Thursday, March 21, 2024

Oregon: Ochoco National Forest seeks public comment on plans for improved equestrian trails in Corral Flat area NE of Prineville - Full Article

By Barney Lerten
March 14, 2024

Forest also seeks to re-establish road closures, reduce off-road vehicle impacts

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Ochoco National Forest has opened a 30-day public comment period on a draft environmental assessment to formalize an unofficial 51-mile equestrian trail system and conduct restoration of areas damaged by off-road vehicles.

The Corral Flat Endurance Trails project is located on the Lookout Mountain and Paulina ranger districts, about 25 miles northeast of Prineville.

The project’s goal is to provide “designated trail systems for equestrian users, with loops of varying miles and terrain,” the plan states. “These new miles would help distribute equestrian users throughout the National Forest and improve visitor experience.”

The plan’s introduction notes that the current, unofficial trails are almost entirely on Forest Service system roads and non-system two-track roads. A small portion are on existing single-track equestrian trails and have been in use for decades by horseback riders,” both by individuals and organized group rides...

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Historic Los Padres Trail Riders Club disbands due to low membership

By: Juliet Lemar
Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 23, 2024

The Los Padres Trail Riders are a non-profit equestrian club with roots dating back to the 1940s.

"1944 and they started as a horse-riding group that would patrol the coastline. The only way you could get to the coast, because there were no roads, was on horseback," said longtime member Debra Prekker.

At its peak in the 1980s, the club had nearly 400 members, according to Prekker, who says these riding groups help maintain and repair trails.

"We have fixed trails in the past and worked with the Forest Service to fix trails," Prekker said...

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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Help Preserve Equestrian Access to Big Basin State Park Trails

Started February 13, 2024

Why this petition matters

Started by Jennifer Stalley

The San Francisco Bay Area, renowned as an equestrian paradise, is facing a significant threat. Big Basin State Park's reopening plan currently excludes provisions for equestrian parking, jeopardizing our ability to access the unparalleled beauty of the redwood trails. This issue is not isolated to our local community in the Santa Cruz mountains; it reflects a broader trend of encroachment and development that threatens equestrian trail access nationwide.

• The world-famous Tom Quilty Cup in Australia recently lost its historic trail routes to development.
• The renowned Tevis Cup is under extreme pressure to keep its historic trail accessible.
• Just 30 years ago, a horse and rider could ride through Big Basin on a 100 mile loop in 1 day. These days will be gone forever!

The American Horse Council estimates that there are approximately 7.2 million horses in the United States and millions of riders who enjoy this pastime. Yet despite these numbers, we are witnessing a systematic reduction in trail accessibility for horseback riders.

The loss of safe equestrian parking facilities at Big Basin State Park would not only affect local and visiting equestrians, but also have wider implications on tourism revenue and the preservation of our cultural heritage. We urge park management to reconsider their reopening plan and include provisions for safe equestrian parking.

Join us in preserving access to these unique trails by signing this petition today. Let's ensure future generations can experience the unmatched joy of riding through Big Basin redwoods.

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Saturday, January 20, 2024

First-Ever Outdoor Recreation Specific Bill Passes House Committee

January 19, 2024/in Press Release/by Ashley Harkins

The Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act passed the House Natural Resources Committee on January 17 by unanimous consent.

The EXPLORE Act is historically significant as it is the first-ever outdoor recreation specific bill package and does not cost taxpayer dollars. The bipartisan legislation will boost local and national economies, give more Americans—especially those in underserved areas—greater access to green spaces and public lands and waters, while also modernizing policies and procedures to support the recreation businesses that connect people to outdoor experiences. The EXPLORE Act is a companion to a similar package passed in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year, America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA).

This passing of this act underscores the momentum the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), along with the American Horse Council (AHC) and other industry partners have built over the past few years to advance bipartisan policies that improve access and transform outdoor recreation opportunities. The outdoor recreation industry, which in 2022 was valued at $1 trillion by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, was instrumental in passing the Great American Outdoors Act in 2022, which was one of the greatest public lands and waters packages to become law in the history of our nation.

“The AHC supports the EXPLORE Act because it protects access for horses and packers on public lands,” says Julie Broadway, President of the American Horse Council. “Maintaining and expanding trail access on public lands ensures the next generation of horseback riders can explore and recreate safely alongside other users. The inclusion of language to identify and adopt policies to promote conflict avoidance on multiple use trails is extremely important for the welfare of all users, and especially those who are riding or packing. AHC also commends the inclusion of the MVP Act (Military and Veterans in Parks Act) which holds the potential to expand access for Veterans and Active-Duty military as there are proven therapeutic benefits associated with outdoor recreation and Equine assisted service/therapy.”

The AHC applauds the hard work of industry leaders and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.

“(This) marks a major advancement for the future of outdoor recreation in the United States,” says Jessica Wahl Turner, the ORR president. “With the House Natural Resources Committee’s markup of the EXPLORE Act, we are moving closer to enacting legislation that will revitalize our approach to recreation management and access. This bipartisan effort, led by Chairman Bruce Westerman and Ranking Member Raul Grijalva, is a testament to the ongoing dedication to not only preserving, but also enhancing the outdoor experiences available to every American. The EXPLORE Act brings modern solutions to the forefront, ensuring that our green spaces and outdoor places are more accessible and enjoyable for all. It’s a forward-thinking move that aligns with the ever-growing enthusiasm for outdoor activities and addresses the need for our policies to reflect current and future outdoor engagement.”

ORR and its members celebrate this milestone and urge swift passage of the EXPLORE Act through the full House and Senate, for the benefit of our public lands, waters, and the communities that thrive because of them.

The EXPLORE Act would:

· Enable permit streamlining to ease burdens on outfitters and guides and improve access to outdoor experiences;

· Improve access to recreation on public lands and waters;

· Ensure access to green spaces in underserved communities;

· Develop, improve, and complete long range trails; and

· Invest in rural economic development.

For more information on the bill and its progress through the House, visit

For more information about the American Horse Council, visit:

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Wisconsin: DNR nixes equestrian trails, approves new lot for Newport State Park - Full Article

January 14 2024
by Tim Kowols

You and your horse will not have more room to ride at Newport State Park after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources denied a variance on Friday.

The proposed variance would have allowed the DNR to increase the mileage of authorized equestrian trails from 4-6 miles to up to 10 miles. It would also extend the trails into Newport State Park’s Management Area 2 and co-locate them where hiking and biking trails currently exist.

The reaction from the over 100 responses received by the DNR was mixed, with some saying there needs to be more horseback riding opportunities in northern Door County, especially since the network of equestrian trails using private land has deteriorated recently. There was concern about how many people could take advantage of the opportunity based on the location and the number of horses in the county. Safety of interactions, spread of invasive species, erosion, and crowding were other concerns during the public comment period...

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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Equine Trail Easements: The Good, the Bad and the Muddy - full articleSeptember 27, 2022

By Laurel A. Florio for Equine Land Conservation Resource

So many aspects of equine activities, such as sport horse training, ranching, or recreational riding, rely on large areas of land; be it for grazing, riding arenas, turn-out or, to a smaller degree, trail access. Sometimes land-locked forests provide fabulous multi-use opportunities for riders to enjoy the trails, but oftentimes access is restricted to trailer parking gateways. The need for trail access over privately-owned land is essential to equine use, and the lack thereof threatens to minimize trail availability in many parts of the country. This article provides a good basic overview for anyone interested in learning more about how trail easements can support equestrian access.

Access to Land

Community conservation is a catchphrase that highlights the benefits of land conservation for an entire community. For example, the conservation of a farm benefits not only that landowner but the entire community by providing open space, aesthetic, and natural beauty values. Similarly, the concept of community conservation can lend itself to the establishment of trail easements over private lands, highlighting the communal engagement necessary to maintain trail access and the bucolic nature of the area

Many private landowners may be willing to conserve specific areas of land for the exclusive use of trails or trail access. The coming together, for example, of a rural community to encourage linking trail easements to accommodate such access is common. To make this happen, landowners will grant a conservation easement over a trail (trail easement) allowing access to larger trail networks or just the continuation of a rural trail. Conservation easements are very common over large swaths of land and are becoming more common to protect the strips of land making a trail network...

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Friday, December 8, 2023

Trails Safe Passing Plan: Stop! Speak and Stand Back - full articleFebruary 9, 2022, by ELCR

By Jenny Cook, Michigan Equestrian Trails Representative and ELCR

Recognizing that the community of trail users continues to grow at an exponential rate, ELCR joined an unprecedented consortium of advocacy groups, brands, media outlets, and ambassadors that have come together to create the public awareness campaign “Trails are Common Ground (TaCG)” in late 2021. The campaign elevates the importance of respectful, inclusive, safe, and enjoyable experiences on trails. To learn more about the campaign and how you can support the movement go to

ELCR remains an active member of the coalition participating regularly in coalition meetings along with Back Country Horsemen of America to represent the interest of the equine community. In support of the TaCG initiative, ELCR collaborated with Michigan Equestrian Trails Representative, Jenny Cook, and the Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council on educational initiative Trails Safe Passing Plan (TSPP): STOP! SPEAK and STAND BACK to elevate trail safety and the overall shared trail experience.

The Trails Safe Passing Plan is a safety action plan for trail users to follow when encountering horses on trails. It enables safe sharing of trails for all users, including children, dogs, and horses. This knowledge can lead to better understanding of what to do around horses on trails. The initiative was developed to increase safety by helping all trail users understand that horses, as prey animals, can naturally be afraid of unfamiliar people and objects and are equipped to perceive and respond to potential threats with a “flight” survival instinct preferring to move their feet towards an exit route...

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