ForestKeepers Conflict Mongers Fail Again    Updated 2/6/2010

About four years ago in an effort to close more roads and trails to the public Ara Marderosian from a local group called the Sequoia ForestKeepers started a  campaign encouraging people to submit letters telling about conflicts or negative experiences with Off Highway Vehicles.

The ForestKeepers agreed to pull their negative campaign when the Forest Service told them it was inappropriate to solicit negative comments during a collaborative trail planning process.

Thanks to many of you, the public has spoken out overwhelmingly in favor of keeping existing trails open to multiple use and the Sequoia National Forest has responded with a plan keeping many roads and trails open to everyone.

Some existing roads and trails will be closed under the new plan, but apparently not enough closures to satisfy Ara and the ForestKeepers. They are unhappy the public process did not close more trails and prohibit traditional lakeside access. They have renewed their hate mail campaign through their website and through hiking web forums. Much to their credit the Kern River Valley Hiking Club was unreceptive to the Forestkeepers Hate Mail request. Here are some of the responses from the hikers.

Trying to limit anyone's use of public lands is selfish! Just because you don't like to take part in one form or another of recreation does not make it wrong. Let all people use the forest.

I was hiking on a miserable brushy trail once and heard chainsaws up ahead (scary!!)
It was evil motorcycle dudes cutting up brush and making the trail a little wider.
It was bad news for the bushes, but good news for my scratched up skin, as now the trail was easier to tread upon.
I told them thanks, and that I greatly appreciated their trail repairs. Most of my experiences with the motorcycle dudes have been very positive.... sorry.... I couldn't think of any real bad ones. Sometimes they are a little loud, but if I want a quiet hike, there are many places left in the Sierra for that.
(This hiker is talking about meeting Stewards motorized volunteers on the Mill Creek trail that Stewards have a joint adoption with BackCountry Horseman)

The ForestKeepers conflict mongering which attempts to pit recreation groups against one another has no place in our community.
Or as one hiker said, " Stop whinning, There is enough Forest for all of us to enjoy! "


UPDATE-ForestKeepers attempt to malign Stewards of the Sequoia, but are overwhelmed by an avalanche of letters in support of Stewards of the Sequoia


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