Friday, January 11, 2019

Colorado: Fisher's Peak To Be Acquired By Conservation Groups, Enter Public Ownership

KROC.org - Full Article

By Abigail Beckman • Jan 10, 2019

Conservation groups are planning to buy a ranch near Trinidad that includes the landmark Fisher's Peak. The $25.5 million acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of February with a goal of eventually allowing public access to the land.

The purchase of Fisher's Peak Ranch, also known as Crazy French Ranch, was initiated by the city of Trinidad as a boost to its recreation economy. It's a move the Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy say goes hand in hand with conservation. Both groups are involved in the acquisition, along with the Trinidad, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Great Outdoors Colorado.

Wade Shelton with the Trust for Public Land said the ranch's upcoming change to public ownership will be a positive thing for the area...

Read more here:
http://www.krcc.org/post/fishers-peak-be-acquired-conservation-groups-enter-public-ownership

Monday, January 7, 2019

Murkowski aims to revive public lands bill, despite objection from lone senator

KTOO.org - Full Story

By Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media
January 2, 2019

One of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s first priorities in the Congress that begins Thursday is to pass a 680-page public lands bill. It’s a compendium of wants and needs from Republicans and Democrats. Murkowski came within a hair’s breadth of passing it late last month, but she was thwarted by a single senator.

It’s a reminder of how hard it is to get a bill through the U.S. Senate, and how hard it can be to make adjustments to public lands, even if 99 senators are willing to see it pass.

“Mr. President, I would ask unanimous consent on behalf of Chairman (Orrin) Hatch that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of the lands package bill,” Murkowski said, pushing her bill just before the Christmas break. “Unanimous consent” is how most bills get to the floor, but it has one drawback: the unanimous part.

The public lands bill has become a December tradition. The heart of it is always a collection of hyper-local issues. One section of it might expand the borders of a refuge to include a donated ranch. Or, Murkowski said, it may deed land to a school.

“It’s pretty parochial,” she said. “These don’t come to the floor for debate and passage … It might not be a perfect process, but we bundle them up at the end of the year.”

As chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Murkowski is largely responsible for compiling the bill and negotiating its passage. A major Alaska item in the latest version would have given Native veterans of the Vietnam War era another opportunity to select land for a personal allotment.

The bill also had several nationwide measures, including a really big one: It would make the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. The fund, which expired in October, allowed the federal government to preserve land and improve parks and recreation areas using revenue from offshore drilling. It also sent piles of money to the states. It’s been popular on the left and the right for decades. But not everyone likes it...

Read more here:
https://www.ktoo.org/2019/01/02/murkowski-aims-to-revive-public-lands-bill-despite-objection-from-lone-senator/

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Horseback Riding in the Pacific Northwest: Adventures from Trees to the Sea

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

January 30, 2018

Equitrekking contributor and author of Alta Mira Horsemanship shares some of her favorite spots to go horseback riding in the Pacific Northwest.


Usually, when I tell people that I moved from sunny San Diego, California to the melancholy vibes of Seattle, Washington, they don an expression of complete shock. “Why would you want to move from such an amazing place as San Diego?,” they ask.

Well, I could say there were too many people in Southern California, but Seattle has a lot of people, too. My purpose in coming here was to go to college, but my choice of locale came from a desire for change. I wanted something that still seemed a bit undiscovered and adventure-worthy. The Pacific Northwest came with no disappointment.

Seeing the ecosystem inhale and exhale with every passing season, from the dew of dawn to the contented sigh of the evening, is confirmation that this is the adventurer’s home. The drizzle that serves as our common backdrop merely highlights the prism of dazzling pink and purple tulips in the spring, the burnt orange and ashy red of the fall, and the bright, varied green foliage of the summer rainforest.

The Pacific Northwest is known for its countless hiking trails, but us equestrians know that nothing beats exploring to the rhythm of hoofbeats. My favorite trail, O’Grady, is a mere few blocks away from the barn in Enumclaw, WA. To get to the trailhead, you have to pass a perfect view of Mount Rainier. O’Grady has a handful of trails winding down through the forest to a meadow on the edge of the Green River...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horseback-riding-in-the-pacific-northwest-adventures-from-trees-to-the-sea/?mc_cid=e7fc725761&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Michigan: Horses now allowed on trails at Norton Shores park

MLive.com - Full Article

13 December 2018

By Ben Solis | bsolis@mlive.com
bsolis@mlive.com

NORTON SHORES, MI – Horses are now allowed on some trails at a park in Norton Shores, a rarity for municipal park systems in West Michigan.

An ordinance prohibiting horses in Norton Shores parks recently was amended by the city council to allow them at Black Lake Park. That amounts to a big win for equestrian enthusiasts in the area.

Gail Whitaker, 75, of Norton Shores was one of several horse enthusiasts who lobbied for the change. She said equestrians have been taking their horses for trots around the woods surrounding the park.

Now, she and her friends in the Tuesday Trotters equine club can ride on specified park trails at Black Lake Park, located on a 58-acre parcel of land off south of Pontaluna Road between Wood Road and the eastern shoreline of Little Black Lake.

“It’s just a thrill for us,” Whitaker said. “The city is now one of the first towns in West Michigan that allows horses on trails. It’s a real asset for us, and a real asset for the city of Norton Shores because it could become an attraction for people who want to have a horse but don’t have anywhere to ride...”

More story and photos here:
https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2018/12/horses-now-allowed-on-trails-at-norton-shores-park.html?utm_medium=40digest.prsonly.20181214.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Three Great Places to Horseback Ride in Maine

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

November 20, 2018

Did you know that you can horseback ride on the beach in Maine? Here are two of the best beaches and a wildlife refuge that you won't want to miss.

Text and photos by Susan St. Amand.

I’ve ridden a lot of Maine’s trails over the years and was excited to return this fall to enjoy horseback riding on Maine’s beaches, as well as Trimble Mountain in the Calais, Maine area. These are diverse places to saddle up and enjoy ocean views and even catch a glimpse of Canada in the distance. Here are some great location picks for trail riding with your horse in Maine...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/three-great-places-to-horseback-ride-in-maine?mc_cid=bfba5f5d35&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Saturday, December 8, 2018

California, Marin County: Bikers ask for better access to seashore

PTReyesLight.com - Full Article

By Anna Guth
12/06/2018

Bikers are lobbying for increased access to roads and trails in the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, where their options are currently limited.

The Marin Bicycle Coalition submitted a proposal to the National Park Service last month that both requests new designations for bikes in areas now open to hikers and equestrians only and suggests new trail connections for all users.

Currently, the seashore has just 15 miles of dirt trails open to bikes, including the Estero Trail, the Olema Valley Trail and the Inverness Ridge Trail. Another 14 miles of fire roads are open to bikes. By contrast, over 115 miles are open to horses...

Read more here:
https://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/bikers-ask-better-access-seashore

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Grants For Capitol Forest

FriendsOfCapitolForest.org

Capitol Forest's DNR Recreational Managers are submitting several grants to help pay for improvements and resources in Capitol Forest. The importance of this work can't be overstated, and we hope all of these grants receive funding. But, every year far more grants are submitted than the available funding. Your support for these projects will help up the chances that these projects succeed. Please take the time to write letters of support for ALL of these grants!

RCO # 18-2466: New Capitol Forest Non-Motorized Trails
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant for a development project which will expand the mileage for the non-motorized trail system in Capitol State Forest near Olympia. Non-motorized trail-based recreation continues to grow in Capitol Forest and the overall goal of this project is to disperse non-motorized use across the forest and provide additional loop and stacked loop routes within the trail system. This project will benefit hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, & equestrians who recreate in Capitol Forest and provide them with both shorter and longer loop options from multiple trailheads throughout the forest.

RCO # 18-2465 Capitol Forest ORV Trail and Facility Maintenance
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to conduct maintenance on 83 miles of two track and single track ORV trails and 3 support facilities within Capitol State Forest. Trail maintenance will include: brushing, installing drainage features, trail hardening where necessary, installation of geo-synthetics, constructing small re-routes, bridge maintenance and sign installation. Trailhead and facility maintenance includes upkeep of: restrooms, campsites, parking areas and signs. This grant will fund a year around equipment operator and seasonal crews. The equipment operator will work with and support volunteers to perform trail maintenance. The primary recreation opportunity provided by this project is sustainable and more enjoyable ORV trails and support facilities. Many mountain bike and trail running enthusiasts enjoy the ORV trails as well. Electric (ebike) bicycle use is allowed on ORV trails in the forest and is becoming a more popular form of recreation.

In addition to motorized use the ORV trails are frequently used by mountain bikers and trail runners.

RCO # 18-2463 Capitol Forest Education and Enforcement
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will use this grant to conduct education and enforcement (E&E) operations in Capitol State Forest, which is located near Olympia. The grant will fund one full-time and one half time E&E warden. The Capitol Forest has 160 miles of trail, 4 campgrounds, 6 trailheads and 560 miles of open forest roads.

The recreation wardens, will focus on ORV use compliance, identifying and correcting safety issues for all trail and road users. Additionally, the warden will support Forest Watch volunteers who assist in education efforts to promote safety and proper forest use. The warden and volunteers will also assist in event management. DNR Police Services will assist by providing additional patrols and serve to assist the wardens in the forest. Grant funds will also be used to acquire equipment to aid in the investigation of criminal activity at trailheads. The primary recreation opportunity provided by the project will be safer and more sustainable trail trailhead and campground facilities in Capitol State Forest.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will use this grant to conduct education and enforcement (E&E) operations in Capitol State Forest, which is located near Olympia. The grant will fund one full-time and one half time E&E warden. The Capitol Forest has 160 miles of trail, 4 campgrounds, 6 trailheads and 560 miles of open forest roads.

The recreation wardens, will focus on ORV use compliance, identifying and correcting safety issues for all trail and road users. Additionally, the warden will support Forest Watch volunteers who assist in education efforts to promote safety and proper forest use. The warden and volunteers will also assist in event management. DNR Police Services will assist by providing additional patrols and serve to assist the wardens in the forest. Grant funds will also be used to acquire equipment to aid in the investigation of criminal activity at trailheads. The primary recreation opportunity provided by the project will be safer and more sustainable trail trailhead and campground facilities in Capitol State Forest.

RCO # 18-2464: Capitol State Forest Non-Motorized Trail & Facility Maintenance
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to conduct trail maintenance on 61 miles of primarily shared use (mountain bike, equestrian, running & hiking) non-motorized trails and facility maintenance at Margaret McKenny Campground & trailhead within Capitol State Forest, located near Olympia. Trail maintenance includes brushing, culvert maintenance, installing grade reversals, trail hardening, construction of short re-routes, bridges, kiosks and signs.

The forest continues to see an increase in non-motorized use, particularly mountain biking and trail running and equestrian use in winter months. The non-motorized trails are in much better shape than years ago – let’s keep this effort.

For more information and to support these grants, see:
https://www.friendsofcapitolforest.org/grants-1?fbclid=IwAR0nM-GGgR-YtRrsW4ti0iDlEmEicWyI_rtGWpeHit3AbunJLVgQPKoGG_k