[cdt-l] Fw: CDT Mapping Effort

James Herberg whorfin6644 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 5 19:42:08 CST 2006

Two observations:
In the Backpacker Magazine editorial piece announcing the contest to be a volunteer, Jonathan Dorn states, “Yet the CDT lacks one basic ingredient of a world-class hiking path: and official map.”  In my opinion, one of the features of the CDT that makes it world-class is its lack of an “official map.”  Rather than a path, I regard the CDT an experience.
In regards to the value of an “official” map as a land use decision-making tool, the current level of documentation is more than sufficient to create a “corridor” for the CDT, even over private lands if the government so desired.  Throughout my career in land development, I have been both the beneficiary and unwilling benefactor of governmental land use decisions.  It has been my experience that the vaguer the proposed route, the wider the corridor created.  This mapping effort is no different that any previous mapping effort since Marco Polo: it is a commercial enterprise.  Rodale, Inc. and CDTA wish to produce and sell maps and guide books.  Period.  Nothing wrong with that per se, but call a spade a spade, it ain’t a shovel.  As a fellow Capitalist Running-Dog Pig, I wish them good fortune with their investment.  However, like all previous mapping efforts, once completed and promulgated, the Law of Unintended Consequences kicks in.  I am concerned about that.

That's my opinion, but I could be wrong.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Paul Magnanti <pmags at yahoo.com>
To: CDT MailingList <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Monday, December 4, 2006 2:46:00 PM
Subject: [cdt-l] CDT Mapping Effort

The ultimate value of an "official" set of CDT maps is
as Jonathan stated earlier: With an official trail on
the ground, much easier to point to something and
saying "THIS needs protection". 

I imagine most govt officials, land owners, etc. want
something tangiable to deal with.

A trail that is "official" on paper rather than
nebulous corridor makes for much easier trail advocacy
and protection. You can't protect something
(realistically) that does not "officially" exist.

As for HIKING the CDT, suspect there will be a few
"purists" who stick to what is on the map. But, the
nature of people who hike the CDT, the open terrain,
the different options and various other reasons
(weather, fires, plagues of locusts) will make a long
hike on the CDT an open-ended adventure for most.

The trail may be "official" on paper for much needed
trail protection and advocacy; but a journey on the
CDT I suspect will still be the most open-ended of the
big three trails for quite some time to come. The CDT
runs through some the largest expanse of public land
and will not be hemmed into a narrow corridor like the
AT and to a lesser extent like the PCT.

HYOH, just my .02, YMMV, etc.

(Still unpacking! One of these days..will get my
computer up and running..and get my photos posted!!!!)

The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched
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