[at-l] In defense......

Tom McGinnis sloetoe at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 15 11:29:10 CST 2010

### Rosie -- (and *anybody* named Rosie gets "props" in my book) I appreciate the spirit and feisty-ness of your reply. I do think your loyalty misplaced, however.

### I wrote of just one dimension of ATC mission creep; we have mentioned the others for years. You mentioned "nobody's going to be paving the trail" but I didn't say that. Although, in a hundred years, I can see that happening with slimy ease, once the grading and overbuilt trail is completed. But not a single trail project goes on without the trail being built/REbuilt to USFS standards -- maximum pitch, minimum width, specified base, etc etc. No more historic colonial roads, no disused forest service roads, no views that these routes afforded, BECAUSE SOME IDIOT SAID "MAKE IT TO STANDARD," and that was that. From Georgia to Maine, the personality of the trail has been gutted, leaving the feel for the land, the raw geology of it, the historical nature, the sociological inputs, GONE from the desire to replace it with a uniform hardwood forest and call it "wild." But a project is a project, and a project burns dollars and demonstrates need, insuring next
 year's budget, and so on.

### No one said that the ATC does not have good people working there, nor that the job done does not have a positive impact on the trail. How many people are on this list right now, who have played or currently play a named role in the ATC? But that doesn't mean that avoidable harm to the institution we love (and here I'll specify the Trail) hasn't already been done? I'm sure you've walked the Trail southbound into Damascus, which now follows a relentless set of tank-traps over junk land while 50' away runs a perfectly usable, historic narrow-gauge route that the Trail was sensibly routed on for decades. But to walk that now puts you off the trail.

I've got to stop. But you've heard the point many times before...

Well, regardless, your loyalty to the ATC comes through, and your love of the Trail is obvious, so, truly,

Happy Trails,

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