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Thread: Horses in FNBP

  1. #1
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    Horses in FNBP

    All,

    Recent horse traffic has totally destroyed the lower bog trail singletrack in FNBP. These are the small rooty well traveled trails off the ski jouring trail around the lower bog lake. It looks like a herd went through. I don't know what to say........ the trails are FUBAR. I'm at a loss for words.

    I also noticed they have been using Black Bear.

    I didn't realize these trails were open to horses.

    PS, I was just informed by a friend that horses have also been using Speedway single track as well. It's clear they are traveling during this wet weather and destroying sections of unharded trails. This is some super bad news.

    Regards,

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    Last edited by EndUser; 07-23-2008 at 09:17 AM.
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  2. #2
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    A Travesty

    Yes - the recreational trails that are used by mulitudes of bikers, walkers, dog-walkers, runners are being destroyed so some irresponsible horse operating can make some $. Not sure who issues these permits, but IMO the whole park system should be off limits to destructive commercial enterprises. ARRRHHHGGG.

  3. #3

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    Yep, 2.5 km loop is full of horse crap too. I was so bummed that the horse brigade has found the north side of campbell airstrip road - that's my favorite place to ride.

    I really encourage everyone who sees this type of destruction to call the muni trails manager and voice your dismay.

    Last week BLM was conducting a survey in FNBP on trail use, and the UAA student manning the survey station told me that horses were the #1 complaint. Almost every single respondent mentioned the horse manure on the trails. The more vocal people are about it, the more likely it will change.

    ETA: I just talked to the muni trails manager, John McCleary. He said that he personally has directed the horse riding concessionaires to use the trails north of campbell airstrip road to avoid bear conflicts. He's had some complaints but few stating that the trails are getting "trashed" as I put it to him. He doesn't realize the extent of the dismay this usage causes to other groups. So if you don't like the horses out there, call and tell him! The phone call confirmed that it is primarily commercial operators causing this damage, which I personally find extremely unacceptable. People should not be making money off of destroying our trails. McCleary said that it was unlikely that horses would be kicked out of the park, but maybe we can get the concessionaires out and send them to Ruth Arcand (where the horse arenas and trails are) instead. Call 343-4355 and ask for John McCleary.
    Last edited by Fat Chick; 07-23-2008 at 01:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    After the bear incident on Rovers', the concessionaires have been asked to stay away from black bear, rovers and Moose Run which is why they are more on the north side.

    Further, there are only 2 commercial operators (1 in the state park) - the second being only a four horse operation. My guess is that the concessionaires work a little harder to abide (due to their permits and livelihood) although that may not include a use/don't use on a muddy trail. John McCleary suggested that a group of 4 or more is prob the commercial operator. He also said that more and more calls are coming in. I encourage folks to call. He was friendly and willing to listen.

    To my surprise John said the concessionaires were only required to kick poo off the trails bimonthly.!! This has now been upped to biweekly as of last week as a result of phone calls.

  5. #5
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    Butt bucket and Stay on dry, hard trails

    2 easy things the horsers can do and things would be fine. Now that the trails are being soaked, horses will destroy many trails past the point of rideable. Later in the fall, even the peninsula trails are toast.

    Urgh.

  6. #6
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    Later in the fall
    Or mid summer. We rode Devil's to Cooper on Sunday and encountered 2 separate groups of about 8 horses each on the Cooper side. The Cooper trail was muddy to begin with but from Swan Lake down (where the horses were), it was postively thrashed with hoof prints and manure. The difference between non-horse impacted and horse impacted trail was stunning.

    Has anyone else had try to get by a group of horses from behind on single track. Wow that sucks. I thought I was going to get my brains stomped. I think I may have been safer blowing by them then inching past on foot.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiMonkee
    Or mid summer. We rode Devil's to Cooper on Sunday and encountered 2 separate groups of about 8 horses each on the Cooper side. The Cooper trail was muddy to begin with but from Swan Lake down (where the horses were), it was postively thrashed with hoof prints and manure. The difference between non-horse impacted and horse impacted trail was stunning.

    Has anyone else had try to get by a group of horses from behind on single track. Wow that sucks. I thought I was going to get my brains stomped. I think I may have been safer blowing by them then inching past on foot.

    I passed the same group of 10 horses near Juneau Falls. I yelled 'rider back!' and they all efficiently went off the trail, pointing the horses away from the trail and then signaled to me to ride by. It was actually the most pleasant experience I've had passing horses. However, they left the most horrific wake of horse crap I've ever seen or smelled, to say nothing of the churning up of the trail they did.

    At Crevasse, I had a couple of horses coming towards me on a single track and I politely got off the trail and stopped to let them pass. As they went by, I waved and wouldn't you know, the horse startled. So I guess you can't wave to horses.

  8. #8
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    Must have been the second group that we passed while they were off trail at Swan Lake b/c the group we got tied up behind (6 or 7) were NOT efficient and did NOT have control of their wildebeasts. I don't like them, they're bigger than me.

  9. #9
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    Lets not let up on the Muni...

    Quote:Further, there are only 2 commercial operators (1 in the state park) - the second being only a four horse operation. My guess is that the concessionaires work a little harder to abide (due to their permits and livelihood) although that may not include a use/don't use on a muddy trail. John McCleary suggested that a group of 4 or more is prob the commercial operator. He also said that more and more calls are coming in. I encourage folks to call. He was friendly and willing to listen.

    Let's not forget that the MOA concessionaire has all of Ruth Arcand Park to use; lots of trails and acres. The trails on the north side of C-Astrip are also my favorite in Anchorage because they're largely pristine, but that will change soon (and be affected for years) with horses hammering it. I think it's ridiculous that all other users of the n. side of CA Rd. should have to put up with COMMERCIAL operators impacts. (I'm gonna recommend it be closed to horses permanently (west of the tank trail, and north of CA Rd.)

    McCleary might listen, but I'm not so sure he'll do anything (or even has the authority to). He's kinda' a teflon guy for the decision makers; recommend you call Monique Anderson (MOA Parks Superintendent) so someone with some authority gets clued in.

    Makes me want to go cut in some bootleg trails when I see the supposed 'experts' doing such a piss-poor job of managing.

  10. #10
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    While I agree that trails are open to all users, I think there should be some more delineation as to which user groups can use which trails. While this is going to seem like singling-out a user group, I believe that they should have trails that all user-groups can use and then trails that all user groups EXCEPT horses can use. I did an independent study my final year of college about building and maintaining sustainable (and non-sustainable) trails for most user groups. Once you add horses into the equation, trails become more expensive not only to build, but to maintain. They by far can do some of the worst damage to trails, especially when they are wet.

    I don't think it is outside of good reasoning to have horse-specific trails. They are a completely different user group (in needs, size, and poo) from what I consider the primary other user groups of the trails -- hikers, runners, and bikers (which can all use the same trails a helluva lot more easily).
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ickyickyptngzutboing
    I don't think it is outside of good reasoning to have horse-specific trails. They are a completely different user group (in needs, size, and poo) from what I consider the primary other user groups of the trails -- hikers, runners, and bikers (which can all use the same trails a helluva lot more easily).

    Something like this was attempted at Crevasse Moraine. The designation could have been just for winter use, I'm not sure. In any case, it didn't work - they use all the trails all year long.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ickyickyptngzutboing
    While I agree that trails are open to all users, I think there should be some more delineation as to which user groups can use which trails. While this is going to seem like singling-out a user group, I believe that they should have trails that all user-groups can use and then trails that all user groups EXCEPT horses can use. I did an independent study my final year of college about building and maintaining sustainable (and non-sustainable) trails for most user groups. Once you add horses into the equation, trails become more expensive not only to build, but to maintain. They by far can do some of the worst damage to trails, especially when they are wet.

    I don't think it is outside of good reasoning to have horse-specific trails. They are a completely different user group (in needs, size, and poo) from what I consider the primary other user groups of the trails -- hikers, runners, and bikers (which can all use the same trails a helluva lot more easily).
    We don't want user restrictions on the trails. We have too many of those already. In the winter time half or more of the hillside trails are closed to most user groups so other user groups can enjoy their trails "without damage."

    Yes, it seems like commercial operators are being less than thoughtful right now. And the Muni should probably address that. But I think what we need is more education -certain basics like if it has been raining for two weeks stay off the trails- and perhaps addressing some specific issues -like the poop. In my opinion, the main issue with horses relates to the commercial operators not the private horse riders. For what is worth, I'm not even sure that there are enough horse riders -outside commercial operators- to make an impact.

    Having "horse specific" trails opens the gates for all kinds of user conflicts -why was that horse out of the horse trail? why was that hiker on the horse trail? And you forget about the fact that some of the trails were started as horse trails. And that some of the trails being damaged by horses are not even official trails but what the Muni calls "social trails" not legally recognized as open trails but allowed to be traveled. As much as it sucks to see some trails damaged, I think what we need to do is work so that trails remain as they are, multi-use and avoid user restrictions as much as possible.

  13. #13

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    Well said, FrozenK. Freedom is a great thing but it goes hand in hand with responsibility. If various user groups acted in a more responsible manner, we wouldn't need so many regulations. Educate the horse riders, make them aware of their impact, and let them be responsible.

    Come to think of it, this applies to horses on wet trails the same as it applies to mtn bikes cutting ruts on groomed XC trails in winter. Let's all check our impact.

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