Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Land Water Conservation Fund Could See Revival In Senate Lame Duck Session

MTPR.org - Full Article

October 23 2018
By Edward O'Brien

LWCF Could See Revival In Senate Lame Duck Session

In Missoula Friday, Montana’s Republican U.S. Senator, Steve Daines, said Senate leadership has committed to, “Put some kind of a package together of bills, public lands bills and conservation bills that we hope to move during the lame duck session. We’ll be back in session in the U.S. Senate on November 13 and we’ll have between then and the end of the year — which will be really the end of this Congress — to put something together.”

That could include reviving the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF, which expired at the end of September.

Despite plenty of bipartisan support and progress in both congressional chambers, LWCF re-authorization has remained just out of arm’s reach...

Read more here:
http://www.mtpr.org/post/lwcf-could-see-revival-senate-lame-duck-session

Friday, October 19, 2018

We Might Lose Access to the Zion Narrows Forever

Outsideonline.com - Full Article

Unless the Forest Service can pony up the cash to save it

J. Weston Phippen
Oct 18, 2018

he Zion Narrows is the most popular hike in one of most popular parks in the country. Only 90 people are allowed through all 16 miles each day, and permits to walk the slot canyon that cuts between 2,000-foot cliffs are booked months in advance. So at the end of September, when a park ranger reported finding No Trespassing notices posted and a For Sale sign that read, “880 Acres. With Water. Resort potential,” hikers and lovers of Southern Utah’s red rock landscapes were understandably panicked.

The Narrows begins at Chamberlain Ranch, a few miles northeast of the Zion National Park boundaries. But as the route enters Simon Gulch, at the edge of the park, it passes through a mile of private property owned for 50 years by the same family—a family that, it would seem, suddenly wants to sell. “We didn’t have a heads-up from the landowner or a reason,” Cindy Purcell, the management assistant at Zion told the Las Vegas Review Journal after news of the closure spread.

After the signs went up, on September 25 the National Park Service stopped issuing permits for the full Narrows hike. And because the waiting list was already booked through early November, it meant anyone who’d scheduled a trip could also be turned away. Thankfully, the park service and the county reached a temporary deal with the owner, Scott Bulloch, so the trail is safe until the end of the year.

It could be easy to think of the Bulloch family as greedy, or opportunists who wanted to cash in on a national treasure. But that’s not what happened. The Bullochs, in fact, want to see their land pass into the federal government’s hands. “We feel that property should belong to the public,” Scott Bulloch told the Salt Lake Tribune. They just can’t get a fair deal for it.

For the past three years the Bullochs have been trying to do just that, working with the Trust for Public Land, a San Francisco-based conservation group focused on access. The Trust’s Southwest area director, Jim Petterson, told Outside the plan has always been to get the U.S. Forest Service to buy the 880 acres, or at the very least an easement to the Narrows, through its Forest Legacy Program, which is part of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Congress allowed the LWCF to lapse earlier this month...

Read more here:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2356126/we-might-lose-access-zion-narrows-forever

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Horses As Trail Users

AmericanTrails.org - Full Article

by Chelle Grald, Green Mountain Horse Association

Horses are the only means of transport into the wilderness that has a mind of its own.
July 02, 2018

The outside is good for the inside of everyone. Whether we get onto the trails with our feet, skis, wheels, or hooves, the most important thing is that we help each other to get there. Different trail users have varied goals, needs and impacts, so thought and planning are needed to accommodate everyone. In our quest to understand each other and work together effectively, we will have to learn new things and keep our minds open.

This article is for trail users who don’t use equines (horses, donkeys, mules) as their means of transport. My hope is that it will help you to respect and appreciate what is unique about the horse-human partnership as a means of transport into natural places. If you are an equestrian, my hope is to help you to articulate your reasons for being on the trail to others who may not understand or may be trying to restrict your access.

The Vehicle That Thinks

Horses are the only means of transport into the wilderness that has a mind of its own. Because they are large animals with finely-tuned instincts, they can become frightened enough to override their training and in that state become a danger to their rider, themselves and anyone else involved or nearby. This makes equestrians a ‘vulnerable user’ requiring understanding and consideration. Trail etiquette rules specify that other users yield to horses when they are encountered on the trail. This is for everyone’s safety. On the other hand, remember that horses can be trained to charge cannons and are very effective in policing riots. With thoughtful training, they can adapt to most anything. With consideration and education, there is no good reason why horses can’t share suitable trails with both bicycles and ATVs.

Silent and Environmentally Friendly

Horses don’t have loud motors and don’t consume fossil fuels. Owners of horses inherently help to make the landscape more beautiful by purchasing large tracts of land, keeping it open and providing a local market for hay and wood shavings that keeps land open and forests managed...

Read more here:
https://www.americantrails.org/resources/horses-as-trail-users

Colorado: Local and national recreation groups sue forest

DurangoHerald.com - Full Article

Lawsuit claims Rico-West Dolores plan unfairly restricts access

By Jim Mimiaga Journal Staff Writer
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 9:11 AM

Motorcycle and land access groups have filed a federal lawsuit against the San Juan National Forest over new trail recreation rules that reduce motorized trail use.

San Juan Trail Riders, based in Durango, along with national groups Trails Preservation Alliance and Access Preservation Association, ask the court to set aside a record of decision by the Dolores Ranger District that closed 30 miles of trails to motorcycles and implemented restrictions on others within Rico-West Dolores recreation area.

According to the lawsuit filed Sept. 14, the reduction in single-track motorcycle trails from 114 miles to 84 miles will “greatly impact the connectivity, ability to ride loops, aesthetic experience and safety for motorcycle users in the area.”

The decision to reduce single-track motorized travel is “unsupported by logic and contrary to law,” the lawsuit says, and will create “substantial adverse impacts” to motorized recreationists...

Read more here:
https://durangoherald.com/articles/246168

Texas billionaires put gates on popular Forest Service road near Boise

IdahoStatesman.com - Full Article

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

September 27, 2018 02:35 PM
Updated September 28, 2018 11:24 AM

HORSESHOE BEND

A popular road in the Boise Foothills used by hunters and other recreationists has new gates and “no trespassing” signs as the billionaire Wilks brothers of Texas continue to exert their private-property rights in Idaho.

Forest Service road 374 — also known as Boise Ridge Road — crosses Wilks-owned property between Bogus Basin and Harris Creek Summit. The summit is north of the ski area and 13 miles east of Horseshoe Bend. Two gates recently were installed on the road, raising questions about whether the road will be closed to the public.

On Tuesday, the gate on the northern end of the property was open but “no trespassing” signs were in place. The sign on the gate also said “private road” and large trenches were dug to each side of the gate, apparently to prevent vehicles from driving around it...

Read more here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/outdoors/playing-outdoors/article218846715.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, October 15, 2018

How They Did It: Advocacy, Planning, and Creating Equestrian Trails Through Organization

AmericanTrails.org - Listen

Webinar Replay

In partnership with the Equine Land Conservation Resource, this webinar will explain how joining or creating an organization will help in addressing issues such as poor trail design, lack of maintenance, and general misunderstanding of horses that can result in loss of trail access. Please note: This webinar can apply to all trail activities, but examples in this webinar reference equestrian trails.

Presented by:

Denise O’Meara, Director of Education, Equine Land Conservation Resource
Mary Farr, Back Country Horsemen First Coast
Lyndall Erb, President, Bay Area Barns and Trails
Mark Flint, Southwest Trail Solutions

Listen to the webinar replay:
https://www.americantrails.org/training/how-they-did-it-advocacy-planning-and-creating-equestrian-trails-through-organization

Friday, October 12, 2018

As Simple as Hello: Make Meeting Other Trail Users Marvelous

Trailmeister.com - Full Article

July 21 2016
by Robert”TrailMeister” Eversole

Northeast Chapter BCHW

There’s an expression in French: Simple comme bonjour, “simple as hello”.

Do you greet the folks that you’re sharing the trail with? You should. A friendly “Jambo” when you meet someone on the trail will not only help horse riders become everyone’s favorite trail partner it can also help to keep you safe. The hiker you politely greeted could be the vital link that directs Search and Rescue to your location after a wreck that leaves you hurt and scared along the trail. You want the people you encounter on the trail to remember meeting you. Hello is a great way to start a conversation. Ask about the trail conditions ahead, water sources, or how far until the next trail junction or campsite.

Being polite, offering a friendly “Shalom”, and encouraging the people we share the trails with to engage in a brief chat will also help your horse to understand that the strange lycra clad beast ahead is indeed just another odd human, and not an equine eating creature to fear.

An “aloha” when coming across other trail users will help to break the stereotype of horsemen as rude, inconsiderate, and even dangerous. If we want to break the cycle of trail loss, horsemen need to become everyone’s favorite trail partners. We can do that in a variety of different ways starting with being polite...

Read more here:
https://www.trailmeister.com/as-simple-as-hello-2/