The Sleeping Giant
Something really amazing has just
The Kern Valley Sun printed my
letter about there being no place in our valley for the Sequoia
ForestKeepers conflict mongering, pitting different recreation
groups against one another.
Two comments about my letter were posted by apparent Sequoia
ForestKeepers members attempting to malign Stewards of the
Sequoia and everyone who enjoys OHV recreation. Although they
would not use real names their negative comments claimed:
Sasquatch wrote on Feb 4,
2010 11:23 PM:
" Which off-road vehicle manufacturers and lobbyists support
"stewards" of the sequoia? Who is lining your pockets, Mr.
Hayduke wrote on Feb 4, 2010 11:15 PM:
" Motor vehicles have no place on forest trails. They belong
on roads only. Our local Whine Steward works tirelessly to
make our forest into a dangerous place for regular folks to
hike, ride horseback, mountain bike, hunt or fish. Maybe we
should open up the Indy 500 to "multiple use," but I doubt
if anyone really wants to hunt or fish there any more than
they will in the Sequoia National Forest if this whiner gets
Of course their malicious tone and
ignorant comments prove my point.
But here is the really amazing
I expected a couple of people might post some balanced rational
comments and then we would get another rant from the
Instead what happened was
In just one day 30 people posted comments calling the
ForestKeepers to the carpet and supporting the efforts of
Stewards of the Sequoia. I must say as I read them I got a bit
choked up. It is great to see proof that the majority of people
appreciate Stewards of the Sequoia hard work protecting access
for everyone, and more importantly people are willing to speak
up about it and very articulately. Below are a couple of the
comments. They are well worth the read:
" My family and I routinely
enjoy the outdoor life in and around Lake Isabella. We hike,
fish, hunt, horseback, bicycle, motorcycle and generally
enjoy the place. We have met many people on the trail and
can say that, not even once, have we met anyone who seems to
put forth the hate that "Forestkeepers" does. Who are these
people?? Stewards supports access for everyone. I just don't
see the problem with that. Keep up the good work Stewards, I
hope my $50 goes a long way to "lining your pockets".
" As an ornithologist, hiker, and life member of the Sierra
Club and life member of the Audobon Society, I have never
felt threatened or heard of anyone else being scared of an
off-road vehicle. I have enjoyed the most sacred of lands
ONLY because the first several hours of the would be hike
were made possible by the swift access afforded first by my
small, quiet,lightly treading dirt bike. Walking even 15 of
the 60 miles round trip to my favorite hike would not be
possible for this working man on his typical weekend off. "
" If your going to be disingenuous in your objections to the
Stewards of the Sequoia have the courage to sign your real
How many miles of trails have you cleared?
How much have you hiked, ridden your horse or bike in the
Have you witnessed the devastation in the Piutes caused by a
law suit in which the the Sequoia ForestKeepers joined?
OHV riders have donated well over a million dollars to the
SNF in the last 3 years and thousands of hours of labor.
Have the ForestKeepers? "
" Stewards of the Sequoia promotes RESPONSIBLE use of PUBLIC
land and donates many man-hours to maintain the environment.
The position of the ForestKeepers is simply shallow and
selfish and as you can see in their tone, quite negative. "
" The Sequoia National Forest is big enough to share. To
exclude one form of recreation just because you don't enjoy
it is very self centered."
"It's the same ForestKeeper preservationist mentality that's
eliminated the stocking of the Kern River and allowed
millions of acres of forests to be consumed by wildfire."
" I agree with Chris we must work together to keep existing
trails open. As a property owner on Piute Mtn.I spend a
great deal of time hiking and mountain biking Sequoia
National Forest. I have as yet to ever feel threatened or in
danger of OHV users.
I would also go on record as stating that I have never seen
anyone donate so much time, and effort, to keeping trails
open than Chris. "
" I’m “lining his pockets” with the princely sum of $200.00
total. Ever look out an airplane window, wonder what your
fellow citizens are doing with our land? Well look no
further. With the help of negative, politically savvy, well
funded groups wishing to make a tyrant’s decision for
everybody we can expect increasing loss of access to all you
see. Are locked gates, barbed wire and keep out signs really
the answer? Welcome Sequoia ForestKeepers to the debate.
However, since you brought it up, please open your financial
records… so we know who we are actually talking to. "
" Our public lands are there for everyone's enjoyment, not
just a select few or for certain activities. The vast
majority of off-roaders are respectful of the land and other
users. We play by the rules and many of us donate time and
money to maintain ALL types of trails. And yet, more and
more of our trails are being closed. I am not asking to be
allowed to ride on your hiking trail or to disrupt your
enjoyment; what I am asking is that the small handful of OHV
trails we have left be allowed to remain open. "
" We will probably never hear from Hayduke or Sasquatch.
They can't respond factually to the responses to their
Last year the ForestKeepers were soliciting negative
comments about OHV users on their web site. When I cited
this in a letter to the editor the solicitation mysteriously
The Stewards have been instrumental in keeping open many
miles of trails for the use of EVEYONE. What has the
ForestKeepers done for us?
Many millions of acres of our precious forest have been
destroyed by fire due to the efforts of preservationist
groups like the Sequoia ForestKeepers. "
" Like many others thousands out there I love the outdoors
and have supported the use of our land for everyone’s use.
Feeling like I have mine and no one else can have there’s
just wrong! Use of our open space is the greatest form of
freedom not to mention great for family bonding."
" I love backpacking, mountain-biking, and motorcycle riding
through the Piutes and Greenhorn mountains. I donate my time
and money to maintain trails so that others may share the
enjoyment. Please do not exclude or discriminate against
folks who chose a different method of transportation through
our public lands than you do. Once you're able to see other
outdoor enthusiasts simply as people with a similar passion
for the outdoors as you, you'll be happier, a lot less
bitter, and smile a lot more the next time you hike, bike,
or ride through our beautiful Sequoia. "
"Clearly, Hayduke does not believe that disabled people,
including our Disabled Veterans have any right to access
public lands. It's only for health people like him. Well,
Hayduke, I very much hope you are not disabled someday, and
have to hear from people that you have no business enjoying
public lands. Your selfishness saddens me."
The Sleeping Giant known as the SIlent
Majority has awoken. Welcome to a new age.
Stewards of the Sequoia
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