Saturday, July 17, 2021

Wyoming: Fun and Fellowship Among Horsefolk - 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...

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

July 15 2021
Cuyler Meade

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...”

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Friday, July 16, 2021

Webinar Recording: Current and Future Trends in Equestrian Trails

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


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 - 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...

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Saturday, July 10, 2021

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

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Montana Backcountry Cyclists digging in to create mountain bike trail system - 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...

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Thursday, July 8, 2021

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

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