Sunday, October 28, 2018

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

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Friday, October 26, 2018

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

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Land Water Conservation Fund Could See Revival In Senate Lame Duck Session - 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...

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Friday, October 19, 2018

We Might Lose Access to the Zion Narrows Forever - 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...

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Horses As Trail Users - 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...

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Colorado: Local and national recreation groups sue forest - 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...

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Texas billionaires put gates on popular Forest Service road near Boise - 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...

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Monday, October 15, 2018

How They Did It: Advocacy, Planning, and Creating Equestrian Trails Through Organization - 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 - 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...

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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 - 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...

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Florida Riding Trails T.L.C. - 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...”

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Congress works on fix after the Land Water Conservation Fund lapses - 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...

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

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