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November  2017
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To the Membership

As you all know by now the recent search in Canton has ended very badly.

 

We were not included as a unit, but a number of our members responded as Cherokee CERT members and are now dealing with the inevitable grief that follows this type of conclusion.  I understand and can only offer that this is the very reason Steve and I started this unit, more specifically, Meredith Emerson four years ago now, but in our memories forever.

 

I think Nikki expressed to me a feeling I have also had recently, simply withdraw.  We expose ourselves as volunteers to a bureaucratic process with sometimes persons of outside agendas that overshadow the true cause, to only see the final outcome a tragedy.  I have felt this several times, and Sharon said it first just after Micha was attacked by the pitbull, “I just want to stay home and lock the gate”.  I felt the same, but decided quickly that I was angry and deserved my recreation and use of the Natl. Forest as much or more than most since I maintain these trails and try to contribute to the safety of our sport.  It’s a choice; stay home and be safe or contribute, demand our proper space and suffer the losses also.

 

We do contribute and hopefully preserve our privilege to ride public lands as a vocal and active minority of horseman.  Remembering that only eight years ago this state was one of the few and the first to suspend our privilege to ride on anything other than designated horse trails.  Does “Horses have 179 miles of designated trails in this state and that should be enough”, sound familiar?

 

Thank you all for your participation.  I look forward to our Christmas Party on Thur. and hope that this recent incident can be put aside for one evening of celebration of how far we have come and Christmas.

 

Regards,

Bob