First, I'd like to state that I am a trail rider and have ridden for as long as I can remember. Having said that it saddens me to see horse people being so naive and disingenous.
Horse absolutely impact and often damage trails, stream and river banks, as well as pollute water they defecate in and swim in if they have fly spray on. Horse camp fire rings contain all kinds of things they shouldn't. Manure is left or piled high just out of sight of the picket line areas. I am not letting anyone else off the hook-after deer season, the woods are a sad sight as well. Two cycle snowmobiles are a disgrace and mountain bikes are terribly destructive, but horse people need to clean up their act.
The most vocal group against horses on state hunting lands is the MUCC. Until horse people realize the clout MUCC has with the Michigan legislature we're not going to get a whole lot accomplished. Until compromise is made with the MUCC, we ain't gettin' nowhere! I don't know how valid the issues are with Pigeon River Forest, but we have to at least acknowledge that the possiblity exists that there is some validity to the MUCC and DNR claims. Poo pooing them and crying foul is a senseless waste of time.
Regarding the complaints over bridle tags or extra money for trail useage, I am so sick of people complainging about something so short sighted. I would gladly pay an extra $15 or $25 to get to use trails. Is it fair? I don't know , but life isn't fair. Get over it! Again, if you want to move forward, compromise for heaven's sake! Hunters and anglers have had the "we pay so we get extra" on their side forever. Ok, fine, I'll pay extra. If I pay, I get to play. I read something on this thread about why pay for nothing? Nothing??? I want to ride on those trails. That's a whole lot of something if you ask me!
All this petty arguing is just holding things up and giving the anti horse people exactly what they want. We need to start listening, looking for common ground and working towards solutions so we can start riding!