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.”