Friday, November 20, 2020

Iowa: Debate Continues Over Horse Trails On Conservation Board Land - full article

November 19 2020

O’Brien County, Iowa (OCBTC) — The debate about adding bridle trails to county land continued at the November meeting of the O’Brien County Conservation Board.

Patty Vollink was the first speaker to address the board. She described a tour she had taken with Brian Schimmer, Darwin Dau, Claude Struve and Carolyn Bootsma of the trails around the Prairie Heritage Center in October. She said, “All of us were in awe of the beauty of the area and impressed with the well maintained trails.” In addition they had marked a trail through the timber at the suggestion of Brian Schimmer saying it would be a good horse trail. She shared with those present at the meeting pictures of the area and a map of the proposed trail. During her presentation she said, “We have met with resistance to our request to allow horses on the trails of O’Brien County Conservation land. There is a concern that ATV riders will be the next special interest group that will request access to the trails.” Currently ATVs are not allowed on the trails of neighboring counties due to the disruption to the wildlife in the area and damage they cause to the trails...

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Recreational Horse Trails in Rural and Wildland Areas: Design, Construction, and Maintenance

By Dr. Gene Wood

American Trails Magazine editor, Stuart Macdonald, reviews Dr. Wood's equestrian trail book.

All trails interests can learn from equestrian trail book.

The author states that the purpose of the book is to guide land managers and equestrian trail users in design, construction, and maintenance of horse trails in a manner that harmonizes with the surrounding ecosystem and landscape values. The three goals for trails are to be safe for users, ecologically sound, and economically sustainable.

This theme of creating sustainable trails that are sensitive to the environment and habitats through which they pass runs throughout the book. In the opening chapter the author acknowledges that "Among nonmotorized uses of trails, recreational horse use if the most frequently criticized for ecosystem damage." His goal is for trail planners and activists to become proficient in natural ecosystem components and processes. To this end the first chapter is not about trail planning, or design, but about soils, watersheds, and habitats...

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Alabama: Local BCHA chapter hosts popular television series - Full Article

November 12, 2020
By Katie Bohannon, News Editor

The Back Country Horsemen of America McClellan Chapter is taking its mission to television screens across the country. With a collection of tranquil horse trails in the heart of Anniston, the chapter is celebrating its efforts with a grand event to showcase the magic of Camp McClellan.

The “Best of America by Horseback” television show airs on RFD-TV, hosted by Tom Seay who travels throughout the United States to showcase trail riding locations and the people behind them. From November 13 through 15, Seay and his crew will explore Camp McClellan Horse Trails and the capture its beauty on film.

When people come to Camp McClellan, especially out of state, they turn to local businesses and restaurants for their needs. Roach emphasized that while Seay’s program will promote the horse trails, the event will garner publicity beyond Camp McClellan, emerging as a wonderful opportunity to boost tourism for the area...

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Friday, November 6, 2020

Ohio: One man's dream leads to thriving Lawrence County business - Full Article

Lawrence Herald
November 6 2020

PEDRO, Ohio — One man’s dream to create a family equestrian destination in Lawrence County came to successful fruition, and the dreamer credits support from family, friends, the community, and state and local leaders.

U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, dropped in at Elkins Creek Horse Camp last week to observe the success he helped create with his support and actions, according to a news release from owners Rick and Jill McCleese. Johnson spoke with the couple about the economics of Southeastern Ohio and their thriving equestrian business. The three of them saddled their horses and rode.

In 2008, Rick McCleese invested his life savings to build his dream of a safe, family-oriented campground for equestrians and their horses. In 2009, Rick met his wife Jill, and his dream became their dream. With a shared passion for horses, they began working to increase safe, scenic, and sustainable trails and to promote recreation and tourism in the local Tri-State area, Dean State Forest and Wayne National Forest.

“Twelve years later, long hours of hard work, and over-coming tornado damage, flooded roads and government regulations, Elkins Creek Horse Camp has become known has an oasis of peace and contentment,” Jill McCleese said. “A great place to get away from the pressures of work and whirlwind of everyday living. The camp has access to 100 miles of trails showcasing the glory of God’s nature...”

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Sunday, October 4, 2020

As Wilderness Areas Attract More People, Volunteer Rangers Hit The Trail - Full Article


When Joyce Fabre saw how many cars were parked at the Iron Creek Trailhead when she pulled in, she knew it would be a busy day. It was a warm, late summer morning, and her destination – Sawtooth Lake – is one of the most popular day hikes in Central Idaho. Cars were spilling out of the parking lot and lined the dirt road for a quarter mile. Fabre tightened her boot laces and pulled her backpack onto her shoulders. Before she could get going, her work began: She approached two men as they printed their name on a wilderness permit at the trailhead.

"Thanks for filling that out," Fabre said. She introduced herself as a wilderness stewardship volunteer with the Idaho Conservation League. "You going to be out there for a few days?" she asked, pointing to their heavy backpacks. The men were chatty and excited, telling Fabre about their fishing plans. Fabre reminded them that no campfires are allowed at the lake, wished them a great trip, and then they started up the trail.

Sawtooth Lake is a place that many describe as "loved to death." Visitors are awe-struck by the unusually large, deep blue alpine lake set against a spectacular backdrop of granite peaks. Striking in another way are the impacts of thousands of hikers and backpackers who visit each summer – piles of unburied human waste that dot the forest floor surrounding popular campsites, illegal campfire rings, trampled alpine plants where hikers wandered off trail.

But that's exactly why Fabre is here – to help educate hikers about Leave No Trace principles, and hopefully impart the sense of stewardship that she has for this place.

"I'm not here for enforcement. I'm just here to educate people and be an ambassador." "We want to keep it this way for future generations," Fabre told me. "We want to keep it this way for other hikers who are here today. They don't want to see the scraps from my lunch. And they don't want to see the pile of poop under a rock. As volunteers, I think that might be where we can have effect and credibility is to help people understand why they came here in the first place."

Fabre's one of about 40 volunteer wilderness stewards in a program run by the Idaho Conservation League in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. Volunteer wilderness stewardship programs are on the rise as budget and staffing levels drop and pressure on the landscape only grows...

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

How will America’s state parks survive 2020? - Full Article

In an unprecedented year of pandemic and natural disasters, cash-strapped state parks now face funding cutbacks.


The closure of Yosemite National Park due to heavy smoke from the wildfires in California sparked national attention. But another story is smoldering in the state: 34 of its 300 state parks have had to shut down due to the fires, which have brought additional pressure on public spaces already straining under a surge of pandemic crowds.

California is experiencing its worst fire season ever, as firefighters continue to battle more than two dozen major fires that have killed 25 people and left scores more displaced. So far, this unprecedented year for wildfires has seen 3.3 million acres ravaged across the Golden State—a record-breaking 26 times more than the acreage lost to fire last year.

The flames have destroyed countless structures, including historic facilities in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park and home to iconic thousand-year-old redwoods. In August, Big Basin temporarily closed its gates; it’s unclear when the park will reopen.

In California and across the country, the combination of natural disaster, pandemic, and economic retrenchment against the threat of recession spell trouble for the future of state parks...

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Nearly $600K To Enhance Red Grade Trails Near Sheridan

Credit Sheridan Community Land Trust - Full Article

By Catherine Wheeler
September 15 2020

The Sheridan Community Land Trust has received two grants that will go towards building more trails and parking areas in the Bighorn National Forest.

The two grants from the U.S. Forest Service and the Wyoming Business Council total nearly $600,000. The funds will go to building 15 miles of trail and three parking areas in the existing Red Grade trail system.

Sheridan Community Land Trust Executive Director Brad Bauer said the trails will be non-motorized and multi-use for hiking, biking and equestrian activities...

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