Saturday, December 14, 2019

Council: Horse manure still OK on Texas city's beaches - Full Article

December 13 2019
Jennifer Reynolds

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — City leaders in Galveston have turned down a proposal that would require horseback riders to pick up what their animals leave behind on the beach after equestrians argued that horse manure is harmless.

One person even brought a bag of manure to Thursday's city council meeting while arguing against the measure, the Galveston County Daily News reported.

“It is really pretty much non-toxic and doesn’t do anything,” said island veterinarian Lea Fistein, as she placed her fingers into the bag of manure. “It’s really the only feces I would touch with my hands...”

Read more here:

Monday, December 9, 2019

ELCR is celebrating its 20-year anniversary of saving horse lands!

In 1996, members of the United States Pony Club’s Task Force for the 21st Century identified loss of land and access as the greatest threat to the future of that organization – and to equestrian activities in general. Out of that committee came the founders of ELCR.

ELCR has made great headway in the last 20 years:
• Advanced the development of nearly 2,020 acres of new horse centers and parks
• Helped dozens of small farm owners work through planning and zoning challenges to keep their horses on their property in urbanizing areas
• Helped protect more than a quarter of a million acres of horse properties and more than 1,860 miles of equestrian and shared use trails in the last five years
• Developed the most comprehensive educational resource library available for horse land protection focusing on six core conservation issue areas accessible at
• Provided professional one on-one counseling and technical assistance to hundreds of individuals, organizations and communities working on local horse land issues 

Please join us in celebrating and help ELCR continue saving cherished horse lands for the next 20 years by becoming a member or making a donation today!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Colorado is owed 9,900 acres by the federal government. But getting that land could mean no more recreating on it. - Full Article

The federal government wants to settle a 143-year-old debt to Colorado with a grant of 9,900 acres across 16 counties. Some of those grants would block access to hunting, fishing on adjacent BLM land.

December 5 2019
Jason Blevins @jasonblevins
The Colorado Sun —

The whisper of transferring federal lands to states typically ignites firestorms, with conservationists, sportsmen and mountain communities fearing a shift of ownership could lead to unfettered development, lost access, habitat degradation and injury to recreation-based economies.

But this week’s proposal by the Bureau of Land Management to transfer 17,700 acres of federal land and 6,000 acres of mineral estate to the Colorado State Land Board hasn’t raised a hackle. Yet.

The BLM wants to pay a 143-year-old debt it owes the state. Under the Statehood Act, the federal government doled out land — a pair of 1-mile sections for every 36 square-mile township — to state land trusts to generate revenue for public schools...

Read more here:

Arizona: Get ready to hit it: New trail open for motorbikes, bikes and horses - Full Article

December 7 2019
By Jorge Encinas

Load up the motorbikes, horses and mountain bikes — there's a new 24.6-mile trail south of Green Valley ready for riders thanks to a partnership between a non-profit and the U.S. Forest Service.

The Red Springs Trail in the Tumacacori Mountains, off Interstate 19 at the Chavez Siding Road exit, began as part of the Forest Service's plan for a long-distance, single-track trail for motorcycles on the Coronado National Forest.

Heidi Schewel, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, said the trail was a collaboration between the Forest Service and the Trail Riders of Southern Arizona.

"It's on Forest Service land, and we had to do the environmental analysis, but they did a lot of the work and the heavy lifting," she said.

The Forest Service and Trail Riders started construction on the trail in 2018; it was dedicated Wednesday...

Read more here:

Friday, December 6, 2019

Be a Good Steward of Public Land: 10 Tips for Equestrian Trail Riders - Full Article

If we want to keep our trails and public lands open to horses, we must be responsible riders who care for the land and coexist with other trail users.

Posted by Alayne Blickle | Sep 12, 2019

If we want to keep our trails and public lands open to horses, we must be responsible riders who care for the land and coexist with other trail users. With that in mind, there are things equestrians can do to reduce our environmental impact on the trails we ride. Here are 10 steps you can take to make a difference.

Carry a manure fork, muck bucket, and garbage container in your trailer. When riding on public lands, abide by the principle of “leave no trace.” Always take home everything you and your horse brought—that includes refuse, manure around your trailer and/or camping area, old hay, and spilled bedding. If possible, throw a bucket of water on urine puddles to help dilute them. Smelly piles of manure and urine attract flies and are unsightly to other users...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Washington: At Bridle Trails park, equestrians feeling the impact of growth — and two-legged visitors — on their Eastside ‘horse heaven’ - Full Article

December 3 2019
By Paige Cornwell
Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND – All around Bridle Trails State Park are reminders of the horse community that’s centered there — and the booming Eastside growth that surrounds it.

Traffic whizzes past “horse crossing” signs on roads that once guided equestrians from one town to another. Teslas are parked alongside trucks with horse trailers at the park’s main entrance. New developments woo potential buyers with descriptions of neighborhoods that were “formerly occupied by equestrian stables.”

For decades, Bridle Trails has served as a haven for the horse community even as the area around the 489-acre park transformed. Deep in the forest, the sound of the cars and development construction fades, and new riders trot their horses alongside experienced equestrians.

But on the trails is yet another reminder of growth, this one relatively new and increasingly frequent: pedestrians.

“There’s a lot more density, lot more traffic, lot more use of the park,” said Jennifer Duncan, president of the Lake Washington Saddle Club, based at Bridle Trails. “It’s busier than it’s ever been...”

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Wyoming: Lawmakers seek to develop more school trust lands - Full Article

December 3, 2019 by Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Facing diminishing fossil-fuel income, lawmakers want Wyoming to take a proactive approach to develop some of the state’s 3.6 million acres of trust lands, and recently backed a bill to jump-start that initiative.

Supported by a legislative committee, the draft bill would require the Office of State Lands and Investments to solicit proposals for the “sale, transfer, lease, development or exchange” on school trust and other state trust lands. The deadline for soliciting the proposals would be Aug. 1, 2020.

By October, the office would submit a plan for development, including commercial, retail, industrial, agricultural, recreational and residential development. The development would “maximize the value of the parcels to the greatest extent possible.” Most of the trust land, which the federal government gave to Wyoming at statehood, is dedicated to funding education...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

U.S. Forest Service Sued Over Decision to Allow eMTBs in Tahoe National Forest - Full Article

Nov 26, 2019
by Daniel Sapp

As recently reported by BRAIN, the United States Forest Service is the subject of a lawsuit pertaining to the USFS allowing Class 1 e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest without first conducting a public study and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to assess the impact of the decision. The lawsuit was filed October 23, according to a press release and cites a violation of the "Travel Management" rule, limiting motorized access to certain U.S. Forest Service trails.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented by the Western Environmental Law Center and include The Wilderness Society, Gold County Trails Council, Backcountry Horsemen of California, Back Country Horsemen of America, and the Forest Issues Group.

According to the press release, the Tahoe National Forest recently permitted “Class 1” electric mountain bikes on more than 130 miles of trails that had been developed and managed for hiking and other non-motorized uses. The Tahoe National Forest area already has about 2,500 miles of trails and roads available for motorized uses.

The decision purportedly undermines long-standing travel management laws and policies in place to help ensure higher quality recreation experiences for both motorized and non-motorized users, prevent avoidable damage to water, wildlife, and other resources, and alleviate public safety concerns and conflicts between users, according to the statement...

Read more here:

Monday, November 25, 2019

Colorado Wilderness Act advances for full House vote - Full Article

U.S. Rep. Tipton has yet to lend support to bill

By Ayelet Sheffey Herald Staff Writer
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 4:38 PM

The House Committee on Natural Resources voted this week to pass the Colorado Wilderness Act, which now awaits full consideration in the House of Representatives.

In May, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., introduced the Colorado Wilderness Act of 2019. This legislation is intended to permanently protect more than 600,000 acres of wilderness in 32 areas across Colorado, expanding ecological diversity in those areas while including the lower elevation canyonlands in the Arkansas and Dolores river areas. DeGette said in a news release that passage of the bill will “help grow Colorado’s thriving tourism economy, and our multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry...”

Read more here:

Montana: BLM buys more land near Blackfoot River - Full Article

Nov 22, 2019

The Bureau of Land Management closed on a $5.6 million property purchase Thursday that adds 7,268 acres to public lands just north of the Blackfoot River.

The purchase is from The Nature Conservancy and uses Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars, which is a federal program whose money comes from offshore oil and gas development. This brings the total of BLM-owned property in the drainage about 25 miles northeast of Missoula to about 27,000 acres, with the eventual goal of expanding the federal agency’s land holdings in the area to 60,000 acres.

The purchase amounts to about $775 per acre.

Joe Ashor, the BLM’s Missoula field manager, said the plan has been in the making for a couple of years. The nonprofit Nature Conservancy bought about 117,000 acres from Plum Creek in 2014 in the greater Blackfoot area to preserve the intact landscape and keep it from being subdivided into ranchettes. When The Nature Conservancy purchased the property, the nonprofit group said it didn’t intend to retain ownership, but wanted to pass it on to the state and federal public agencies...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Safe Encounters with Horses on Shared-Use Trails - Full Article

American Trails contributor Dianne Martin shares some tips on how to safely share trails with horses.

by Dianne Martin
November 07, 2019

Growing up outside of a small town in southwest Michigan, we rode our horses in countless places. We would ride all day and never see the same trail twice, let alone another person. Nearly all of our neighbors gave us permission to ride, walk, and cross-country ski on their properties. I remember a long wooded trail owned by several landowners (mostly farmers) that was used by all the country kids to get into town from the outskirts. The age of injury liability and lawsuits was not yet upon us. I took this vast amount of land available to me for granted. I had no idea how lucky I was. Shrinking farmland, towns sprawling out into the green spaces, and the scare tactics by eager lawyers have made my childhood experience of sharing the land an idea generally only found in the past.

When I eventually made my home in southeast Michigan, I began to look for places to ride my horse, to ride my bike, and to hike. I discovered a new recreational concept to me at the time: public land. Thankfully, the area where I now reside is rich with public parks, many of which contain trails shared by various user groups. However, it quickly became apparent that many people have no experience with horses and do not know how to react when coming upon horses on shared use trails.

Horses are animals with minds of their own. Since they are prey animals, horses (even now as domesticated pets) are always on the lookout for predators, which in a horse's mind can look like a biker quickly approaching from behind or a hiker walking briskly towards them. A rider will not always have control over their horse, especially in a scary situation. It is this lack of control that can make an encounter with a horse a potentially dangerous one...for horse, rider, and for other trail users...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Full funding of Land Water Conservation Fund passes key Senate hurdle - Full Article

By Miranda Green - 11/19/19

A key Senate panel has voted to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a move that conservation groups see as a significant victory.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee voted Tuesday morning to permanently authorize and completely fund the program, which was established in 1964 to help with outdoor projects on public lands. The bill passed with bipartisan support out of the committee and now faces a full floor vote.

The LWCF, which was permanently reauthorized this spring, receives most of its revenue from on- and offshore oil and gas drilling. The House Natural Resources Committee in June passed a bipartisan bill that, if signed into law, would dedicate $900 million of annual royalty funds to LWCF.

Members on both sides of the aisle celebrated the move, calling it an important step to continue to invest in public lands...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Equestrian group forms obstacle training site for a safer trail - Full Article

by Pam Zubeck
Nov 6, 2019

It’s as much about safety as courtesy when it comes to knowing how to control your horse on the trail, says Debbie Bibb with Friends of Equestrian Skills Course.

Bibb is one of about 20 regular volunteers who have been building an equestrian trail obstacle course on 15 acres near Norris Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road.

The nonprofit was formed after El Paso County officials approved a new master plan for Bear Creek Regional Park in 2014 and 2015 that included space for the skills course, though county officials warned they couldn’t fund the course itself.

“They said, ‘We can set aside the land for it and provide some materials here and there,’ but for the most part all the money has come from what our group has raised,” she says...

Read more here:

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Missouri: No horsing around: Equine lovers’ dream within reach - Full Article

By Peggy Bess Nov 13, 2019

Jefferson County may well be one of the horsiest places across this wide country.

And yet, the county has no public park dedicated to equine trail riding.

It’s a vexing problem that has gotten a segment of our county’s population all whipped up, while on the other side, county officials say their reins are tied in a knot.

They’ve got nothing against horses, but when it comes to allowing them into the current stable of ill-suited county parks – this dog don’t hunt. (I take total blame for that mixed-mammal metaphor.)

Here’s an interesting idea: What if the two sides did a little horse-trading – you know, worked together toward a plan that could potentially make everyone happy?

Now, that could certainly be a horse of a different color.

Check out county reporter Steve Taylor’s story in today’s paper to learn the details of the horse controversy, which has reared its neighing head at several Jefferson County Council meetings over the last year, but came to an actual vote on Oct. 28.

Over the strenuous objections of 13 speakers who made the case for horse access, the council gave preliminary approval, on a 5-2 vote, for an ordinance to ban horses in all county parks except for Big River Saddle Club Park in Dittmer and, once it is developed, Beck Park in unincorporated Eureka...

Read more here:

Wyoming: New Conservation Easement Allows Public Access, Expansion To Sheridan Hiking Trail - Full Article


The Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) and Sheridan Heights Ranch owner Don Roberts have entered into a voluntary conservation easement covering 476 acres of ranch land and wildlife habitat.

The easement aims to protect the area from commercial development.

The agreement includes public access for Soldier Ridge Trail at the west end of Sheridan, and it allows the Land Trust to expand recreational trails said Chris Vrba, SCLT marketing and development director.

"One thing that will happen next year is the Land Trust will complete the loop on the Soldier Ridge Trail system and will wind up connecting the Soldier Ridge Trail to Hidden Hoot [trail] that we built this summer," he said.

SCLT has already started work on the connection trail known as Kicking Horse Trail, which will be open to hiking, biking and equestrian use...

Read more here:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Equestrians Sue Forest Service over E-MTB (Electric Mountain Bike) Access - Full Article

The lawsuit could help clear up murky e-bike rules

November 13, 2019
By Nicole Formosa

It was only a matter of time before the lawsuits started. Electric mountain bikes are a touchy subject—their proliferation raises all kinds of questions, not the least of which is whether bikes with motors, regardless of how small and powerless, should be allowed on trails designated as non-motorized.

That’s the issue at the heart of a lawsuit filed three weeks ago by a group of equestrians and wilderness advocates, which claims that the U.S. Forest Service unilaterally decided to allow Class 1 E-Mtbs (Class 1 means pedal-assist power, not throttle, and speed is governed at 20 miles-per-hour) on 132 miles of non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest. The complaint isn’t necessarily that e-bikes are allowed on these public trails—though that is the root of the issue, to be sure—it’s that the Forest Service didn’t go about the process to allow them properly, according to the suit filed October 23 in federal court.

Earlier this year, the Tahoe National Forest clarified the e-MTB section on its website, posting a PDF with “additional opportunities” for class 1 bikes—class 2 and 3 bikes are allowed only on roads and trails designated for motorized use—on recommended non-motorized trails. This includes trails in and around Downieville, Truckee and Nevada City, and throughout the Forest, which spans 850,000 acres in California’s northern Sierra Nevada ( This includes trails in and around Downieville, Truckee and Nevada City, and throughout the Forest, which spans 850,000 acres in California’s northern Sierra Nevada ( see the full list hereOpens in a new Window. ) ).

The suit’s plaintiffs—the Back Country Horsemen of America, the Backcountry Horsemen of California, Gold Country Trails Council, The Wilderness Society and The Forest Issues Group—claim that by allowing additional access for class 1 e-bikes, the Forest Service acted without the appropriate public notice, comment period or environmental review process, which violates its travel management regulations...

Read more here:

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

To register for this FREE webinar visit

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, 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 or call (859) 455-8383.

Monday, September 23, 2019

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

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

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

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

By David Figura |

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:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

California: Woodside Planning Commission denies permit for equestrian bridge - 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:

A Vast Liquidation of Public Lands Is Underway in Alaska

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:

Sunday, September 8, 2019

California Nonprofit celebrates 30 years of advocating for trails - Full Article

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:

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Report: 6 million acres of state lands in West inaccessible - Full Article

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:

Friday, September 6, 2019

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

Thursday, September 5, 2019

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Florida: Martin County equestrian community denied more trails to explore - 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:

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

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Electric bicycles could be coming to national park trails - 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:

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.

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.

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

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 or call (859) 455-8383.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Why Is the Forest Service Trying to Evade the Public? - 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:

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Dozens Of Conservation Groups Oppose eBikes On Non-Motorized Trails - 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:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Turmoil at the BLM Is Threatening Public Lands - 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:

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Horse Camping at Washington Beaches and Throughout Grays Harbor - 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

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:

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: (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

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)


$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

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:

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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

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:

Thursday, July 4, 2019

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

Camp offers campsites and trails for those with horses
Cameron Kast/ 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:

Monday, July 1, 2019

Wyoming: Volunteers on horseback clear hundreds of miles of trails - 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:

Monday, June 24, 2019

Who Gets to Own the West? - 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.
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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...

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Florida: Central Polk Parkway route raises concerns for equestrians - 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:

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. - Full Article

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

By Judith Kohler | | 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:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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

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:

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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

Thursday, May 30, 2019

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

Monday, May 27, 2019

Celebrate National Trails Day with Montana State Parks - 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:

Friday, May 24, 2019

Great Britain: Happy 30th Birthday Transpennine Trail - 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:

Monday, May 6, 2019

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

Sunday, May 5, 2019

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

Thursday, May 2, 2019

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

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

Mary Broten / 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:

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

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 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: 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, , 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 or call (859) 455-8383.

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Alabama: Horse trails bolster area’s recreation offerings - 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...

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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

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...

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