Tuesday, August 31, 2021

California: Outraged Gavilan Hills residents say local horse trails blocked by expanding nursery business

ABC7.com - Full Story

By Rob McMillan
Sunday, August 29, 2021

GAVILAN HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- For decades, residents in the rural Riverside county community of Gavilan Hills have used dirt roads and paths for hiking and trail riding.

But in recent years, they say many of their trails have been blocked off or destroyed by the operators of the ever-growing, 420-acre Altman Plants nursery.

"There's a trail we've been using for twenty years, and they've now gated it off," said resident Chris Herron, who lives on a property just north of the nursery. "They've closed off trails to the point where I can't access adjacent property that I own anymore by horseback."

Herron and a group of supporters rallied in front of a recent Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting, where they also spoke out during the public comment period begging county officials to step in and protect their community.

"What they're doing is limiting access to my trails which is why I moved here," said resident Bonnie Starling. "What they've done is put fences up with barbed wire, and they're making it very difficult for us to get out and enjoy."

But are the trails the residents are referring to actually trails? They seem to think so, and the Riverside County general plan has a map with dotted lines showing various regional and community trails...

Read more here:
https://abc7.com/hiking-trails-closed-horse/10980999/

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Equine Land Conservation Resource Supports Launch of Nationwide Trail Etiquette Campaign

August 25 2021 www.ELCR.org

Lexington, KY – August 25, 2021– Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) has announced its participation in the launch of a nationwide trail etiquette campaign, “Trails Are Common Ground,” with a national coalition of trail user groups.

Any trail user will tell you there are more people on the trails than ever before. According to a study commissioned by the Outdoor Industry Association, 8.1 million more Americans hiked in 2020 versus 2019. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, automated counters at trail systems around the country recorded four times as many users compared to the same timeframe in 2019. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy reported a 79% spike in usage nationwide between March and July of 2020.

Recognizing that the community of trail users continues to expand at an exponential rate, which is a significant concern to the equine trail community, ELCR and Backcountry Horsemen of America joined an unprecedented consortium of advocacy groups, brands, media outlets, and ambassadors that came together to create the recently launched public awareness campaign, “Trails Are Common Ground,” which elevates the importance of respectful, inclusive, safe, and enjoyable experiences on trails.

Trails are being used more than ever before by an increasingly large number of people, many of whom recently discovered a love for the outdoors. It’s a complex ecosystem with lots of moving parts: people and animals moving in different directions, in lots of different ways, for lots of different reasons. Trails Are Common Ground aims to build a communal perspective on the mutual use of, and respect for, trails and for one another.

"ELCR was pleased to join with one of our partner organizations, Backcountry Horsemen of America, to represent the equestrian trail community in this important nationwide initiative," said ELCR Executive Director Holley Groshek. "We look forward to working with the equine trail community across the country to embrace the campaign aimed at ensuring the trail experience is welcoming, safe, inclusive and enjoyable for all trail users."

Advocacy groups and industry leaders began collaborating in February 2021 to discuss the need for this campaign. The coalition shaped the campaign to reinforce the many local, regional, and user-specific trail respect programs in existence by promoting kindness and awareness while elevating the work of these programs. More than 15 meetings have taken place with input from more than 20 organizations, as well as outdoor industry brands, land managers, representatives with BIPOC communities, and adaptive trail users. Coalition members represent all manner of activities that take place in the dirt, including hiking, trail running, equestrian, mountain biking, and motorized singletrack.

The organizations partnering on Trails Are Common Ground include American Motorcyclist Association, American Trail Running Association, American Trails, Back Country Horsemen of America, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Equine Land Conservation Resource, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Latino Outdoors, NavajoYES, PeopleforBikes, Teton Adaptive Sports, Tread Lightly!, US Trail Running Conference, Vermont Mountain Bike Association, and Washington Trails Association, among many more partners.

Equestrian trail users across the country are invited to support the Trails Are Common Ground campaign. The campaign includes a website, social media, and creative assets that can be shared and personalized by brands, nonprofits, content creators, and all passionate trail users who want to rise together to share the message of Trails Are Common Ground. To find out more, visit www.trailsarecommonground.org and follow the campaign on Instagram and Facebook @trailsarecommonground.

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 ELCR, visit www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Wyoming: Fun and Fellowship Among Horsefolk

TetonValleyNews.net - Full Article

By Michael Mulligan for Get Out Magazine
Jul 14, 2021

Horsewomen and horsemen of the Valley, including die-hard mule devotees, can now claim membership in a chapter of the national organization of the Back Country Horsemen. Founded in 1973, this group thrives in 32 states and is dedicated to perpetuating the commonsense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s backcountry and wilderness. BCH works to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use and assists the agencies responsible for the management of public lands in meeting their goals. Members volunteer to clear and repair trails and to undertake projects such as building pathways and bridges to protect wetlands. Devoted to “leave no trace” principles, BCH and the Teton Valley chapter are committed to keeping our backcountry and wilderness lands wild. This past summer, in conjunction with the Forest Service, members of TVBCH restored parts of three different wilderness trails and linked arms and loppers with HAPI Trails to clear their riding trail. Experts also partnered with HAPI Trails to offer a day of instruction to members and the public on how to pack and camp with stock.

Teton Valley is a historical stronghold of Western horsemanship. In recent years, though, our Valley has experienced exceptional growth: an explosion of home construction and home rentals; the building of several golf courses; burgeoning interest in bicycling both on the roads and in the backcountry; the advent of electric bikes, as well as the long popular use of motorized two- and four-wheelers...

Read more here:
https://www.tetonvalleynews.net/outdoors/fun-and-fellowship-among-horsefolk/article_14d6208e-b201-5528-a6c1-a4ca04d27078.html

Upstart group working with partners to blaze new trails in Moffat County, Colorado

CraigDailyPress.com - Full Article

July 15 2021
Cuyler Meade
cmeade@craigdailypress.com

From some perspectives, Northwest Colorado’s vast wealth of outdoor recreation space was given all the grooming and artistry it needed by an ancient hand.

But, as the region seeks to shift a portion of its economic focus toward attracting visitors to the region — often on the sturdy back of that god-given exterior space — there are those who know that a little bit of love is due these areas to maximize their utility for humans.

That’s essentially the mission of the Northwest Colorado Trails Corp., a relatively new group seeking to help update and maintain the trails in the region that are populated by motorized recreators as well as mountain bikers and trail horse riders and others.

“There’s a lot of trails that don’t get maintained,” said Samantha Jager, who’s working on securing grants for the group. “Local people, when they want to go ride, they bring equipment with them because the trails don’t get logs cut or cleared often, if at all. The idea was to get grants to do trail maintenance...”

Read more here:
https://www.craigdailypress.com/news/upstart-group-working-with-partners-to-blaze-new-trails-in-moffat-county/

Friday, July 16, 2021

Webinar Recording: Current and Future Trends in Equestrian Trails

ELCR.org

July 12, 2021, by ELCR

Date recorded: June 24, 2021

On June 24th American Trails hosted its 124th webinar in its Advancing Trails Series sponsored by Tennessee Valley Authority. This webinar focused on trending equestrian trails topics with information shared by recreational trail planners, land managers, and trail users. Topics are presented by ELCR, MIG, INC, Sustainable Stables, USDA Forest Service, and Hancock Resources LLC. Check out the recorded webinar to learn more about conserving equestrian trails resources, community engagement and inclusion in trail planning, equestrian trails sustainability and new technologies, and land managers’ challenges and opportunities.

This moderated panel of experts from the equestrian community and beyond discuss the following topics:
• Conserving Equestrians’ Trails Resources (Holley Groshek)
• Community Engagement & Inclusion in Trail Planning (Cole Gehler)
• Equestrian Trails Sustainability & New Technologies (Clay Nelson)
• Land Managers’ Challenges & Opportunities (Deb Caffin)

Following the presentations, the panelists respond to questions from webinar participants.

Learning Objectives:
• Describe eco-friendly materials that support the sustainability of equestrian-use trails
• Recognize trail user practices that can create safety hazards for equestrians
• Evaluate best practices and trends in planning and designing equestrian trails
• Identify community outreach techniques for planning inclusive trail user opportunities

VIEW THE WEBINAR HERE

Holley Groshek:
Holley will focus on providing key educational resources available to support equine access to trails. She will highlight what is available from ELCR and BCHA and Jan Hancock’s Equestrian Guidebook etc. that people can access after the webinar.

Cole Gehler:
Most people like the idea of creating more trails and connections in their community, but not all understand the needs of other user groups. Cole will discuss various approaches to community engagement on a variety of trail planning projects.

Clay Nelson:
Clay will discuss best practices to protect land and water on equestrian trails while also providing a safe, enjoyable riding experience, with a focus on new eco-friendly solutions ideal for use on equestrian trails and trailheads.

Deb Caffin:
Deb will discuss why “Sustainable, Stewardship, and Community” are not just the buzz words of the day but represent the future of trails on public lands. Hear about how the USDA Forest Service’s 10 Year Trail Shared Stewardship Challenge Launch and Learn is setting the foundation for a more sustainable system of trails and how you can help.

Monday, July 12, 2021

New York: West Almond trail to receive $49,000 in work thanks to Wilson Legacy Funds

OleanTimesHerald.com - Full Article

By Olean Times Herald staff Jul 9, 2021

WEST ALMOND — A grant of $49,200 was awarded by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo in 2020 to complete drainage and trail tread improvements on Trail 4 of the West Almond Trail System in Allegany County, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported.

This is a collaborative project between the Cattaraugus/Chautauqua Chapter of the New York State Horse Council, Inc., and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation...

Read more here:
https://www.oleantimesherald.com/news/west-almond-trail-to-receive-49-000-in-work-thanks-to-wilson-legacy-funds/article_73f94ac9-5486-54ef-9817-d0d71383b0cc.html

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Kiwi equestrian traditions at risk as horse riders fight for their future

HorseTalk.co.nz - Full Article

July 7, 2021 Shelly Warwick

Members of an equestrian action group plan to ride their horses to parliament to draw attention to the “insidious loss” of access to places to ride in New Zealand. Shelly Warwick, co-chair of the New Zealand Equestrian Advocacy network, explains why horse riders must act now or risk losing even more recreation ground.

The humble horse, who was once relied upon for our transport, construction, farming, industry and leisure, seems now to be forgotten for its contribution, both historically and in recent times, by the New Zealand Government and decision-makers nationally and locally.

The Government, continually looking for ways to be greener, cleaner, and searching for shiny new projects to hang from CV’s, has overlooked the equestrian industry and recreational community for decades. Recently with the push for eco-friendly initiatives, the government has been busy funding projects for walking and cycling without a thought for the equestrian recreational sector.

There is a community of about 80,000 sport and leisure horses nationwide, and equestrians have slipped under the radar with regard to legislation, planning and funding. The trails and pathways once forged by horses are becoming “horse unfriendly” as the government funds new “shared pathways” for walkers and cyclists instead of “multiuse pathways” for walking, cycling and horse riding...

Read more here:
https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2021/07/07/kiwi-equestrian-traditions-risk-horse-riders-future/

Montana Backcountry Cyclists digging in to create mountain bike trail system

Bitterrootstar.com - Full Article

July 7 2021
by Nathan Boddy

On a recent Tuesday evening, Jeff Kern, of Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists (BBC), awaits a crew of volunteers to help shape and refine another section of mountain bike trail south of Lake Como. He gestures to a primary trail nearby, referring to it, offhandedly, as ‘Como Ridge Trail’ despite it being a labeled ‘Kern’s Turns’ on a popular Mountain biking app.

“I have a hard time calling it that,” he says with a grin. “I went on vacation for three weeks, and…”

Despite his discomfort with the trail’s name, Kern’s patience has certainly helped get things done. Kern is the Vice President of BBC, and his organization can be credited for years of patient work that is resulting in a wide variety of new mountain bike trails in the Lake Como area. Now in their third season of trail construction, the hard work of the BBC means that riders in the valley are starting to reap the benefit...

Read more here:
https://bitterrootstar.com/2021/07/backcountry-cyclists-digging-in-to-create-new-trail-system/

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Right of Way on Trail: It’s Horses, Then Hikers, Then Everyone Else

GearJunkie.com - Full Article

June 23, 2021 | By Nicole Qualtieri

The slowest-going movers on trails maintain the right of way. And the more kind, respectful, and generous we can all be, the better it’ll be for every recreational user.

Right-of-way on the mountain seems like it should be common knowledge. Generally, here in Montana, it is. And generally, things go really well.

But, sometimes it gets a little hairy out there. Suffice it to say, the fastest folks on the trail are often the ones others yield to. Unfortunately, this can send mixed messages to uneducated speedsters.

If going fast is a part of your on-trail vocabulary, it is your responsibility to take speed to a low in multiple-use, uncontrolled, low-visibility situations. Common sense reigns, but there are clear-cut hierarchies to help us better get along.

And, with more folks in the mountains than ever, here’s a refresher on trail etiquette, the history of trails, and more on how we can keep each other safe...

Horses and Mules — or Stock — Have the Right-of-Way in All Situations

Stock averages about 2 miles per hour in big country, which is much slower than everyone out there for the most part. And beyond horses, stock can include llamas and pack goats (which would also yield to horses, if met on the trail).

Whether stock users are heading uphill or downhill, hikers, bikers, and motor folks are asked to pull off the trail, stop their bikes and motors, and wait until they pass in their entirety to continue on. This is for the safety of the stock and users. Yield to horses on the downhill side, if possible.

Read more here:
https://gearjunkie.com/biking/trail-etiquette-right-of-way

Saturday, June 12, 2021

A Trail Ride Through Bryce Canyon National Park

TheHorse.com - Full Article

Ride along with two BLM mustangs as they and their riders explore Bryce Canyon National Park.

Posted by Alayne Blickle | Nov 5, 2020

For several decades, I have seen photos and heard stories about trail riding through Bryce Canyon National Park, in Utah. Ever since I visited the park as a child on a family vacation, I have wanted to return. As an equestrian adult I have wanted to visit the area with horses. However, while my husband, Matt, and I often trail ride, we are not at the caliber of backcountry riders or packers, so I didn’t know if we could do a Bryce Canyon ride.

But in recent years, we have ended up with a pair of nice mustangs that are great on trails with a fair number of miles and experiences under their respective saddles.

When COVID struck this spring, we canceled travel plans for the year, intending to just hunker down. About the time late August rolled around, we realized that camping and visiting the outdoors still offered a safe option—and if we wanted to do anything, we’d better get busy and make it happen. So, we carved out four days in late September, just a few weeks away, and planned a camping trip to Bryce Canyon National Park with our mustangs, Mesa and Stellar...

Read more here:
https://thehorse.com/194011/a-trail-ride-through-bryce-canyon-national-park/?utm_medium=Welfare+enews&utm_source=Newsletter

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Utah Senator Lee Reintroduces Bikes in Wilderness Legislation

PinkBike.com - Full Article

"The National Wilderness Preservation System was created so that the American people could enjoy our country’s priceless natural areas. This bill would enrich Americans’ enjoyment of the outdoors by expanding recreational opportunities in wilderness areas.” - Senator Lee

May 24, 2021
by James Smurthwaite

Senator Mike Lee has re-introduced a bill that could help bikes return to wilderness areas. The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act would empower local managers of Wilderness areas to decide whether to allow and how to regulate non-motorized travel.

Senator Lee's previous Bill, S.B. 1695, was introduced in May 2019 and was supported by the US Forest Service and the Department of Interior but legislators ran out of time to vote on it before the congressional session ended. This new Bill, referred to as S.B. 1686 is a re-introduction of S.B. 1695 that will hopefully be voted on this time...

Read more here:
https://www.pinkbike.com/news/senator-lee-reintroduces-bikes-in-wilderness-legislation.html

California Gets New 300-Mile Trail Network in God’s Country

Adventure-journal.com - Full Article

March 15 2021

California’s most majestic mountain scenes get most of the outdoor press: cathedral spires on the John Muir Trail; the granite walls of Yosemite; Mt. Shasta poking a 14,000-foot hole in the sky. But the state is loaded with plenty of mountain goodness in less heralded, less elevated locations. Lots of which will soon be mapped for dirt-worshipping cyclists, equestrians, moto riders, hikers, hunters, you name it, to explore with the new Lost Sierra Route. The route connects trail networks in the Sierra and Cascade ranges, and is intended for use by all mountain lovers, developed by the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship...

Read more and see video here:
Adventure-journal.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

National Trails Day is June 5

AmericanHiking.org

National Trails Day is June 5 - A Day of Service and Advocacy for Hometown Trails

Together we can care for our hometown trails and advocate for equitable inclusion outside.

Millions of people have found physical, mental, and emotional restoration on trails during the pandemic. Let’s return the favor and care for America’s magnificent trail system and ensure everyone in the U.S. can enjoy trails and natural areas.

To host an event or find an event, and for more information, see:
https://americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/

Friday, May 21, 2021

Iowa: Horse trails open in O'Brien County

NWestIowa.com - Full Article

Lydia Hansen lhansen@nwestiowa.com
May 16, 2021 Updated May 18, 2021

SUTHERLAND—Saddle up for an opportunity to ride new public access bride trails in O’Brien County.

White stakes with bright orange ribbons and orange flags mark out almost four-tenths of a mile of trail at the 19-acre McCormack Area southeast of Sutherland.

The area, which consists of rolling hills covered with prairie grass as well as shrubs and small trees, is at the moment the only county-owned and managed property in O’Brien County to be designated for equestrian use.

It is the result of months of effort from O’Brien County riders and the O’Brien County Conservation Board.

Area horseback riders have been pushing for the change since September, regularly attending meetings to discuss trail locations, voice requests and offer suggestions to the board on how to proceed...

Read more here:
https://www.nwestiowa.com/news/horse-trails-open-in-obrien-county/article_ad2e2d82-b4ff-11eb-9d8b-2fa5c9e5f9a6.html

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

California Community Voices: Keep motorized bikes off equestrian trails

Bakersfield.com - Full Article

By MARION VARGAS May 11, 2021

Over the last 50 years, I have boarded horses and ridden Bakersfield's equestrian trails along the scenic Kern River. I sometimes think of it as exercising my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I enjoy being in nature, on my horse, observing the native plants, and being thrilled by numerous sightings of wildlife. Riding solo or in the company of others, you can tell if you are the first to break trail in the morning when you ride through a spider web that has been spun from tree to tree across a trail.

Local horse trails were established long ago. They are part of the rich history of our community. With the development of the Specific Trails Plan, part of the city and county General Plans, the right of trails was affirmed and delineated. The designated horse trails, primarily on dirt, are mostly separated from paved bike trails and motorized traffic is not allowed.

Safety was a consideration. Horses are large and powerful, but they are prey animals and naturally will react with great force to escape perceived danger, especially a sudden and unfamiliar one such as an unexpected e-bike rapidly traveling along the horse trail. These motorized bikes can cause horses to spook, rear, buck or bolt, throwing the rider to the ground, causing serious injuries...

Read more here:
https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices/community-voices-keep-motorized-bikes-off-equestrian-trails/article_6b45058e-b122-11eb-ab30-b7ad801e8b1a.html

Thursday, May 6, 2021

A Growing Movement Aims to Simplify Trail Etiquette Through Old-Fashioned Courtesy

photo: Jeff Barber

SingleTracks.com - Full Article

By Jeff Barber
May 5, 2021

I recently noticed a new addition to the staid, standard trail markers dotting my local trail system. Below the usual icons for bikers and hikers, difficulty ratings, and directional arrows, there was a square showing a waving emoji-style hand with the words “Be Nice, Say Hi!” in a friendly, bubbly font. While the message itself seems pretty straightforward, I wanted to learn more about the campaign. Could trail etiquette really be boiled down to just four words?

Erik Hillard has been involved in trail advocacy in California for many years now. Growing up, Hillard and friends rode their bikes on trails that weren’t exactly bike-legal, and he learned early on that he could generally get away with riding the trails as long as he was extra nice to the hikers he encountered. Later, while handling social media for the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA), Hillard says he noticed a drawback to the language associated with trail usage, particularly the triangle-shaped “share the trail” graphic most bikers are now familiar with.

“I don’t feel like I could come up with a better graphic to communicate that bikes need to slow down or yield to hikers and horses etc, than that triangle. Graphically, it is a successful way of communicating that. But it’s not fun. It’s not something that like, people really want to talk about...”

Read more here:
https://www.singletracks.com/community/a-growing-movement-aims-to-simplify-trail-etiquette-through-old-fashioned-courtesy/?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20210506.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

New Mexico: Swell of hikers and bikers during pandemic leads to surge of support for trails

SantaFeNewMexican.com - Full Article

By Matt Dahlseid mdahlseid@sfnewmexican.com
May 2, 2021 Updated May 3, 2021

David Estes found something he needed at Galisteo Basin Preserve after a move to Santa Fe in the winter, when the coronavirus pandemic was near its peak and the stresses of life were mounting.

Three or four times a week in the months since the move, Estes has taken his bike to the open space trail system near Lamy to ride the ridges, soak in the stunning high desert views and feel temporarily unburdened.

“The thing I’d like to say about these trails is that they’ve saved my life,” said Estes, 44, a New Mexico native and carpenter. “This trail network has been really important to me at a really, really critical time in my life.”

Hikers and bikers have flocked to the trails at unprecedented levels during the pandemic, many seeking similar solace. With little to do for fun while businesses and entertainment venues were closed under public health orders, the restrictions recalibrated the relationship people have with the outdoors.

An enhanced appreciation for local trails has sparked a surge in interest for stewardship as people have come to realize how essential they are for their physical and mental well-being...

Read mroe here:
https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/adventure/swell-of-hikers-and-bikers-during-pandemic-leads-to-surge-of-support-for-trails/article_7329c268-a83e-11eb-be04-07d6ce02b54d.html

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area, West Virginia

AmericanTrails.org - Full Article

Spanning over 400 miles across 8 counties, this backcountry trail system provides a safe recreational experience for a variety of trail uses, including all-terrain vehicle use, mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. In addition to linking cultural resources, this trail system attracts tourism dollars and has provided an economic boost for communities throughout the region. Given the recreational and economic benefits generated, and the numerous partners and landowners involved, this trail system should be commended for what has been achieved through a diverse partnership.

The Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area is better known as the "Hatfield-McCoy Trails." It is a professionally designed trail system that includes opportunities for a wide range of users. The first 300 miles opened to the public in October 2000 use private and corporate owned property. Expansion plans will be continuing until the trails reach a network of 2,000 miles through eight counties in southern West Virginia: Boone, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Wayne and Wyoming.

The trails have sold over 23,000 permits since opening and have had visitors from forty-six states and six countries. Survey data indicates that 57.3% of our visitors are very likely to return and feel their visit was "Great-worth the trip," and 34.8% indicate the trails are "Awesome-best place ever ridden..."

Read more here:
https://www.americantrails.org/resources/hatfield-mccoy-regional-recreation-area-west-virginia

Monday, April 26, 2021

Idaho: Horseback riders highlight the challenges they face on the trails

KIVITV.com - Article and videos

By: Steve Dent
Posted at 1:16 PM, Apr 21, 2021

BOISE, Idaho — The trail system in the Boise foothills is entering a new era as Ridge to Rivers looks at new ways to manage the trails with the increase of usage.

When Ridge to Rivers put out a survey earlier this year, only two percent of the responses came from horseback riders.

Many equestrian users have moved onto greener pastures, like Eagle Island State Park which features wide open spaces, separation of users on the trail, and a huge parking lot with pull-through parking.

"We are finding it difficult to find a place to ride," said Mary Beumeler who rides a Tennessee Walker horse named Strider.

Equestrian riders often use the foothills trails, especially those off of Cartwright Road. Now, they're hoping to raise awareness to help everyone stay safe on the trails...

More here:
https://www.kivitv.com/news/outdoors/horseback-riders-highlight-the-challenges-they-face-on-the-trails

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Why Some Mountain Bike Organizations are Rebranding: An Interview with Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship

SingleTracks.com - Full Article

BY MATT MILLER
APRIL 19, 2021

The group formerly known as Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) has formally changed their name to the Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship (SCMTS) as of April 13. The rebranding left a bad taste in some supporters’ mouths, because after 24 years of being known as the MBOSC, mountain bikers in and around Santa Cruz feel that shifting energy away from the already challenged access in the area will be a setback.

Matt De Young, the executive director of SCMTS says that they’ve already been advocating and collaborating with other user groups though, and the name change better encapsulates what the group was already doing. The rebranding follows similar recent moves by other mountain bike organizations across the country.

Greg Williams from the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, which puts on events like the Downieville Classic, told Singletracks Editor In Chief Jeff Barber in a podcast that their name has been instrumental in the group’s mission. As a group of dirt bikers and mountain bikers, they weren’t sure how to best relay the mission in a brand name at first.

“In hindsight thank goodness we really keyed into just trail stewardship [because] it’s opened a lot of doors for us, especially when we partner with land managers. [We are] able to represent a community and not a particular user group...”

Read more here:
https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-trails/why-some-mountain-bike-organizations-are-rebranding-an-interview-with-santa-cruz-mountains-trail-stewardship/

Monday, April 19, 2021

Horse poop must be scooped: Colorado Springs parks officials remind equestrians to clean up

Gazette.com - Full Article

By Seth Boster seth.boster@gazette.com
Apr 15, 2021

During a recent city of Colorado Springs parks meeting, the mention of horse poop led to a brief, surprised silence.

"I know people think it's just dogs, because that's the majority of animal use," said Scott Abbott, regional parks manager.

But those bulky, grainy piles left by the hoofed steeds must also be collected, he said. They're often left at Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Palmer Park, two fairly popular stomping grounds for equestrians.

Reads a city ordinance: "It is unlawful for any person to allow any animal over which the person has control to defecate upon any park land without the excrement being removed by the person in control of the animal from the park and disposed of properly."

That goes for "any animal," Abbott emphasized...

Read more here:
https://gazette.com/life/horse-poop-must-be-scooped-reminds-colorado-springs-parks-officials/article_9715b1d4-9be9-11eb-ba64-9be3af8462fb.html?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20210416.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

B.C.: Maple Ridge park fitted with equestrian obstacles

MapleRidgeNews.com - Full Article

Horseman’s Park now has four obstacles for horse riders to practice on

Colleen FlanaganApr. 15, 2021

There is a new obstacle course in Maple Ridge for those who enjoy riding their equine companions.

Horseman’s Park, located just north of Abernethy Way on 224 Street, was fitted with four new obstacles to train horses on how to properly handle real-life scenarios that are commonly found along Maple Ridge horse trails.

The park was fitted with the new equipment by Haney Horsemen Association, a non-profit organization committed to equestrian trail stewardship throughout Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, with help from the City of Maple Ridge.

The mandate for the Haney Horsemen is safety and there’s a lot of young riders with green horses, said Dianne Stoesz, president of the association.

“These trail obstacles are a great tool to teach inexperienced horses and/or riders how to handle logs, bridges and tricky manoeuvres for when they get out on our Maple Ridge trails,” said Stoesz...

Read more here:
https://www.mapleridgenews.com/community/maple-ridge-park-fitted-with-equestrian-obstacles/?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20210416.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Put your best foot forward: Manners matter along Tucson area trails

Tucson.com - Full Article

Ann Brown Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Apr 17, 2021

On a Saturday morning hiking a narrow cactus-lined trail, you’re headed uphill and a couple of mountain bicyclists are headed down. Who passes first?

You’re sauntering along The Loop listening to your favorite tunes through your earbuds when you are startled as a bicyclist zips by your left side. How can that situation be avoided?

Knowing and practicing proper outdoor etiquette can help avoid confusion and conflict, and can help maintain the integrity of natural resource areas.

Trail usage has increased since last spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions tamped down indoor activities, says Sue Clark, who has served as president of Pima Trails Association since 2001.

Many on the trails are newbies, she says. Clark estimates there are 2,000 miles of trails in eastern Pima County.

Some first-time users lack basic knowledge of trail etiquette, says Neil Stitzer, trails program manager with Pima County’s Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation department.

“An increased number of users can lead to user conflicts if basic trail etiquette protocols are not respected,” he says...

Read more here:
https://tucson.com/news/local/put-your-best-foot-forward-manners-matter-along-tucson-area-trails/article_50042984-9ca6-11eb-b84a-0b7f801c45b5.html?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20210417.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Idaho: Bureau of Land Management is working on a collaborative approach to address overcrowding at Wilson Creek trails

KIVItv.com - Article & Video

By: Steve Dent
Posted at 1:17 PM, Mar 31, 2021

WILSON, Idaho — The Wilson Creek area provides a place for hikers, bikers and horseback riders to roam in one of the only non-motorized areas in the Owyhee Front.

However, fueled by COVID-19, the growing population in the Treasure Valley and an more mountain bikers hitting the trails, this area 25 miles south of Nampa has seen a big increase in usage.

"I started here in the early 80’s and have been riding here ever since," said Karen Steenhof who was riding her horse named Riley. "The equestrians were the ones who developed this parking area, we started it and I don’t know what I would do without it."

Horseback riders have their concerns because they feel like they've been pushed out of the Boise foothills and they don't want that to happen at Wilson Creek...

Read more here:
https://www.kivitv.com/news/outdoors/blm-is-working-on-a-collaborative-approach-to-address-overcrowding-at-wilson-creek-trails?fbclid=IwAR2Matfv7TnxbwmuqTKUnk3vdGiN0JrmS-zJTBmmuk6MDUxr1bDPeBdJTtM

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Canada: Carriage club to map out multi-use trail

100MileFreePress.net - Full Article

KELLY SINOSKI
Mar. 31, 2021

Plans are in the works to create a multi-use trail that would stretch from Meadow Lake to 83 Mile House.

Members of the Cariboo Country Carriage Club are seeking a grant writer to apply for funding to develop the trail, which would be open to everyone from cyclists to hikers, dog-sledders, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, horse riders and buggy horses, said leader Dennis Huber.

Huber, who lives in 70 Mile House, said the group would aim to upgrade its existing 18-kilometre trail and have smaller loops branching off from it, which could work for endurance trail riding. He noted the trail already goes all the way out to Dog Creek and to Meadow Lake and way. It stops just short of 100 Mile in the other direction...

Read more here:
https://www.100milefreepress.net/community/carriage-club-to-map-out-multi-use-trail/

Monday, March 29, 2021

Ireland: Call for More Access to Off-Road Paths for Horse Riders

Newstalk.com - Full Article

Marita Moloney
15.49 28 MAR 2021

An equestrian group has called for increased access to off-road paths for people wishing to ride horses on public land in Ireland.

The Leisure Equestrian Association of Ireland states there are limited off-road riding facilities or bridleways for equestrianism here.

The group, which lobbies on behalf of private horse-owners, is seeking to retain current access and increase future access to of-road facilities.

Members of the group, who came together for the first time at the end of 2020, have given 80 submissions this year to local authorities seeking more access...

Read more here:
https://www.newstalk.com/news/call-for-more-access-to-off-road-paths-for-horse-riders-1171763

E-bike 101: What to know as electric cycling moves to Colorado Springs trails

Gazette.com - Full Article

By Seth Boster seth.boster@gazette.com Mar 22, 2021

If it wasn’t already, the e-bike debate is officially on in Colorado Springs.

That’s after the parks department this month announced a year-long pilot program expanding e-bike access to trails. Beginning May 31, the department will begin observing and deciding the long-term future of charged-up rides in cherished parks and open spaces.

Here’s an e-bike 101, filling you in on the technology, the trends and some finer points of debate:...

Read more here:
https://gazette.com/life/e-bike-101-what-to-know-as-electric-cycling-moves-to-colorado-springs-trails/article_8ec4dec6-872e-11eb-93c7-eb116ae127b7.html

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Beara Bridleway: Ireland’s first long-distance horse trail

Dan Linehan photo

IrishExaminer.com - Full Article

Exploration of the local Wild Atlantic Way is now possible on horseback

SAT, 20 MAR, 2021 - 23:00
CARINA MCNALLY

Ireland’s first official long-distance equestrian trail, the Beara Bridleway, has emerged in West Cork’s Beara Peninsula, with exploration of the local Wild Atlantic Way now possible on horseback, with the permission and co-operation of several local farmers and landowners.

Following private and public tracks along the Sliabh Miskish Mountains, a large section of the bridleway was already historically a horse trail when, during a local industrial age, it first opened in 1824 to facilitate copper mining at Allihies.

The 23km trail, which links the townland of Clounglaskin (a few miles west of Castletownbere) to the historic village of Allihies, and then onward to the coastal townland of Urhan, overlooks stunning seascapes and views to Beara’s sister peninsulas...

Read more here:
https://www.irishexaminer.com/farming/arid-40247762.html

Thursday, March 18, 2021

BCHA Public Lands Update On E-Bikes for 2021

BCHA.org - Full Article

By Randy Rasmussen – BCHA Director of Public Lands and Recreation

Public debate is likely to intensify in 2021 regarding the appropriate role of motorized electric bicycle (e-bike) use in outdoor recreation, including the appropriate role of electric mountain bikes (e-MTBs) among backcountry trails. The issue is not going away any time soon. This Public Lands Update summarizes recent changes in policies by federal land management agencies on the e-bike topic and what BCH chapters can do when the e-bike debate comes to public lands in your backyard.

Final Rules for E-bike Use Issued by DOI Agencies

The e-bike industry continued its aggressive push to open public land trails to e-bike use, driven primarily by an objective to increase e-bike sales across the nation. They chalked up one such success in 2020 via the Department of Interior (DOI), which in early October announced final regulations for e-bike use by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These new policies provide a green light to local agency managers who seek to authorize e-bike use on trails where traditional bicycle use is currently allowed (for details, see BCHA’s Summer 2020 newsletter). In short, the new policies treat e-bikes as a non-motorized trail use, akin to a regular bicycle—a reversal of policy that previously (and rightfully) recognized that e-bikes operate via an electric motor...

Read more here:
https://www.bcha.org/blog/2021/01/15/bcha-public-lands-update-on-e-bikes-for-2021/

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Australia: Endurance riders fear national parks moving to restrict access

HawkesburyGazette.com.au - Full Article

March 11 2021
John Ellicott

Fury is building in the horse riding fraternity at plans to "manage" horse trails in NSW National Parks, with changes to trails at Wollemi National Park in the Hawkesbury seen as the thin edge of the wedge.

National Parks has issued a draft management plan for Wollemi that may see horse trails reduced from about 50 to 19 as it moves to prevent threats to the park's ecology.

But the move has sent shudders through the NSW Endurance Riders Association who have obtained an urgent meeting with the environment minister's office on March 22...

Read more here:
https://www.hawkesburygazette.com.au/story/7162722/parks-moves-to-restrict-wollemi-horse-trails/

Sunday, March 7, 2021

British Columbia: Expansive horse trailer parking lot built on Timberlands Rd.

Nanaimonewsnow.com - Full Article

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
Mar 6, 2021 7:18 AM

NANAIMO — Equestrians won’t have to worry about unloading their horses on crowded roads south of Nanaimo.

Expansion and construction of a 150 foot parking area for horse trailers on Timberlands Rd. was recently completed. The roughly $31,000 project also installed a mounting block for riders at the edge of the parking lot.

Lynn deVries, central Vancouver Island chapter chair of the Back Country Horsemen of B.C., told NanaimoNewsNOW riders would previously have to park along Timberlands Rd. despite the large size of their trailers...

Read more here:
https://nanaimonewsnow.com/2021/03/06/expansive-horse-trailer-parking-lot-built-on-timberlands-rd/

California: Nostalgia for the Live Oak Trails We Are In Danger of Losing

Edhat.com - Full Article

MAR 06 2021
by Pat Fish

This blog is meant to be a testimony to the pleasure of four-legged exploration in the front country trails of our marvelous region. But now access to the best of the local trail systems, the ONLY exclusively equestrian area, is being "modified" to become multi-use. I drew the logo above to publicize the effort to stop this change.

That tiny red area is all we have that is exclusively equestrian. We are not greedy, we just don't want the trails, which have been set aside for us since Lake Cachuma was first created in 1953, to be ruined by hikers, with off leash dogs, and bicycle riders careening at high speed down the trails.

Today the MeetUp had 9 riders and we took a leisurely stroll in the beautiful weather. We traveled through a variety of riparian and chaparral zones, as the map shows, both wooded and open spaces.

Truthfully we were on the trail 3 hours, because it was nice to stop, give the animals a rest, and appreciate the views.

HOWEVER the day did not start out all that well...

Read more here:
https://www.edhat.com/news/nostalgia-for-the-live-oak-trails-we-are-in-danger-of-losing

Friday, February 19, 2021

Florida Petition: Don't abandon bridle trail in Palm Beach Point

Moveon.org Petition

TO: Wellington Florida Village Council and ACME Board

We, the undersigned property owners, tenants and equestrian trainers/riders of Wellington, hereby petition ACME and the Village of Wellington (VOW) to deny all applications to abandon the Lake Worth Road Right of Way (LWR ROW) located within Palm Beach Point (PBP) and to deny all applications to give title to the land to the abutting property owners. Also,

We hereby request that the LWR ROW be incorporated into the Village Bridle Trail System.

Why is this important? Reason: The Lake Worth Road Right of Way on the North side of the C-24 Canal in Palm Beach Point has been used by equestrians in Wellington for at least 32 years as a bridle trail. It is openly used by all equestrians in Wellington, not just those in Palm Beach Point. The Equestrian Element of Wellington’s Comprehensive Plan has always placed a high value on adding bridle trails, not eliminating them. Abandoning this trail would allow adjacent property owners to fence off public access, which would be devastating to the entire equestrian community now and to the future.

The LWR ROW Bridle Trail in Palm Beach Point is one of the most unique and desirable publicly accessible trails in all of Wellington due to its generous one hundred twenty foot width (120’) and its extraordinary one half mile length. It enables equestrians to work their horse at any gait, including a full gallop, on both the straightaway, in a circle, figure eight or other training pattern. It also allows riders to safely pass while traveling in opposite directions. The highly unique 120’ width also helps maintain the rideable grass surface since traffic is spread over a very large area. Most of the public trails in Wellington are much narrower which decreases rideability due to the greater wear generated by more traffic over a lesser area.

For more information or to sign petition, see:
https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/don-t-abandon-bridle-trail-in-palm-beach-point?fbclid=IwAR2bET3Q9W-8uX8_wfGpRnrwTFp4mecfAB5qe0iBuXQheFSelwYm0BkwfOE

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Australia: Outcry over proposed Wollemi horse riding plan

HawkesburyGazette.com.au - Full Article

February 17 2021
Sarah Falson

A group of Hawkesbury horse-riders are enraged by a proposal to limit their use of trails in south east Wollemi National Park, as National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) invites the community to have their say on the draft plan by March 14.

The 'Draft Horse Riding Management Plan: South East Wollemi National Park' identifies proposed authorised horse riding routes in the park, adjacent to the localities of Mountain Lagoon, Upper Colo, Wheeny Creek, Blaxlands Ridge Road and Kurrajong, and details conditions for horse-riding there.

Wilberforce resident Brian Swan - who said he represented recreational horse riders in the area - said NPWS had been trying to introduce a plan of management in the area since 2007.

Mr Swan said he and other horse riders considered the trails of significance to pioneering heritage and to cultural identity, and thought they should continue to be allowed access to them.

"They [NPWS] claim to have input [into the plan] from neighbours and horse-riding fraternity, but that's not very transparent because four or five neighbours I contacted said they weren't contacted [by NPWS]," Mr Swan told the Gazette...

Read more here:
https://www.hawkesburygazette.com.au/story/7118993/outcry-over-proposed-wollemi-horse-riding-plan/

Monday, February 15, 2021

Don’t fence us out: Petition fights closure of popular bridle trail in Florida’s horse capital

HorseTalk.co.nz - Full Article

February 14, 2021
Horsetalk.co.nz

A movement to save a popular bridle trail used by thousands of horse riders in Wellington, Florida, is under way following a request by local landowners to give them the land.

A petition has been started to save the Lake Worth Road Right of Way Bridle Trail, also known as the Sunnyland Canal Trail in Palm Beach Point. The Lake Worth Road Right of Way on the North side of the C-24 Canal in Palm Beach Point has been used by equestrians in Wellington for at least 32 years as a bridle trail. The petition requests that the Lake Worth Road Right of Way be incorporated into the Village Bridle Trail System.

Late last year, two adjacent landowners petitioned the Village of Wellington and ACME Improvement District Board, current managers and owners of the land, to abandon the bridle trail in front of their properties and give the land to them...

Read more here:
https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2021/02/14/petition-fights-closure-horse-trail-florida/