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Horse Trails Wanted In Meeman Shelby Forest by Linda Dennington An executive committee has now been formed to work on the ongoing issue of getting access for equestrian trails in Meeman Shelby Forest. So much was discussed at our first meeting this November that we have yet to come up with an official name or vote for the officers. The committee members are: Linda Dennington, John Barber, Millington Chamber of Commerce Jerry Schile, Lieutenant Commander Debbie O'Bryant, Regional Director of Tenn. Horse Council Sandy Rhodehamel, Hollis H. Halford III M.D., Denise Landen PhD, Computer wiz/Lab tech. Elizabeth Fortia, Trainer Beverly Bearden and Farrier Bootsie Belk. Our committee meeting consisted mostly of the findings of old park information stating that the park was first built for the use of horse trails and an animal reserve. Hunting was not allowed until later. President Roosevelt approved twenty-two miles of trail for this purpose and riding was a major part of the park for many years. We are still trying to find out from the park manager Mr. Smalley what happened to our trails. On behalf of myself and the community I would like to thank Senator Mark Norris and State Legislator Barbara Cooper for their help in making our Millington town meeting on October 11th a great success. Their letters and calls of invitiation to the State Park, Tenn. Wildlife Management and Commissioner Hamilton in Nashville were the reason for this success and attendence of over one hundred with standing room only. Peggy Hart of S.F.E.A. busy with the Equifair even managed to come and lend a helping hand and hunters that hunt in the reserve area offered to help us get trails in the main park area. All of the parks issues of soil erosion, and the presence of horses being harmful to wildlife and water were addressed with professional statistics. The park, Nashville and Dept. of Wildlife didn't debate these statistics and seemed unprepared. Nancy Dorman from Nashvilles Department of Strategic Planning said she would need around $50,000.00 to do in-depth research on this issue. She said she would help State Leg. Barbara Cooper get the paperwork together to go to the senate for this money, but doubts we'll get it. We agree and feel these demands are purposely extreme, expensive and impossible to meet with the way the budget is going with the state parks. This kind of money would be better spent on building trails to meet the park and Ms. Dormans standards. We have chosen to go to the senate for support in getting access to the park instead of the research money. Besides, It seems ludicrous to ask for all this money, how can research be done on the inpact horses have on the park if they won't let horses in the park! If you're interested in supporting our issue/organization, please contact Linda Dennington: fx/ph: 901-876-6280or

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