Saturday, October 19, 2019

Equine Land Conservation Resource to Co-Host Land Issues and Small Horse Properties Webinar

October 18 2019

Lexington, KY – October 18, 2019 – Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) and My Horse University will co-host a free webinar, “Land Issues and Small Properties,” on October 22, 2019, at 7:00 pm eastern standard time. ELCR’s Denise O’Meara, Director of Education, will present, focusing on the zoning issues, opportunities and realities of horse-keeping in the backyard and small farm areas of America.

Using examples from several communities around the country that allow horses to be kept on small acreage and residential properties, you’ll learn how your community’s zoning practices, prevalence of existing horse-related activities, land characteristics, building codes, tax structure, state regulations and other factors enter into the decision to keep horses at your residence. Consider questions such as: Does your community support horse activities and horse-friendly zoning? Are there places and trails already in place to ride? and, Am I prepared to do the work and upkeep that horses and their surrounds require?

Webinar presenter, Denise O’Meara, PLA, is an experienced landscape architect, educator and presenter, with almost 20 years of experience in the equine industry and land design in conjunction with community planning and zoning regulations. Her personal interest in small property horse-keeping comes from youth experiences on Long Island, New York, where hundreds of horses are maintained in legally zoned, back yard stables, including in her own childhood neighborhood.

To read the original ELCR article of the same name, visit
https://elcr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/A-Look-At-Backyard-Horsekeeping-reformatted-Dec-2018-Final.pdf

To register for this FREE webinar visit https://msu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vLjPu9W9T2Kfpunzx8cQKg.

About My Horse University (MHU): MHU was established in 2005 at Michigan State University, a land-grant university with nationally ranked programs in equine science and management. MHU was created through a partnership between MSU Extension, the MSU Department of Animal Science, and MSU Global. MHU brings research and knowledge from world-renowned experts to online educational material available to horse enthusiasts worldwide. Visit www.MyHorseUniversity.com, or call (517) 432-5131.

About 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.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Wyoming: Bike and Horse Riders to Cooperate; Signage Key to Health of Casper Mountain Trails

OilCity.news - Full Article

By Brendan LaChance on September 16, 2019

CASPER, Wyo. — For the last several years, the Central Wyoming Trails Alliance have been working to improve the public multi-use trails on Casper Mountain.

There are now “over 7 miles of single track multi-use trail” on the mountain, the trails alliance says.

Ensuring that these trails stay in good condition for as long as possible depends upon users, particularly equestrians and mountain bikers, accessing the trails in mindful ways.

Nina DeVore with the Wyoming Range Riders equestrian group attended a Natrona County Parks Board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12. She came to address a social media post from the Central Wyoming Trails Alliance which suggested horse riders were responsible for some damage to the trails.

“I believe it is premature to close the trails to the horseback riding community,” DeVore said, adding that she thinks most horse riders are conscientious of how they use trails and that some of those who are not simply don’t know any better. “Clear and concise signage would be a great start.”

DeVore said that some horse riders, particularly large church groups, might not be aware that they shouldn’t ride trails when they are wet and shouldn’t cut too many corners.

“I feel a very good connection to the mountain and all it has to offer,” she said, adding that her group frequently utilizes the trails. “I’m very aware of our horse droppings.”

After they complete rides, DeVore says they go back over the trails with pitchforks and scatter droppings in Beartrap Meadow. She said that educating different user groups on trail etiquette would help keep the trails system in good shape...

Read more here:
https://oilcity.news/community/2019/09/16/bike-and-horse-riders-to-cooperate-signage-key-to-health-of-casper-mountain-trails2/

BC Canada: Horses damage new Fox Fire mountain bike trail: cycling club

WLTribune.com - Full Article

Equestrian users asked to stay off trails

Greg SabatinoSep. 19, 2019

The Williams Lake Cycling Club is reminding equestrian users to stay off its trails.

Thomas Schoen, chair of the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, said Williams Lake’s newest, highly-popular trail Fox Fire, built by James Doerfling and his company, Jimco Services, plus countless club volunteers under the guidance of Mark Savard, has seen repeated damage due to equestrian use.

“It is illegal for equestrian users to be on this trail,” Schoen said. “The trail is clearly marked as a non-equestrian trail. There is absolutely no need for horseback riders to use this connector trail, built by the club and sanctioned by Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC)...”

Read more here:
https://www.wltribune.com/sports/horses-damage-new-fox-fire-mountain-bike-trails/?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20190920.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Thursday, September 12, 2019

NY State spends millions on Frontier Town, but horse riders don’t like it

NewYorkUpstate.com - Full Article

Updated Sep 11, 5:11 PM; Posted Sep 11, 6:04 AM

By David Figura | dfigura@nyup.com

NORTH HUDSON, N.Y. -- Frontier Town, the state’s newest Adirondack campground, opened June 28 with promises to be a “unique, world-class” facility for traditional tent campers, RVers and equestrian campers alike.

So far tent campers and RVers have embraced Frontier Town. Horse riders not so much.

“It’s a lovely facility, but it’s just not well-designed for horse campers,” said Dan Gruen, trails council chairman for the New York State Horse Council, who visited the campground when it was finished and said he has spoken to more than dozen campers who’ve been there since.

“I like the idea of creating a place where riders can come and have a nice camping facility and be safe with their horses. That’s all wonderful,” he said. “I don’t think Frontier Town as it is now is that place.”

The new Frontier Town campground sits on 91 acres owned the town of North Hudson and Essex County near the site of former Frontier Town amusement park, which closed in 1999. The campground is located a short distance off exit 27 on Interstate 87 (the Adirondack Northway), at the foothills of the Eastern High Peaks.

The state to date has spent $19.3 million on the entire project. It features 45 tent camping sites, including three group-camping sites; 13 RV and trailer campsites and 33 equestrian campsites. In addition, there are about four miles of trails for horse riders...

Read more here:
https://www.newyorkupstate.com/adirondacks/2019/09/state-spends-millions-on-frontier-town-but-horse-riders-dont-like-it.html

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

California: Woodside Planning Commission denies permit for equestrian bridge

AlmanacNews.com - Full Article

Uploaded: Mon, Sep 9, 2019, 10:43 am
by Rick Radin / Almanac

The Woodside Planning Commission gave a nudge to town traditions on Sept. 4 by denying a request for a conditional use permit for a plan to spend $200,000 in town and donated money to replace a washed-out equestrian bridge.

The commission's vote was 3-3, according to Planning Director Jackie Young. Commissioners Sani Elfishawy, Aydan Kutay and William Fender voted against approving the use permit, while Marilyn Voelke, Kurt Calia and Craig London voted in favor of it. Jim Bildner was absent.

The reason behind the three no votes on the plan: The bridge, over Bear Creek Gulch, only benefited horseback riders and not the community as a whole, Young said...

Read more here:
https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2019/09/09/woodside-planning-commission-declines-permit-for-equestrian-bridge

A Vast Liquidation of Public Lands Is Underway in Alaska

AmericanProgress.org

By Jenny Rowland-Shea, Sung Chung, Sally Hardin, Matt Lee-Ashley, and Kate Kelly
Posted on September 10, 2019, 6:00 am

The Trump administration is quietly leading one of the largest liquidations of America’s public lands since the late 19th century. If fully implemented, this effort could result in the transfer, sale, or private exploitation of more than 28.3 million acres of public lands in Alaska, including old-growth forests, subsistence hunting areas for Alaska Native communities, habitats for polar bears, salmon spawning streams, and other backcountry areas.1 It would affect millions of acres in the Tongass National Forest and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge alone...

Read more here:
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2019/09/10/474256/vast-liquidation-public-lands-underway-alaska/?utm_source=1500+CWP+List+Daily+Clips+and+Updates&utm_campaign=bb02ff347d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_09_10_05_46&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4369a4e737-bb02ff347d-84222569

Sunday, September 8, 2019

California Nonprofit celebrates 30 years of advocating for trails

Sandiegouniontribune.com - Full Article

By JULIE GALLANT
SEP. 6, 2019 11 AM
Ramona Trails Association (RTA) members rode down trails on horses and a buggy at Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Labor Day Weekend to celebrate the association’s 30th anniversary this year.

The occasion marks three decades since RTA’s incorporation as a nonprofit in 1989, completed with the help of retired attorney Jeremiah Reid and his wife, Katie. The group had only a handful of members when it originated but has since grown to a current membership of about 75 trails enthusiasts.

RTA’s mission is to retain access to and help maintain existing multi-use trails in rural areas as well as actively encourage new trail development on public and private lands in the greater Ramona area. In the process, it works closely with federal, state and local government agencies and other volunteer organizations...

Read more here:
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ramona-sentinel/lifestyle/story/2019-09-05/nonprofit-celebrates-30-years-of-advocating-for-trails

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Report: 6 million acres of state lands in West inaccessible

APNews.com - Full Article

By MATTHEW BROWN
August 19, 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — More than 6 million acres (2.5 million hectares) of state property scattered across 11 states in the U.S. West are landlocked by private property and largely inaccessible to hunters, anglers and other recreational users, public lands advocates said Monday.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and onX, a Montana-based land data company, analyzed land ownership patterns for a report detailing the extent of state-owned parcels that lack public access.

Montana, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming each have more than 1 million acres (0.4 million hectares) of state lands surrounded by private property, according to the report...

Read more here:
https://www.apnews.com/fc9f3b925f6c490f8d0be8adc11c200e

Friday, September 6, 2019

Florida: After two decades, Martin County tries to resolve dispute over Palm City horseback trails

Tcpalm.com - Full Article

Joshua Solomon, Treasure Coast Newspapers
Published 6:22 p.m. ET Aug. 26, 2019

PALM CITY FARMS — One after the other, members of the Campbell family pleaded with county commissioners not to take away their property as it’s been known for nearly the last century. Tensions began to escalate. By the time Sharon Campbell spoke, the emotions piqued.

“The pressure that’s been applied to us has been like a terrorist tactic,” the co-owner of Just-E-Nuf Acres horse farm told the Martin County Commission earlier this month.

Commission Chairman Ed Ciampi said the issue has been “lingering, if not festering for decades.”

Tuesday, the issue of 20 years — with a history going back 100 — is to come to a crossroads...

Read more at:
https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/shaping-our-future/growth/2019/08/26/palm-city-farms-trails-may-get-access-horeseback-trails/2088172001/

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Colorado: Who has the right of way? User etiquette, hierarchy on Snowmass-area trails

Aspentimes.com - Full Article

Snowmass | September 4, 2019

Town of Snowmass Parks, Recreation and Trails Department
Starr Jamison

Our trail development in Snowmass Village is rapidly changing as we build new trails and make new connections. How lucky are we to have the opportunity to separate use on trails within our small community, giving everyone a unique experience.

In the village, hikers and equestrians have their own trails, like Tom Blake and North Mesa equestrian and hiking trails. Aspen Skiing Co. maintains Vista, Rabbit Run and Sierra Club for hikers only. All of these trails prohibit mountain bike use. The Town helps the U.S. Forest Service maintain the Ditch Trail, which allows users to access miles of hiking- and equestrian-only trails in the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area.

On Snowmass Ski Area we built the Discovery Trail, a single direction beginner uphill only mountain biking trail, and Skico continues to provide miles of downhill-only trails for mountain bikers. Most communities do not have the luxury to provide such diversity in their trails systems as we have here in Snowmass Village.

Even with the separation and diversity, we are still faced with the problem that most trail users want peace and solitude on the trail. The reality is population will continue to grow and every user will eventually see others on the trails.

When we share the trails, who has the right of way? The first thing you need to know is there is a hierarchy on the trail. You may have seen the yellow trail etiquette triangle with a horse, hiker and biker. Horses have priority, followed by hikers, and then bikers. It’s pretty simple to remember and makes encounters much more pleasant when everyone knows who gets to go first...

Read more at:
https://www.aspentimes.com/snowmass/who-has-the-right-of-way-user-etiquette-hierarchy-on-snowmass-area-trails/

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Florida: Martin County equestrian community denied more trails to explore

WPTV.com - Full Article

Aug 27, 2019 Updated: 3:34 AM, Aug 28, 2019
By: Jon Shainman

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Martin County Commissioners pulled back a proposed law Tuesday that would have opened all public rights of way in the county. The issue has pit members of the Palm City equestrian community against one another.

Karen Rayside pointed out Tuesday that Martin County’s own Welcome Guide highlights Palm City’s equestrian community.

“So Martin County boasts the interconnecting trail system and that it’s an important part of Martin County lifestyle," said Rayside.

Rayside, and other members of the Palm City Farms Trail Association, filled the commission chambers, hoping for a resolution.

The group wanted commissioners to approve a measure that would have opened all public rights of way in the county. The issue has been contested for decades, and at times has gotten nasty...

Read more here:
https://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/martin-county/martin-county-equestrian-community-denied-more-trails-to-explore

Everything's connected: Flagstaff's urban trails lead to Arizona Trail, national forest

AZCentral.com - Full Article

Mare Czinar, Special for The Republic
Published 7:30 a.m. MT Aug. 28, 2019

“You can’t get there from here,” my hiking partner told a confused pair of trekkers who asked us for directions to an Arizona Trail junction.

He gently kicked my shin to signal he was joking as the couple fumbled with a map. Waiting a beat to satisfy his warped sense of humor, my pal continued, “Just kidding, of course you can get there from here. This is Flagstaff.”

With hundreds of miles of national forest trails and city pathways, there are dozens of ways to access the 800-mile Arizona Trail that swings through the northern Arizona city.

The state-traversing route draws hikers, bikers and equestrians from all over the world to this Arizona Trail gateway community, a city or town that embraces and gives ongoing support to the trail and its users...

Read more here:
https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/arizona/hiking/2019/08/28/flagstaff-urban-trails-connect-arizona-trail-coconino-national-forest/2132360001/

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Electric bicycles could be coming to national park trails

PBS.org - Full Article

Nation Aug 30, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — Motorized electric bicycles may soon be humming their way into serene national parks and other public lands nationwide, under a new Trump administration order — hotly opposed by many outdoors groups — allowing the so-called e-bikes on every federal trail where a regular bike can go.

Sales of the bikes, powered by both pedals and batteries and small motors, are booming, and some aging or less fit people have sought the rule change. The change would allow them to whirr up and down biking trails in the country’s roughly 400 national parks and other federally managed backcountry.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed the order without fanfare Thursday, classifying e-bikes as non-motorized bikes and giving agencies 14 days to adjust their rules.

“Reducing the physical demand to operate a bicycle has expanded access to recreational opportunities,” Bernhardt wrote in the order...

Read more here:
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/electric-bicycles-could-be-coming-to-national-park-trails

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Equine Land Conservation Resource Announces Three New Educational Articles

August 12 2019

Lexington, KY – August 12, 2019 – Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) announces that the following new educational resources on horse land protection are now available.

Stories that surround potential loss of equine land, facilities and trails in communities across the country abound. When these stories are recounted it is evident that the formation of advocacy groups, organizations and collaboratives are the most effective in creating a positive outcome for the equestrian community. The article, “Advocating for Success – Glendale Riverside Rancho”, recounts efforts to protect a historic and popular riding stable, recognizing that just saving the stable will not protect the equestrian lifestyle and vibrant equine-based economy of this unique set of communities – ranchos- in Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank California. https://elcr.org/advocating-for-success-protecting-the-riverside-rancho-equestrian-community-of-glendale-california/

Horse droppings on the trail creates an ever-repeating theme. Though equestrians tolerate it quite easily, (it is, after all, a byproduct of our favorite thing in the world), other trail users are not quite so enthusiastic about our friends’ leavings. In the article “Horse Manure on the Trails: Should we do something?”, author Lyndall Erb, long-time president of Bay Area Barns and Trails, a California based organization, describes the issue in both scientific and humanistic terms asking the question should we do something about it? Witty and practical, this article hits on a particularly odious issue. https://elcr.org/horse-manure-on-the-trails-should-we-do-something/

Our third article, “ELCR Joins the Coalition for Recreational Trails in Supporting Section 1514 of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019”, covers the context of the topic, gives you information about needed support for RTP funding, led by the members and administrators of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT). For a short version of the legislation and a copy of the letter of support, go to https://elcr.org/elcr-joins-the-coalition-for-recreational-trails-in-supporting-section-1514-of-americas-transportation-infrastructure-act-of-2019/

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.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Why Is the Forest Service Trying to Evade the Public?

NYTimes.com - Full Article

The Trump administration is attempting to eliminate public voice from the management of national forests. We must speak up.

By Sam Evans

Mr. Evans is the National Forests and Parks Program Leader for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Aug. 7, 2019

The United States Forest Service’s most important job is balancing the many needs and uses of the 193 million acres of public land it manages. But the Trump administration is preparing to abandon the process that makes it possible, eliminating public participation from the overwhelming majority of decisions affecting our national forests. If the Forest Service has its way, visitors won’t know what’s coming until logging trucks show up at their favorite trailheads or a path for a gas pipeline is cleared below a scenic vista.

At stake is how the Forest Service complies (or doesn’t) with the National Environmental Policy Act, our nation’s most important environmental law. The law requires every government agency to look for less harmful ways of meeting its goals. To that end, agency decisions must be based on solid science and made in the sunlight of public accountability. Each federal agency has some leeway to implement the law, but the Forest Service’s newly proposed rules would instead circumvent it, creating loopholes for logging projects, road construction and even permits for pipelines and other utilities...

Read more here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/opinion/forest-service-trump.html

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Dozens Of Conservation Groups Oppose eBikes On Non-Motorized Trails

NationalParksTraveler.org - Full Article

By Kurt Repanshek on August 7th, 2019

Opposition to allowing eBikes on non-motorized trails in the federal lands system has been voiced by dozens of conservation groups, who fear permitting the motorized bikes on those trails will create a "slippery slope" that will lead to future problems with managing those trails.

In a letter to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, the acting director of the National Park Service, and the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the groups stated that they "oppose any effort that would allow any class of vehicle with a motor – including all classes of e-bikes, which by definition have a motor – to be allowed on non-motorized trails."

The issue came to light earlier this summer at Acadia National Park in Maine, where eBike users were told they could not ride on the Carriage Roads that wind through the park on Mount Desert Island. Fines for those caught on the roads start at $130, according to the park's website...

Read more here:
https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2019/08/dozens-conservation-groups-oppose-ebikes-non-motorized-trails

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Turmoil at the BLM Is Threatening Public Lands

OutsideOnline.com - Full Article

All signs point to a massive selloff of federally managed public lands, as BLM officials defy congressional oversight

Wes Siler
Jul 30, 2019

Update: On July 29, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt reportedly signed an order appointing Pendley acting director of the BLM.

Running federal agencies without a formal command structure has become something of a hallmark of the Trump administration. Doing so seems intended to circumvent congressional oversight and to hide decision-making processes from the public. It also tends to allow an unprecedented amount of industry influence over public policy. That could be a particular problem at the Bureau of Land Management, as the result may be the removal of “public” from public lands.

The BLM manages its lands under the principle of multiple use. This balances the needs of extraction and agriculture industries with those of conservationists and recreationists, allowing all of those groups to coexist in an arrangement that protects our natural resources for the benefit of future generations. This mandate works for everyone involved, and, combined with the rest of America’s public lands, creates a system that generates hundreds of billions of dollars in economic output, effectively paying for itself, while balancing the needs of all users.

But William Perry Pendley, who may currently be running the BLM, has long argued against not only that principle of multiple use; he’s also stated that he wants to remove public interest from management decisions and has argued that all federal land should be sold to private interests...

Read more here:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2400333/blm-turmoil-threatens-public-lands

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Horse Camping at Washington Beaches and Throughout Grays Harbor

Graysharbortalk.com - Full Article

By Kristina Lotz

hen the weather is nice, there is nothing like heading out camping with horses at a Washington Beach or the Humptulips wilderness in Grays Harbor. With a changing topography that includes everything from rain forest to beach, there are plenty of trails to explore in Western Washington. People from all over the state head to Grays Harbor County for trail riding and it’s no surprise. If you are looking for a fun outing, check out this list of where to camp with horses in Grays Harbor.

Screamin’ Eagle Campground
17 2nd Ave, Ocean City
855-627-4673

On the North Beach of Grays Harbor, the Screamin’ Eagle Campground has both tent and RV camping. Sites are grassy and some even have trees for shade. This is the closest campground to the ocean and it allows you to camp with your horses in Ocean City.

The main plus about this campsite is you do not have to cross the highway to get to the beach. “Screamin’ Eagle Campground is just a couple of blocks from the beach – a very easy ride right from the campground...”

Read more here:
http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2019/07/26/horse-camping-at-washington-beaches-and-throughout-grays-harbor/

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Idaho: BLM expands Boise foothills trail system to meet growing demands

July 18 2019

BLM expands Boise foothills trail system to meet growing demands

Project connects 12.1 miles of new trail and provides for the construction of 5.5 miles of trail for hiking, biking and horseback riding

BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a decision to improve and expand an existing series of trails and a trailhead within the Boise foothills to help address congestion, accessibility and erosion issues. The project includes the construction of 4.3 miles of trail in three segments for hiking, biking and horseback riding.. A 1.2-mile trail will also be constructed in Hull’s Gulch for mountain bikers looking for a downhill-oriented descent.

The sections located on BLM-managed lands will provide an integral component connecting to new segments located on City of Boise and Ada County property, with 12.1 total miles of new trail, 5.5 miles on BLM-managed lands and 6.6 miles on city and county land. The parking area at Cartwright Trailhead, which provides access to both Polecat and Peggy’s Trail areas, will expand from accommodating about 20 vehicles to 30. Two designated horse trailer parking spots, two accessible parking spaces and a vault toilet will also be constructed under this decision.

“We worked with our city, county and state partners in response to the increased demands on the Ridge to Rivers trail network,” said BLM Four Rivers Field Manager Brent Ralston. “With new trails for hiking and biking, we hope to reduce congestion and conflicts on existing trails. These actions are consistent with the 2016 Ridge to Rivers 10-year Plan developed by the partners, including the BLM.”

Ralston added that outdoor recreation opportunities provide physical and mental health benefits and allow people to more fully experience our beautiful public lands and waterways. “This decision enacts Secretary’s Orders 3347 and 3366, which articulate the Department’s goal of increasing recreational opportunities for all Americans—especially recreation available on public lands,” he said.

The 8th Street Motorcycle Trail #4 and motorized Femrite Patrol Trail #6 will be rerouted because of erosion concerns. Portions of these trails will be closed while construction takes place in late summer and fall. Once completed, there will be a combined net increase of 0.7 miles on these two trails.

The environmental assessment for the trail work, including maps, can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xUF7k (case sensitive).

For more information, contact Four Rivers Outdoor Recreation Planner Dave Draheim at (208) 384-3300.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Webinar: Equestrian Trail Design for Urban Multi-Use Trails

AmericanTrails.org

This webinar will address methods used in constructing equestrian trails for multi-use while also including ADA interface in an urban environment.

Presented by:
Matthew Woodson, President and Founder, Okanogan Trail Construction (OTC)

Event Details
August 22, 2019
10:00 am (Pacific Time)

Cost:

$19 for members (Trail Professional level or higher)
$39 for nonmembers

Webinar Outline
The presenter will address methods used in constructing equestrian trails for multi-use while also including ADA interface in an urban environment. It will highlight key materials and tread surfacing that are horse friendly from both a safety and best practices-sustainability perspective. The webinar will also explore wilderness design criteria used to build trails to provide maximum sustainability.

Learning Objectives:
Learn about new materials for trail surfacing and crossings
Discover ideas about the integration of equestrian riding into more urbanized area to interface well with ADA and other users
Learn best practices for sustainability for wilderness trails

Presenter
Matthew Woodson, President and Founder, Okanogan Trail Construction (OTC)

Matthew Woodson is with Okanogan Trail Construction (OTC), an award-winning trail design, trail building, and trail maintenance company that is available worldwide. OTC has been serving public and private clients for over thirty years, with expertise in performing heavy-duty construction in a wide range of wild, rural, and urban regions. OTC tailors each trail design to frame its surroundings while providing the most sustainable and fulfilling experience for visitors. OTC's trails synchronize with the environment as much as possible, creating beautiful trails that require minimal maintenance, and ultimately, spare our customers time and money on reconstruction and repair.

To register, go to:
https://www.americantrails.org/training/equestrian-trail-design-for-urban-multi-use-trails

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Nebraska: Harlan County trails offer 'wonderful' place to walk, hike or ride while enjoying nature

KearneyHub.com - full article

By ASHLEY BEBENSEE
Hub Staff Writer Jul 8, 2019

ALMA — A sign along Highway 183 on the northern outskirts of Alma beckons visitors to the Peckerneck Horse Trail.

The story of the trail’s name is partially legend and partially true, said Dave Wolf, founder and volunteer at the trail.

“It’s just a fable about how we were sitting around a campfire and talking about this trail,” said Wolf.

The 13-mile trail lies on the south side of the Harlan County Reservoir. One of the features along the horse trail is a replica of a mine.

The legend is a group of hillbillies from Tennessee came to the mining district in South Dakota in the 1880s. The noise the miners made with the hammers and rock bits used to drill holes reverberated through the tunnels and resembled the sound of a woodpecker. The men were also said to have the strength equal to that of a woodpecker, therefore, they were dubbed “peckerneck...”

Read more at:
https://www.kearneyhub.com/news/local/harlan-county-trails-offer-wonderful-place-to-walk-hike-or/article_c32a92ca-a196-11e9-a05e-7b60d3d750c8.html

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Washington: Rock Creek Horse Camp opens two new trails for riders

TheReflector.com - Full Article

Camp offers campsites and trails for those with horses
Cameron Kast/cameron@thereflector.com Jul 1, 2019

For those looking to explore on horseback, the Rock Creek Horse Campground has opened up two new trails to ride on. Both stemming from the original 26-mile Tarbell Trail, the Silver Shadow Trail and Six Sense Trail offer riders new ground to “hoof-it.”

Tani Bates, a rider and volunteer at the Rock Creek Horse Campground said that with these two new trails, people will have more of an opportunity to explore the area without the time commitment required to ride the 26-mile Tarbell Trail. Bates also stated that she hopes the camp gets the funding to build more loops off of the Tarbell Trail for riders to explore more of the beautiful area.

“It’s quiet up there; there’s running water,” Bates said about why she loves the area so much. “There’s access to different trails. There’s a lot of things you can do there. There’s lots of trees; it’s beautiful...”

Read more here:
http://www.thereflector.com/horse_corral/article_e3388cd4-9c37-11e9-aa8d-576bdd6def74.html

Monday, July 1, 2019

Wyoming: Volunteers on horseback clear hundreds of miles of trails

Trib.com - Full Article

Mark Davis Powell Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange
Jun 29, 2019

POWELL — With storms threatening, a half-dozen horsemen loaded their saddle bags and panniers with serious looking saws, lunches of canned sardines and jerky, and rain slickers. They climbed aboard their steeds and headed west into the North Absaroka Wilderness.

Through rushing Sunlight Creek, canyons lined by yellow stone buttes and meadows blooming with Indian paintbrush and deadly but beautiful larkspur, the horsemen rode for hours, searching for obstructions on the trail. They had been here before — the mostly clear path leads between a myriad of cut tree trunks and brush, cleared by hand by crews in years past.

It’s hard to imagine the commitment it takes to keep a trail open, but that’s the resolve of a small group of area community servants: the Shoshone Back Country Horsemen. One of the busiest chapters in the U.S., the well-seasoned volunteers have cleared thousands of miles of trails in the Shoshone National Forest one obstruction at a time. But Little Sunlight Trail is designated as wilderness, so the group had to go old school...

Read more here:
https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/volunteers-on-horseback-clear-hundreds-of-miles-of-trails/article_8cb0b32c-6558-5d3b-bc79-f83c37febd30.html

Monday, June 24, 2019

Who Gets to Own the West?

NYTimes.com - Full Article

A new group of billionaires is shaking up the landscape.

By Julie Turkewitz
June 22, 2019

IDAHO CITY, Idaho — The Wilks brothers grew up in a goat shed, never finished high school and built a billion-dollar fracking business from scratch.

So when the brothers, Dan and Farris, bought a vast stretch of mountain-studded land in southwest Idaho, it was not just an investment, but a sign of their good fortune.

“Through hard work and determination — and they didn’t have a lot of privilege — they’ve reached success,” said Dan Wilks’s son, Justin.

The purchase also placed the Wilkses high on the list of well-heeled landowners who are buying huge parcels of America. In the last decade, private land in the United States has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. Today, just 100 families own about 42 million acres across the country, a 65,000-square-mile expanse, according to the Land Report, a magazine that tracks large purchases. Researchers at the magazine have found that the amount of land owned by those 100 families has jumped 50 percent since 2007.
Sign Up for The Daily Newsletter

Every Friday, get an exclusive look at how one of the week’s biggest news stories on “The Daily” podcast came together.

Much of that land stretches from the Rocky Mountains down into Texas, where, for some, commercial forests and retired ranches have become an increasingly attractive investment.

Battles over private and public land have been a defining part of the West since the 1800s, when the federal government began doling out free acres to encourage expansion. For years, fights have played out between private individuals and the federal government, which owns more than half of the region...

Read more at:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/22/us/wilks-brothers-fracking-business.html

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Florida: Central Polk Parkway route raises concerns for equestrians

TheLedger.com - Full Article

By Gary White
Posted Jun 22, 2019

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise plans show highway slicing through and limiting access to the 1,173-acre Marshall Hampton Reserve.

LAKELAND — Myra Bell regularly takes her 23-year-old Paso Fino gelding horse, Dandy, out for a ride at Marshall Hampton Reserve, a verdant tract on the east side of Lake Hancock.

Bell, a Bartow resident, said the roughly 5-mile trail system is popular with fellow members of the Florida Sport Horse Club, partly because it provides glimpses of alligators, bald eagles and other wildlife, along with scenic views of Lake Hancock.

Bell and fellow equestrians worry that their access to the reserve will disappear. The planned route of the Central Polk Parkway goes through the parking area at the entrance to the Marshall Hampton Reserve, also the access point for the Panther Point Trail.
“It really concerns me because if they use the parking lot, where would we park our horses and horse trailers?” Bell said. “And if they’re taking out the parking lot, are they going to take the whole Marshall Hampton away from us for riding? Those are questions we all have concerns about...”

Read more at:
https://www.theledger.com/news/20190622/central-polk-parkway-route-raises-concerns


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Colorado has 2.8 million acres of state trust lands, but most is closed to the public. Sportsmen are trying to change that.

DenverPost.com - Full Article

Analysis shows roughly 80 percent of Colorado trust lands closed to public recreation

By Judith Kohler | jkohler@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: June 19, 2019

A sportsmen’s group that found 9.52 million acres of federally managed public lands in the West can’t be accessed by public roads is now looking at state-owned lands. In Colorado, a majority of those are off-limits to the public.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and onX, a Montana-based digital mapping company, released their findings on Colorado on Wednesday at the Outdoor Retailer, a national outdoor recreation trade show that runs through Thursday in Denver. The Colorado analysis is the first TRCP has unveiled, with reviews of 10 other Western states expected later this summer.

About 16 percent of the roughly 2.8 million acres of state trust lands in Colorado is landlocked, meaning the land can’t be reached by public roads. Another 20 percent of the state lands are open to hunters and anglers from September through February, thanks to leases or easements acquired by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The majority of the lands, or 64 percent, are closed by the state to recreation...

Read more here:
https://www.denverpost.com/2019/06/19/colorado-trust-public-lands-recreation-hunting/

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Montana: Groups sue Forest Service over access issues in Crazy Mountain

BillingsGazette.com - Full Article

BRETT FRENCH french@billingsgazette.com
June 11 2019

In an attempt to force the Custer Gallatin National Forest to assert a claim to public access on four Crazy Mountain trails, a coalition of outdoor groups filed a lawsuit in Billings District Court on Monday against the agency.

“We’re hoping the Forest Service follows its own regulations in administering this area,” said Kathryn QannaYahu, of Enhancing Montana's Wildlife & Habitat. She has done a large portion of the historical research for the case.

The lawsuit, drafted by the Western Environmental Law Center in Helena, contends the agency has failed to protect and defend public access rights in the south-central Montana mountain range which is checkerboarded with private land. The groups had threatened to sue in February unless the agency worked with them on their concerns...

Read more at:
https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/groups-sue-forest-service-over-access-issues-in-crazy-mountains/article_a2f20714-6084-5887-bd25-5857a829c7e9.html

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Ohio Horseman's Council has your (horse)back

Chroniclet.com - Full article

Brad Zahar | The Chronicle-Telegram
Published on June 7, 2019

With 1,650 miles of bridle trails in over 100 locations, Ohio has a lot to offer those who like to horseback ride. While the riding trails are distributed throughout the state, much of the local real estate available for riding comes thanks to the Ohio Horseman’s Council (OHC).

The OHC, whose motto is “horsemen helping horsemen,” has more than 4,000 members across

70 Ohio counties committed to providing the best trails and experience possible for riders.

Started in 1972, the council began as a grassroots group of trail riders. It partnered with land owners and parks to establish bridle trails locally and statewide...

Read more here:
http://www.chroniclet.com/sports/2019/06/07/The-Ohio-Horseman-39-s-Council-has-your-horse-back.html

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Secretary Bernhardt Announces Proposal to Open Access to Thousands of Acres Near Montana’s Iconic Lower Blackfoot River

Fairfieldsuntimes.com - Full Article

BLM May 28, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced next steps in a collaborative effort with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) aimed at acquiring 13,000 acres of private lands within the Lower Blackfoot River watershed, near the iconic Montana waterway. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which has been working with TNC and other public and private partners to maintain and improve public access to the area for a wide variety of outdoor recreationists, released an Environmental Assessment of the proposed acquisition and opened a 30-day public comment period today.

“From the very beginning of my tenure, public access is a critical component to how we manage lands. Acquiring these lands dramatically increases access to public lands available for recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, hunting, mountain biking and snowmobiling,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “This collaborative project leverages public and private resources to maintain, improve and expand important recreational access in the state of Montana...”

Read more here:
https://www.fairfieldsuntimes.com/news/state/secretary-bernhardt-announces-proposal-to-open-access-to-thousands-of/article_b1c63eb2-8175-11e9-89df-1ffe705baa67.html

Monday, May 27, 2019

Celebrate National Trails Day with Montana State Parks

FairfieldSunTimes.com - Full Article

HELENA, MT – Join us in celebration of National Trails Day at a Montana State Park on June 1, 2019. The American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is the country’s largest celebration of trails. Gather with over 100,000 other volunteers throughout the nation in empowering all to enjoy, share, and preserve the hiking experience. From hikes to trail clean-up, show your appreciation for trails with events offered at 7 state parks across Montana...

Read more at:
https://www.fairfieldsuntimes.com/news/local/celebrate-national-trails-day-with-montana-state-parks/article_8383ba82-7d9e-11e9-ad0d-67b7bac75f4c.html

Friday, May 24, 2019

Great Britain: Happy 30th Birthday Transpennine Trail

AboutManchester.co.uk - Full Article

By Nigel Barlow - May 24, 2019

The UK’s first long distance cycling, walking and horse riding route is celebrating its 30th birthday with a series of events.

The coast to coast trail runs from Southport to Hornsea, with many sections on the Sustrans National Cycle Network, and attracts some 1.7 million people a year.

To mark this historic milestone the national Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) office is coordinating an events programme during 2019 along various parts of the 370 mile route. The year-long programme includes anniversary rides, walks and activities hosted by trail partners, including Sustrans TPT volunteers, Local Authorities, Friends of the Trans Pennine Trail and local user groups.

Initial construction works for the Trans Pennine Trail began in 1989, leading to a trail from York to Liverpool via Selby, Doncaster, Barnsley, Manchester, Warrington and Widnes, with other northern and southern sections added later to create the full coast to coast route that officially opened in 2001.

Today the Trans Pennine Trail meanders along old railway tracks, canal towpaths and riverside pathways, passing through urban and rural landscapes in Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. It includes some of the most historic towns and cities in Northern England, heritage sites and the Peak District National Park...

Read more here:
https://aboutmanchester.co.uk/happy-30th-birthday-transpennine-trail/

Monday, May 6, 2019

This group wants to unite hikers and hunters on literal common ground: public lands

IdahoStatesman.com - Full Article

By Nicole Blanchard
May 05, 2019

In the past few years, the membership of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has exploded — from 2,000 members in 2013 to 20,000 last April and 36,000 today. And the group, which promotes public land access and conservation issues, has a plan to add more.

Part of BHA’s brand has been its mishmash of all ages, locations and backgrounds of its member hunters and anglers, hundreds of whom gathered in Downtown Boise this past weekend for the group’s annual Rendezvous conference.

Now the group is harnessing that reputation to bring an even more unusual demographic to its ranks: outdoorsmen and women who don’t hunt or fish.
Building on a background of diversity

Last August, BHA released results of a survey of its members. It found the group split almost evenly between political ideologies: 33% Independent, 23% Republican, 20% Democrat and 16% unaffiliated, bucking national trends for the general hunting and fishing population. (Eight percent listed no preference...)

Read more here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/outdoors/article229861774.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Wyoming: Bighorn National Forest proposes authorization of Red Grade Trails expansion

TheSheridanPress.com - Full Article

By Staff Reports | May. 3, 2019

SHERIDAN — The Bighorn National Forest is proposing to authorize Sheridan County a special use permit to expand the Red Grade Trail System outside of Big Horn.

The project would create a 15-foot right-of-way to construct and maintain a 24- to 36-inch native surface, nonmotorized trail. The overall development plan on Bighorn National Forest lands would include approximately 15 miles of trail with three trailheads and parking areas that equate to about 1.3 acres.

However, according to the environmental assessment for the project, if approved as submitted, the plan for construction will be a phased development.

“Sheridan County with Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) will only construct each phase that is supported by the community and funding has been secured for proper construction and maintenance and the phases may take many years to complete,” the assessment states...

Read more here:
https://thesheridanpress.com/106173/bighorn-national-forest-proposes-authorization-of-red-grade-trails-expansion/

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Washington: Back Country Horsemen keep Kalama Horse Camp in Triple Crown shape

TheReflector.com - Full Article

Group will spend the week before Memorial Day prepping the riders paradise for the summer months


Mary Broten / mary@thereflector.com Apr 29, 2019

The Mount St. Helens chapter of the Back Country Horsemen will be having their regional work party from May 22 to May 25 at the Kalama Horse Camp.

There needs to be work done to clean up the trails and removed downed trees from a 12-mile stretch. Some of the trails are narrow with drop offs, making many people not want to ride or walk on it because it is so dangerous.

One of the points of focus will be tread work on the Cinnamon Trail, given its steepness and narrowness.

Dinner will be provided for everyone who volunteers to help clean up the trails. Since people from all over the area plan to attend there will be camping spots reserved for the work crew to stay at with horse corrals, manure bins, and stock water. If one decides to attend with their horses it’s important to remember that weed-seed-free hay is required on National Forest lands. Even if trail work isn’t something that a person would like to do, there are still many jobs around the camp that can be done like keeping the fires going. Currently, the group is expecting 30 to 40 members to show up for the work crew that will be staying in the camp overnight...

Read more here:
http://www.thereflector.com/horse_corral/article_f0f62866-6acf-11e9-9a7c-df4c135e3a24.html

Getting and Maintaining Permission to Ride on Other's Land

April 28 2019

Most horse owners with open farm land around them would love to ride on it. But when the landowner doesn't want riders on their property, they often wonder why?

For the most part it's an issue of possible liability and also the chance of crop or property damage according to Laurie Cerny, editor of www.goodhorse-keeping.com

And if you are fortunate enough to be given permission to ride on your neighbor's land Cerny says you need to consider it a privilege.

"If you get the OK to ride on someone's property you better be respectful and practice the 'leave no trace behind' mindset," she says. "Furthermore, if you want to continue to have access to the land you better not take advantage of the owner's good will."

Cerny recently gave a life-long neighbor permission to be on her late father's farm. However, when he brought a couple of friends along she wasn't too happy about it. She said, "I gave him and him only permission because he's a neighbor. I do not want other people who I don't know on the land."

Cerny said this incident will now make her very leery of giving others permission. After talking with him and clarifying that he is the only one allowed, if he, again, brings others she plans to no longer allow him on the farm.

Here are some tips for getting and maintaining permission to ride on someone else's land:

Get permission first. Don't ride on the land and then ask afterward.
Find out specifically where you can ride and what is off limits.
Stay on dedicated paths/roads and out of the fields.
Don't help yourself to produce being grown on the property.
Leave no trace behind: this means no tissue from a bathroom break and no empty water bottles.
If you horse does some damage to a field - return and fix it, and/or offer to pay for the damages.
Do not bring others on the property unless the owner has said it is OK.
Make sure to close any gates that you open and ride through.
Give a token of your appreciation at the end of the year like a gift card, etc.

Tips on Having A Safe First Trail Ride This Spring can also be found at www.goodhorse-keeping.com.

www.goodhorse-keeping.com is devoted to the practical and affordable care of horses. Find more articles and resources on horse care, as well as product reviews, at the website.

Friday, April 26, 2019

American Trails 2019 International Trails Symposium Equine Education Session

April 22 2019

Lexington, KY – April 22, 2019 – Equine Land Conservation Resource and Gwen Wills of the Pennsylvania Horse Council will co-present an educational session at the 2019 International Trails Symposium in Syracuse, New York on April 30, 2019, at 8:15 am Eastern Daylight Savings Time entitled “Planning, Funding and Managing Equestrian and Multi-Use Trails - Through Collaboration.”

The Symposium will take place from April 28 to May 30. Information can be found here: https://www.americantrails.org/symposium/2019-international-trails-symposium. It is a globally focused venue, addressing advances in the trails and recreational community for all user groups. The Symposium provides an opportunity for all trail user groups, including equestrians, and trails planners, designers and advocates to network and engage in meaningful educational and collaborative conversation.

Why attend this educational session? Equestrians often find that access to trails is limited within their local communities and beyond. This session will speak to the value of and need for equine and multi-use trails, and how to plan and fund them. The presenters will address the basics and intricacies of equestrian trail design, behavior, management and partnering that are critical to sustainable trails.

Gwen Wills is a long-time member of the Pennsylvania Equine Council (PEC). She has been instrumental in advocating for equestrian trails and forming relationships with decision makers, agencies and equestrian organizations around the state and beyond. Gwen’s frequent Trail Stewardship Workshops prepare volunteers interested in preserving shared-use non-motorized trails. Gwen partners with Denise O’Meara, ELCR’s Director of Education. With over 20 years of experience in the thoroughbred industry, Denise is a landscape architect with a unique understanding of the social, economic and design aspects of equine land, facilities and trails.

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 blue ways. Contact American Trails at their Redding California office: (530) 605-4395.

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.

BLM proposes trail changes across 100,000 acres in Southwest Colorado

DurangoHerald.com - Full Article

Plan is open for public comment

By Herald Staff Report
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing changes to trails across an estimated 100,000 acres of public land in Southwest Colorado, including nearly 35 miles of trails in La Plata County.

Earlier this week, the BLM opened a public comment period to weigh in on the proposed plan that lasts until May 22.

The process is what the BLM calls a “Transportation and Access Planning,” which seeks to manage the types of use and travel that is allowed in certain areas of public lands the agency oversees.

The BLM inventoried lands in 2017...

Read more here:
https://durangoherald.com/articles/273880

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Alabama: Horse trails bolster area’s recreation offerings

AnnistonStar.com - Full Article

Anniston Star Editorial Board
Mar 24, 2019

Here in northeast Alabama, we have the Coldwater Mountain bike trails, the Pinhoti hiking trail and the Ladiga cycling trail, but now the recreational offerings appear ready to expand into the equestrian arena.

The McClellan Development Authority voted unanimously last week to give 900 acres of the former fort to Calhoun County to create a system of horse trails. MDA members voted to transfer the land for $1 to take advantage of the county’s better insurance coverage.

News of a horse trails project was met with enthusiasm by The Star’s online readers...

Read more here:
https://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/editorial-horse-trails-bolster-area-s-recreation-offerings/article_49e42134-4d1c-11e9-b8b7-8b55c0faa837.html

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bipartisan Legislation Ensures Funding forAmerica’s Most Important Conservation and Recreation Program

LWCFCoalition.com

April 9 2019

Full and dedicated funding necessary to end raiding of LWCF account

WASHINGTON–A bipartisan group of senators today introduced legislation to dedicate full and continuing funding for America’s most important conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Recent passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (Dingell Act) permanently reauthorized LWCF after a lengthy effort in Congress.On the heels of this major victory, today’s bill introduction continues a bipartisan commitment to LWCF to ensure that the program receives full and dedicated funding each year.

The bill, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act, was introducedby Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). Joining them as original cosponsors are Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Richard Burr (R-NC), who authored a similar bill that was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last Congress. Other co-sponsors include Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (I-Maine),Jon Tester (D-Mont.),Steve Daines (R-Mont.),Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH),Tom Udall (D-NM), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

The legislation builds off the successful permanent reauthorization of LWCF inthe Dingell Actby ensuring that funds already being deposited into the LWCF account in the U.S. Treasury for LWCF – $900 million annually – are invested only in the conservation of our country’s natural, cultural and historic treasures...

More at
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58a60299ff7c508c3c05f2e1/t/5caceb5b4785d311f505fa53/1554836315888/LWCF+Coalition+Senate+Dedicated+Funding+Bill+Intro+Statement_4.9.19.pdf

Monday, April 15, 2019

Colorado: BLM’s proposed tweaks to the Crown rec area will add trails for biking, horsing around in midvalley

AspenTimes.com - Full Article

April 12, 2019
Scott Condon

The Bureau of Land Management is tweaking a travel plan for the Crown Special Recreation Management Area in the midvalley to add trails for mountain biking and equestrians, as well as decommission some old routes currently open to mechanized travel.

The agency’s proposed action would:

• Create 11.85 miles of designated new mountain bike single-track trail.

• Convert 10 miles of designated mountain bike trail, all of which is double-track, to foot and horse trail. The new equestrian and hiking trail would provide connection between Pitkin County’s Glassier Open Space, where there is existing equestrian trail, to Nancy’s Path and south to the Divide parking area, at a high point on Prince Creek Road...

Read more here:
https://www.aspentimes.com/news/local/blms-proposed-tweaks-to-the-crown-will-add-trails-for-biking-horsing-around/

Thursday, April 4, 2019

New Mexico: State raises outdoor recreation to next level

ABQJournal.com - Full Article

By Dan Boyd / Journal Capitol Bureau Chief
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

SANTA FE — With an approaching deadline for acting on most bills passed during this year’s 60-day legislative session, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed off on a bill that will create a new outdoor recreation division within an existing New Mexico state agency.

The Democratic governor attended a ceremonial bill signing at Hyde Memorial State Park outside Santa Fe and described the legislation as a first step toward bolstering the state’s outdoor recreation economy.

“Colorado, get out of our way because we’re coming for you,” Lujan Grisham said, drawing cheers from a crowd that included state lawmakers, Cabinet secretaries and representatives from several environmental groups.

A number of other Western states — including Utah, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming — have in recent years created similar state government offices that vary in size and scope...

Read more here:
https://www.abqjournal.com/1299029/state-raises-outdoor-recreation-to-next-level.html

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Explore Washington parks by horseback

TheReflector.com - Full Article

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to take your trusty steed across the state to explore new rides

Adventure Awaits
April 2 2019

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.

Individual parks

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

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

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

Read more here:
http://www.thereflector.com/horse_corral/article_7b442d3c-555f-11e9-8604-dffc7458d1bd.html

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

On Public Lands, Visitors Surge While Federal Management Funds Decline

NPR.org - Full Article

March 31, 20197:43 AM ET

It's the boom times in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., which is wrapping up a winter of record snowfall. Eager to take advantage of it, Donovan Sliman and his two young daughters are lumbering up a snowy trail on the outskirts of town, where the condos give way to National Forest.

"I like to get away from everybody else," says Donovan. "I like to hear the sound of the wind and the snow through the trees." "We're also going to go sledding," adds Grace, one of his daughters.

Mammoth is completely surrounded by protected federal wilderness or U.S. Forest Service land. Its destination ski resort operates on public land via a federal lease.

The Slimans try to visit the Mammoth Lakes area from their home in Orange County at least a half dozen times a year.

They're not alone.

Every year, more than 2 million people descend on California's eastern Sierra region to camp, hike, fish, hunt and ski. This region, often dubbed "the wild side" of the state, only has about 50,000 residents across two sprawling counties roughly the size of Massachusetts.

Visits up, funding down

Across the western U.S., towns surrounded by public lands are facing an increasing bind: They're seeing a huge surge in visitors coming to play in the forests and mountains surrounding them, which is leading to an economic boom. But, at the same time, federal funding to manage these lands has been drying up...

Read more here:
https://www.npr.org/2019/03/31/708051277/on-public-lands-visitors-surge-while-federal-management-funds-decline

What’s next for America’s most important parks program?

Medium.com - Full Article

Key changes could help the Land and Water Conservation Fund remain effective in the 21st century

Jesse Prentice-Dunn
April 1 2019

Since 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has helped protect critical landscapes within our national parks and increase recreational access to public lands across the country. Congress permanently renewed this key program in a sweeping bipartisan public lands bill this year, but did not provide any promise of funding — leaving the program subject to the whims of Congress each year. Now that LWCF will be around for the foreseeable future, what’s next for America’s most important parks program?

For decades, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has garnered strong support from both parties in Congress, as well as states and local stakeholders across the country. The program receives revenues from offshore drilling, then uses the proceeds to conserve and increase access to our parks and public lands, routinely partnering with cities and states to meet their conservation needs. In many instances, LWCF has been used to purchase islands of private lands, called “inholdings,” within our national parks from willing sellers at fair market value, protecting those critical landscapes from development. An analysis by the Center for Western Priorities found that from 2014 to 2017, the LWCF was used to complete at least 293 projects across 42 states, conserving more than 431,000 acres...

Read more here:
https://medium.com/westwise/whats-next-for-america-s-most-important-parks-program-9064f22809c2

Monday, April 1, 2019

Great Britain: Can you help find the lost trails?

Okehampton-today.co.uk - Full Article

Friday, 29 March 2019 - Community News
by Times reporter
editorial@tavistock-today.co.uk

A GROUP of local horse riders are asking for help to trace lost paths and trails used by horse riders in days of yore.

South West Riders will explain their quest at a meeting open to all in Bridestowe Village Hall on Friday, April 26.

Richard Leonard, from the group, said they had until 2026 to map lost cart tracks and the other pathways or see them lost forever.

Richard, who lives at Thorndon Cross, said: ‘South West Riders have organised this meeting to bring this matter to the attention of their members but anyone who is interested in retrieving lost rights of way is welcome to attend.

‘There is no doubt that over the years many footpaths and bridleways that should have been placed on parish council definitive maps have not been.

‘In many cases rights of way have also been recorded as footpaths when historically they have always been used by carts and people on horseback.

‘This means that in 2026, the cut-off point laid down by the Government, it will no longer be possible to reinstate them. They will, in short, be lost forever..."

Read more here:
http://www.okehampton-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=435963&headline=Can%20you%20help%20find%20the%20lost%20trails%3F§ionIs=news&searchyear=2019

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Popular Colorado trail becoming mountain bikes only; Could more soon follow?

OutThereColorado.com - Full Article

BY Seth Boster
March 25, 2019

Colorado Springs mountain biker Harry Hamill stopped riding the Chutes years ago.

Flowing through the woods in the city’s southwest mountains and widely considered the fastest thrill around, the trail hasn’t been worth it to him. Not with the ever-present risk of crashing into hikers coming up blind curves.

“I can’t ride it as fast as I want to ride it,” Hamill says, “and I don’t want to ruin somebody’s experience, and it’s ruining mine, so it’s like, fine. I’ll just skip it.”

But in the near future, he’ll return to the plunge.

He’s just waiting for when the Chutes becomes designated for downhill bikers only, no one on foot or horse allowed.

“It’s not gonna happen overnight, it’s not gonna happen tomorrow,” said David Deitemeyer, the city park planner. “But it’s one of our goals for this summer...”

Read more here:
https://www.outtherecolorado.com/popular-colorado-trail-becoming-mountain-bikes-only-could-more-soon-follow/

Wyoming: Will To Ride: Could Gillette See Its First Mountain Bike Trail?

County17.com - Full Article

Ryan Lewallen | Outliers News POSTED ON MARCH 24, 2019

The idea for Gillette’s very own 640-acre mountain bike and off-road running trail first came to David Bauer several years ago from cycling friend Michael Trainor.

Trainor had been jokingly hesitant about telling David about his grand idea that, he felt, was sure to bring more tourism dollars and opportunity to Gillette.

“He told me, ‘I don’t want to tell you because then you’re going to want to do it,” David laughed.

But Trainor did and his idea was, indeed, grand: a massive local mountain bike trail that would be open to the public to keep Gillette residents from driving off to distant locations to satisfy their mountain bike cravings.

Naturally, Trainor had been right; the moment David heard his idea the wheels in his head started to turn.

Trainor has since moved on and no longer lives in Gillette, but David hasn’t been able to get the idea for a local mountain bike trail out of his head...

Read more here:
https://county17.com/2019/03/24/will-to-ride-could-gillette-see-its-first-mountain-bike-trail/

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Alabama: Horse trails bolster area’s recreation offerings

AnnistonStar.com - Full Article

Anniston Star Editorial Board
March 24 2019

Here in northeast Alabama, we have the Coldwater Mountain bike trails, the Pinhoti hiking trail and the Ladiga cycling trail, but now the recreational offerings appear ready to expand into the equestrian arena.

The McClellan Development Authority voted unanimously last week to give 900 acres of the former fort to Calhoun County to create a system of horse trails. MDA members voted to transfer the land for $1 to take advantage of the county’s better insurance coverage.

News of a horse trails project was met with enthusiasm by The Star’s online readers.

“... oooohhh I can't wait. And it's close to home. They've been working on this deal for a while.”

“Nice drive, easy access, and oh my goodness so much land out there has breathtaking views.”

“Great idea for recreational usage”

“We have to go!!!!! I’m so excited!!”

“I’m so happy that they finally approved it! It’s been a work in progress for quite some time now!”

“This would be AMAZING!!!!”

“... I can’t wait. I’m about to become a member of Back Country Horsemen of America, McClellan Chapter, Alabama.”

“... Shoot I may have to take up horse back riding. If it opens up, there could be a money-making opportunity for horse owners … running overnight stables, guided tours … I’m seeing dollars.”

Anniston resident Craig Waldron is a member of the local chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of America, the group that proposed the horse trails. He seemed to support the notion that horse trails at McClellan could be a financial benefit to the local economy...

Read more here:
https://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/editorial-horse-trails-bolster-area-s-recreation-offerings/article_49e42134-4d1c-11e9-b8b7-8b55c0faa837.html

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Michigan: Grant would Improve Silver Creek Equestrian Park

Allegannews.com - Full Article

March 21 2019
By: Ryan Lewis, Editor

If won, a $300,000 state grant could improve Silver Creek County Park near Hamilton.

Allegan County Commissioners voted 5-2 at their March 14 meeting to approve applying for the grant, which will add barrier-free campsites, a new parking area, a payment booth, electrical service and a security light.

The improvements are designed to improve access at the 49-year-old rustic camp primarily used by equestrians. It currently has 75 camp sites, all available for horse camping.

The county is applying to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for the grant; another $125,700 of the parks department money will exceed the local, required match to qualify for it...

Read more here:
http://www.allegannews.com/allegan-news-news/grant-would-improve-silver-creek-equestrian-park

Sunday, March 17, 2019

“Dealing with Opposition to Equestrian Trails” - Free Webinar

ELCR.org

March 19 @ 7:00 pm

The most effective way to prevent opposition from derailing a trail project is to ensure there is none – or that opposition is so minimal as to be insignificant. Understanding the causes of opposition is critical to moving forward. Though there are a variety of circumstances that can generate opposition, developing your organization and communication plan long before any trail plans are made can go a long way to ensure a broad base of support for trail projects. Presenter Mark Flint zeroes in on this topic, and will lead you through a few simple steps to that can not only help you develop a support network that ensures success, but provide support in other areas, such as finding and managing volunteers and fundraising.

Presenter Mark Flint

Mark Flint is a professional trail designer from Tucson Arizona. Owner of Southwest Trail Solutions, the company has designed trails in Vermont and Nevada as well as in many parts of Arizona. Also working as a part-time trails program coordinator for Pima County, Mark was heavily involved in the design and construction of the Arizona National Scenic Trail in Southern Arizona.

Mark has a good feel for all around trail use and users. Growing up on cattle ranches, Mark was riding horses from the time he could walk, and worked as a cowboy before opting for a more secure career choice. He has been an avid mountain biker, hiker and backpacker, focusing at last on his first transportation of choice, horses.

Mark is a chief regional steward for the Arizona Trail Association, and is author of “Desert Trails: Designing and Building Trails in a Harsh and Demanding Environment.”

REGISTER HERE FOR MARCH 19th WEBINAR

Saturday, March 16, 2019

My Horse University and Equine Land Conservation Resources to Co-Host Trails Webinar

Lexington, KY – March 12, 2019 – My Horse University and Equine Land Conservation Resource will co-host a free webinar on March 19, 2019, at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time entitled “How They Did It: Dealing with Opposition to Equestrian Trails,” presented by trails expert Mark Flint.

Why attend this webinar? There are a variety of circumstances that can lead to opposition to horse trails, and Mark is well-versed in tackling that opposition head-on. Horse enthusiasts, planners and designers will learn about sources of opposition that can emerge in any community; the importance of preparing your equine organization to advocate for horse trails; developing your communication plan long before any trail plans are made; and actions to ensure that opposition is minimalized or eliminated from the outset. Mark will lead you through a few simple steps to develop an effective support network that will help you find and manage volunteers, raise needed funds and handle many other demands.

Mark Flint is a professional trail designer from Tucson Arizona and chief regional steward for the Arizona Trail Association. Owner of Southwest Trail Solutions, the company has designed trails in Vermont and Nevada as well as in many parts of Arizona. Also working as a part-time trails program coordinator for Pima County, Mark was heavily involved in the design and construction of the Arizona National Scenic Trail in Southern Arizona. He has been an avid mountain biker, outdoorsman and equestrian, focusing most recently on his lifelong love of horses.

To register for the webinar, visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kipxMljfQlG9GWd6Cs3GJQ.


About My Horse University (MHU): MHU was established in 2005 at Michigan State University, a land-grant university with nationally ranked programs in equine science and management. MHU was created through a partnership between MSU Extension, the MSU Department of Animal Science, and MSU Global. MHU brings research and knowledge from world-renowned experts to online educational material available to horse enthusiasts worldwide. Visit www.MyHorseUniversity.com, or call (517) 432-5131.


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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Webinar: “Now That e-Bikes Are On Trails, What Do We Know?”

AmericanTrailsStore.org - Register here

A part of the American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series, “Now That e-Bikes Are On Trails, What Do We Know?” is a continuation of the 2017 webinar on e-bike access and management, designed to highlight “what we know” about e-bike use on paved, soft surface, and singletrack trails.

Presenters:

Morgan Lommele, E-Bike Campaign Manager, PeopleForBikes
Chris Bernhardt, Principal, C2 Recreation Consulting
Mary Ann Bonnell, Visitor Services Manager, Jefferson County Open Space, CO

STEPS TO REGISTER AND PAY FOR THE WEBINAR

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).

Recording:
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.

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

Register for the webinar here:
https://www.americantrails.org/training/now-that-e-bikes-are-on-trails-what-do-we-know

Sunday, February 24, 2019

This New 4,000 Mile Trail Will Let People Bike From Coast to Coast on One Seamless Path

Travelandleisure.com - Read more and see video

ANDREA ROMANO FEBRUARY 21, 2019
Grab your helmet and set out for the great outdoors.

But instead of opting for a classic summer road trip, you’ll soon be able to try out something a little more challenging — like biking across the mainland United States.

And soon it’s going to be easier than ever. According to Lonely Planet, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has announced a cross-country, multi-use trail that will run across 12 states and Washington D.C., known as The Great American Rail Trail...

Read more here:
https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/great-american-rail-trail

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Massive public lands bill expected to receive easy approval in the House

Mcclatchydc.com - Full Article

By Julianna Rennie
February 20, 2019 12:54 PM

More than 1.3 million acres of new wilderness would be designated. Four national monuments would be created. Thousands of acres of land would be protected from future mining development. And firefighting technology would be upgraded using GPS and drones.

All this is a part of a massive public lands package the House is poised to pass next week and send to President Donald Trump.

The package co-sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, also permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that uses revenue from offshore oil and natural gas drilling to support conservation projects in every state...

Read more here: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article226505545.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Congress moves forward on Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorization

SmokyMountainNews.com - Full Article

Written by Admin
20 February 2019

The U.S. Senate voted Feb. 12 to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an important funding source for conservation projects nationwide.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, with a bipartisan list of co-sponsors. Though Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, is not included on the sponsor list, he introduced a related piece of legislation this month that also attempted to permanently reauthorize the fund.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund may cost taxpayers nothing, but Congress’ failure to renew it would cost us all dearly,” Burr said in a press release. “Without this program, every state in the country would lose out on valuable outdoor recreation projects, beautiful natural landscapes, and easy access to state and national parks. It’s been four months since LWCF was allowed to expire despite its proven track record of success and overwhelming bipartisan support. It is long past time for Congress do the right thing by renewing America’s most successful conservation program...”

Read more here:
https://www.smokymountainnews.com/outdoors/item/26432-congress-moves-forward-on-land-and-water-conservation-fund-reauthorization