Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Equine Land Conservation Resource Announces Three New Educational Articles

August 12 2019

Lexington, KY – August 12, 2019 – Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) announces that the following new educational resources on horse land protection are now available.

Stories that surround potential loss of equine land, facilities and trails in communities across the country abound. When these stories are recounted it is evident that the formation of advocacy groups, organizations and collaboratives are the most effective in creating a positive outcome for the equestrian community. The article, “Advocating for Success – Glendale Riverside Rancho”, recounts efforts to protect a historic and popular riding stable, recognizing that just saving the stable will not protect the equestrian lifestyle and vibrant equine-based economy of this unique set of communities – ranchos- in Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank California. https://elcr.org/advocating-for-success-protecting-the-riverside-rancho-equestrian-community-of-glendale-california/

Horse droppings on the trail creates an ever-repeating theme. Though equestrians tolerate it quite easily, (it is, after all, a byproduct of our favorite thing in the world), other trail users are not quite so enthusiastic about our friends’ leavings. In the article “Horse Manure on the Trails: Should we do something?”, author Lyndall Erb, long-time president of Bay Area Barns and Trails, a California based organization, describes the issue in both scientific and humanistic terms asking the question should we do something about it? Witty and practical, this article hits on a particularly odious issue. https://elcr.org/horse-manure-on-the-trails-should-we-do-something/

Our third article, “ELCR Joins the Coalition for Recreational Trails in Supporting Section 1514 of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019”, covers the context of the topic, gives you information about needed support for RTP funding, led by the members and administrators of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT). For a short version of the legislation and a copy of the letter of support, go to https://elcr.org/elcr-joins-the-coalition-for-recreational-trails-in-supporting-section-1514-of-americas-transportation-infrastructure-act-of-2019/

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.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Why Is the Forest Service Trying to Evade the Public?

NYTimes.com - Full Article

The Trump administration is attempting to eliminate public voice from the management of national forests. We must speak up.

By Sam Evans

Mr. Evans is the National Forests and Parks Program Leader for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Aug. 7, 2019

The United States Forest Service’s most important job is balancing the many needs and uses of the 193 million acres of public land it manages. But the Trump administration is preparing to abandon the process that makes it possible, eliminating public participation from the overwhelming majority of decisions affecting our national forests. If the Forest Service has its way, visitors won’t know what’s coming until logging trucks show up at their favorite trailheads or a path for a gas pipeline is cleared below a scenic vista.

At stake is how the Forest Service complies (or doesn’t) with the National Environmental Policy Act, our nation’s most important environmental law. The law requires every government agency to look for less harmful ways of meeting its goals. To that end, agency decisions must be based on solid science and made in the sunlight of public accountability. Each federal agency has some leeway to implement the law, but the Forest Service’s newly proposed rules would instead circumvent it, creating loopholes for logging projects, road construction and even permits for pipelines and other utilities...

Read more here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/opinion/forest-service-trump.html

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Dozens Of Conservation Groups Oppose eBikes On Non-Motorized Trails

NationalParksTraveler.org - Full Article

By Kurt Repanshek on August 7th, 2019

Opposition to allowing eBikes on non-motorized trails in the federal lands system has been voiced by dozens of conservation groups, who fear permitting the motorized bikes on those trails will create a "slippery slope" that will lead to future problems with managing those trails.

In a letter to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, the acting director of the National Park Service, and the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the groups stated that they "oppose any effort that would allow any class of vehicle with a motor – including all classes of e-bikes, which by definition have a motor – to be allowed on non-motorized trails."

The issue came to light earlier this summer at Acadia National Park in Maine, where eBike users were told they could not ride on the Carriage Roads that wind through the park on Mount Desert Island. Fines for those caught on the roads start at $130, according to the park's website...

Read more here:
https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2019/08/dozens-conservation-groups-oppose-ebikes-non-motorized-trails

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Turmoil at the BLM Is Threatening Public Lands

OutsideOnline.com - Full Article

All signs point to a massive selloff of federally managed public lands, as BLM officials defy congressional oversight

Wes Siler
Jul 30, 2019

Update: On July 29, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt reportedly signed an order appointing Pendley acting director of the BLM.

Running federal agencies without a formal command structure has become something of a hallmark of the Trump administration. Doing so seems intended to circumvent congressional oversight and to hide decision-making processes from the public. It also tends to allow an unprecedented amount of industry influence over public policy. That could be a particular problem at the Bureau of Land Management, as the result may be the removal of “public” from public lands.

The BLM manages its lands under the principle of multiple use. This balances the needs of extraction and agriculture industries with those of conservationists and recreationists, allowing all of those groups to coexist in an arrangement that protects our natural resources for the benefit of future generations. This mandate works for everyone involved, and, combined with the rest of America’s public lands, creates a system that generates hundreds of billions of dollars in economic output, effectively paying for itself, while balancing the needs of all users.

But William Perry Pendley, who may currently be running the BLM, has long argued against not only that principle of multiple use; he’s also stated that he wants to remove public interest from management decisions and has argued that all federal land should be sold to private interests...

Read more here:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2400333/blm-turmoil-threatens-public-lands

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Horse Camping at Washington Beaches and Throughout Grays Harbor

Graysharbortalk.com - Full Article

By Kristina Lotz

hen the weather is nice, there is nothing like heading out camping with horses at a Washington Beach or the Humptulips wilderness in Grays Harbor. With a changing topography that includes everything from rain forest to beach, there are plenty of trails to explore in Western Washington. People from all over the state head to Grays Harbor County for trail riding and it’s no surprise. If you are looking for a fun outing, check out this list of where to camp with horses in Grays Harbor.

Screamin’ Eagle Campground
17 2nd Ave, Ocean City
855-627-4673

On the North Beach of Grays Harbor, the Screamin’ Eagle Campground has both tent and RV camping. Sites are grassy and some even have trees for shade. This is the closest campground to the ocean and it allows you to camp with your horses in Ocean City.

The main plus about this campsite is you do not have to cross the highway to get to the beach. “Screamin’ Eagle Campground is just a couple of blocks from the beach – a very easy ride right from the campground...”

Read more here:
http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2019/07/26/horse-camping-at-washington-beaches-and-throughout-grays-harbor/

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Idaho: BLM expands Boise foothills trail system to meet growing demands

July 18 2019

BLM expands Boise foothills trail system to meet growing demands

Project connects 12.1 miles of new trail and provides for the construction of 5.5 miles of trail for hiking, biking and horseback riding

BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a decision to improve and expand an existing series of trails and a trailhead within the Boise foothills to help address congestion, accessibility and erosion issues. The project includes the construction of 4.3 miles of trail in three segments for hiking, biking and horseback riding.. A 1.2-mile trail will also be constructed in Hull’s Gulch for mountain bikers looking for a downhill-oriented descent.

The sections located on BLM-managed lands will provide an integral component connecting to new segments located on City of Boise and Ada County property, with 12.1 total miles of new trail, 5.5 miles on BLM-managed lands and 6.6 miles on city and county land. The parking area at Cartwright Trailhead, which provides access to both Polecat and Peggy’s Trail areas, will expand from accommodating about 20 vehicles to 30. Two designated horse trailer parking spots, two accessible parking spaces and a vault toilet will also be constructed under this decision.

“We worked with our city, county and state partners in response to the increased demands on the Ridge to Rivers trail network,” said BLM Four Rivers Field Manager Brent Ralston. “With new trails for hiking and biking, we hope to reduce congestion and conflicts on existing trails. These actions are consistent with the 2016 Ridge to Rivers 10-year Plan developed by the partners, including the BLM.”

Ralston added that outdoor recreation opportunities provide physical and mental health benefits and allow people to more fully experience our beautiful public lands and waterways. “This decision enacts Secretary’s Orders 3347 and 3366, which articulate the Department’s goal of increasing recreational opportunities for all Americans—especially recreation available on public lands,” he said.

The 8th Street Motorcycle Trail #4 and motorized Femrite Patrol Trail #6 will be rerouted because of erosion concerns. Portions of these trails will be closed while construction takes place in late summer and fall. Once completed, there will be a combined net increase of 0.7 miles on these two trails.

The environmental assessment for the trail work, including maps, can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xUF7k (case sensitive).

For more information, contact Four Rivers Outdoor Recreation Planner Dave Draheim at (208) 384-3300.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Webinar: Equestrian Trail Design for Urban Multi-Use Trails

AmericanTrails.org

This webinar will address methods used in constructing equestrian trails for multi-use while also including ADA interface in an urban environment.

Presented by:
Matthew Woodson, President and Founder, Okanogan Trail Construction (OTC)

Event Details
August 22, 2019
10:00 am (Pacific Time)

Cost:

$19 for members (Trail Professional level or higher)
$39 for nonmembers

Webinar Outline
The presenter will address methods used in constructing equestrian trails for multi-use while also including ADA interface in an urban environment. It will highlight key materials and tread surfacing that are horse friendly from both a safety and best practices-sustainability perspective. The webinar will also explore wilderness design criteria used to build trails to provide maximum sustainability.

Learning Objectives:
Learn about new materials for trail surfacing and crossings
Discover ideas about the integration of equestrian riding into more urbanized area to interface well with ADA and other users
Learn best practices for sustainability for wilderness trails

Presenter
Matthew Woodson, President and Founder, Okanogan Trail Construction (OTC)

Matthew Woodson is with Okanogan Trail Construction (OTC), an award-winning trail design, trail building, and trail maintenance company that is available worldwide. OTC has been serving public and private clients for over thirty years, with expertise in performing heavy-duty construction in a wide range of wild, rural, and urban regions. OTC tailors each trail design to frame its surroundings while providing the most sustainable and fulfilling experience for visitors. OTC's trails synchronize with the environment as much as possible, creating beautiful trails that require minimal maintenance, and ultimately, spare our customers time and money on reconstruction and repair.

To register, go to:
https://www.americantrails.org/training/equestrian-trail-design-for-urban-multi-use-trails