Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Alabama: Horse trails bolster area’s recreation offerings

AnnistonStar.com - Full Article

Anniston Star Editorial Board
Mar 24, 2019

Here in northeast Alabama, we have the Coldwater Mountain bike trails, the Pinhoti hiking trail and the Ladiga cycling trail, but now the recreational offerings appear ready to expand into the equestrian arena.

The McClellan Development Authority voted unanimously last week to give 900 acres of the former fort to Calhoun County to create a system of horse trails. MDA members voted to transfer the land for $1 to take advantage of the county’s better insurance coverage.

News of a horse trails project was met with enthusiasm by The Star’s online readers...

Read more here:
https://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/editorial-horse-trails-bolster-area-s-recreation-offerings/article_49e42134-4d1c-11e9-b8b7-8b55c0faa837.html

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bipartisan Legislation Ensures Funding forAmerica’s Most Important Conservation and Recreation Program

LWCFCoalition.com

April 9 2019

Full and dedicated funding necessary to end raiding of LWCF account

WASHINGTON–A bipartisan group of senators today introduced legislation to dedicate full and continuing funding for America’s most important conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Recent passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (Dingell Act) permanently reauthorized LWCF after a lengthy effort in Congress.On the heels of this major victory, today’s bill introduction continues a bipartisan commitment to LWCF to ensure that the program receives full and dedicated funding each year.

The bill, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act, was introducedby Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). Joining them as original cosponsors are Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Richard Burr (R-NC), who authored a similar bill that was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last Congress. Other co-sponsors include Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (I-Maine),Jon Tester (D-Mont.),Steve Daines (R-Mont.),Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH),Tom Udall (D-NM), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

The legislation builds off the successful permanent reauthorization of LWCF inthe Dingell Actby ensuring that funds already being deposited into the LWCF account in the U.S. Treasury for LWCF – $900 million annually – are invested only in the conservation of our country’s natural, cultural and historic treasures...

More at
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58a60299ff7c508c3c05f2e1/t/5caceb5b4785d311f505fa53/1554836315888/LWCF+Coalition+Senate+Dedicated+Funding+Bill+Intro+Statement_4.9.19.pdf

Monday, April 15, 2019

Colorado: BLM’s proposed tweaks to the Crown rec area will add trails for biking, horsing around in midvalley

AspenTimes.com - Full Article

April 12, 2019
Scott Condon

The Bureau of Land Management is tweaking a travel plan for the Crown Special Recreation Management Area in the midvalley to add trails for mountain biking and equestrians, as well as decommission some old routes currently open to mechanized travel.

The agency’s proposed action would:

• Create 11.85 miles of designated new mountain bike single-track trail.

• Convert 10 miles of designated mountain bike trail, all of which is double-track, to foot and horse trail. The new equestrian and hiking trail would provide connection between Pitkin County’s Glassier Open Space, where there is existing equestrian trail, to Nancy’s Path and south to the Divide parking area, at a high point on Prince Creek Road...

Read more here:
https://www.aspentimes.com/news/local/blms-proposed-tweaks-to-the-crown-will-add-trails-for-biking-horsing-around/

Thursday, April 4, 2019

New Mexico: State raises outdoor recreation to next level

ABQJournal.com - Full Article

By Dan Boyd / Journal Capitol Bureau Chief
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

SANTA FE — With an approaching deadline for acting on most bills passed during this year’s 60-day legislative session, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed off on a bill that will create a new outdoor recreation division within an existing New Mexico state agency.

The Democratic governor attended a ceremonial bill signing at Hyde Memorial State Park outside Santa Fe and described the legislation as a first step toward bolstering the state’s outdoor recreation economy.

“Colorado, get out of our way because we’re coming for you,” Lujan Grisham said, drawing cheers from a crowd that included state lawmakers, Cabinet secretaries and representatives from several environmental groups.

A number of other Western states — including Utah, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming — have in recent years created similar state government offices that vary in size and scope...

Read more here:
https://www.abqjournal.com/1299029/state-raises-outdoor-recreation-to-next-level.html

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Explore Washington parks by horseback

TheReflector.com - Full Article

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to take your trusty steed across the state to explore new rides

Adventure Awaits
April 2 2019

Most of Washington’s ocean beaches and several Washington state parks allow equestrian activities, including sections of State Parks’ long-distance trails. A handful of park concessionaires also rent horses and mules and offer guided rides.

Individual parks

• Bridle Trails State Park, east of Seattle, gives horses the right of way on 28 miles of trails. Social rides and equestrian events take place throughout the year at the park, allowing visitors and locals to mingle over a shared passion.

Set between Kirkland and Redmond, Bridle Trails is the place for city dwellers with horses.

With three arenas and a full calendar of equestrian events, you won’t have the park to yourself, but these activities, plus festivals and concerts, will keep you and your horse busy...

Read more here:
http://www.thereflector.com/horse_corral/article_7b442d3c-555f-11e9-8604-dffc7458d1bd.html

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

On Public Lands, Visitors Surge While Federal Management Funds Decline

NPR.org - Full Article

March 31, 20197:43 AM ET

It's the boom times in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., which is wrapping up a winter of record snowfall. Eager to take advantage of it, Donovan Sliman and his two young daughters are lumbering up a snowy trail on the outskirts of town, where the condos give way to National Forest.

"I like to get away from everybody else," says Donovan. "I like to hear the sound of the wind and the snow through the trees." "We're also going to go sledding," adds Grace, one of his daughters.

Mammoth is completely surrounded by protected federal wilderness or U.S. Forest Service land. Its destination ski resort operates on public land via a federal lease.

The Slimans try to visit the Mammoth Lakes area from their home in Orange County at least a half dozen times a year.

They're not alone.

Every year, more than 2 million people descend on California's eastern Sierra region to camp, hike, fish, hunt and ski. This region, often dubbed "the wild side" of the state, only has about 50,000 residents across two sprawling counties roughly the size of Massachusetts.

Visits up, funding down

Across the western U.S., towns surrounded by public lands are facing an increasing bind: They're seeing a huge surge in visitors coming to play in the forests and mountains surrounding them, which is leading to an economic boom. But, at the same time, federal funding to manage these lands has been drying up...

Read more here:
https://www.npr.org/2019/03/31/708051277/on-public-lands-visitors-surge-while-federal-management-funds-decline

What’s next for America’s most important parks program?

Medium.com - Full Article

Key changes could help the Land and Water Conservation Fund remain effective in the 21st century

Jesse Prentice-Dunn
April 1 2019

Since 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has helped protect critical landscapes within our national parks and increase recreational access to public lands across the country. Congress permanently renewed this key program in a sweeping bipartisan public lands bill this year, but did not provide any promise of funding — leaving the program subject to the whims of Congress each year. Now that LWCF will be around for the foreseeable future, what’s next for America’s most important parks program?

For decades, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has garnered strong support from both parties in Congress, as well as states and local stakeholders across the country. The program receives revenues from offshore drilling, then uses the proceeds to conserve and increase access to our parks and public lands, routinely partnering with cities and states to meet their conservation needs. In many instances, LWCF has been used to purchase islands of private lands, called “inholdings,” within our national parks from willing sellers at fair market value, protecting those critical landscapes from development. An analysis by the Center for Western Priorities found that from 2014 to 2017, the LWCF was used to complete at least 293 projects across 42 states, conserving more than 431,000 acres...

Read more here:
https://medium.com/westwise/whats-next-for-america-s-most-important-parks-program-9064f22809c2