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

Monday, February 18, 2019

Horse Camping Weekend at Camp Creek State Park in West Virginia

Equitrekking.com - Full Story

May 28 2017
by Susan St. Amand

An Extended Horse Camping Weekend in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia at Camp Creek State Park & State Forest.

A beautiful horse camping facility named Double C Horse and Rider Campground is located in Camp Creek, West Virginia, situated within the Camp Creek State Park and State Forest. Reservations are required for this secluded and gated horse camping area separated from the rest of the park. Thirteen horse camping sites are available with open horse stalls and pens in a cul-de-dac surrounded by trees and bordered by a creek. Restrooms are also available.

The park contains other family amenities and camping areas as well as a small camp store, playgrounds, picnic areas and outdoor ampitheatre. With the nearby creeks, fishing is also an option. The park is very well maintained and the park staff were very friendly. Trails were well marked with trail maps also available...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horse-camping-weekend-at-camp-creek-state-park-in-west-virginia/?mc_cid=a82fc155f7&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Friday, February 15, 2019

When public lands are blocked, Idahoans have no recourse. This bill seeks to change that.

IdahoStatesman.com - Full Article

By Nicole Blanchard
February 13, 2019

Idaho legislators on Monday voted to introduce a bill that would give the public the ability to file suit against someone who bars access to public land.

The Senate Resources and Environment Committee voted unanimously to move Senate bill 1089 forward. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise. On Wednesday morning, it wasn’t immediately clear when the next action on the bill would take place.

The Idaho Wildlife Federation, a local conservation group, has been working on the legislation for two years, according to executive director Brian Brooks. The proposed legislation would alter an existing Idaho code to offer what Brooks calls “a civil remedy” to public land access issues...

Read more here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article226169600.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, February 14, 2019

North Coast’s Great Redwood Trail would convert decaying railway into 320-mile pathway

PressDemocrat.com - Full Article

KEVIN FIXLER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | February 10, 2019

The first steps toward making a more than 300-mile walking and cycling trail from the San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay, crossing some of the North Coast’s most scenic, least-traveled landscapes are set to begin later this year.

Details such as when the Great Redwood Trail could be completed, how the most challenging stretches might be constructed and how much it all will cost remain big unknowns. But advocates of the ambitious plan to convert a decaying railway into a world-class pathway, potentially drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the region each year, say they’re confident it’s not a question of if it’ll happen, but when.

“Oh absolutely, absolutely. No question,” said Caryl Hart, the former head of Sonoma County Regional Parks. “Portions are already built in Willits and Ukiah, and quite a large portion in Humboldt Bay and Arcata is in the beginnings of development. It’s not like we have to find or buy the right of way — it already is there, and that is just such an advantage.”

The concept involves connecting blacktop in populated areas and segments of dirt trails in rural sections adjacent to deteriorating train tracks throughout five counties to offer a hiking, biking and horseback riding experience unlike any other. The meandering trek from Larkspur to beyond Eureka, which includes the remote, 50-mile Eel River Canyon north of Willits, would provide unencumbered, picturesque views few have laid eyes on before...

Read more here:
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9258152-181/north-coasts-great-redwood-trail

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Senate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks

TheHill.com - Full Article

By Timothy Cama - 02/12/19

The Senate voted Tuesday to indefinitely extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a key funding mechanism for national and local parks.

The bipartisan renewal of the LWCF, which expired in October when Congress couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension, is the main pillar of a wide-ranging public lands bill the Senate voted to pass on Tuesday, 92-8.

The legislation is the first major public lands bill since 2014. In addition to the LWCF, it includes numerous national and locally tailored provisions related to federal land boundaries, recreation, sportsmen’s access to parks and more...

Read more here:
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/429687-senate-votes-to-extend-key-funding-mechanism-for-parks

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Legislation including mineral withdrawal north of Yellowstone, LWCF to get vote in U.S. Senate next week

BozemanDailyChronicle.com - Full Article

By Michael Wright Chronicle Staff Writer
Feb 1, 2019

Permanently banning new mining claims north of Yellowstone National Park and renewing a popular conservation fund are closer to reality, as the U.S. Senate plans to take up a broad lands bill including the two measures next week.

The bill, S. 47, contains a variety of public lands legislation across the country including two measures that have been important to the Montana congressional delegation — the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act and the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Representatives from the offices of Montana’s two senators have told the Chronicle the bill will hit the Senate floor early next week for debate with a vote to follow soon after...

Read more here:
https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/legislation-including-mineral-withdrawal-north-of-yellowstone-lwcf-to-get/article_7b73a3b5-c071-5de1-a17d-e8181ea637fb.html#utm_source=bozemandailychronicle.com&utm_campaign=morning-headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Georgia: Equestrian community behind trail development at Don Carter State Park

Lakesidenews.com - Full Article

By Jane Harrison

The rhythmic thud of hooves on soft earth, gentle rocking of the saddle, and view of woods and water from a higher perspective transport horseback riders to tranquility on trails. Recently opened equestrian trails at Don Carter State Park make it easier for local equestrians to embark on that journey on the shores of Lake Lanier.

Local equestrians praise the 12½ miles of trails on territory historically known as horse country for their lake views, serpentine courses, bridge crossings, and deep woods. But best of all, they enjoy their proximity to their own barns and pastures. “It’s easy to sneak away to Don Carter to ride for a couple of hours,” said Bobbie Byers, four-year president of the 80-member Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association (CTHA). The Cleveland resident mounts her palomino or chocolate-brown Tennessee Walking Horse on state park trails once or twice a week, weather and work permitting. “I feel very blessed they’re opened,” she said “They’re absolutely beautiful.”

David DeLozier agreed. It’s even easier for him to hit the trail from his North Browning Bridge Road property, where the park maintains a neighborhood access for the horseback riders living nearby. He and wife, Dixie, can saddle up their Paso Finos and ride right onto what he calls some of the prettiest trails in the state.

“Some are right on the lake, the views are great … I’ve ridden almost every trail in Georgia and I think these are some of the best views. Some are high with long views, others are down close to coves and creeks were we can get water for our horses,” he said.

The s-turns, tree canopy, multiple bridges and changing elevations give both horse and rider a fun outing on four main loops with connecting routes. It took “a long time” to get the trails open, DeLozier said, but the wait was worth it.

Decades before the park opened in 2013, riders from northern Hall County’s horse country along Clarks Bridge and North Browning Bridge roads hoofed it in “the Glades,” old logging roads and private paths near the lake’s headwaters on the Chattahoochee River.

Then, word came that the private property they rode as public domain was sold to develop a state park. Early on, Byers said, there was no plan for equestrian trails in the woods rich in local horse-riding history. “This was a huge black eye to the horse community that equestrians were left out of the park,” Byers said. “They’d been riding that area for I can’t tell you how long.”

CTHA galloped into action, forming a committee to confer with state park planners...

Read more here:
http://www.lakesidenews.com/equestrian-community-behind-trail-development-at-don-carter-state-park

Conserving Land for Equine Use

Equitrekking.com - full article

What would happen if horse trails ceased to exist, facilities to board your horse disappeared, and hayfields were replaced with shopping malls? Learn about Equine Land Conservation Resource, an organization working to ensure that land for equine use remains part of our communities.

by Jocelyn Pierce

The United Statesis steeped in equestrian heritage and tradition. Horses have been partners in work, warfare and sport, playing an integral part in American culture. From the working ranch cowboy to the American foxhunter; from rural bush racetracks to Belmont Park; from pulling war wagons to reaching for Olympic gold, from the carriage horse to the trail companion, the horse and human interaction has been widespread throughout our history.

As ourpopulation grows, cities and towns expand. In areas where growth is haphazard, it infringes heavily on rural farmland areas.Land previously available for horse facilities and farms moves further from population centers, making access for equine activities more difficult to get to. The US population, currently at approximately 328 billion (US Census) is expected to increase to well over 435 million by 2050 (Pew Research). Well-planned growth can forestall or alleviate sprawling development.

With growing population, there is greater competition for land to provide housing, recreation and agricultural activities. Equine communities need to get ahead of these issues at the local level to protect their access.

Competition over the use of public land between burgeoning user groupsincreases and directly threatens equine access to land used for recreation. Equine Land Conservation Resource(ELCR) champions land preservation for equine use and works to educate equestrians on the issues that threaten equine activities...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/conserving-land-for-equine-use?mc_cid=471e9f0ae1&mc_eid=290b655fe3