pack on my dog and call him a pack animal. I'd like to bring him but obviously that would take away the wilderness experience for others so I take him to the countless other areas where it is legal and appropriate.

Maybe there is a compromise here. Since the majority of trail maintenance, besides treefall, is caused by horses maybe the packers can finance their own trail systems. At least I wouldn't have to hike on poop all day. I would hate to limit access to disabled people and supplies for backcountry rangers. Maybe cutting back use or limiting it to dryer seasons would be helpful. I would like to see all horses gone from the woods but I don't expect that. Let's meet in the middle somewhere.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 09:48AM
If dog owners have to clean up after their owners, why don't horse owners? Because it is more difficult?

The effects of "Man" walking in the wilderness is not damage and is natural. We are part of the eco system too.

Horses certainly damaget "Mans" trails. We also limit "mans" impact in. the wilderness. We should limit there impact (since they are there helping us) to the same standards we attempt to limit ourselves. And that is why I don't understand why they are allowed. The impact of a single hourse is more than the daily trail limit in some cases. Regardless, their owners should be required to clean up after them, just like every other animal owner. Being difficult is no excuse.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 11:00AM
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Hitech
If dog owners have to clean up after their owners, why don't horse owners? Because it is more difficult?

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Hitech
Regardless, their owners should be required to clean up after them, just like every other animal owner. Being difficult is no excuse.

And the thing is, it's NOT that difficult of a thing to do. Products are readily available that catch the horse's manure before it ever hits the ground. Many cities that still allow horses on their city streets require the horses to be equipped with these "horse diapers" before they're allowed to walk the streets.

Here's an example of one: http://www.bunbag.com/

.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 06, 2012 07:18PM
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 10:24AM
Personally, if you would remove trail damage from the equation, I would rather navigate through horse poop than the condoms, used feminine hygiene products, kleenex, tp, ciggarette butts, gum and candy wrappers, etc that I have seen on trails and along the roads in Yosemite. During the recent plan comment periods, I have been pushing Yosemite to expand their LNT trace program not only for the backcountry but with more emphysis on the front country. Compared to other parks that I have been to, their LNT program is almost invisible to most visitors. The last time I was in the Rocky Mountains, their LNT information was one WHOLE page of their park newspaper and also was mentioned in the front page of many of their other handouts. When my son did the Jr. Ranger program in Bryce, he was supposed to fill a quart size bag with trash and after walking the trails for a whole afternoon we could not fill it. One time we decided on our own to pick up trash while we walked along Cook's meadow from the shuttle stop to the Ranger's Club and filled two large leaf garbage bags completely before we got there. People treat Yosemite as their personal waste basket.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 11:18AM
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parklover

One time we decided on our own to pick up trash while we walked along Cook's meadow from the shuttle stop to the Ranger's Club and filled two large leaf garbage bags completely before we got there. People treat Yosemite as their personal waste basket.

Here's a post from 2007 from Gary Crabbe (an occasional contributor to this forum) on his blog about the time he found, twice, used diapers in Cooks Meadow while photographing Yosemite:

http://www.enlightphoto.com/views/2007/03/13/diapers.htm

.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 05:05PM
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plawrence
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parklover

One time we decided on our own to pick up trash while we walked along Cook's meadow from the shuttle stop to the Ranger's Club and filled two large leaf garbage bags completely before we got there. People treat Yosemite as their personal waste basket.

Here's a post from 2007 from Gary Crabbe (an occasional contributor to this forum) on his blog about the time he found, twice, used diapers in Cooks Meadow while photographing Yosemite:

http://www.enlightphoto.com/views/2007/03/13/diapers.htm

.

Try explaining to a 5 year old that a used condom is not a deflated balloon that can be picked up with your bare hands and put in a trash bag. We now carry plastic gloves and/or a pickup stick when we are picking up trash in a park.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2012 05:06PM by parklover.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 07, 2012 11:47PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
parklover

One time we decided on our own to pick up trash while we walked along Cook's meadow from the shuttle stop to the Ranger's Club and filled two large leaf garbage bags completely before we got there. People treat Yosemite as their personal waste basket.

Here's a post from 2007 from Gary Crabbe (an occasional contributor to this forum) on his blog about the time he found, twice, used diapers in Cooks Meadow while photographing Yosemite:

http://www.enlightphoto.com/views/2007/03/13/diapers.htm

.

In the 1970's, a favorite competition between Yellowstone patrol rangers was to collect more used diapers than anyone else. You had to know the sub-district ranger to appreciate the humor, however.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 08, 2012 12:00AM
In the 80s a lot of the restrooms (e.g. at the Yosemite Creek picnic area) had been removed. At that time you could stop at any turnout on Tioga road and find used diapers. It's a lot better now that there are toilets again.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 08, 2012 12:31AM
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eeek

In the 80s a lot of the restrooms (e.g. at the Yosemite Creek picnic area) had been removed. At that time you could stop at any turnout on Tioga road and find used diapers. It's a lot better now that there are toilets again.

At little puzzled by this, unless that when they removed the restrooms, they removed all the trashcans. If I recall correctly, the Park Service doesn't want diapers disposed in the pit toilets. Dirty disposable diapers are supposed to be put in the bear-proof trash receptacles. (I dont' think they're considered recyclables. wink)

.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 08, 2012 08:24AM
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plawrence
Quote
eeek

In the 80s a lot of the restrooms (e.g. at the Yosemite Creek picnic area) had been removed. At that time you could stop at any turnout on Tioga road and find used diapers. It's a lot better now that there are toilets again.

At little puzzled by this, unless that when they removed the restrooms, they removed all the trashcans. If I recall correctly, the Park Service doesn't want diapers disposed in the pit toilets. Dirty disposable diapers are supposed to be put in the bear-proof trash receptacles. (I dont' think they're considered recyclables. wink)

.

It sometimes appears to me that people can't stand to touch their own kid's dirty diapers long enough to find a trash can if one is not right next to them so they dump them on the ground were they stop to change the baby. I guess that they feel that others don't mind picking up someone elses dirty diaper. When our son was in diapers and we were not at home we carried heavy weight zip lock bags to put the dirty diapers in until we could find a trash can. There is more than one reason that a diaper bag always has at least one waterproof section.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
April 11, 2012 09:07AM
I am sorta glad about this. some of the trails are always covered with droppings beat Mirror Lake.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
January 14, 2013 05:09AM
Not only horses can create an impact to the park. Generally if not properly maintained and managed, human also can contribute to the destructions. I also agree about the prohibiting horses in the trails of Sequoia National Park, it can truly minimize the impact from humans at least.
Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
January 16, 2013 08:10AM
Is there any update on this thread from last year? What was the outcome in May?
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
January 16, 2013 12:41PM
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hotrod4x5
Is there any update on this thread from last year? What was the outcome in May?

Congress passed a bill to allow the horse packing.
avatar Re: Judge suspends horse packing in national parks
January 16, 2013 07:27PM
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eeek
Quote
hotrod4x5
Is there any update on this thread from last year? What was the outcome in May?

Congress passed a bill to allow the horse packing.

They managed to do that in the least productive session since anyone started keeping track, where most of the "production" involved renaming Post Offices?

I'm glad we have no bigger problems.
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