Journal of the San Juan Islands


Disrespect on display by equestrians | Letters

February 8, 2013 · 5:23 PM

The walk up the trail from the backside of Mount Young is an opportunity to enjoy nature in a natural setting with it becoming a pristine setting as you near the top and enter the National Park territory.

Early on in the walk you must dodge divots caused by horses slipping on the soft ground and piles of horse manure. This is to be expected as the trails are used by walkers, mountain bikes and horses. However, you can look forward to entering National Park land near the summit where horses and bikes are clearly restricted from entering.

Recently, this has changed, with some horse riders and bike riders disregarding the signs and riding on National Park land. This leaves torn up moss divots and areas of delicate mosses destroyed by horses pawing the ground, as well as piles of horse manure on the trail.

It would seem horse riders would be in tune with beauty of environment and respect the rules that benefit all users of these trails. Roche Harbor has miles of trails set out for the use of horses and mountain bikes. There are only a few trails for hikers and walkers only.

I urge horse fanciers to talk to their friends and fellows, and urge them to respect the rules pertaining to the trails used by them. I would urge them to respect others who use these trails by not riding on trails forbidden to them.

The island is a special place and it works so well because the people respect the rules and respect others. I believe horse riders would do well to follow these guidelines and by doing so respect themselves.

Mike Curley/San Juan Island


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