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View Full Version : Mirror Lake Trail severely abused by horseback operators.



JoeReal
05-12-2014, 09:51 AM
Last Sunday, Mother's Day, we went hiking to Mirror Lake, hoping to spy on many fishes along the river. The hiking trail to Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park would have been perfect except for the trail of fresh horse droppings every 5-10 feet or so. They should not allow horseback riding on this trail unless the horses has some poop catchers like they do in cities. The droppings are washed down into the pristine waters of the Merced river system, and it goes down into various lakes. Too much commercialization of horseback riding is called an abuse. It would be healthier for you to walk rather than ride the horses. On our half hour walk, we encountered more than a dozen tourists riding on horses and we have to step aside from the trail or be run over! Now the trail reeks of horse manure just like in horse stables, full of flies, horse urine, and it truly stinks. This is not what a national park should be!!!


I am not against horseback riding, especially for people who are willing to pay, but is it really too much to ask the stable operators to install poop catchers on each of the riding horse? I've heard they pay a lot of money for the licenses and permits which helps fund the park. We should also know that the poop catchers should not cost that much especially if passed down to the willing tourists who don't want to carry their butt off when enjoying nature.



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Jfitalia
05-12-2014, 10:43 AM
I see no problem with it. You're in the outdoors and it's all part of nature.

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LURKER916
05-12-2014, 10:51 AM
Lol.... Poop catcher on a horse? Is it like a big diaper?
At least you don't have human poop all over the place. Can we install poop catchers on the homeless people along the American River?
Or better yet why don't we just put em all in a bus and bring em to Yosemite..... They could be poop picker uppers...

JoeReal
05-12-2014, 11:01 AM
I see no problem with it. You're in the outdoors and it's all part of nature.


Problem #1: What type of feed do they give the horses? Is it all natural and organic to be truly part of nature? Does it contain antibiotics, growth hormones and other medicines? Many antibiotics, growth hormones and medicine do not biodegrade quickly and they bioaccumulate in the river ecosystems, especially the fishes downstream. If the horse are wild and free, I have no problem with that. But for workhorses being kept in top shape for the tourists, their feeds should be scrutinized if they are natural and safe for the environment.

Problem #2: You probably have not read nor seen what above average manure loading does to a small pristine stream. Horses out there in the open meadows far from streams are okay and occasional ones by the stream, but if you have several dozen horses on that short trail per day and the manure piling up, that is contrary to being natural.

Problem #3: I can forgive the occasional bear scat, horse droppings, and that of other animals, but the trail looks like a feedlot livestock operation from the amount of horse manure being littered along the trails and it smells like a densely packed animal barn, and I don't think that this the natural image of a National Park.

Would appreciate a civilized scientific discussion on this matter.

JoeReal
05-12-2014, 11:08 AM
Lol.... Poop catcher on a horse? Is it like a big diaper?
At least you don't have human poop all over the place. Can we install poop catchers on the homeless people along the American River?
Or better yet why don't we just put em all in a bus and bring em to Yosemite..... They could be poop picker uppers...


No, it is not a diaper. If you have been to old town Sacramento and taken a ride in horse-drawn carriage, you would have seen them.

The problem is not the American River, but supposedly the pristine Yosemite National Park. We already have laws about defecating in public places, especially near river systems, and all it needed is to enforce them.

JoeReal
05-12-2014, 11:23 AM
Here's an example of how livestock manure can influence a river system:

http://www.gfredlee.com/wef_sjr_0301.pdf

Jfitalia
05-12-2014, 11:24 AM
Problem #1: What type of feed do they give the horses? Is it all natural and organic to be truly part of nature? Does it contain antibiotics, growth hormones and other medicines? Many antibiotics, growth hormones and medicine do not biodegrade quickly and they bioaccumulate in the river ecosystems, especially the fishes downstream. If the horse are wild and free, I have no problem with that. But for workhorses being kept in top shape for the tourists, their feeds should be scrutinized if they are natural and safe for the environment.

Problem #2: You probably have not read nor seen what above average manure loading does to a small pristine stream. Horses out there in the open meadows far from streams are okay and occasional ones by the stream, but if you have several dozen horses on that short trail per day and the manure piling up, that is contrary to being natural.

Problem #3: I can forgive the occasional bear scat, horse droppings, and that of other animals, but the trail looks like a feedlot livestock operation from the amount of horse manure being littered along the trails and it smells like a densely packed animal barn, and I don't think that this the natural image of a National Park.

Would appreciate a civilized scientific discussion on this matter.

I just personally feel you're over thinking it

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Jfitalia
05-12-2014, 11:27 AM
Here's an example of how livestock manure can influence a river system:

http://www.gfredlee.com/wef_sjr_0301.pdf

These numbers are from the 90s.

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JoeReal
05-12-2014, 11:37 AM
I just personally feel you're over thinking it

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Was also expressing my severe personal disappointment over the conditions of a National Park Hiking Trail next to the river. I did not expect to visit an animal farm there.

I am not picky about manures as I regularly visit dairy farms and accompany friends who checked on their biogas digesters, and of course expected the smell and sight of manures, but never expected the same piles from National Park that is not even a zoo.

JoeReal
05-12-2014, 11:43 AM
These numbers are from the 90s.


Here's more recent articles. The previous was just an example, with the same science still applicable today:

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jeq/abstracts/37/5_Supplement/S-78
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169772210001725
http://tih.sagepub.com/content/15/1-2/133.short
http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/1/5.short

salmonid
05-12-2014, 12:28 PM
Seems reasonable to me for the horse owners to pick up after their animals. I'm not sure what the law is there.

Take care,