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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Bud Light Riders" single-handedly trash up entire NE SFV trail system

Out in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, one group of horse riders have almost single-handedly turned the local network of trails and environmentally sensitive areas into their personal trash dump.

If it weren't for a few individuals who conduct major trash clean-ups in the area, the "Bud Light Riders" would have succeed by now.

Who are the Bud Light Riders?

Alcoholic local equestrians without a shred of a conscience, I'd guess.  They must be alcoholics with the amount of beer they consume while riding on the local trails.  These idiots have thrown their cans on every single trail from Hansen Dam up Big Tujunga Wash, Fascination Springs, the Doc Larsen trail system, Little Tujunga, Lopez and Kagel Canyons. Every trail.

How do I know? Because I've wasted untold hours of what should be my hiking time engaged in picking up their crap in all of these areas. I can almost count the exact number of steps between beer cans. I guess that is how much distance passes while they suck down the next can.

Believe me, these people qualify as alcoholics, and Bud Light is their cheap buzz of choice.

The Bud Light Riders live somewhere around my neighborhood.  Every month or so, they share their alcoholic-haze riding experience up close and personal with me by throwing their Bud Light empties in my front yard as they lurch by. Unfortunately, I am not home when they do it, but it is just a matter of time before I catch them in the act and we have a major conversation.

Drinking on horseback is illegal, same as drinking and driving, and drinking and boating. A horse is a large animal, and can be dangerous if something unexpected sends them out of control. The rider is responsible for control of their animal at all times.

If you are drinking on horseback, you can be cited. You SHOULD be cited, because you are a freaking idiot.

As for the littering, that should be a no-brainer. Stewardship of our wild lands, trails, and environmentally sensitive areas is the responsibility of everyone, especially those who enjoy the areas in person. In fact (clue-phone time) -  a non-trivial portion of the City's actual drinking water filters through Hansen Dam via the Big and Little Tujunga Washes. When you litter and pollute there, you are polluting the City's drinking water. Answer the damn clue phone and knock off the littering!

I guess it is possible to drink yourself into a state where you have less than no-brains, as with the Bud Light Riders. Yesterday, I personally picked up a full, 35 gallon trash bag of beer cans - mainly Bug Light - from Little Tujunga Wash. I crushed them all and still filled up the garbage bag.

I know I missed a bunch of cans because of the heavy brush. When I'm riding my horse and not on foot, I can see a lot more crap from the vantage point.

That said, last October I picked up two full 80 gallon trash bin liners of cans in the same area while hampered by the poor vantage point.

I must look like their mother, because they expect me to pick up after them.

Bottom line is that these moron simply need to be stopped. Take their keys to their horses away from them. Make them do hundreds of hours of community service, picking up similar crap from other morons. Educate them.

Yet down in Hansen Dam Recreational Area, a City park where there should be Park Rangers who could cite these idiots, there currently is no oversight of any kind. It's a drinking, campfire-building, riding-while-intoxicated free-for-all.