Court Rules Against Sequoia National Park in Allowing HorsesBy Rocky Thompson on February 7th, 2012
In 1971 Sequoia National Park wrote up a plan that called for the phasing out of pack animals in transporting goods and people in the backcountry. Then they ignored that decision for the next 40 years. It wasn’t until the High Sierra Hikers Association (and their website circa 1998) asked them to stop using horses and then filed a complaint in court in 2009 that they started paying attention. The national park fought back to continue using animals, though for now the courts have handed hikers a victory. A California judge declared that they park service failed to conduct studies to see what kind of impact the animals would have on the trails. I would argue that after over 40 years of using animals, we should have a pretty good idea of what kind of impact they have.