Wednesday, November 21, 2018

On the trail since 1952

SantaYnezValleyStar.com - Full Article

November 20 2018
By Jessica Schley

Contributing Writer

For the past 66 years, a group of local trail riders has been getting together at least once a month, year round, to enjoy an outing on horseback on private ranches, at the beach, or in the backcountry.

The Santa Ynez Valley Riders was founded in 1952 by a group of horsemen and women, a few of whom are still active in the club more than half a century later.

The group was originally a chapter of Equestrian Trails International, a group dating back to the 1940s that formed to help preserve riding trails that were threatened by development, and keep access open for horses. In 1986, the group voted to leave the national organization and form their own independent club. They changed their name to the SYV Riders and wrote a mission statement that was sure to set the tone of their club for the coming decades: The club is about families, inclusion and enjoyment of our local trails and ranches...

Read more here:
http://www.santaynezvalleystar.com/on-the-trail-since-1952/

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Utah’s latest land battle pits ranchers against not the feds but the state

SLTrib.com - Full Article

By Brian Maffly
November 5 2018

Born in Garfield County on his grandfather’s birthday 87 years ago, James Robert Ott was named after the patriarch who was among the first to homestead near the Utah settlement of Cannonville, where the family continues to run cattle just north of what would become Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Ott, who goes by Bob, bought an old sheep permit on state trust lands on 519 acres at a place called Yellow Creek abutting his property, just south of his Garfield County town under Bryce Canyon’s pink cliffs. The Otts converted the permit to cattle and have kept their herds there ever since.

But much to the dismay of Garfield County leaders, the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), a land-management agency that prioritizes raising revenue for public education above all other considerations, last month canceled the Otts' grazing permit.

After 50 years of grazing this land, Ott has 90 days to clear his animals, fencing and other improvements off two parcels, which sold Oct. 24 at auction for the princely sum of $774,000 to a nonrancher.

“We don’t want to buy that property. You can’t develop it. You can’t raise crops on it. It’s too hilly,” Ott said. “School trust lands are a bit of a thorn in our side. It bothers us we have a lease, and the next thing we know, they sell it.”

Ranchers consider their grazing allotments on federal land a property right that cannot be revoked without just cause. But trust lands are a different creature, managed not for multiple use or public enjoyment but rather to maximize revenue for schools...

Read more here:
https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2018/11/05/utahs-latest-land-battle/?fbclid=IwAR3ua00shXspZBU_-s7O4k0XhVU7N-cNeh2tieKgGcq6tXojcgnrDMhkZng

Monday, November 5, 2018

American Horse Council Lobbies For Bills That Would Help Trails

Tapinto.net - Full Article

By TAPINTO HORSES STAFF
November 4, 2018 at 10:13 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Horse Council is seeking help from equestrians to help move two bipartisan bills through Congress which would improve access to land for riding, as well as other recreation.

The first, the Restore Our Parks Act (S. 3172) would supports the National Park Service (NPS) and creates a revenue stream by dedicating funds from energy development projects to support the maintenance of trails under its jurisdiction.

The second, Recreation Not Red Tape (RNR) Act (S. 1633) would create regulatory efficiency by authorizing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to form cooperative agreements with private parties to promote the role of volunteers in trail maintenance...

Read more here:
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/berkeley-heights/articles/american-horse-council-lobbies-for-bills-that-would-help-trails-3

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Colorado: Recreationists vie for access on Sutey Ranch

Soprissun.com - Full Article

By Trina Ortega
Published Oct. 31, 2018

Stating that access to beginner-level horseback riding is being compromised in the Roaring Fork Valley, riders in the Carbondale area are lobbying the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to designate its Sutey Ranch property for equestrian use only.

The BLM is accepting comments from community members through Nov. 5 about three options (referred to as “alternatives”) for how to manage the 557-acre Sutey Ranch property located along County Road 112 south of Cattle Creek Road.

The Sutey Ranch was acquired in March 2017 in a three-way land exchange with a private property owner. In the exchange, the BLM also acquired a 112-acre parcel along Prince Creek Road that had been used for years by the public and contained well-established multi-use trails. Once a working ranch held by the Sutey family, the parcel was historically used for grazing and includes ditch water rights, water storage rights and historic outbuildings. Much of the property’s western and southern borders connect to the “North Side” of the Red Hill Special Recreation Management Area via existing non-motorized trails.

The three alternatives for Sutey were created based on public feedback during a public open house in July 2018. Alternative A prioritizes hunting and wildlife but allows limited grazing; Alternative B allows equestrian and hiker use only; and Alternative C would be open to nonmotorized recreation, including mountain biking (except for Dec. 1 through April 15 to match existing policies on Red Hill), and grazing..

Read more here:
https://www.soprissun.com/2018/10/31/sutey-ranch/

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Colorado: Public debates what to do with Sutey Ranch at Carbondale open house

AspenTimes.com - Full Article

Thomas Phippen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
October 25, 2018

Advocates for wildlife, mountain bike enthusiasts, equestrians and ranchers are clambering to have a say in what happens to a coveted new parcel of public land just north of Carbondale.

The 557-acre Sutey Ranch, which the Bureau of Land Management acquired through a land swap in 2017, abuts the popular Red Hill Recreation Area trail network that includes Mushroom Rock. And the rare acquisition to public land in the core of the Roaring Fork Valley has stoked local passions.

"We have some really strong competing interests associated with this parcel," said Gloria Tibbetts, acting field manager for the BLM's Colorado River Valley Field Office. The agency held an open house Thursday in Carbondale to accept public comment on the different proposed options for the land...

Read more here:
https://www.aspentimes.com/news/regional/public-debates-what-to-do-with-sutey-ranch-at-carbondale-open-house/

Friday, October 26, 2018

Montana: Rancher says 'he's out of gas' over access dispute

Greatfallstribune.com - Full Article

Karl Puckett, Great Falls Tribune Published 4:48 p.m. MT Oct. 24, 2018 | Updated 4:35 p.m. MT Oct. 25, 2018

Forest Service says it wants public access in exchange

TWO DOT — Owners of a cattle ranch here, fed up they can't access private islands of land they own within the public forest in the Crazy Mountains, say they plan to lay out roads to access the property with or without the government's approval.

Mac and Melody White own the McFarland White Ranch, which has been around since 1907.

In 2019, Mac White says, he plans to build roads at four corner crossings where his land and federal land meet at the corners. The four crossings will total about 2,500 feet.

“I’m just going to do it,” Mac White said recently at his scenic ranch on the edge of eastern Crazy Mountains.

The three isolated parcels of land, about 1,020 acres, are in the mountains eight miles southwest of the main ranch in an inventoried roadless area in Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.

Historical access to the inholdings in the eastern Crazies has been by foot or horseback...

Read more here:
https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2018/10/24/rancher-says-hes-out-gas-over-access-dispute-crazy-mountains/1743977002/

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/

Sunday, October 7, 2018

2017 Survey of Equine Land Conservation and Equine Advocacy Organizations Report

ELCR.org

September 7 2018

Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) and the University of Kentucky CEDIK (Community and Economic Development Institute of Kentucky) have completed our joint project, A 2017 Survey of Equine Land Conservation and Equine Advocacy Organizations. The Survey Report is the result of this extensive, nationwide survey of organizations focused on key issues, including: land protection, access to equine facilities, the establishment and protection of trails and trail networks, raising awareness of the economic and other benefits of horses, and providing input to local planning and zoning as it relates to equine access to public and private lands.

ELCR’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan identified the need for an in-depth survey that would help to “identify local organizations involved in equine land conservation, develop a database of these groups and form a national network.” The Survey Report is part of an effort to build “ELCR’s capacity to offer needed tools, including educational materials, network connections, organizational and technical assistance and provide assistance in finding financial support.”

We ask: who is hearing us? How clear is our message, and how far does our message reach? The results of our 2017 National Survey have given us some new directions, helping determine the most critical support that ELCR can provide to individuals and groups for successful equine and horse land advocacy, within their local communities.

The Survey Report, along with a separate Executive Summary are available here for reading or download.

View Executive Summary Special Edition Newsletter here.

View Survey Report here.

New trail loop open for equestrians in West Duluth

DuluthNewsTribune.com - Full Article

By John Myers
October 7 2018

Anne Gullion pulled back a bit on the reins of her horse, Stormy, a 17-year-old gelding, and stopped to take in the view.

For as far as you could see across the hillside in far western Duluth — especially boosted an extra five feet in the air on horseback — maples glowed with orange and yellow and red, even on a mostly cloudy day.

"It's absolutely gorgeous,'' she said. "Sometimes you just have to stop and look for a while."

Gullion, of Cloquet, and June Breneman of Oliver invited a novice rider along one afternoon last week to ride on the new Magney Snively-Ely's Peak Equestrian Trail and Ski Loop along western Duluth's portion of Skyline Boulevard.

A decade in the works, it's the first "destination"' horse trail in Duluth and riding enthusiasts hope it will be the first phase of a trail network that will link with a pro-speed horse camp at the Buffalo House and on to existing horse trails in Jay Cooke State Park.

"If we can make those connections, this will become a destination for riders, especially endurance riders,'' Gulion said of a growing horseback group who take long rides. "And it gives people in town and just outside of town a great place to ride."

Horses have for years been allowed in a few places in Duluth, such as on the gravel portion of West Skyline and on Amity Creek trail. But the new trail is the first to offer a loop experience in such a scenic setting. The 3.7 mile new section, which will be officially dedicated Friday by city officials, is long enough to make it worthwhile for riders to trailer their horse and visit Duluth...

Read more here:
http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/sports/outdoors/4509973-new-trail-loop-open-equestrians-west-duluth

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Florida Riding Trails T.L.C.

OcalaStyle.com - Full Article

Posted September 29, 2018 | By JoAnn Guidry

Greenway Equestrians not only ride but also maintain Cross Florida Greenway trails.


With 86 miles of marked horseback riding trails in the Cross Florida Greenway, it takes a village to maintain them—or in this case, the Greenway Equestrians.

Founded in 2007, the Greenway Equestrians are a group of volunteer horseback riders, who through a signed agreement with the state, coordinate trail maintenance. The group also serves as a communication conduit between the equestrian community and the CFG.

“Many dedicated riders put in thousands of hours building and maintaining our trail system in the 1990s,” says Doug Shearer, a founding member and current vice president of the Greenway Equestrians. “Trail riders, like Celeste Gavin, Matt Small, Nancy Alford, Barbara Bartee, and Nancy and Wayne Stading, were the pioneers who helped create the Greenway trails. We are dedicated to maintaining our trail system...”

Read more here:
https://www.ocalastyle.com/riding-trails-tlc/#.W7KzO3SpERs.facebook

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Congress works on fix after the Land Water Conservation Fund lapses

ColoradoSun.com - Full Article

The program uses federal royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling to fund conservation and public recreation projects around the country

Published on Oct 2, 2018 11:41AM MDT

By Matthew Daly, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A popular program that supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country expired after Congress could not agree on language to extend it.

Lawmakers from both parties back the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but the program lapsed Monday amid dispute over whether its renewal should be part of a broader package of land-use and parks bills.

A Senate committee approved a bill on Tuesday to permanently reauthorize the fund and ensure it is fully paid for.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 16-7 to endorse a bill offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, the panel’s top Democrat. Five Republicans joined all 11 Democrats to advance the bill to the full Senate...

Read more here:
https://coloradosun.com/2018/10/02/land-water-conservation-fund-budget-congress/

Wyoming Legislature considers fees for hikers, photographers and birdwatchers on State Lands

Trib.com - Full Article

Mark Davis Powell Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange
Oct 2, 2018

POWELL — With a state education deficit of more than $300 million this biennium, the Wyoming Legislature is looking under every stone for revenue. Some proposals could cost anglers and hunters more in fees — and possibly change the way people enjoy the outdoors.

Meeting on the Northwest College campus last week, members of the Joint Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources committee discussed two possible ways to generate more money from state trust lands.

One would seek to exchange stranded state school trust land for federal land that can generate more revenue.

Another draft bill would charge a recreation fee for accessing state lands...

Read more here:
https://trib.com/lifestyles/recreation/wyoming-legislature-considers-fees-for-hikers-photographers-and-birdwatchers/article_9ebb9d84-328f-5904-b6d4-4a59271a65da.html

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Why You Don't Want the States Managing Public Land

Outsideonline.com - Full Article

The GOP doesn't think the feds should oversee our national heritage. Here's why they're wrong.

Wes Siler
Nov 2, 2017

States should manage the public lands within their own borders, right? It sounds like one of those common sense, local management, small government things that will be in the citizens’ best interests.

It’s actually exactly the opposite.

That's because the federal government is mandated to manage public lands for multiple uses. So for-profit enterprises, like logging and drilling, need to co-exist with folks who want to hike, bike, and play on those lands, as well as the wildlife that already lives there. In contrast, states are mandated to manage their lands for profit, which means logging and drilling take precedent over public access and environmental concerns.

The difference really is that simple, and it's really all you need to know to understand why federal management is better for our wild places than state management. But the ramifications of that difference are incredibly far reaching...

Read more here:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2256531/why-you-dont-want-states-managing-public-land

Monday, September 17, 2018

Keeping Paradise Possible

Trailmeister.com - Full Article

February 20, 2017
by Robert Eversole

Keeping Paradise Possible – By Robert Eversole – North East Chapter, BCHW

Paradise. For some that’s an image of a tropical beach, for me it’s a dirt trail that twists and meanders to a backcountry camp deep in the wilderness. It’s a quiet solitude punctuated by the peaceful clip clop of hooves and the far scream of an eagle aloft. It’s the sweet perfume of pine on a warm summer day. It’s the
companionship of a trusted horse who will faithfully take you home.

Unfortunately, in a growing number of cases paradise has padlocks.

In only a few short generations we’ve “improved” a lot of backcountry and rural areas into suburbia and shopping malls. Trail Closed signs are both dreaded and unfortunately frequently encountered. Least we lose them, we’d better take care of the equine friendly country that remains. Paradise needs protecting.

You don’t have to be a trail rider, or even have your own horse, to recognize the importance of conserving horse trails. There are many things that each of us can do to preserve equine trails. Unfortunately, often it’s sometimes hard to explain why groups like ours are important. Here are some of the reasons to join that I talk about during my expo clinics.

Horse clubs are focal points for both social events and trail stewardship efforts. For me the biggest reason to join an equestrian club is for the comradery of people who have the same interests. Being able to talk about trail conditions, feed, training, etc. is priceless.

Don’t have a local Back Country Horsemen group nearby, or don’t care for the one that is? Start a new one. These organizations are always looking for new members and new chapters. A quick google search will put you in touch with someone who can help.

Here are four reasons to join a, or start, a horse club. And quotes from those who have...

Read more here:
https://www.trailmeister.com/keeping-paradise-possible/

Friday, September 14, 2018

Monica Chapman, AERC Trails Advocate, Interviewed on Equestrian Legacy Radio

BlogTalkRadio.com - Listen

Monica Chapman, AERC Vice President and Co-Chair of Trails and Land Management Committee, interviewed on Equestrian Legacy Radio

September 4 2018

THURSDAY SEPT 4th 3 pm on Equestrian Legacy Radio's SADDLE UP AMERICA!
Jim McGarvey with Backcountry Horsemen of America and the American Endurance Ride Conference's Vice President, Monica Chapman are our special guest on this issue of SADDLE UP AMERICA!

Listen Live or to the Archived Podcast at www.equestrianlegacy.net


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Conservationists say LWCF key to unlocking inaccessible public lands

PostRegister.com - Full Article

By MICHAEL WRIGHT Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Aug 28, 2018

BOZEMAN, Mont. — There are millions of acres of landlocked public land in the western U.S., and conservation advocates say a soon-to-expire conservation fund is vital to unlocking access to them.

A new report produced by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and onX Maps says a total of 9.52 million acres of federal public land across 13 western states are surrounded by private lands and inaccessible to the public. In Montana, an estimated 1.52 million public acres are unreachable, a total surpassed in the report only by Wyoming and Nevada.

Joel Webster, Western lands director for TRCP, said any hope of gaining public access to some of those lands relies on the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a pot of federal money set to expire on Sept. 30.

“This is the tool to address this issue,” Webster said. “If this program is not reauthorized, we’ve got a problem without a solution...”

Read more here:
https://www.postregister.com/news/local/conservationists-say-lwcf-key-to-unlocking-inaccessible-public-lands/article_b24f4251-978b-51a5-9484-34a685a8ad99.html

Thursday, August 30, 2018

LA Developer Loses in Equestrian Face-Off

CommercialObserver.com - Full Article

BY ALISON STATEMAN AUGUST 27, 2018 12:51 PM

It seemed at first like a painfully mismatched fight: A showdown between a local developer and the horse-loving communities of Glendale and Burbank, Calif.

The conflict in the Glendale Riverside Rancho district of Los Angeles was ignited this February when Art Simonian, the founder of Metro Investments, and Thomas Bell, the owner of Silver Spur Stables located at 1900 West Riverside Drive, filed an application with the City of Glendale to change the stables’ zoning from commercial equestrian to multifamily residential. They didn’t know what they were getting into.

Simonian and Bell were hoping to demolish the stables, currently housing 80 horses, to make way for 21 townhouses in six three-story buildings on the one-acre parcel on which the stable, built in the 1930s, sits. It would also call for the removal of a 30-feet width of Allen Avenue, an access route to the trail system and Griffith Park. The two hoped to have the project completed by August 2019. Both Simonian and Bell declined to comment on their plans.

The move became the opening volley, which would be met by stringent opposition from Glendale and Burbank residents who feared the change would threaten the area’s equine heritage and historic character, and remove valuable open space providing riders with reasonable access to Griffith Park and local bridle trails. It would also, in their opinion, put a low-density single-family zone at risk for future zone changes and decimate equestrian businesses serving horse owners and working stables...

Read more here:
https://commercialobserver.com/2018/08/la-developer-loses-in-equestrian-face-off/

Sunday, August 26, 2018

New Mexico: Horse Owners Share Thoughts On Los Alamos' Bike Flow Trail

LADailyPost.com - Full Article

By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
kirsten@ladailypost.com

As community input on the Los Alamos County’s bike flow trail project is collected, members of the equestrian community hope their perspectivehot on the project is considered.

A few local horseback riders recently spoke with the Los Alamos Daily Post about the bike flow trail and shared their thoughts on the primary proposed location for the trail, Bayo Canyon.

As Nancy Boudrie said, the hope is County staff will look to other locations rather than the canyon for the trail.

“We would like to see them (the County) seek an alternative to the route through Bayo Canyon,” she said.

Pajarito Mountain was the original site proposed for the flow trail, Amy Rogers said. An alternate location was sought due to the lengthy private land transfer process between the ski club and Mountain Capital Partners, LLC. Pajarito Mountain may or may not present the possibility for an alternate location due to the private ownership of the ski hill and the necessary process for using County funds to build a flow trail in this area. However, Pueblo Canyon or other existing County locations may present workable alternative sites.

One issue horse owners have with having the bike flow trail in Bayo Canyon is that it would limit horseback riders’ access to trails in the canyon, June Wall said.

“Bayo Canyon is the only access we have off the stable area … that’s a big concern,” Wall said.

In a written statement, Louis Schulte explained, “Bayo Canyon is particularly important to the horse community as it provides the only access for equestrians to all backcountry trails...

Read more here:
https://www.ladailypost.com/content/horse-owners-share-thoughts-bike-flow-trail

Friday, August 24, 2018

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Set To Expire September 30


LWCFCoalition.com - Learn more


The amount of taxpayer money spent to provide public access to hunting and fishing grounds through the LWCF: $0

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America's most important program to conserve irreplaceable lands and improve outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the nation.

America's most important conservation and recreation program, which has saved places in nearly every state and every county in the U.S., will expire on September 30, 2018 without action from Congress.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is in its 52nd year of conservation and recreation success. It is because of Teddy Roosevelt's vision to start protecting our recreational opportunities, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s instinct for conservation action, John F. Kennedy's commitment to the outdoors, and Lyndon B. Johnson's creation of LWCF that we as Americans now have the most extensive network of open spaces in the world to hunt, fish, hike, swim, and play.

But that could be all over in just 52 weeks. In order to build momentum towards finding a long-term solution for authorization and funding, the LWCF Coalition is launching a year-long awareness initiative counting down to the expiration of our most important conservation and recreation program.

Each week a state or U.S. territory will be highlighted showcasing LWCF success stories from the federal, state, and local level, and opportunities that are on the horizon for LWCF to improve recreational access and conservation across America, and places that could be lost forever if Congress does not act by September 30, 2018.
#SaveLWCF before the places we love are lost forever

Learn more and take action here:
https://www.lwcfcoalition.com/

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

American Trails and Equine Land Conservation Resource to Co-Host Trails Webinar

Lexington, KY – August 20, 2018 – American Trails and Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) will co-host a panel webinar on August 23, 2018 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time entitled “How They Did It: Planning and Creating Equestrian Trails Through Organization”.

Why attend this webinar? Part of American Trails’ Advancing Trails Webinar Series, this presentation focuses on the value and process of organizing throughout the equine community. Horsemen and women will see what organizations around the country are accomplishing as they protect places for equine activities of all kinds, and how collaboration is critical to getting things done. Planners will understand their role in helping achieve equestrian community needs through planning and conservation. Landscape architects will gain a better understanding of recreational equestrian trails in different regions of the country and how sustainable trail planning, design and maintenance can be done within the context of community health, wellbeing and welfare.

After an introduction by ELCR Education Director, Denise O’Meara, PLA, the following panelists will present aspects of the organization process in their communities, including sustainable trail planning, design and building.

Mary Farr works diligently to protect open land and trails in her home community of St. John’s, Florida, most recently creating trails through the community’s newly formed chapter of Back Country Horsemen, First Coast. Mary has lived in three of the fastest growing counties in the United States: Jefferson Parish (county), LA; Wake/Chatham County, NC and St Johns County, FL, and has “seen growth done poorly and done well”.

With her degree in Urban Planning and Economics and work in economic development and marketing research in the agricultural sector, Mary and husband Charles have placed a conservation easement on their 44-acre Long Leaf pine forest/horse farm, “so it will stay natural in perpetuity.” Mary will speak about the Coalitions that have formed, helping her to work through the trails and land protection scenario in her community on a variety of fronts.

Lyndall Erb is the San Mateo County, California director and president of Bay Area Barns and Trails. Lyndall will talk about BABT’s activities assisting landowners and land managers with preservation and maintenance of publicly accessible barns, stables, pastures, staging areas, horse camps, and trails throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. BABT administers a grant program to assist local organizations with projects and activities that will help to protect equestrian activities, facilities and land.

Lyndall grew up in San Francisco and has been active in the horse community of the San Francisco Bay Area since moving back to California in 1994. She has served on the Board of several clubs and committees including Los Viajeros Riding Club; Equestrian Trail Riders Action Committee (ETRAC); and Coastside Horse Council. She served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA) and on the San Mateo County Confined Animal Technical Advisory Committee.

Mark Flint is a professional trail designer from Tucson Arizona, where he works as a part-time trails program coordinator for Pima County and has his own trail design business, Southwest Trail Solutions, which has designed trails in Vermont and Nevada as well as in many parts of Arizona. Mark is also a chief regional steward for the Arizona Trail Association. He will speak about the organizational process of the Association, the coalitions formed and work that has been accomplished, including specifics on trial design and maintenance in the somewhat unique conditions of the Arizona region and Arizona National Scenic Trail corridor.

Mark was heavily involved in the design and construction of the Arizona National Scenic Trail in Southern Arizona and did design and construction project management on segments in Central Arizona.

To register for the webinar, visit https://www.americantrails.org/training/how-they-did-it-advocacy-planning-and-creating-equestrian-trails-through-organization. The webinar is free, with a $15 fee for CEU credits for landscape architects and planners.

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

About American Trails: American Trails (AT) is a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, water trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVs, snowmobiling and four-wheeling. AT supports local, regional, and long-distance trails and greenways, whether they be in backcountry, rural or urban areas by finding common ground and promoting cooperation among all trail interests. AT’s website, www.americantrails.org , is a comprehensive online source for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails, greenways, and blueways. Contact AT at their Redding California office: (530) 605-4395.



For additional information, contact:
Denise O’Meara, Director of Education
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Phone: 859-455-8383 /Email: domeara@elcr.org
www.ELCR.org

Monday, August 20, 2018

Congress Must Act Now to Preserve the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Westword.com - Full Article

Paul Lopez | August 19, 2018 | 7:31am

For over half a century, Americans have enjoyed a program that contributes approximately $20 billion into protecting land in nearly every county in the U.S., helping to support more than 42,000 state and local park projects including playgrounds, trails and open spaces, and improving access to the great outdoors for all Americans — accomplished with no cost to taxpayers.

It almost sounds too good to be true, and unfortunately, it may not be true much longer unless Congress renews the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it expires on September 30. With it would go this country’s best promise to protect our public outdoor spaces and our cultural heritage...

Read more here:
https://www.westword.com/news/congress-must-preserve-the-land-and-water-conservation-fund-10677075

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hoofin’ It! Exploring: Washington State Parks by Horseback

Yelmonline.com - Full Article

July 26 2018

Does your horse yearn for a walk on the beach or trail?

Come to think of it, do you yearn to ride your horse on the beach or trail?

Most of Washington’s ocean beaches and several Washington state parks allow equestrian activities, including sections of State Parks’ long-distance trails. A handful of park concessionaires also rent horses and mules and offer guided rides.

So, saddle your steed, or book a guided ride and giddy-up!

THE ADVENTURE

Individual parks

♥ Bridle Trails State Park, east of Seattle, gives horses the right of way on 28 miles of trails. Social rides and equestrian events take place throughout the year at the park, allowing visitors and locals to mingle over a shared passion.

Set between Kirkland and Redmond, Bridle Trails is the place for city dwellers with horses.

With three arenas and a full calendar of equestrian events, you won’t have the park to yourself, but these activities, plus festivals and concerts, will keep you and your horse busy...

Read more here:
http://www.yelmonline.com/life/article_5cf40134-90f4-11e8-a8a3-df6145e09d1e.html

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Colorado: Valley needs a place for enjoyment of horses

AspenTimes.com - Full Article

August 1 2018
Karin Reid Offield

One of the arguments about the need for the historic Sutey Ranch for horseback riding is the fact that as Tony Vagneur wrote in a column in The Aspen Times not too long ago, that in our old days, when our grandfathers and mothers were young and Tony, too, we could ride from ranch to ranch, mountain to mountain and valley to valley without ever stepping into a horse trailer. For us, due to many reasons, that time is over. We cannot cross a road, we cannot access our trails, and we cannot even ride down along side of the roadways. We have to create areas carved out where we can enjoy our horses.

The mountain bikers are asking for the development of loop trails from Red Hill Bureau of Land Management area by expanding the Red Hill boundary to include the Sutey Ranch, likely allowing for a rideable connection all the way onto County Road 112, just a mile away from the Fisher Creek BLM area on Missouri Heights...

Read more here:
https://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/valley-needs-a-place-for-enjoyment-of-horses/

Monday, July 23, 2018

California: Marin County to appeal ruling on bike access to trail

Marinij.com - Full Article

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal
POSTED: 07/20/18, 5:13 PM PDT

Marin County will appeal a Marin Superior Court ruling that blocked the opening of a trail to bicyclists in the hills between Corte Madera and Mill Valley.

The Board of Supervisors announced the decision to appeal the decision after exiting a closed session on Tuesday.

The appeal is of an April ruling by Judge Paul Haakenson in favor of Community Venture Partners, a Mill Valley nonprofit, that challenged the county Open Space District’s plan to allow bicyclists on the Bob Middagh Trail — a narrow, single-track trail.

Work to prepare for the transition — widening of the trail from 3 feet to 5 feet, reducing its grade, installing textured rolling dips and armored drainages — was completed last fall. The 3,461-foot trail was scheduled to reopen as a multi-use trail as soon as the winter rains ended. Instead, it has remained closed to bikes...

Read more here:
http://www.marinij.com/article/NO/20180720/NEWS/180729963

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Horseback riding quartet blazes Olympic Discovery Trail

PTLeader.com - Full Article

Kirk Boxleitner kboxleitner@ptleader.com
Jul 11, 2018

A quartet of equestriennes got together to blaze a trail, so to speak, by riding from Port Townsend to Lake Crescent on the existing Olympic Discovery Trail.

“To my knowledge, we were the first horseback riders to do so,” Port Townsend resident Summer Martell said, after she and three of her girlfriends completed the ride from June 23 to June 27, beating her expected travel time of a week for the ride.

Martell explained she and her fellow local riders wanted to have “a fun adventure, while bringing goodwill” from one end of the Olympic Discovery Trail to the other.

“We wanted to promote and support not only the Olympic Discovery Trail, but all multi-use trails that include equestrians,” Martell said...

Read more here:
http://www.ptleader.com/news/horseback-riding-quartet-blazes-olympic-discovery-trail/article_7bdc3620-8488-11e8-ad9c-eb628f83c931.html

Friday, July 6, 2018

3 Easy Ways to Keep Horse Trails Open

Trailmeister.com - Full Article

July 2 2018
by Robert Eversole

Keeping Your Trails Open

As published in the July, 2018 issue of The Northwest Horse Source

We’re blessed. Our nation’s public lands are one of the America’s greatest achievements. Every year millions of horse owners across the U.S. visit our federal, state and local parks and other open spaces.

And nearly every visit has something in common—trails. Horse owners experience our public lands on trails—whether riding on short paths to scenic overlooks, or taking backcountry wilderness pack trips. Horse trails are such a repetitive theme woven through open lands that they can often be taken for granted. Please don’t.

Have you wondered how you can do more for your trails, even when off the trail? Here are three easy ways to help keep the trails you love open to horse use now and into the future...

Read more here:
https://www.trailmeister.com/3-easy-ways-to-keep-horse-trails-open/

Monday, July 2, 2018

Experience Nevada’s Diversity Riding The American Discovery Trail


Equitrekking.com - Full Article

August 6, 2017

From wildflower meadows and craggy mountain canyons to crisp blue lakes and deep sand dunes, Samantha Szesciorka and her horse cross the state of Nevada on the ADT Equestrian Trail and describe the experience for Equitrekking’s 50 State Trail Riding Project.


by Samantha Szesciorka

Nevada is often presented as one of two extremes: the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip or a bleak desert wasteland... neither of which sound like ideal horseback riding environments! But, nearly 90% of the state is actually public land, and adventurous riders will find an inexhaustible amount of backcountry trails to explore. One of the newest trails spans the width of the state, exposing riders to the hidden beauty of the Silver State.

The American Discovery Trail is the nation's only coast-to-coast non-motorized trail. Built in 1977 for hikers, bikers, and equestrians, the trail runs 6,800 miles through 15 states, including Nevada. Though it is actively used by runners and cyclists, the Nevada portion of the ADT has become precarious for horseback riders, with overgrown brush and dangerous road crossings. In 2013, a safer, alternate ADT equestrian trail debuted. My formerly-wild mustang Sage and I were the first to cross the entirety of the new route. We headed out in May 2013 and reached the other side of the state in June 2013, having ridden the entire distance solo...

Read more here:
http://www.equitrekking.com/articles/entry/experience-nevadas-diversity-riding-the-american-discovery-trail/

Saturday, June 30, 2018

In Less Than 100 Days A Crucial Trail Funding Program Will Expire

AmericanHiking.org

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of our most important programs for preserving the outdoors, will expire on September 30 if Congress does not act to permanently ensure it continues by “reauthorizing” it. 1

Before we get into what we can do to get it renewed, let’s take a step back to shine a light on the history of the LWCF and all it has accomplished. LWCF funds have expanded and completed hundreds of new trails (including National Scenic and Historic Trails, which are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year!), built our National Parks, and funded many of your favorite local parks.

Wow, right?! You may be asking yourself, “How do we pay for such a great program?”. Here’s the great thing, it doesn’t cost the taxpayer anything!! The LWCF is funded by fees from offshore energy development with the idea that if the government permits drilling offshore, some of the money raised should go to preserve our most cherished places on land. That’s why in 1964 Congress passed the LWCF to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans.

Fast forward to today, this crucial program is set to expire on September 30 if Congress doesn’t act (the program was last reauthorized in 2015 with overwhelming bipartisan support). So, what is AHS doing to make sure Congress acts? In partnership with a coalition of organizations, AHS is joining with congressional leaders to raise the public attention and build momentum to get this legislation passed.

Marking 100-days before expiration we joined Senators Cantwell, Burr, Gardner, Daines, and Tester at a press conference and rally calling on leaders in Congress to take action! That same day we participated in a fly-in with advocates from across the country who have experienced firsthand the benefits of the LWCF. This included a hotel owner in Colorado whose customers are primarily recreation users on LWCF purchased land and a local trail volunteer working to see the completion of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin.

AHS amplified these messages and shared the voice of our members and supporters by delivering postcards to congressional offices on behalf of hikers and trail users who wrote to their Member of Congress during National Trails Day®, sending the message to #SaveLWCF and protect trails.

The work here isn’t done and you can make a difference by contacting your Member of Congress and telling them to permanently reauthorize the LWCF!

Together we can fight to ensure the LWCF continues to protect our natural resources and provide new places to hike!

For more information, and to TAKE ACTION! click here:
https://americanhiking.org/blog/in-less-than-100-days-a-crucial-trail-funding-program-will-expire/

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Colorado: Mancos seeks increased access to BLM lands

The-Journal.com - Full Article

New trails, parking area have support and detractors

By Jim Mimiaga Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Bureau of Land Management is considering proposals for additional trails and parking lots on public land in the Mancos area.

Abut 50 citizens attended a community meeting to view maps and get information from BLM recreation staff. The process is part of an ongoing Travel Management Plan being developed for the Tres Rios District covering Montezuma, La Plata and Archuleta counties.

Recreation planner Keith Fox said the BLM is gathering ideas in Mancos, then will develop a proposed action for public comment later this year, a process called scoping.

The two areas with interest in Mancos are developing a 13-mile nonmotorized trail system in the Aqueduct Parcel northwest of town, and installing a parking area off Road 41 south of town where the road crosses BLM land between the Menefee and Weber wilderness study areas...

Read more here:
https://the-journal.com/articles/100319

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wisconsin: Palmyra's Horseriders campground is a Midwest gem

WisFarmer.com - Full Article

Carol Spaeth-Bauer, Wisconsin State Farmer
Published 10:00 a.m. CT June 21, 2018

PALMYRA - Nestled in the heart of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest is the home of one of the most beautiful equestrian campgrounds and trail systems in the state that is well known by riders from all over the Midwest.

Horseriders Campground is located one mile south of Palmyra on Little Prairie Road. Easily accessible and easy to find, once there, visitors will enjoy staying at one of over 50 available campsites with amenities including electricity, shower house, and flush toilets along with access to 54 miles of bridle trails. Trails include a variety of terrain, several picnic sites, a developed obstacle course trail, and even offer access to several local horse-friendly restaurants and businesses offering corrals or hitching posts for their four-legged patrons...

Read more here:
https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/news/2018/06/21/palmyras-horseriders-campground-midwest-gem/707094002/

Michigan: Wawaka local saddles up

KPCNews.com - Full Article

By Emeline Rodenas erodenas@kpcmedia.com
June 20 2018

LIGONIER — During the school year, West Noble Middle School Principal Melanie Tijerina is calm and collected, as she puts out fires one at a time. So when her friend and mentor Beth Carter suggested she participate in the first June Ride from May 31- June 10 with the Michigan Trail Riders Association, she was initially hesitant.

Tijerina isn’t a stranger to horses and riding, but wasn’t a master equestrian. She currently owns two horses at her home outside of Wawaka. Rebel, her trail horse, is 17.

“It had been a lifelong goal of mine to own horses. I got our first horse when I was 31 years old. When we got our first two horses, in the middle of the night, I’d look outside the window and make sure they were still there. Tijerina’s daughter finished 10 years of 4-H last year and graduated high school...

Read more here:
http://www.kpcnews.com/advanceleader/article_0740a4a8-745a-5245-ac7a-2fba2e0506f0.html

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Back Country Horsemen of America Celebrates National Trails Day

JUNE 19 2018

by Sarah Wynne Jackson

As the country’s leading service organization keeping trails open for horse use, Back Country Horsemen of America makes trail work a lifestyle. But they really get busy when there’s a good excuse to do trail work, and National Trails Day, on June 2 this year, is one of their favorite holidays.

National Trails Day work can include just about any kind of trail work, from replacing trail treads and repairing bridges to trimming branches and removing downed trees. BCHers also keep trailheads clean and install niceties like corrals, water troughs, and mounting ramps.

San Joaquin-Sierra BCH

The San Joaquin-Sierra Unit of Back Country Horsemen of California works regularly in the Sierra National Forest. They recently held a work party on both wilderness and non-wilderness trails in the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses near Edison Lake. A second work party continued ongoing improvements to Chamberlain Camp near Courtright Reservoir. These work parties were made possible by a BCH Education Foundation grant.

Fourteen chapter members formed the first party, a week-long stay based at the High Sierra Pack Station. With diligent work, they cut a total of 28 trees and brushed out a 200-foot section of badly overgrown trail at a creek crossing.

The second work party went to Chamberlain Camp, an historic cow camp that is on the edge of the John Muir Wilderness. The San Joaquin-Sierra BCH has adopted this area and over a number of years has made numerous improvements, such as building an accessible outhouse, installing bear proof food lockers, and building hitching rails and tables. Old fencing has been removed from the perimeter of the meadow and packed out.

Chamberlain Camp is a valuable amenity. Less than two miles from the trailhead and accessed over easy terrain, it’s an ideal location for the unit to take novice riders, youth groups, and members that are interested in learning to pack, without the difficulties of a longer wilderness based trip.

BCH of Central Arizona

Back Country Horsemen of Central Arizona recently completed an interesting and challenging packing assignment. They assisted a wildlife biologist from the Coconino National Forest Red Rock Office in packing out old fence materials from the Cottonwood/Mesquite Springs area near Camp Verde.

Because of the size and awkward shape of the materials, it took some creative packing, master packing skills, and seasoned stock. They packed out several sheets of tin, over 50 coils of old wire, and dozens of metal t-posts and wooden stays. Removing debris like this is important because it sullies the pristine environment of the area, and can cause injury to recreationists or wildlife.

San Juan BCH

In their effort to keep trails open for all users, San Juan Back Country Horsemen has adopted two trails, the Anderson and the Archuleta. Over the last several years, it has become a huge challenge to keep these trails safe and open, due to beetle kill destroying so many trees in Colorado’s southwest mountain forests.

Ten club members with five stock horses and several folks on foot participated in a recent work party on the Anderson Trail in the Weminuche Wilderness. They carried in cross cut saws, hand saws, pole saws, and pruners, and worked a combined total of more than 65 hours.

The group found the first of seven trees to be cleared was located four miles in, at over 8,500 feet elevation, through some very difficult trails. They cleared fallen debris, stray rocks, and overhanging branches, plus heavy brush in some very rough, rocky areas. Seven downed trees that were blocking the trail were completely cleared: no simple task! With sustained effort, they were able to open the trail all the way to the tree line.

About Back Country Horsemen of America

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website: www.bcha.org; call 888-893-5161; or write 59 Rainbow Road, East Granby, CT 06029. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!


Friday, June 1, 2018

A Test

Just the techie in the back room ...

NM senators honored for conservation efforts

ABQJournal.com - Full Article

By Rick Nathanson / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 at 6:13pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico recalled a daylong horseback ride into the Sabinoso Wilderness last year with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that ultimately got Zinke to retreat from his marching orders to shrink national wilderness and monument acreage.

In fact, after the horseback tour, Zinke approved the donation of an additional 4,100 acres into the wilderness area, which created the public access acreage necessary to make the Sabinoso available for outdoor recreation...

Read more here:
https://www.abqjournal.com/1178005/new-mexico-senators-honored-for-conservation-efforts.html

Extreme mountain biker group fights for wilderness access

Motherlodetrails.org

5/14/2018

From our series of news from around the nation regarding Bill HR1349, pushing to change the 1964 Wilderness Act.

Ted Stroll, a bespectacled, balding, retired attorney whose remaining hair is short and white, doesn’t fit the stereotype of an extremist mountain biker. But his group, the Sustainable Trails Coalition, is challenging the mainstream mountain biking establishment by fighting to permit bikes in America’s wilderness areas. Photo credit: Leslie Kehmeier/IMBA

A new law could change the nature of wilderness travel.

Stroll’s crusade has sparked strong resistance, particularly from wilderness advocates and environmentalists. His alliance with notoriously environmentally unfriendly Republican congressmen, whom he has enlisted to push a bikes-in-wilderness bill, is particularly controversial. Stroll’s small group has alienated would-be allies in the mountain biking community, who are loath to ostracize the greater recreation and conservation communities, especially at a time when many feel public-lands protections are taking a back seat to extractive industries.

The original text of the 1964 Wilderness Act bans “mechanical transport” — and bicycles are clearly a form of mechanized transport. For the federal agencies tasked with enforcing the ban, however, the definition hasn’t always been clear-cut.
In 1966, in its first rule on the issue, the Forest Service banned only devices powered “by a nonliving power source.” That left the door open for bicycles. Mountain bikes did not yet exist, however, so neither the original framers of the law, nor the agencies interpreting it a couple of years later, even considered the possibility of bikes venturing into the mostly roadless areas and extremely rugged trails...

Read more here:
http://www.motherlodetrails.org/news

Secretary Zinke Announces 19 New National Recreation Trails in 17 States

Date: May 30, 2018

New Trails Part of Administration’s Effort to Increase Outdoor Recreational Opportunities, Access to Public Lands

WASHINGTON - Continuing his work to expand recreational opportunities on public lands, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today designated 19 national recreation trails in 17 states, adding more than 370 miles to the national recreation trails system of more than 1,000 trails in all 50 states.

“By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Secretary Zinke. “Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country.”

On Saturday, June 2, hundreds of organized activities are planned as part of National Trails Day, including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications. Trails of the National Recreation Trails system range from less than a mile to 485 miles in length and have been designated on federal, state, municipal and privately owned lands.

“The network of national recreation trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, I hope everyone will take advantage of a nearby national trail to hike or bike.”

While national scenic trails and national historic trails may only be designated by an act of Congress, national recreation trails may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization.

The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of Federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.

Secretary Zinke designated the following trails this year as national recreation trails:

CALIFORNIA

Mt. Umunhum Trail

The Mt. Umunhum Trail offers 3.7 miles of moderate terrain to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians as it passes through chaparral, pine and oak woodlands, over the headwaters of Guadalupe Creek, and climbs to one of the few publicly accessible peaks in the Bay Area. Views reveal the valley below, ridgelines, and nearby peaks. The trail emerges near the rocky summit where rare plants, lizards, birds, butterflies, and 360-degree vistas can be seen.

FLORIDA

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park Trail System

In the City of Jacksonville’s Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, 20.85 miles of hiking and biking trails provide a variety of experiences for all skill levels: from easy hiking and biking on the 1.1-mile Service Road, to hiking the 6.0-mile Wellness Trail, to biking the very difficult 3.9-mile off-road Z-Trail. The trail system provides access to the shoreline, the extensive dune system, and maritime hammocks.

KANSAS

Fort Larned Historic Nature Trail

On the grounds of Fort Larned National Historic Site, this 1.1-mile loop trail highlights history and nature. Fort Larned is located on the historic Santa Fe Trail and on the Central Flyway, a major bird migration corridor. There are fifteen stops along the trail corresponding to detailed information in the trail guide. A variety of habitats provide opportunities to view numerous species of birds.

MASSACHUSETTS

Fort River Birding and Nature Trail

Designed and constructed through the teamwork of multiple youth, community, and Refuge partners, the 1.1-mile Fort River Birding and Nature Trail is located in Hadley at the Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. The trail is universally accessible and functions as an outdoor visitor center, connecting people to nature by immersing them in diverse habitats from grasslands, riparian areas, and upland forests.

MICHIGAN

Iron Ore Heritage Trail

The Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a 47-mile, multi-use, year-round trail that connects the sites and stories of the Marquette Iron Range, a significant historical area where iron mines operated to serve the country during the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, World War I, and World War II. The rail-trail connects Marquette to Republic in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
North Western State Trail

The 32 miles of the North Western State Trail connect the resort communities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Alanson, Pellston, and Mackinaw City in northern Michigan. Most of the universally accessible trail is located on the former Grand Rapids and Indiana line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.. It is open year round to non-motorized users and to snowmobilers in winter.

MINNESOTA

Cannon Valley Trail

Paralleling the Cannon River, this 19.7-mile trail runs through diverse and spectacular scenery on a former Chicago Great Western Railroad line connecting the cities of Cannon Falls, Welch, and Red Wing in southeastern Minnesota. The trail is open in all seasons for bicycling, in-line skating, skateboarding, hiking, walking, and cross-country skiing.

MISSOURI

Wilson's Creek Greenway

The 5-mile Wilson’s Creek Greenway is the newest extension of a growing urban trail network in Springfield that is powered by a long list of diverse partners. The trail is a vital connection between neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and shopping areas; it plays a role in boosting social interaction, community pride, and mental health. People of all ages and abilities can access the woods and pastureland of the Ozarks for active transportation, bicycling, walking, running, skating, and wheelchair use.

MONTANA

River's Edge Trail

The 53 miles of the River's Edge Trail in Great Falls is the perfect venue for biking, jogging, inline skating, running, and walking. Nineteen miles of fully accessible paved urban trails link many local parks and attractions along both sides of the scenic Missouri River. Connecting to the urban trails are over thirty miles of natural trails on the South Shore and North Shore for the best mountain biking and hiking in the region.

NEW MEXICO

Climax Canyon Nature Trail

This easy to moderate 3-mile, figure 8 loop trail overlooking downtown Raton is named after the now abandoned Climax Mine. Schools use the trail as a field trip location to teach students about ecology, biology, geology, and natural science. With its historic significance and fantastic views of mountains, mesas, and New Mexico's high plains, the trail is one of Raton’s outdoor recreation treasures.

NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS

Guadalupe Ridge Trail

Starting in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, 100 miles of trail traverses the rocky peaks of the highest point in Texas (Guadalupe Peak), Chihuahuan Desert terrain, mixed coniferous forests, riparian woodlands, and rocky canyons. The trail continues through the landscapes of the Lincoln National Forest. An optional loop includes Last Chance Canyon and the desert oasis of Sitting Bull Falls. The trail then crosses Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Bureau of Land Management property, with stunning views of the rugged Guadalupe Ridge. The trail ends in White’s City, New Mexico. The trail in places can include use by equestrian and stock, motorized vehicles, and bikes.

NEW YORK

Martin Van Buren Nature Trails

This 3.7-mile system of trails is on 70 acres of land across from the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site. The trails are ideal for hiking, walking, families, dog walkers, environmental education, and youth activities. Features include meadow, stream, marsh, forest, farm, rolling hills, and historic right of way.

PENNSYLVANIA

Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail

Named for a local conservationist, the Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail is a 3.1-mile urban rail-trail on the east end of the City of Johnstown. The trail offers views of the Stonycreek River, abundant bird-life and wildflowers, picturesque Buttermilk Falls, and serenity within an urban setting. As part of the local vision to make recreational trail use more accessible in the Greater Johnstown area, the trail provides opportunities for wellness, enhanced recreational experiences, and connections to other trail systems.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Blackberry Trail

The Blackberry Trail is located entirely within Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This one-mile gravel trail connects with the Centennial Trail in the Black Elk Wilderness, a part of the Black Hills National Forest. Mainly used by equestrians as a spur trail to access Mount Rushmore, visitors have the opportunity to ride or hike in solitude, enjoying the trees, birds, and geology.

TENNESSEE

Bays Mountain Park Trail System

Rising above the City of Kingsport, Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium features roughly 40 miles of trails suitable for all levels of hiking and mountain biking expertise. From scenic, fun, single-track trails to old service roads leading to the ridgetop fire tower, 31 named trails provide a great escape to the natural world.

TEXAS

Salado Creek Greenway

The Salado Creek Greenway is a 15-mile scenic multi-use trail along Salado Creek within the northern part of the City of San Antonio. It has brought together people from all walks of life to share in health, recreation, wellness, and community. The trail connects the natural environment with the people who live near it and enhances the quality of recreation for the surrounding neighborhoods.

UTAH

Corona Arch

This trail on Bureau of Land Management land leads to Corona Arch’s impressive 140 by 105-foot opening and the adjacent Bow Tie Arch. Approximately 14 driving miles from Moab, the 1.5-mile out-and-back trail provides visitors with striking views of the Colorado River and a large slickrock canyon.

VERMONT

Wright’s Mountain Trails

This 7.2-mile network of paths and old logging roads provides recreational access to the forest land and wildlife habitat of Wright's Mountain, Bradford's highest peak. At the summit visitors enjoy a wonderful view in all seasons of the Waits River Valley. The pedestrian trails were constructed and are maintained by volunteers.

VIRGINIA

Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail

The Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail is a 15.7-mile converted rails-to-trail located in King George County. The beautiful corridor with its continuous gravel and stone dust surface serves walkers, runners, and bikers. The trail is an official part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

Each of the newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers, and a letter of congratulations recognition from Secretary Zinke.

“Bringing these trails into the National Recreation Trails system will increase Montanans’ access to their public lands,” said Congressman Greg Gianforte. “I appreciate Secretary Zinke’s recognition of River’s Edge Trail, which connects Great Falls with some of the best mountain biking and hiking through nearly 60 miles of trails. The collaborative effort among the city of Great Falls, Cascade County, state agencies, Northwestern Energy, and others made this important designation possible.”

“The Blackberry Trail is an example of what a dedicated community can do to expand access to the Black Hills’ incredible landscapes,” said Congresswoman Kristi Noem. “Especially after the recent rehabilitation efforts, I am thrilled Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration have designated it as a National Recreation Trail.”

“The designation of the Guadalupe Ridge Trail as a National Recreation Trail will provide hikers and recreationalists the opportunity to see some of the most picturesque landscapes in New Mexico,” said Congressman Steve Pearce. “The trail itself will run 100 miles from Guadalupe Peak through the Lincoln National Forest and ends at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Increasing access to our public lands is absolutely essential and something that I will continue to push for. I am happy to have helped work with local communities to make this come to fruition and applaud all those involved for their hard work.”

“An avid outdoorsman, I often take advantage of the parks and trails in East Tennessee,” said Congressman Phil Roe. “In addition to being a great place for East Tennesseans to spend time outdoors, our beautiful lands also help the local economy. I know these new trails will benefit Kingsport, and I thank Secretary Zinke for expanding recreational opportunities in the First District.”

“The great state of Minnesota is home to an incredibly vast landscape of nature—countless lakes, trails, rivers and native trees and forests define the Land of 10,000 Lakes,” said Congressman Tom Emmer. “Thanks to Secretary Zinke, whose designation of the beautiful Cannon Valley Trail as a national recreation trail is great news for all Minnesotans who appreciate this attraction year-round, sunshine or snow for everything from hiking to cross-country skiing.”

“Millions of Americans utilize our National Trails System to enjoy the great outdoors and understand our nation's heritage,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO, The Corps Network. “Whether it's hiking, biking, camping, hunting, or fishing - trails also provide access to our nations most treasured landscapes and recreation opportunities. The nations 130 Conservation Corps and 24,000 Corpsmembers are proud to help construct and maintain our National Trails System and we applaud Secretary Zinke's commitment to expanding trails and access to recreation opportunities in honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act.”

“Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act,” said Lewis Ledford, executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors. “Trails are exceedingly important to tourism and recreation in America’s State Parks, and we continue to grow the trail systems in response to the many types of users.. Outdoor recreation opportunities include not only hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, but also a place for snowmobilers and OHRVs. Waterway trails are also an integral part of the outdoor recreation experience. Whether it is biking the most difficult terrain or taking a leisurely hike along a natural path, the trails provide healthy activities everyone can participate in and enjoy. The National Trails Act led the way for the majority of the states to enact support for trails such as Tennessee, among one of the first in April of 1971 to enact their State Scenic Trails Act. National and state designations highlight the unique significance trails offer in this most popular of outdoor recreation activities.”


Thursday, May 31, 2018

West Virginia: Mountain bike group building new trails at Cacapon

Morganmessenger.com - Full Article

May 30, 2018
by Kate Shunney

A group of Winchester mountain bikers have added several miles of trails at Cacapon State Park for cyclists and hikers, and plan to create several loops through the park forests in the future.

The Winchester Wheelmen have coordinated their work with park officials, reopening old trails and creating new ones from the top of Cacapon Mountain down to the Nature Center. The all-volunteer effort has already racked up several hundred hours of planning, trail marking and clearing. New trails are cleared by hand, using rakes and heavy-duty hoes, chainsaws and hand saws.

Mark Hoyle, who is spearheading the effort by the mountain bikers, said his group has come to Cacapon since the late winter to work on trails. He estimates 20 volunteers have put in hours to clear the narrow trails along paths best suited for mountain bikes.

On Cacapon State Park’s trail work day last month, seven mountain bikers cut trees and raked trails above the Nature Center, and worked on a new route for a very wet section of the Central Trail above the park’s reservoir lake.

Hoyle said his group is using established guidelines for designing trails, but also paying close attention to the natural terrain of Cacapon State Park as they build...

Read more here:
https://www.morganmessenger.com/2018/05/30/mountain-bike-group-building-new-trails-at-cacapon/

Sunday, May 27, 2018

National Trails Day June 2: Take the Pledge

Americanhiking.org

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System, the American Hiking Society is encouraging people to leave the trail better than they found it during National Trails Day. Take the pledge to pack out trash, join a trail work project, or clean up a park to collectively improve 2,802 miles of trail (the distance across the U.S.) on June 2nd. Everyone who commits to improve trails and parks will be entered to win weekly giveaways of swag and outdoor gear.

Learn more at:
https://americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Will the Nation's Longest Trail Ever Be Completed?

Outsideonline.com - Full Article

Kathryn Miles
May 16, 2018

Decades of political infighting have stymied construction of the North Country Trail, which, if finished, would run for 4,600 miles. Now it looks like Congress may finally be ready to get its act together.
Late last month, the House Committee on Natural Resources unanimously approved a bill to revise the route of the North Country Trail. Under most circumstances, this kind of legislative action would hardly seem noteworthy. But for the long-suffering national scenic trail and its supporters, this committee approval represents a major victory in a 50-year battle to make North Country a reality.

“We’re super excited,” Andrea Ketchmark, executive director of the North Country Trail Association (NCTA), told me over the phone. “We’ve never made it this far in Congress before.”

If that statement doesn’t give you pause, it should. The North Country Trail was first proposed in 1966 and received federal approval as a scenic trail nearly 40 years ago. It is nowhere near finished today. Why? Turns out there are many reasons...

Read more here.

Monday, May 21, 2018

California: Closed for nearly a decade, the historic Gabrielino Trail is nearly restored — thanks to mountain bikers

LATimes.com - Full Article

By Louis Sahagun
May 02, 2018

Erik Hillard has always believed the best way to know a rugged trail is to bike it. But for nearly a decade, the historic Gabrielino Trail in the peaks above La CaƱada Flintridge has been all but unknowable to mountain bikers.

The 2009 Station fire and the rainy season that followed it rendered much of a 26-mile stretch of the trail impassable.

Hillard, and a team of volunteers, have been working to change that.

It's a landscape-sized job in the San Gabriel Mountains, where about 100 people have spent spare days and weekends recarving a path wide enough for only one bike at a time that climbs and dips under canopies of aspen and oak, past rock overhangs and along cliffs with sweeping views and no guardrails.

But the U.S. Forest Service says the yearlong volunteer campaign holds the best hope for reopening the nation's first National Recreation Trail — and keeping peace between mountain bikers and hikers in the increasingly crowded backcountry of the Angeles National Forest's San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

"This is an unforgiving mountain range, where nothing is flat and wildfires and floods are routine," said Hillard, 43, a spokesman for the Mt. Wilson Bicycling Assn. "And without volunteer efforts, these trails would stay closed..."

Read more here:
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-gabrielino-trail-20180502-story.html

Monday, May 14, 2018

Let's put more HORSEpower in the Recreation-Not-Red Tape (RNR) Act!

Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor S. 1633!

Let's put more HORSEpower in the Recreation-Not-Red Tape (RNR) Act!

As you know, Sen. Wyden (D-OR) has introduced S. 1633, the Recreation-Not-Red-Tape (RNR) Act, underscoring the need to reduce regulations that prevent trail rides on public land. With help from horsemen across the country, the House Natural Resources Committee has recently approved the House version of the bill (H.R. 3400) with strong, bipartisan support. Now it's time for the Senate to do its part and move this important legislation closer to the finish line. Please contact your Senators today, and urge them to cosponsor S. 1633, the RNR Act of 2017!

https://app.muster.com/take-action/QgHF0esnOT/?t=b68cf370100ea1969f9affd6683b9f20
(Note that by filling out the form you will receive future communications from the American Horse Council.)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

AERC Awarded $20,000 Trail Grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

May 9 2018

A commitment to trails is vital to the sport of endurance riding, and the American Endurance Ride Conference is pleased to announce that a National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) grant has been approved in the amount of $20,000 for trails work under the auspices of AERC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The funding will develop and improve existing trail systems in the Wayne National Forest, Vesuvius Region, near Pedro, Ohio. This system is home to Elkins Creek Horse Camp and AERC’s Black Sheep Boogie and Gobble ’Til You Wobble endurance rides. Although the ride names are whimsical, the rides of 25, 50 or 75 miles in length are a testament to the horsemanship and training of the participating riders and equines. In addition the Boogie, held the last weekend of June, there are long-term plans in place to hold a 100-mile endurance event in 2019 and then host the AERC National Championship Ride in October of 2020.

Monies from this grant will be used to provide the materials and equipment rental needed to improve areas along the entire eastern side of the main loop, a 25-plus mile section of trail. These improvements will ensure the sustainability of these trail systems for years to come.

AERC Ride Manager Committee Chair Mollie Krumlaw-Smith, who also manages the two rides held on this system, and Alex Uspenski, co-chair of AERC’s Trails and Land Management Committee, helped Jill and Rick McCleese, owners of Elkins Creek Horse Camp, to write the grant. All are graduates of AERC’s Trail Master program, which trains AERC members and land managers to build sustainable trails and make trail repairs in that will last for many years.

The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, signed into law in December of 2016, calls for the U.S. Forest Service to create a way to catch up on back trail maintenance, and pairs with organizations like the Back Country Horsemen, American Hiking Society, American Trails and the International Mountain Biking Association to meet the country’s trail maintenance goals.

The Trails Stewardship Funding Program awards funds to trails and stewardship organizations who then increase trail maintenance accomplishments and reduce deferred maintenance (trail backlog) on National Forest System trails. More than 100 proposals were received, requesting $1.4 million in funding, and a total of 42 projects were funded, totaling $402,000.

According to the NSWA, the Trail Funding program elicited over $1 million in matching cash, and over $2 million of in-kind matches. More than 5,300 volunteers, trail crew members, and nonprofit staff are expected to participate across the 42 selected projects. Over 1,700 miles of trail will be maintained, additional signing, structure repair, and many bridges will be replaced using these grant funds.

“I am very excited and proud of AERC’s Trails Program, said Monica Chapman, AERC Trails and Land Management Committee co-chair. “The grant is a perfect example of a group effort from the locals on the ground doing the sweat equity, the committee level members writing the grant and with the local forest, to attending meetings in Washington, DC, to meet with legislators and many of the groups belonging to NSWA. This is a perfect example of how a non-profit grass-roots organization should work.”

The volunteers at Elkins Creek Horse Camp plan on having most if not all of these improvements completed by December of 2018 and will be working steadily throughout the year.

“Endurance riders will appreciate the improved trail conditions, even under rainy conditions, in the Wayne National Forest, and the improvements will also be welcomed by the thousands of trail riders who visit the area each year,” said Krumlaw-Smith. This trail system has a wonderful group of volunteers who literally put thousands of hours each year into its development and maintenance.

“This grant will finally enable them to complete the 10-plus year project,” said Krumlaw-Smith. “Additionally it’s a wonderful help to the whole community in bringing more tourism to the region. By doing so we bring more revenue into local retail stores, restaurants, and other small businesses. The effect of the trail improvements will be felt community-wide.”

Randy Welsh, NWSA’s executive director who manages the program, said, “Trails connect people to the National Forests, and this funding will help these local groups and volunteers participate in caring for and managing their Forests. The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Partnership Funding Program will encourage a huge increase in the number of volunteers and public involved with National Forest trails.”

Further information on the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partnership Funding program can be found on the NWSA website at www.wildernessalliance.org/trail_funding.

For more information about the American Endurance Ride Conference, visit www.AERC.org.


About the AERC

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972 as a national governing body for long distance riding. Over the years it has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a standardized format and strict veterinary controls. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year throughout North America and in 1993 Endurance became the fifth discipline under the United States Equestrian Team.

In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or “Tevis,” covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage. For more information please visit us at www.aerc.org.