Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Horseback Riding in the Pacific Northwest: Adventures from Trees to the Sea

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

January 30, 2018

Equitrekking contributor and author of Alta Mira Horsemanship shares some of her favorite spots to go horseback riding in the Pacific Northwest.

Usually, when I tell people that I moved from sunny San Diego, California to the melancholy vibes of Seattle, Washington, they don an expression of complete shock. “Why would you want to move from such an amazing place as San Diego?,” they ask.

Well, I could say there were too many people in Southern California, but Seattle has a lot of people, too. My purpose in coming here was to go to college, but my choice of locale came from a desire for change. I wanted something that still seemed a bit undiscovered and adventure-worthy. The Pacific Northwest came with no disappointment.

Seeing the ecosystem inhale and exhale with every passing season, from the dew of dawn to the contented sigh of the evening, is confirmation that this is the adventurer’s home. The drizzle that serves as our common backdrop merely highlights the prism of dazzling pink and purple tulips in the spring, the burnt orange and ashy red of the fall, and the bright, varied green foliage of the summer rainforest.

The Pacific Northwest is known for its countless hiking trails, but us equestrians know that nothing beats exploring to the rhythm of hoofbeats. My favorite trail, O’Grady, is a mere few blocks away from the barn in Enumclaw, WA. To get to the trailhead, you have to pass a perfect view of Mount Rainier. O’Grady has a handful of trails winding down through the forest to a meadow on the edge of the Green River...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Michigan: Horses now allowed on trails at Norton Shores park

MLive.com - Full Article

13 December 2018

By Ben Solis | bsolis@mlive.com

NORTON SHORES, MI – Horses are now allowed on some trails at a park in Norton Shores, a rarity for municipal park systems in West Michigan.

An ordinance prohibiting horses in Norton Shores parks recently was amended by the city council to allow them at Black Lake Park. That amounts to a big win for equestrian enthusiasts in the area.

Gail Whitaker, 75, of Norton Shores was one of several horse enthusiasts who lobbied for the change. She said equestrians have been taking their horses for trots around the woods surrounding the park.

Now, she and her friends in the Tuesday Trotters equine club can ride on specified park trails at Black Lake Park, located on a 58-acre parcel of land off south of Pontaluna Road between Wood Road and the eastern shoreline of Little Black Lake.

“It’s just a thrill for us,” Whitaker said. “The city is now one of the first towns in West Michigan that allows horses on trails. It’s a real asset for us, and a real asset for the city of Norton Shores because it could become an attraction for people who want to have a horse but don’t have anywhere to ride...”

More story and photos here:

Three Great Places to Horseback Ride in Maine

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

November 20, 2018

Did you know that you can horseback ride on the beach in Maine? Here are two of the best beaches and a wildlife refuge that you won't want to miss.

Text and photos by Susan St. Amand.

I’ve ridden a lot of Maine’s trails over the years and was excited to return this fall to enjoy horseback riding on Maine’s beaches, as well as Trimble Mountain in the Calais, Maine area. These are diverse places to saddle up and enjoy ocean views and even catch a glimpse of Canada in the distance. Here are some great location picks for trail riding with your horse in Maine...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 8, 2018

California, Marin County: Bikers ask for better access to seashore

PTReyesLight.com - Full Article

By Anna Guth

Bikers are lobbying for increased access to roads and trails in the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, where their options are currently limited.

The Marin Bicycle Coalition submitted a proposal to the National Park Service last month that both requests new designations for bikes in areas now open to hikers and equestrians only and suggests new trail connections for all users.

Currently, the seashore has just 15 miles of dirt trails open to bikes, including the Estero Trail, the Olema Valley Trail and the Inverness Ridge Trail. Another 14 miles of fire roads are open to bikes. By contrast, over 115 miles are open to horses...

Read more here:

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Grants For Capitol Forest


Capitol Forest's DNR Recreational Managers are submitting several grants to help pay for improvements and resources in Capitol Forest. The importance of this work can't be overstated, and we hope all of these grants receive funding. But, every year far more grants are submitted than the available funding. Your support for these projects will help up the chances that these projects succeed. Please take the time to write letters of support for ALL of these grants!

RCO # 18-2466: New Capitol Forest Non-Motorized Trails
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant for a development project which will expand the mileage for the non-motorized trail system in Capitol State Forest near Olympia. Non-motorized trail-based recreation continues to grow in Capitol Forest and the overall goal of this project is to disperse non-motorized use across the forest and provide additional loop and stacked loop routes within the trail system. This project will benefit hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, & equestrians who recreate in Capitol Forest and provide them with both shorter and longer loop options from multiple trailheads throughout the forest.

RCO # 18-2465 Capitol Forest ORV Trail and Facility Maintenance
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to conduct maintenance on 83 miles of two track and single track ORV trails and 3 support facilities within Capitol State Forest. Trail maintenance will include: brushing, installing drainage features, trail hardening where necessary, installation of geo-synthetics, constructing small re-routes, bridge maintenance and sign installation. Trailhead and facility maintenance includes upkeep of: restrooms, campsites, parking areas and signs. This grant will fund a year around equipment operator and seasonal crews. The equipment operator will work with and support volunteers to perform trail maintenance. The primary recreation opportunity provided by this project is sustainable and more enjoyable ORV trails and support facilities. Many mountain bike and trail running enthusiasts enjoy the ORV trails as well. Electric (ebike) bicycle use is allowed on ORV trails in the forest and is becoming a more popular form of recreation.

In addition to motorized use the ORV trails are frequently used by mountain bikers and trail runners.

RCO # 18-2463 Capitol Forest Education and Enforcement
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will use this grant to conduct education and enforcement (E&E) operations in Capitol State Forest, which is located near Olympia. The grant will fund one full-time and one half time E&E warden. The Capitol Forest has 160 miles of trail, 4 campgrounds, 6 trailheads and 560 miles of open forest roads.

The recreation wardens, will focus on ORV use compliance, identifying and correcting safety issues for all trail and road users. Additionally, the warden will support Forest Watch volunteers who assist in education efforts to promote safety and proper forest use. The warden and volunteers will also assist in event management. DNR Police Services will assist by providing additional patrols and serve to assist the wardens in the forest. Grant funds will also be used to acquire equipment to aid in the investigation of criminal activity at trailheads. The primary recreation opportunity provided by the project will be safer and more sustainable trail trailhead and campground facilities in Capitol State Forest.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will use this grant to conduct education and enforcement (E&E) operations in Capitol State Forest, which is located near Olympia. The grant will fund one full-time and one half time E&E warden. The Capitol Forest has 160 miles of trail, 4 campgrounds, 6 trailheads and 560 miles of open forest roads.

The recreation wardens, will focus on ORV use compliance, identifying and correcting safety issues for all trail and road users. Additionally, the warden will support Forest Watch volunteers who assist in education efforts to promote safety and proper forest use. The warden and volunteers will also assist in event management. DNR Police Services will assist by providing additional patrols and serve to assist the wardens in the forest. Grant funds will also be used to acquire equipment to aid in the investigation of criminal activity at trailheads. The primary recreation opportunity provided by the project will be safer and more sustainable trail trailhead and campground facilities in Capitol State Forest.

RCO # 18-2464: Capitol State Forest Non-Motorized Trail & Facility Maintenance
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to conduct trail maintenance on 61 miles of primarily shared use (mountain bike, equestrian, running & hiking) non-motorized trails and facility maintenance at Margaret McKenny Campground & trailhead within Capitol State Forest, located near Olympia. Trail maintenance includes brushing, culvert maintenance, installing grade reversals, trail hardening, construction of short re-routes, bridges, kiosks and signs.

The forest continues to see an increase in non-motorized use, particularly mountain biking and trail running and equestrian use in winter months. The non-motorized trails are in much better shape than years ago – let’s keep this effort.

For more information and to support these grants, see:

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Wisconsin: Governor Dodge State Park

LeaderTelegram.com - Full Article

By Pat McKnight Correspondent Dec 3, 2018

A 34-year-old dream of horse campers at Governor Dodge State Park is on the trail to becoming reality. The Friends of Governor Dodge State Park Equestrian committee is working to make the dream come true through its fundraising campaign.

A nonprofit organization, FOGD was formed in 1996 to support and enhance the programs and facilities at Governor Dodge State Park located near Dodgeville in Iowa County.

FOGD Equestrian Committee co-chairs Jean Warrior of Verona, and Sandy Rogers of Whitewater, are heading up the campaign to raise $650,000 to build an all-new horse campground at the site that was originally envisioned in the park’s 1984 master plan.

“Governor Dodge State Park is one of Wisconsin’s largest and most beautiful state parks,” Rogers said...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Florida: Horse and Boots in the Forest

HernandoSun.com - Full Article


Withlacoochee State Forest offers scenic and unique opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, seasonal hunting, nature photography, mountain biking, motocross and of course horseback riding.

Hernando County is home to many horse owners. There are designated areas for horseback riding within the Withlacoochee State Forest which provide more than just a healthy outlet for horses, but for the riders as well.

The Nature Coast Back Country Horsemen organization began in Montana in 1973 when four horsemen realized that public lands would need help in order to keep equestrian access open for future generations. As the years past many chapters were organized and developed to help maintain the upkeep of existing trails as well as create new ones.

Mary Lou Patton, 79, is the president of the local Nature Coast Back Country Horsemen (NCBCH) chapter...

Read more here:

California: A local trail advocate to whom I give special thanks

Express.com - Full Article

November 30 2018
In The Saddle
by Valerie Zera

After writing “In the Saddle” almost weekly since it first appeared on Nov. 28, 1992, this represents my final column. I consider this opportunity to have been the source of many friendships, as well as a tremendous learning experience, a privilege first offered to me by former Antelope Valley Press Editor Larry Grooms. My husband and I are planning our eventual retirement, which will continue to involve at least one horse, although I now ride very little.

As I first began looking for topics, I heard about Elaine Macdonald of Lancaster, who has a long and productive history of working to maintain trail access and open space. She is a concise, eloquent and well mannered public speaker, which makes her words well received. Elaine also became a wonderful resource for me to call upon.

She sums up her many years of continued volunteerism by saying, “I have committed my life as a volunteer for equestrian issues and an advocate for trails in the North County.”

It is for this reason I would like to publicly thank Elaine, and express my admiration...

Read more here:

New York: Expansion of equestrian trail system explored

Wellsvilledaily.com - Full Article

By Chris PotterRegional Editor
Posted Nov 29, 2018

BELMONT — Should Allegany County do more to invest in its equestrian trails?

The topic came up at the November Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting, with Legislator Bill Dibble (R-Little Genesee) championing the cause. Dibble pointed to Allegany State Park in Cattaraugus County as a model for future efforts.

“Allegany Park has over 65,000 acres, over a million people a year and a lot of horses. We have 60,000 acres of DEC land in this county,” Dibble said. “I have a lot of respect for our county Saddle Dusters Group. They are well organized.”

The Allegany County Saddle Dusters organize trail rides and events. Director of Planning Kier Dirlam noted there is interest in the county to expand riding opportunities. One of the challenges is creating trails specific to horses. Mixed-use trails with hikers and bikers are not always ideal...

Read more here:

Friday, November 30, 2018

Idaho: Documents show Wilks brothers' gates on Forest Service road are illegal

KTVB.com - Full Article

"This is about more than just gates," IWF Executive Director Brian Brooks said. "This is about wealthy individuals flaunting Idaho's laws and illegally claiming public resources as their own without repercussions."

Author: Sean Deter, Morgan Boydston
Published: 4:34 PM MST November 28, 2018
Updated: 10:24 PM MST November 29, 2018

The gates installed by a pair of Texas billionaire brothers on an Idaho Forest Service road through their property in Boise County are illegal, according to the Idaho Wildlife Federation.

Dan and Farris Wilks have raised the hackles of hunters and other outdoor recreationists who rely on access to Idaho public lands after their controversial purchases of vast swaths of private land in the state.

The tensions raised by the Wilkses have reached a fever pitch as of late, with the installation of gates on Forest System road 374 - known as Boise Ridge Road - by their company, DF Development LLC. They recently put up sets of bright orange gates on the popularly-traveled Forest Service road through their property just miles from Bogus Basin, surrounded by the Boise National Forest, and "No Trespassing" signs on their private property.

For decades, outdoors enthusiasts have used FS 374 to get through Boise County to reach their favorite hunting spots and recreation destinations.

The Idaho Wildlife Federation has also taken notice. On the heels of a recent report by KTVB's Morgan Boydston, the IWF on Wednesday said the gates violate Idaho law, based on records they received in response to a records request with the Forest Service.

The IWF said deeds from past landowners show the Wilkses illegally gated FS 374. The group said they found deeds from the landowners granting easements for sections of the road for public use in perpetuity...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

California: Hit the trail! — Nevada County offers Multiple Opportunities for Equestrians and trail development

TheUnion.com - Full Article

Submitted by Gold Country Trails Council
September 13, 2018

Yearning to ride and or hike your way through open space, tall trees, scenic vistas and nature in general? The Gold Country Trails Council is the resource you need to make those dreams come true.

Gold Country Trails Council was formed in 1981 by a group of Nevada County citizens to fill the need for non-motorized trails in Nevada County and surrounding foothills. The council developed and constructed the Pioneer Trail, the route early pioneers took when traveling over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Nevada City.

Today, the 30-mile long Pioneer Trail continues to be enjoyed by the community as a non-motorized multi-use trail.

Members volunteer to provide development and maintenance of non-motorized trails, equestrian campgrounds, and trailhead staging areas. The council is also a partner in the Pines to Mines Trail Alliance to develop and establish a 90-mile multi-use trail from Truckee to Nevada City/Grass Valley.

Additionally, two equestrian campgrounds have been built and are being supported by Gold Country Trails Council: Little Lasier Meadow Horse Camp near Truckee and Skillman Horse Camp on Highway 20 above Nevada City...

Read more here:

California: Marin bike group seeks more access at Point Reyes National Seashore

MarinIJ.com - Full Article

By WILL HOUSTON | whouston@marinij.com |
PUBLISHED: November 27, 2018 at 5:36 pm | UPDATED: November 27, 2018

A Marin County bicycling organization says the time has come for Point Reyes National Seashore to give local cyclists more access to its public lands. In response, a local equestrian group is calling on its own supporters to ask the park to take a more cautious approach.

Tom Boss, the events and off-road director for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, said the group is calling for recreational enhancements that stand to get bicycles off roadways in the national seashore and nearby Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

“Our requests pertain to ranch roads through only non-wilderness areas of the park,” Boss wrote in an email Tuesday.

Fairfax resident Rick Holland, president of the Marin Horse Council, says his group is not opposed to project requests from the coalition, but said that they need to be examined on a case-by-case basis...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Trails Webinar: “Building Strong Volunteer Partner Organizations: A Success Story”

AmericanTrailsStore.org for Registration

On December 6, a part of the American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series, “Building Strong Volunteer Partner Organizations: A Success Story” will introduce a successful statewide effort in Colorado—the Colorado Outdoor Stewardship Coalition (COSC) — that is laying the groundwork for advancing the state’s stewardship movement by building a stronger and more effective infrastructure of volunteer programs across the state.

See a full description, key learning objectives, presenter bios, and our partners for this webinar.

Ann Baker Easley, Executive Director, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Dean Winstanley, Director of Statewide Stewardship, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Chris Yuan Farrell, Stewardship and Trails Senior Program Officer, Great Outdoors Colorado
Jack Placchi, Travel Management and Trails Coordinator for the Colorado State Office, Bureau of Land Management


STEP 1: PAY FOR THE WEBINAR. You can also purchase an American Trails membership through the store — just click the “Keep Shopping” link when you see your shopping cart.
STEP 2: While in our store, if the person attending the webinar and their email will be different than the billing name please include the attendee’s full name and email address in the NOTES section.
STEP 3: You’re done! The attendee’s email address will receive a separate confirmation email from GoToWebinar (customercare@gotowebinar.com) containing information about joining the Webinar.
Additional Information:

Payments Accepted:
Payments accepted are credit cards (Visa and MasterCard), checks, and purchase orders. If paying via purchase order, please select “check” as your payment method in the online store and in the “notes” section write in your purchase order number.

Audio Choices:

You can call in to the webinar using your telephone, keeping in mind that you will incur long distance charges and/or usage charges (depending on your carrier), or
So as not to incur long distance charges, you can listen to the webinar using the speakers on your computer (if your computer has that option).

All webinars in the American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series are recorded. An unedited transcript will also be sent to attendees as closed captioning is offered for our webinars. A link to the recording is included with the purchase of the webinar and will be sent within a day or two following the webinar, along with a pdf of the resources slide shown during the Q&A portion of the webinar that includes presenter contact information. Access to the recordings may also be purchased after the live session through the American Trails Online Store.

Closed Captioning
Complimentary closed captioning is English is offered for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you require closed captioning in another language, please email trailhead@americantrails.org in advance of the webinar.

Learning Credits and CEUs:
American Trails is now proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES)
American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition

Learning credits are included in the registration fee. When purchasing, indicate which learning credit you require, if any. Our webinars earn the following credits: AICP CM (1.5) LA CES (1.5), and NRPA CEU equivalency petition (0.10). Credits are available for live and archived webinars starting with our January 2018 webinar.

Contact the American Trails office at trailhead@americantrails.org or (530) 605-4395.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Senators Introduce Recreational Trails Program Full Funding Act

NHSA.com - Full Article

November 5, 2018 by NHSA

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has aided trail construction and maintenance projects and programs nationwide since 1991. Created through landmark surface transportation legislation, RTP reflected Congressional belief that federal gas taxes paid on motor fuel used in motorized non-highway recreational activities should be used to benefit those paying the tax as well as other users of recreational trails.

Tens of millions of hikers and bikers, equestrians and ATV’ers, snowmobilers and skiers, canoeists and others now enjoy better outdoor experiences because of this action. And RTP’s accomplishments unite the efforts in every state of federal agencies, state and local governments, volunteers and recreation businesses.

U.S. Senators Introduce RTP Full Funding Act

Now, the bipartisan efforts of four United States Senators promise to dramatically increase the benefits of RTP’s proven formula...

Read more here:

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:

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:

Monday, November 5, 2018

American Horse Council Lobbies For Bills That Would Help Trails

Tapinto.net - Full Article

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Texas billionaires put gates on popular Forest Service road near Boise

IdahoStatesman.com - Full Article

By Chadd Cripe

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


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:

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:

Sunday, October 7, 2018

2017 Survey of Equine Land Conservation and Equine Advocacy Organizations Report


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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

LA Developer Loses in Equestrian Face-Off

CommercialObserver.com - Full Article


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:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

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

LADailyPost.com - Full Article

Los Alamos Daily Post

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:

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:

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

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:

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!


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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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...

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

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


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:

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...

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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...

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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...

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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!