11:41 a.m. on July 27, 2004 (EDT)

a.k.a. Ian

Dear all,
I just found out that the USFS has announced the beginning of two new planning processes for the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wilderness that will allow the expansioon and continual growth of commercial packstock businesses in these lovely wilderness. The proposal also allow commercial stock groups with as many as 15 people and 25 stock animals per day!! many of these beautiful trails will be effected. For more info. on these proposal, you can check out

You can send your comments to: with title "TRAIL MANAGEMENT PLAN PROPOSED ACTION".

Thanks all...

12:02 p.m. on July 27, 2004 (EDT)
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Sierra commercial packers

Actually, you should be aware that the commercial packers have been going into these areas for over a century. The limits of 15 people and 25 animals have been in effect since limits were instituted in the 1970s.

Do not read this as my supporting allowing the packers to continue. I hate hiking through "horse du-vers" and I hate getting pushed off the trail to allow inexperienced tenderfeet access. And pack animals do tear up the terrain and meadows around the campsites. Plus, the packers often build "camp furniture" out of the local trees. Still, things are better now than in, say, the 1950s, when you would run across packers taking groups of up to 100 (sponsored by the Sierra Club, no less!) into the High Sierra.

When you send your comments, be aware that this is not a huge change from current practice. I would prefer more stringent limits. Currently, much of the wilderness referred to has limits on backpacking groups of 12 to 15 (depending on the trailhead, and in some cases a total of 6-15 people a day entry, whether or not they are in a single group or all solo hikers). I can tolerate some packer groups, since this has been the practice for over a century, and it is not mechanical transport. But a limit of, say, 5 clients with 10 stock (1 riding plus one gear and food per client) with one guide/packer who has 1 riding and 2 gear stock might be reasonable, no more than 1 guided animal group per day per trail head. This is also a sticky problem, because what do you do about private parties with stock (burro or, shudder, alien species like llama - hey, folks, llama are not native to North America, although neither are burros or mules).

1:01 p.m. on July 27, 2004 (EDT)

a.k.a. Ian


1:02 p.m. on July 27, 2004 (EDT)

a.k.a. Ian


9:40 a.m. on July 30, 2004 (EDT)

This is one of many initiatives in recent years to loosen ...

environmental / wilderness constraints throughout the country. Check out the Sierra Club web site - it's pretty informative about this and other initiatives.


June 19, 2018
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