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#22663 - 04/05/12 09:55 AM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: George]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
And, things may have gotten out of hand for Trigger & Seabiscuit:

www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/04/2788652/national-parks-horse-packing-on.html

Seems like it's one of those each side waiting for the other to blink, and neither did. So a judge will now have to impose a compromise.
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#22664 - 04/05/12 01:15 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: George]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Well, San Francisco judges are well know for making unreasonable decisions. I suppose this will affect the N.P. packers too.

The Sierra Club might not be too happen about this. Here is one of their 2012 trips: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/national/brochure/12261a.aspx
And REI: http://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/weekend/wst.html
And...the Park: http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/horseride.htm

Any members of the HSHA like to join in this discussion? No guts, no glory!


Edited by Bob West (04/05/12 01:40 PM)

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#22665 - 04/05/12 02:13 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: Bob West]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2211
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Even though I am not on the horsey side, I think it sucks that these business-people are put out of business by fiat.

If any body can post email addresses or phone numbers for packers, I, for one, will contact them & find out where to send letters. Maybe even a phone call, as I have unlimited long-distance. Judges? Congresscritters?

Suspension of the ruling for a year, if carried out in the next few days, might allow them to survive.
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#22666 - 04/05/12 02:39 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: wagga]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2211
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#22667 - 04/05/12 03:32 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: wagga]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty
well, if we didn't have political correctness rules on the wz i'm sure most of you would know what i have to say about this, i'll save my comments for november. what i would like to know is what type of person would belong to a group called the high sierra hikers association and not love horses, mules,donkeys and dogs. i think this group should change their name because they truly don't reflect anyone i know who love the sierra's nor the usa if they don' t believe in capitalism and the entreprenurial spiirit that built this great nation on the backs of these "beasts of burden" as Kurt Wedberg might describe them.

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#22668 - 04/05/12 03:36 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: lynn-a-roo]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
This just in from a person on High Sierra Topix who had talked to someone at HSHA:

Quote:

"...The Court has not yet issued any injunction against packing this summer at Sequoia-Kings. The NPS read the Court's preliminary (January) ruling on the merits of the case, and instead of waiting to see what the Court would order as remedy, NPS knee-jerked and sent letters to all the SEKI packers saying that their permits are invalid. FYI, we consistently have pushed for the earliest possible court date in hopes that the matter could be settled before the summer season - it is NPS that has repeatedly acted to delay the proceedings of this case. After numerous delays, the court has set a hearing date of May 23 (nearly three years after we filed our suit). Meantime, NPS has thrown more gasoline on the fire by sending vague and bureaucratic letters to packers (and to Rep. Nunes) saying that no commercial packing is authorized in SEKI until further notice - even though NPS knows full well that we have all along told the court that we don't want to shut down the packers; we simply want reasonable limits. (Prior to the recent letters, NPS had no limits at all on the number of commercial packers, no limits on the number of commercial pack trips, no limits on the total number of clients served, no limits on the total number of commercial stock used or grazed each year in the Sequoia-Kings Wilderness. All a packer needed to do was pay a $200 permit fee, and s/he could run as many trips at they wanted. They don't pay anything toward trail maintenance, they don't reimburse any NPS costs for meadow monitoring, and they are almost never fined when they break the rules. This free-for-all by commercial outfits has gone on for decades while wilderness permits for non-commercial visitors are tightly controlled and trailhead quotas for hikers are strictly enforced..."

So there is some current information, at least from one side, and you heard it first on Topix...

Sarah
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#22682 - 04/06/12 08:35 AM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: George]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty
See: Steve C's post 4/4/12 CURRENT CONDITIONS ON MT WHITNEY


If it were not for these 'beasts of burden's ' he and his family would have had to haul all their gear to 1000 Lakes.

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#22718 - 04/08/12 03:04 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: lynn-a-roo]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2211
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
I've started a thread on Endless-Sphere, which is a community like us but focused on electric vehicles, battery and controller technology.

It's titled "The Electric Horse". Endless-Sphere is full of brilliant minds, full-on geeks and the aroma of burning insulation.
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#22721 - 04/08/12 04:32 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: George]
lucky Offline


Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 5
Loc: CA, USA
Stimulating exchange. It is apparent that we have a long way to go in order to bring our positions closer to a meaningful understanding. It is my hope to bring to you a different perspective. I do agree with your basic idea that horse versus human, one on one, the horse has a greater impact on the back country. This impact of one horse is estimated at four times that of one hiker. This statement is from "Wilderness Management" third edition by Hendee & Dawson. Recomended reading! To Sierra Nevada. My data on the number of visitors is from the Yosemite NP official site. The EPA is the sources for the 4LB of garbage per person/day. You say it is less! OK, lets be real here. I am going to stick to the data from Yosemite NP official site again. If it was your only 2 LB/visitor/day, the 4,047.088 Yosemite front country visitors would produce 4,047.88 tons of garbage/year. Also, again at the same your 2 LB of garbage per day the 1,416,758 hikers would produce 1,416.758 tons of garbage/year in the back country. This is simple math remedial with the hope you can grasp the scale of things. How ridiculous is to pick only on the horses! Now I don't know when you've been on the Whitney trail, or any other popular trail for that matter, but when you do, please pay attention as in some locations every movable rock/boulder has toilet paper or candy wrappers under it. It is apparent to me that not all the human garbage is taken out by hikers or packed out by horses. Now as to the human waste you are not implying that human daily waste is less in the back country?? It is still EPA/4LB/day. And using the beloved green solar potties does not make the waste evaporate. It decomposes just like horse waste only slower. To our ranger.
Not withstanding the jab about my pretty little head I respect our ranger's position even if it is wrong. Between the lines I see some awareness and guilt when acknowledging the work done by horses. It comes to mind that criticizing the horses is like biting the hand the feeds you. "There's about 7,000 use nights by stock (in 2008 in all of Sequoia Kings)". What is the source for this info?? For the sake of truth let's stay official on providing references. I believe it is grossly exaggerated. I got your number of 350,00LB/175tons of horse waste in SKNP. Compare the SKNP to the YNP data. For the sake of continuity I will stay with the official numbers from Yosemite NP. Here is more math. In Yosemite NP, 1,416,758 hikers @ 4LB of human waste/day/year would produce 5,667,032 LB of human waste/year in the back country. Per your reference horses produce 50LB of waste/day. Divide 5,667,032 LB by 50LB and get 113,340.64 horses. This means that you would need to have 113,340.64 horses in the back country to produce and equal the amount of human waste. It is funny and ridiculous but true. This never happened and will never happen. Are you getting the scale of things??? Here is a quote from our beloved Wilderness Act. "The following uses (nonconforming, but allowed uses) are expressly permitted in section 4(d): 6. Livestock grazing, were established prior to the act. & 8. Commercial enterprises necessary for activities that are appropriate in wilderness ( e.g. outfitting and guiding)". I know SKNP has a great and successful grazing management in place. I am all for smart management not the exclusion of horses. Please comment.
Sorry Harvey I had to change the wrong numbers. Lucky!


Edited by lucky (04/08/12 05:48 PM)

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#22722 - 04/08/12 05:25 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: lucky]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 985
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: lucky
Divide 1,416.758 tons by 50 and get 28,335.16 horses. This means that you would need to have 28,335.16 horses in the back country to produce an equal amount of human waste.

The figures from Yosemite probably reflects more of the larger humanoids. What about fat, er obese, people? Don't they eat more and produce more wastes?

Oops, I forgot that they do not eat more, they think they have a slow thyroid.

In the backcountry, the leaner ones would change the calculation to be even more than 28,335.16 horses.

Sorry, I couldn't help it.

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#22751 - 04/09/12 02:47 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: lucky]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: lucky
To Sierra Nevada. This is simple math remedial with the hope you can grasp the scale of things. How ridiculous is to pick only on the horses! And using the beloved green solar potties does not make the waste evaporate. It decomposes just like horse waste only slower.


Lucky, I've got a Masters in Engineering, I think I can follow your arithmetic and grasp the scale of this. I simply pointed out that you're mixing up garbage with human waste with liquid human waste. You're mixing up total visitors to Yosemite with backcountry visitors and then combining it all in a blender. I think you nailed it when you wrote a horse impact is 4 times more than a human impact. Even that is hard to compare because the impacts are different - people don't crap on the trail (but they do leave wag bags around), people don't eat alpine grass, and people don't roll around in fragile meadows.

I'm not picking on horses, I like them. It's too bad the NPS needs to lose a lawsuit to get them to establish reasonable rules and limits which sets an even playing field. The packers will comply, and when they are all subject to the same rules, nobody is at a competitive disadvantage for going the extra mile to protect the environment.

Yes, well designed and maintained solar-powered backcountry toilets do evaporate human waste, both solid and liquid. Hunt around this board for more information - try "Solar Toilets vs Carrying Wag Bags" for a start.

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#22752 - 04/09/12 03:18 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: Harvey Lankford]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
This just in. Having won the court case, HSHA is now asking for "injunctive relief":

www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/SEKI-High%20Sierra%20Hikers%20Motion.pdf

Quote:
The interim relief that High Sierra requests includes:
(a) prohibiting the use of unnecessary items by commercial stock parties in SEKI's wilderness;
(b) requiring NPS to close particularly vulnerable portions of SEKI's wilderness to grazing by commercial stock; and
(c) reducing the level of commercial stock services in SEKI's wilderness areas by 20% from 2007 levels.


They very explicitly say they do not ask that stock be banned:

Quote:
While NPS has not made a finding that commercial stock services in wilderness portions of SEKI are necessary, High Sierra does not oppose the continuation of commercial stock services pending NPS's compliance with the Wilderness Actówithin limits and where consistent with preserving and restoring the character of SEKI's wilderness.


Essentially, they're asking that the court order that, until the Wilderness Stewardship Plan is written (with a very loose guess of 2015) that NPS not allow grazing above 9,700 feet in Sequoia Kings; that all the meadows in Evolution Basin be closed to grazing (McClure, Colby & Evolution); and reduce use by commercial stock by 20%.

Stock can still camp above 9,700 -- they just have to bring feed, as many do already.

This does not in any way affect how trails are maintained by stock-supported trail crews.

This does not in any way effect how private users can graze or visit the park on stock supported trips (within the constraints of existing grazing regulations for the stock and trail head quotas for the people).

There's a hearing May 23rd where arguments will be presented.
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#22774 - 04/10/12 09:26 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: George]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
These proposed changes seem like a reasonable starting point for a compromise resolution. The NPS should be able to negotiate a deal before the May 23rd court date. The quicker the better to save the 2012 season for the commercial packers.

But given their track record, the NPS will probably wait for the courts to tell them what to do and it will be June or July before they get an answer.

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#22777 - 04/11/12 09:42 AM Re: HSHA Lawsuit: Just the Coffee Talkin' [Re: SierraNevada]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
All hands: Note my new signature, just to emphasize that I don't represent no one but myself, no way, no how.


Edited by George (04/11/12 09:42 AM)
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#22778 - 04/11/12 09:50 AM Re: HSHA Lawsuit: Just the Coffee Talkin' [Re: George]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7228
Loc: Fresno, CA
Have another cup o' coffee, George! smile

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#22947 - 04/17/12 01:10 AM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: SierraNevada]
lucky Offline


Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 5
Loc: CA, USA
I am still hoping to give you another perspective on this horse v human waste issue. I am going to make it short and soooo simple a Master in Engineering can understand it. Again, I am using public info from the Yosemite NP official site. Overnight stays in 2010: 142,864. Multiply this by 4lb of human waste per day per person and get 571,456lb of human waste in 2010 in the Yosemite backcountry. One horse/mule makes 50lb of waste per day. Now divide 571,456lb by 50lb and get 11,429.12 horses. This means it would take the waste of 11,429 horses to equal the waste from 142,864 humans. 11,429 horses in the backcountry of Yosemite in one year is an impossible ridiculous number just as some of your arguments. Please comment!

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#22955 - 04/17/12 07:48 AM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: lucky]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1100
Loc: NorCal
Okay, Lucky. I think you've stated your point more clearly this time around. There are a lot of really smart people on this board who understood your main point all along - that humans leave a larger total amount of bodily waste in the wilderness because there are so many more hikers than horses. I doubt if anyone argues with that. However, to put that into some sort of tangible numerical "perspective" one needs to word it effectively.

If I may, another way to state your point is that a horse leaves 12.5 times more bodily waste behind than a human hiker. You don't actually know the total number of horses in Yosemite, but it seems obvious there are more than 12.5 hikers for every horse, therefore, humans generate more total bodily waste in the Yosemite wilderness than horses do. The total amount of human waste processed by backcountry toilets in Yosemite also needs to be considered, as does the human waste carried out by mules.

Your point about total waste is well taken, has been all along, but it's a bit more complicated when trying to quantify it with numbers. Boiling it down to total lbs of waste does not consider total impact to the wilderness. Waste dropped indiscriminately into a creek or on the trail has a lot more impact than waste buried in a cathole. People like me are probably a little overly sensitive after dealing with numbers every day to make complex decisions. But your point is correct about total amount of waste.

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#22970 - 04/17/12 12:22 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: SierraNevada]
George Offline
Woodsy Guy

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 202
Loc: California
Quote:
"There's about 7,000 use nights by stock (in 2008 in all of Sequoia Kings)". What is the source for this info?? For the sake of truth let's stay official on providing references. I believe it is grossly exaggerated.


Nope. It's from the Sequoia Kings 2008 stock report and derived from the number of nights that pack stations, administrative (NPS) and private packers report from their trips. It's not number of animals. It's the number of animal nights. So, one animal for one night is one animal use night (actually, it's a little more complicated 'cause horses and mules are given different multipliers, but let's not make this too complicated). Twenty five animals for one night is, yep, 25 use nights.

But the critical thing, as SierraNevada notes, is all the time you're spending on comparing human waste vs. stock totally misses the point. Nothing anyone has said, nothing the HSHA lawsuit has said, nothing in the federal judge's decision, makes waste the central point of any argument. Time to move on.

It's about total environmental impact and a demonstrated need (under the Wilderness Act) for stock to further wilderness values. Once again: where does the waste go (both people and stock)? Why are tons of grasses and forbes allowed to be removed from meadows without some level of environmental review? Why are stream banks and riparian areas allowed to be trampled? Are there ways to reduce, mitigate or eliminate these impacts such that stock can continue to bring people into wilderness?

Why do these discussions never include the admission by stock people that, "yes, stock causes a disproportionate and perhaps unacceptable level of impact relative to the number of people they bring into the wilderness. Here's how we all can work to reduce that impact."

Backpackers did this with minimum impact starting 40 years ago. A similar enthusiasm from the stock community would be a welcome contribution to the discussion.

You can loop endlessly on, say, who leaves the most waste in the wilderness, but it's not hugely helpful to an understanding of the problem or a solution.

George
_________________________
None of the views expressed here in any way represent those of the unidentified agency that I work for or, often, reality. It's just me, fired up by coffee and powerful prose.

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#23020 - 04/18/12 11:23 AM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: George]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: George
Why do these discussions never include the admission by stock people that, "yes, stock causes a disproportionate and perhaps unacceptable level of impact relative to the number of people they bring into the wilderness. Here's how we all can work to reduce that impact."

George


In my opinion, this is a political issue.

By not putting it to rest, it can be brought up in each discussion, and used to waste people's time and effort, make the entire official process more expensive to conduct, and generally help to wear people down until their attention moves to other things.

Effectively, it is a tool by which inaction is facilitated.


For example, in a totally different context, one could argue that the Park service cannot issue a legal order, because it is operating under the orders of a President that is not eligible for office, because he is not a citizen.

That sort of thing serves as a distraction from the topic, and is somewhat effective in derailing discussions that are to the point (after the eye-rolling is done)

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#23353 - 04/27/12 01:24 PM Re: HSHA Lawsuit [Re: Ken]
CMC2 Offline


Registered: 11/04/09
Posts: 160
Loc: CO
Congressman Nunes from Visalia introduced a bill that passed the House unanimously. It is now on to the Senate. The bill REQUIRES that packers be allowed to resume taking stock into the back country and basically ignores or over rules the pending Judges decision in May !! So the HSHA Lawsuit is over turned once this bill is passed into law.

Since I do not know how to post an e mail which advised me of this, I have asked Steve to help me out and post it. I told you guys I don't know how to do all this modern stuff. Just a map and compass guy. Once on the WZ you can read all the details.

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