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Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

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Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby TheGeneral » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:50 am

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.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich wrote in a March 12 letter to 16 pack stations that no permits would be issued until the matter is resolved in federal court.

More than two dozen other businesses that operate within the park are also affected. These include back-country trips booked through REI, Outward Bound or any other commercial guide services.


http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/04/278 ... ng-on.html
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby Bob Burd » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:05 am

That's one industry I would like to see retired.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby lcarreau » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:18 am

Last week, I was riding my mountain bike on a trail that horses had been on. Takes some fancy maneuvers to avoid running into ... "fresh animal excreta !"

Could be a messy case ..

And ... not sure if Teddy would approve ..

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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby HandjamMasterC » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:53 am

Screw the High Sierra Hikers Association. If I can't use horses, I'll push for the ability to use helicopters.

If there is no commercial horse packing, there should be no use of horses for trail work or anything else. Let the John Muir Trail deteriorate back to wilderness.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby lcarreau » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:38 pm

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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby ScottHanson » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:28 pm

There is room for all of us in the National Parks. I have seen older folks (maybe in their mid 70's or more) on horseback in the Sierra. If not for horses some of them could not enjoy fishing at a backcountry lake. I also think there needs to be some accommodation for paralyzed and other physically challenged folks to enjoy our National Parks. On the other hand there are athletic folks (speed backpackers, speed hikers, and speed climbers) who seek the challenges to reach remote areas of our National Parks in addition to enjoying the peaceful natural setting and incredible scenic vistas. Hopefully a balance can be achieved between all groups; where the natural resource can be enjoyed and protected.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:24 pm

Edward Abbey argued that no accomodations should be made for old folks in the wilderness. If they didn't get off their asses to see it when they had the chance, too bad. Not saying I agree with this.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby Bob Burd » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:59 pm

HandjamMasterC wrote:If there is no commercial horse packing, there should be no use of horses for trail work or anything else. Let the John Muir Trail deteriorate back to wilderness.


I'd be good with this. Look at the old trails that don't get used by packers and see how much trail work they need - much, much less. Good to see you back HJMC.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby labgloves » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:33 am

Bob - You might be correct with respect to horseless-trails needing a little less work due to a lower rate of erosion. However, I think you are underestimating the amount of yearly work done mostly by horse teams clearing downed trees etc . . .

I don't enjoy coming across a horse train on a dusty trail either . . . but for this reason, those mentioned by ScottHanson, and a few others, I find horses a complicated issue.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:39 am

If we let them ban horses, then sooner of later they will ban pack ferrets. What will be next?
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby lcarreau » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:41 am

MoapaPk wrote: What will be next?


EASY ... the next ban will be bears won't be able to CHILL OUT on picnic tables ..

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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby Princess Buttercup » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:49 am

Bob Burd wrote:
HandjamMasterC wrote:If there is no commercial horse packing, there should be no use of horses for trail work or anything else. Let the John Muir Trail deteriorate back to wilderness.


I'd be good with this. Look at the old trails that don't get used by packers and see how much trail work they need - much, much less. Good to see you back HJMC.


You haven't been up Sawmill yet. :twisted:
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby sierraman » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:12 am

Last September I hired Clyde Pack Outfitters to pack us in from Wishon to Tehipite Valley and then up the Middle Fork of the Kings River to the JMT. If such a trip has been done before it was decades ago. The NPS sent over a trail crew guy to help us clear downed trees from the trail. It took three days of hard work to make the one way trip. Whoever may pass that way in the future will be the beneficiary of our efforts. None of that would have been possible without the pack horses. Admittedly there are impacts resulting from 1,200 lb hoofed animals in an alpine environment, however taking all factors into consideration I would oppose an across the board ban on pack stock.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby thegib » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:39 am

I think this is great news! The dust, stink, and poop, the trampled terrain, the giant fire-pits and grills and nails in the trees, the wear and tear on the trails - long may it stay banned! There may be legitimate uses of stock in the high wilderness, but that wasn't what the lawsuit was about.
- A proud supporter of High Sierra Hikers Assoc.
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Re: Horse Packers Banned in SEKI

Postby mattyj » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:55 am

Just to be clear, as far as I can tell this only applies to commercial pack concessions operating inside the park, correct? My dog and mountain bike have to stay at home, but you're still free to bring a grass-mowing a poop machine along so long as you're not paying someone to guide you in?

There's a huge difference between banning horses and not handing out a concession permit to run a business inside the park. That said, I'd be totally happy to see the decision reversed if horse poop had to be buried in a 6" cathole rather than strewn across the trail.
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