Thursday, July 28, 2016

Access To Western States Trail Closed?

July 22 2016

Road closure will impact your access to Western States Trail and White Oak Flat. You can make a difference if attend the public meeting and write/email these government officials.

-Regarding the proposed closure of McKeon Ponderosa Rd. which would limit public access to White Oak Flat and the Western States Pioneer Express National Recreation Trail (WST): The Foresthill Forum will be hearing this issue August 1, 2016, 7PM at 24601 Harrison St. Foresthill. It is imperative that interested parties show up, write letters and voice their concerns re the loss of the public access to this trail. For the agenda of the Forum and additional information go to Placer County website:

From one of the Loomis Basin Horsemen's Association members:

"Access to White Oak Flat (BLM/BOR land) and ASRA Gate 102 to Francisco's and beyond has become a complex issue. There are a few homeowners towards the end of McKeon Ponderosa Way who have wanted for years to have a gated community, for various reasons.

In 2002, when this issue came up, County Public Works clearly informed everyone that public use of their end of the road could not be denied. However, one of those homeowners recently discovered an old document from the County apparently abandoning that portion of the road in the late 1980's. He has put up private road signs and wants to put in a gate. Now the County appears to be looking for BLM/ASRA to step up and state it is against their wishes for the public to be denied access to these long-used public lands.

Thus everyone needs to contact these public agencies if historic White Oak Flat and the trails leading out from McKeon Ponderosa Way are to be protected for all to use! We need a dedicated public easement to the White Oak Flat staging area! Let us see all of our public agencies work together to protect the public's interest in one of Foresthill's best assets, its recreational trails! Please contact these people listed below and help protect this historic area.

Supervisor Montgomery:
Michael Schneider, ASRA Superintendent:
Jeff Horn, Regional Manager of BLM:

Florida: Officials Agree to Conduct Horse Trail Study in Oldsmar - Full Article

After months of refusing to reopen the public horse trails in Mobbly Bayou Preserve, Oldsmar officials agreed on Tuesday to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of having trails in the city.

After months of refusing to reopen the horse trails in Mobbly Bayou Preserve despite repeated pleas by advocates of the cause, Oldsmar officials finally relented and agreed to conduct a study regarding the feasibility of having trails in the city.

The decision came after another round of debating the oft-contentious topic during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, as the issue was addressed for the first time as an official agenda item.

And while officials cautioned the ruling doesn’t guarantee there will ever be public trails in the preserve, advocates consider the fact that the city was willing to look into the issue as a win.

“I’m so excited, I’m beyond words,” Estela Orosz, a longtime supporter of the trails and the sister of Horsepower For Kids owner Armando Gort, told Oldsmar Connect after the meeting.

“I feel that we’re being heard, and I feel that they’re being respectful of us. So I’m hopeful...”

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Award Winning Trail: Cochran Mill Park Trail - Georgia - Full Article

2016 RTP Achievement Awards

Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects

Winners have been announced for the 2016 "Annual Achievement Awards" in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The awards ceremony hosted by the Coalition for Recreational Trails was held in Washington, D.C. on June 8, 2016 at the U.S. House of Representatives offices (see photo below). The awards are part of annual efforts by national trails and outdoor recreation organizations to promote the importance of RTP funding to States across America.

Cochran Mill Park Trail - Georgia

Maintenance and Rehabilitation

Sponsor/Partners: City of Chattahoochee Hills
Congressional District: 13
Senators: Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA)

Located in Chattahoochee Hills Georgia, just 20 miles southwest of the Atlanta Airport, Cochran Mill Park, with 800 acres of woods, fields, and streams, features stunning waterfalls, huge boulders, rock outcrops, wildflowers, native azaleas, mountain laurel, and the ruins of three historic mills. In 2010, donations from almost 400 local families in the City of Chattahoochee Hills allowed the City to purchase Cochran Mill Park from Fulton County.

In 2013, a $100,000 Recreational Trails Program Grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources provided the funds to create a remarkable park transformation. Eight miles of new sustainable multi-use trails have been designed and constructed and ten miles of old trails have been rehabilitated.

Other park improvements include a 2.5 mile Interpretive Trail, additional parking, an information kiosk, and a trail entrance arch. An accessible equestrian mounting block is easily accessible from the new parking areas. Trail maps have been developed, with trail markers installed throughout the length of the park.

Most of the work to upgrade the park has been done by community volunteers who have donated more than 2000 hours and earned over $28,000 in matching funds. With the additional match from private donations and in-kind work, the total project cost was $137,000. Thanks to the RTP Grant and the work of many volunteers, Cochran Mill Park now has 18 miles of sustainable multiple-use trails shared by hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and trail runners. ..

Read more here:

One View: Politicians, conservationists, ranchers collaborate on Pershing County land plan - Full Article

Shaaron Netherton, Debra Struhsacker and Vance Vesco
5:41 p.m. PDT July 18, 2016

June was a red-letter month for Pershing County. The Pershing County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support federal public lands legislation for Pershing County, and Senators Heller and Reid introduced S. 3102, the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act. Congressman Amodei introduced the H.R. 5752, the companion House bill, on July 13, with the support of the entire Nevada congressional delegation.

These bills are the result of the county commissioners’ multiyear dialogue with the community about public land management, which culminated with a series of recent town hall meetings, and represent a collaborative effort involving conservationists, mining companies, ranchers, prospectors, and Pershing County residents.

The many benefits associated with these bills include helping sportsmen and conservationists preserve important habitat and existing road access into wilderness areas and resolving ranchers’ issues with the current wilderness study area boundaries, assuring them future access. The bills will help landowners buy or exchange public lands to create consolidated blocks of private land. Miners can purchase the lands where their operations are located for fair market value, which will expedite mine expansion and reclamation and bring good jobs and tax revenues to Pershing County. The bills also authorize Pershing County to purchase the Unionville Cemetery so people can continue to bury their loved ones in this historic graveyard...

Read more here:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Comments Needed for Equestrian Trail in Sam Houston National Forest

Dear fellow trail rider, 

IMAGINE, 25-35 miles of permanent equestrian trails in the Sam Houston National Forest! It's close to a reality!!!

Hi, my name is Marisa, and I'm the equestrian representative for the Sam Houston Trails Coalition, a group of volunteers formed in 2010 that has been diligently working to add to, and maintain, trails for equestrians, cyclists, motorized riders, and hikers. Progress has been steady and we are now looking for folks interested in riding the soon to be equestrians trails, and giving us new ideas.

I have two requests, the first is quick and easy and must be responded to by Wed., July 28th, so please read the two sections and see the link below each section.

First and foremost, our equestrian trail is in a period called the scoping period which means before construction begins, the trail is open for public comment. We need as many people as possible, equestrian or not, to write a short and friendly comment in an email stating why you would like to see a dedicated equestrian trail in the Sam Houston National Forest. Even if you don't live around here (northwest Montgomery Co. at southwest Walker Co.), you may want to come here to ride! Some will oppose this trail and will send their comments as to why; yet, we are more than willing to address their concerns in a positive way that will result in positive solutions. There are only three miles proposed to be multi-use so that other type trail users can connect to an existing multi-use trail from a nearby small private campground for motorized riders. This three mile section will NOT be near the equestrian trail-head parking, and it will have a 'transfer speed' which means the motorized riders will go very slow. They'll be signs to educate all users. We equestrians of the coalition are working together well with other trail users; respect and collaboration are growing. This is OUR chance to get our own designated horse trails!

So please write to the email address below, you will get an automated reply that your comment/email was received. 

In the SUBJECT line write: Richards-Raven Equestrian and Multi-use Trail

Email to:

Second, this equestrian project is a long-term project that will enable our children and grandchildren to benefit from the trails we will implement. Please consider becoming a member of the coalition; your membership fee of $10 and hours you spend volunteering are a form of paying it forward. Please go to the link below and learn about our coalition, come join us, share your ideas, and make new friends. Our next general meeting is Aug. 13th at 9-10:30 am, at the Sam Houston Forest Station, 394 FM 1375 W., New Waverly, TX 77358

Please feel free to contact me and ask questions, I'd love to have you in our group.

Our website is:

Sincerely, Marisa  (please forward to other riders who may be interested, thanks!)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Help Keep the Big Horn Adelaide Trail Open!

July 16 2016
Patti Tolman Zealley

I need your help! We have opened up a dialogue with three Wyoming Senators. Would EVERYONE write to them and explain how crucial the Adelaide trail is to the Big Horn 100. If we have 400 people email them then they might listen! (Lummis) (Enzi - trail advocate- State) (Enzi) (Barrasso)

These are addresses of their field representatives. Please feel free to e-mail everyone!

Ranch west of Dillon becomes public land following $1.5M purchase - Full Article

July 14 2016

A 320-acre property west of Dillon, vital to wildlife and linked to the pages of U.S. history, is now permanently protected thanks to a successful collaboration between the Forest Service, a conservation-minded family and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The former Holland Family Ranch property is 37 miles southwest of Dillon in the northern headwaters of the Horse Prairie drainage. It was previously an in-holding in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. It lies squarely on the Nez Perce National Historic Trail, where Chief Joseph led his Nez Perce tribe away from its pursuers in 1877.

The deal gives the public access — including hunting and fishing activities — to land previously off limits. Public acquisition will help conserve open landscapes, cultural and historical features, and traditional land uses, including livestock grazing, according to a Forest Service news release issued Wednesday...

Read more here:

Republican platform: Sell off public lands in the West, log national forests - Full Article

Updated 3:10 pm, Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Republican president, Gerald Ford, urged on by GOP Gov. Dan Evans, signed into law legislation creating our wildly popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, between Stevens and Snoqualmie Passes, exactly 40 years ago.

The drafters of the national 2016 Republican platform marked the anniversary by calling for a mass sell-off of federal lands in the West, and stepped-up logging in national forests.

The platform is a kind of Theodore Roosevelt-in-reverse document, which renounces even policies of Ronald Reagan.

Using the 1908 Antiquities Act, Roosevelt created national monuments in spots like the Grand Canyon and the Olympics where state and territorial governments were beholden to mining companies and timber barons.

The 2016 GOP platform would require that national monuments be approved by both Congress and state legislatures.

Roosevelt used his pen to create national forests across the West as a means to preserve public lands from corporate plunder. He expanded the national park system -- the idea that America gave the world.

The 2016 platform would turn public lands back to private interest. In its own words:

"Congress should reconsider whether parts of the federal government's enormous landholdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching, mining or forestry through private ownership.

"Timber is a renewable natural resource, which provides jobs to thousands of Americans. All efforts should be made to make federal lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service available for harvesting. The enduring truth is that people best protect what they own..."

Read more here:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trail Riding in the Green Mountain State—Vermont - Full Article

January 13, 2015
by Chelle Grald

Did you know you can ride an elite system of bridle trails from the Rockefeller Era in Vermont? Learn about great horse trails near Woodstock, in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and beyond from Chelle Grald of the Green Mountain Horse Association–– part of the Equitrekking 50 State Trail Riding Project.

If Vermont were a gem, it would be an emerald. It is first and foremost green – forests and fields with farms tucked between hills and running with clear streams. It is many-faceted, with covered bridges, clear running streams, endless dirt roads and stone walls. It is sometimes muddy, sometimes rocky, often challenging and never flat. The views are breathtaking.

It sounds like postcard New England, and it truly is. Great trail riding is available in Vermont to just about every backyard horse owner in every corner of the state. Certain areas stand out as destinations because of their concentration of well-developed trails and the general horse-friendliness of the community. The area around Woodstock, Vermont is one such place. Here are two reasons to come Equitrekking in Woodstock.

The Green Mountain Horse Association

The Woodstock area is east-central Vermont. It is an area with a rich equestrian tradition – the birthplace of the Morgan Horse breed and the location of the oldest 100-mile competitive trail ride in the nation. There are over 300-miles of mapped, off-road trails winding through this picturesque area of farms, estates, and quintessential Vermont villages. Horses are everywhere...

Read more here:

Friday, July 1, 2016

Featured National Recreation Trails: Backbone Trail, California - Full Article

This 67‐mile long‐distance trail connects the largest publicly owned natural and scenic parks within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The route travels along the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains , offering views of the Pacific Ocean, chaparral‐blanketed mountainsides, shady oak woodlands, rock formations, and cityscapes in the distance.

The trail stretches 67 miles from Will Rogers State Historic Park on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles to Point Mugu in Ventura County, adjacent to the Oxnard Plain. It generally follows the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains range, with elevations between near sea level to just over 3,000 feet at Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the mountains. Trail users can experience the beauty and rich biodiversity of the Mediterranean ecosystem, found in only five regions in the world.

The Backbone Trail is situated adjacent to one of the most densely populated and ethnically diverse metropolitan areas in the United States. Approximately 17 million Southern Californians live within an hour’s drive of one of the trailheads. The trail is popular with a broad range of visitors, from those who played a role in building the trail decades ago to first-time recreational users. Several roads cross the trail at various points along its course, making segment hikes of 6 to 10 miles readily feasible. Additionally , most of the other 450 miles of trails within the recreation area connect in one fashion or another to the Backbone Tail.

A Santa Monica Mountains ridgeline trail has been a vision for more than 50 years. Originally, it was to run from Griffith Park to Point Mugu, but that idea never went forward. In the 1970s, with the establishment of large state parks in the mountains, the notion began to crystallize and a route was proposed that linked Will Rogers State Historic Park in the east with Malibu Creek State Park in the center and Point Mugu State Park in the west...

Read more here: