ELCR.org - Full Article
July 12, 2016, by ELCR
Maintaining and Acquiring Horseback Access to Public Land, Trails and Facilities
By Denise Y. O’Meara, RLA | May, 2015
In the upstate areas of the New York City watershed, equestrians are losing access to trails on land newly acquired by the water authority. Often, the trail segments lost to use provide connections that can’t be replicated by detours as they cross long stretches of land. The New York State Horse Council is taking steps to understand why these trails have been closed to horses, and what they can do to regain access.
Publicly owned open space, lengthy trail corridors and a variety of landscapes create the backbone of our riding and driving needs. Managing public agencies range from municipal parks and woodlands, to state parks and natural resource areas, to federal parks and the vast natural resource zones. Ownership and management of these lands may also be jointly undertaken between multiple agencies.
A What to Do Guide
Get to Know Public Land Policies through the Agency Land Manager
If you are riding on public land, you should know not only the government agency or agencies involved, but their rules and regulations, their planning and decision-making processes and schedules, and the specific land managers for your region.
Keeping up with changes in access and other policies is a continual task, but one that must not be overlooked. When government agencies create policies that are unfriendly to horses, it is critical to gain an understanding of why these changes came about. To do that, horsemen and women need to develop lines of communication with public land managers...
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