Monday, May 6, 2019

This group wants to unite hikers and hunters on literal common ground: public lands

IdahoStatesman.com - Full Article

By Nicole Blanchard
May 05, 2019

In the past few years, the membership of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has exploded — from 2,000 members in 2013 to 20,000 last April and 36,000 today. And the group, which promotes public land access and conservation issues, has a plan to add more.

Part of BHA’s brand has been its mishmash of all ages, locations and backgrounds of its member hunters and anglers, hundreds of whom gathered in Downtown Boise this past weekend for the group’s annual Rendezvous conference.

Now the group is harnessing that reputation to bring an even more unusual demographic to its ranks: outdoorsmen and women who don’t hunt or fish.
Building on a background of diversity

Last August, BHA released results of a survey of its members. It found the group split almost evenly between political ideologies: 33% Independent, 23% Republican, 20% Democrat and 16% unaffiliated, bucking national trends for the general hunting and fishing population. (Eight percent listed no preference...)

Read more here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/outdoors/article229861774.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Wyoming: Bighorn National Forest proposes authorization of Red Grade Trails expansion

TheSheridanPress.com - Full Article

By Staff Reports | May. 3, 2019

SHERIDAN — The Bighorn National Forest is proposing to authorize Sheridan County a special use permit to expand the Red Grade Trail System outside of Big Horn.

The project would create a 15-foot right-of-way to construct and maintain a 24- to 36-inch native surface, nonmotorized trail. The overall development plan on Bighorn National Forest lands would include approximately 15 miles of trail with three trailheads and parking areas that equate to about 1.3 acres.

However, according to the environmental assessment for the project, if approved as submitted, the plan for construction will be a phased development.

“Sheridan County with Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) will only construct each phase that is supported by the community and funding has been secured for proper construction and maintenance and the phases may take many years to complete,” the assessment states...

Read more here:
https://thesheridanpress.com/106173/bighorn-national-forest-proposes-authorization-of-red-grade-trails-expansion/

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Washington: Back Country Horsemen keep Kalama Horse Camp in Triple Crown shape

TheReflector.com - Full Article

Group will spend the week before Memorial Day prepping the riders paradise for the summer months


Mary Broten / mary@thereflector.com Apr 29, 2019

The Mount St. Helens chapter of the Back Country Horsemen will be having their regional work party from May 22 to May 25 at the Kalama Horse Camp.

There needs to be work done to clean up the trails and removed downed trees from a 12-mile stretch. Some of the trails are narrow with drop offs, making many people not want to ride or walk on it because it is so dangerous.

One of the points of focus will be tread work on the Cinnamon Trail, given its steepness and narrowness.

Dinner will be provided for everyone who volunteers to help clean up the trails. Since people from all over the area plan to attend there will be camping spots reserved for the work crew to stay at with horse corrals, manure bins, and stock water. If one decides to attend with their horses it’s important to remember that weed-seed-free hay is required on National Forest lands. Even if trail work isn’t something that a person would like to do, there are still many jobs around the camp that can be done like keeping the fires going. Currently, the group is expecting 30 to 40 members to show up for the work crew that will be staying in the camp overnight...

Read more here:
http://www.thereflector.com/horse_corral/article_f0f62866-6acf-11e9-9a7c-df4c135e3a24.html

Getting and Maintaining Permission to Ride on Other's Land

April 28 2019

Most horse owners with open farm land around them would love to ride on it. But when the landowner doesn't want riders on their property, they often wonder why?

For the most part it's an issue of possible liability and also the chance of crop or property damage according to Laurie Cerny, editor of www.goodhorse-keeping.com

And if you are fortunate enough to be given permission to ride on your neighbor's land Cerny says you need to consider it a privilege.

"If you get the OK to ride on someone's property you better be respectful and practice the 'leave no trace behind' mindset," she says. "Furthermore, if you want to continue to have access to the land you better not take advantage of the owner's good will."

Cerny recently gave a life-long neighbor permission to be on her late father's farm. However, when he brought a couple of friends along she wasn't too happy about it. She said, "I gave him and him only permission because he's a neighbor. I do not want other people who I don't know on the land."

Cerny said this incident will now make her very leery of giving others permission. After talking with him and clarifying that he is the only one allowed, if he, again, brings others she plans to no longer allow him on the farm.

Here are some tips for getting and maintaining permission to ride on someone else's land:

Get permission first. Don't ride on the land and then ask afterward.
Find out specifically where you can ride and what is off limits.
Stay on dedicated paths/roads and out of the fields.
Don't help yourself to produce being grown on the property.
Leave no trace behind: this means no tissue from a bathroom break and no empty water bottles.
If you horse does some damage to a field - return and fix it, and/or offer to pay for the damages.
Do not bring others on the property unless the owner has said it is OK.
Make sure to close any gates that you open and ride through.
Give a token of your appreciation at the end of the year like a gift card, etc.

Tips on Having A Safe First Trail Ride This Spring can also be found at www.goodhorse-keeping.com.

www.goodhorse-keeping.com is devoted to the practical and affordable care of horses. Find more articles and resources on horse care, as well as product reviews, at the website.

Friday, April 26, 2019

American Trails 2019 International Trails Symposium Equine Education Session

April 22 2019

Lexington, KY – April 22, 2019 – Equine Land Conservation Resource and Gwen Wills of the Pennsylvania Horse Council will co-present an educational session at the 2019 International Trails Symposium in Syracuse, New York on April 30, 2019, at 8:15 am Eastern Daylight Savings Time entitled “Planning, Funding and Managing Equestrian and Multi-Use Trails - Through Collaboration.”

The Symposium will take place from April 28 to May 30. Information can be found here: https://www.americantrails.org/symposium/2019-international-trails-symposium. It is a globally focused venue, addressing advances in the trails and recreational community for all user groups. The Symposium provides an opportunity for all trail user groups, including equestrians, and trails planners, designers and advocates to network and engage in meaningful educational and collaborative conversation.

Why attend this educational session? Equestrians often find that access to trails is limited within their local communities and beyond. This session will speak to the value of and need for equine and multi-use trails, and how to plan and fund them. The presenters will address the basics and intricacies of equestrian trail design, behavior, management and partnering that are critical to sustainable trails.

Gwen Wills is a long-time member of the Pennsylvania Equine Council (PEC). She has been instrumental in advocating for equestrian trails and forming relationships with decision makers, agencies and equestrian organizations around the state and beyond. Gwen’s frequent Trail Stewardship Workshops prepare volunteers interested in preserving shared-use non-motorized trails. Gwen partners with Denise O’Meara, ELCR’s Director of Education. With over 20 years of experience in the thoroughbred industry, Denise is a landscape architect with a unique understanding of the social, economic and design aspects of equine land, facilities and trails.

About American Trails: American Trails (AT) is a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, water trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVs, snowmobiling and four-wheeling. AT supports local, regional, and long-distance trails and greenways, whether they be in backcountry, rural or urban areas by finding common ground and promoting cooperation among all trail interests. AT’s website, www.americantrails.org , is a comprehensive online source for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails, greenways, and blue ways. Contact American Trails at their Redding California office: (530) 605-4395.

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and conservation of those lands working to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic impact. For more information about the ELCR visit www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.

BLM proposes trail changes across 100,000 acres in Southwest Colorado

DurangoHerald.com - Full Article

Plan is open for public comment

By Herald Staff Report
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing changes to trails across an estimated 100,000 acres of public land in Southwest Colorado, including nearly 35 miles of trails in La Plata County.

Earlier this week, the BLM opened a public comment period to weigh in on the proposed plan that lasts until May 22.

The process is what the BLM calls a “Transportation and Access Planning,” which seeks to manage the types of use and travel that is allowed in certain areas of public lands the agency oversees.

The BLM inventoried lands in 2017...

Read more here:
https://durangoherald.com/articles/273880

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