To the editor:
The U.S. Forest Service is at it again - they are taking away more of our rights to enjoy the national forests, in this case, the wilderness areas.A special order has been issued restricting the use or possession of wagons, carts (including "game carts") or other non-motorized vehicles within the National Forest Wilderness in the Intermountain Region (Nevada, Utah, southern Idaho, western Wyoming and parts of Colorado and California).
Gray Reynolds, Intermountain regional forester of the Forest Service, explained in a news release that, "Wildernesses are unique and special segments of our national forests, and our management efforts are directed toward protecting those values.
"Prohibiting these types of non-motorized vehicles will better protect resources and allow visitors to have an enriched wilderness experience."
We are veteran game-cart users and have often used them in the wilderness areas in western Wyoming. Moving a fully loaded game cart with camping gear or a big-game animal is plain, hard, physical work.
Why do we do it? Pure and simple - we do not need gas-hungry trucks to pull expensive horse trailers; the cart does not eat, defecate, bite, buck or run away; and the cart never goes to the vet. And besides that, game carts do not cause erosion, damage trails, pollute streams or damage vegetation.
We cannot imagine how prohibiting game carts "better protects the resources." Please help us bring the Forest Service back into the realm of reality. If the Forest Service will not cooperate, we suggest that horses, gas lanterns, stoves, rifles, fishing gear, tents and granola bars be prohibited. This will ensure that no one can have "an enriched wilderness experience," except maybe the Jim Bridger look-alikes.
and five others