inReach Webinar – What Happens When You Trigger an SOS?

You plan to avoid emergencies, but they do occur. In this instructional webinar led by Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin, and Emily Thompson, emergency operations manager at GEOS, we discussed what happens when you trigger an SOS. We also covered the SOS functionality on inReach devices, how the IERCC at GEOS coordinates a rescue response and steps you can take to help aid in your rescue.

PDF files of the presentation:

What Happens When You Trigger an SOS?

Video Presentation:

What Happens When You Trigger an SOS?

Introduction to Core inReach Features

In this instructional webinar led by Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin, we reviewed the core inReach features to help you get the most out of your inReach experience. Topics included setting up and sending messages, adding contacts, creating routes and waypoints, navigation, tracking, using MapShare™, requesting weather forecasts, and more.

PDF Link of the presentation

Video Presentation Link

More inReach Videos and Information

Our Mission

SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.

Our History

2017 marked the Student Conservation Association’s 60th Anniversary. As we look back and remember, what becomes abundantly clear is that while times change, SCA remains a stalwart presence for conservation and our country. The young people with whom we work gain an adeptness, an ability to press beyond whatever challenge comes next.

https://www.thesca.org/

Some families have to dig hard to find the love that holds them together. Some have to grow it out of the ground.
Bruce Kuipers was good at hunting, fishing, and working, but not at much else that makes a real father or husband. Conflicted, angry, and a serial cheater, he destroyed his relationship with his wife, Nancy, and alienated his three sons-journalist Dean, woodsman Brett, and troubled yet brilliant fisherman Joe. He distrusted people and clung to rural America as a place to hide.

So when Bruce purchased a 100-acre hunting property as a way to reconnect with his sons, they resisted. The land was the perfect bait, but none of them knew how to be together as a family. Conflicts arose over whether the land-an old farm that had been degraded and reduced to a few stands of pine and blowing sand-should be left alone or be actively restored. After a decade-long impasse, Bruce acquiesced, and his sons proceeded with their restoration plan. What happened next was a miracle of nature.

Dean Kuipers weaves a beautiful and surprising story about the restorative power of land and of his own family, which so desperately needed healing. Heartwarming and profound, The Deer Camp is the perfect story of fathers, sons, and the beauty and magic of the natural world.

Dean Kuipers has studied and written about the field of environmental politics and the human-nature relationship for decades. He is the author of Burning Rainbow Farm and Operation Bite Back. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Outside, The Atlantic, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. He lives in Los Angeles.

This event is co-hosted with the Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation

When the Phone Says “No Service” – Satellite Messengers
May 13, 2019

When the Phone Says “No Service”
When you’re out in the wild and need to call for help, don’t be surprised if your cellphone reads “No Service.”
Losing your cell signal while outdoors can be annoying — but if you’re out riding or camping your cellphone signal can mean the difference between life and death. Injuries, being lost, and any other number of hazards can mean we need to call for help — but if there’s no signal to carry your message, then what do you do?  READ MORE

Weather all week had been monsoons, and it was still poring Friday night, but all the TV weather people promised that Saturday would be nice and sunny, although I think most doubted it would be!

When I was hooking up my trainer at 06:30 Saturday morning the clouds in the Montour-Sweet valley were only about 100 feet off the ground and the sky was still gray, but what the heck, we will give it a go!

Linda & Tom Hughes, Bill Holt, Charles & Lorraine Chick, Arlynn Hacker, Nancy Smith, Carmen Tyack, Ron Fergie and Rob Adams were soon busy setting up tables and awing and laying out treasure for our loyal friends and customers who stop by at our yard sales each year.  The weather was still iffy, but we had our fingers crossed.

A few people showed up but it was a very slow start, so we started to play with some of our items,
Tom Hughes found a kilt that the women convinced him to model. Everyone though he looked very fetching!
Janine Townsend should up with a number of boxes and when we unpacked one we found a Chicken & Pig suit. Carmen and Lorraine put them on and modeled them for the group, then they got some bar chairs and went out and sat by the road, waving at the passing cars. After a couple of near wrecks they put the costumes on the rack, but their antics got the crowds coming to visit us.Charles Chick found some stuffed animals and turned one into a hat


People starting buying thing and the cash box slowly started filling mostly with dollar bills. We had a lot of Toonies donations as the Canadians would say, two dollars at a time. There were very few donations over 20 dollars. Fanny Burki decided she needed some of our treasure for her house and became the big chapter donor.



Then Dee Kincaid showed up and donated a great print with custom frame. This treasure will be held by the chapter until the next convention and use as one of the auction items. Thanks Dee!  By 16:00 what was left on the table had been boxed up to be donated and the cash box tallied, Not a bad day, $1081.05 in donations collected!

Tom Helmer <Tom.Helmer@idpr.idaho.gov>

Hello,

My name is Tom Helmer and I am the new Non-Motorized Trails Program Manager for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). My professional background stretches back to 1998, when I began my career on a trail crew in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York. Since then I have managed or worked on and coordinated trail crews from Maine to Washington, and have had stints at Pinnacles National Park, Arizona Conservation Corps, and the Northwest Youth Corps. Most recently, I was the State Director of the Idaho Conservation Corps.

The primary goal of myself/IDPR will be to work with user groups and federal, state, and local non-motorized trail mangers to improve non-motorized trail opportunities across the state. As part of that effort I have been tasked with working towards development of a dedicated and sustainable non-motorized trail funding mechanism in the near future.

Over the next few months I will be traveling statewide to meet with as many stakeholders as possible. I hope to develop a better understanding of non-motorized trail issues at the local, regional, and state level. Most importantly, I would like to ensure we move forward with a shared vision of a robust statewide trail funding source to address the ever-increasing backlog of non-motorized trail funding needs.

I am extraordinarily excited at this opportunity and to work with any and all interested parties. Please feel free to share my contact information with anyone you feel might be interested.
Finally, don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help you or your organization going forward.

Sincerely,

BY NICOLE BLANCHARD
Morels are prized by professional chefs and amateur foodies alike for their nutty, earthy flavor. The truffle-like fungi can fetch prices upward of $20 per pound due to their scarcity and short growing season.

So there’s an obvious element to the vagueness with which morel hunters share their finds — no one wants to find their favorite spot picked clean or otherwise disturbed. But the morels themselves are, by nature, a little perplexing, and that adds to the secretive culture around finding them.

Morels are notoriously difficult to cultivate, and the vast majority of each yearly crop is collected in the wild. But where exactly those wild mushrooms will pop up is largely a guessing game.

“That’s sort of the fun (of morel hunting), it’s an enigma,” said Jonathan Oppenheimer, an avid morel hunter who works as the government relations director for the Idaho Conservation League.

“It’s different than huckleberries, where you have your spot and you know they’ll be there year after year after year,” Oppenheimer said.

Instead, morels tend to follow wildfires, cropping up in larger numbers in areas that burned the previous summer. But no one really knows why.

“The ‘big game’ in Idaho and the West is in burned areas,” Oppenheimer said.

Coloradans Trent and Kristen Blizzard comb through wildfire data to offer a “burn morel map” of the West each year through their website, Modern Forager. A PDF of burned areas across 10 states where you’re likely to find morels (including “the top 11 burns” in Idaho) will run you $40.

“Because they only grow in recent forest fires, they are not such a secret location and we are able to share new maps every year,” the Blizzards said in an email to the Statesman. “The real secret is to know what burn is the right one to go to — which we suss out in our book and maps for people. Finding the correct trees, elevations, aspects, etc. is the secret there … but, frankly, it is not rocket science!” READ MORE

READ FULL STORY
READ FULL STORY

LINK TO DONATION PAGE

Shelly Duff has a typical three horse goose-neck trailer with an RV mattress up front and a lot of stuff piled on the floor in the dressing room/storage space, like most of us with this style of trailer. In the summer of 2018 Lisa Griffith and her partner Levi Sayre converted her bumper pull trailers storage area into a cozy living quarters and Shelly was impressed. Over the winter Shelly cleaned out the area and Lisa and Levi went to work. This is the results.If you have always wanted a living quarters trailer, but didn’t want the size and cost that they generally entail, consider contacting Lisa and Levi to see what they might do with your current one.

26. April 2019 · Comments Off on Mustangs of the East Fork & Challis Basin · Categories: Around The Campfire

 

 

 

A combination of planning, collaboration, hard work, and luck produced a wonderful Fine Art Photography exhibit called The Wild Horses of Idaho – Mustangs of the East Fork and Challis Basin which premiered at the MESH Gallery at Heritage Hall in Ketchum, Idaho on Saturday night (May 26th, 2018).
After eight months of planning and reconnaissance by MESH Art, Claire Porter and Jeff Lubeck conducted a multi-day photo-shoot in the Mountains of Idaho. In less than a one-weeks time the photographic artworks were created, printed, framed, and placed in the gallery for display. The exhibit includes a back-story narrative, maps, and behind the scenes photos. The exhibit will be on display through June 17th, 2018.
The Mustang is a free-roaming horse of the American West. It is a decedent of horses brought to America by the Spanish. Technically the Mustang is considered a feral horse given its domesticated linage.

See my Post Wild Horse Reconnaissance for more background on the Challis Herd and logistics of the photo-shoot.

Jeffrey H. Lübeck
MESH Art LLC.
420 4th Street East
Ketchum, Idaho 83333
(208) 720-9114
jeffreylubeck@mac.com

11. April 2019 · Comments Off on Trail Etiquette · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

As the snow continues to melt across Central Oregon, outdoors enthusiasts of all types are getting increasingly eager to venture out onto dirt trails.

Hikers, runners, mountain bikers and horseback riders are all ready to enjoy spring on the area’s seemingly endless network of paths.

But before they do so, perhaps a refresher on trail etiquette is in order. Yes, the Bend area is growing and the trails are getting more use. But knowing how to react when you encounter another trail user — and knowing the rules regarding dog-leash restrictions and muddy trails — can greatly add to everybody’s enjoyment of our renowned trail system.

Right of way

The yellow upside-down triangle sign that is affixed to trees on certain trails where there might be conflict among users offers perhaps the simplest explanation for who yields to whom: Mountain bikers yield to both pedestrians and equestrians; all user groups yield to equestrians.

This is mostly for safety reasons, as some horses can spook easily and knock their riders off if a mountain biker or runner comes whizzing by without yielding or warning.

“It’s always good to communicate with a person on horseback and get some feedback,” says Jana Johnson, dispersed recreation team leader for the Deschutes National Forest. “And to be ready to dismount if you can or to get off the trail. Yeah, some horses get spooked if someone comes around a corner quickly. But they all react in different ways depending on the horse. There’s some hazards associated with that.”

At areas such at Horse Butte, just east of Bend, encounters between mountain bikers and horseback riders are fairly common. Other high-use areas, such as the Phil’s Trail network west of Bend, do not have as much equestrian use.

At some popular areas, such as Peterson Ridge near Sisters and Maston near Tumalo, separate trails have been built for mountain bikers and horseback riders.

“Most of our trails are multiple use, so it’s always a good idea to follow the yield sign, but also a friendly gesture to say hello to other user groups,” Johnson says. “I find that can just send a message, that hey, we’re all out here enjoying the same thing and we can all enjoy it together by being respectful to each other. The trails are starting to dry out now and become snow-free. People are definitely starting to get out now.”

Woody Keen, trails program director for the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) and a retired professional trail contractor, says mountain bikers ride different trails accordingly. If they are riding a one-way trail in the Phil’s system they are unlikely to encounter a horseback rider, hiker, or other mountain biker. But if they are riding, for instance, the Metolius-Windigo Trail or the Deschutes River Trail, they know they are likely to come across hikers or horseback riders.

“When I’m out riding the Deschutes River Trail, which is predominantly a hiking trail, my reactions need to be different than in the same situation on Phil’s Trail,” Keen says.

He adds that trail users should also be cognizant of the predominant user group and which user group was responsible for designing and building the trail they are on.

“Understand who’s actually taking care of the trails,” Keen says. “I think that goes a long way, giving that respect. Understand how these trails came to be. I think that would go a long way toward helping to reduce potential conflict. We need to figure out how to get along and reduce conflict through better education and more signage, and better camaraderie on working on that common trail.”

As mountain biking continues to grow in popularity in Central Oregon, encounters among bikers are increasingly common. The main rule is that the rider traveling uphill has the right of way.

That can be confusing for several reasons. For starters, many of our trails in Central Oregon are relatively flat. Also, does that mean uphill in general, as in riding west of Bend toward the Cascade Range? No, says Keen. It means any uphill section.

“If you’re going west, you’re generally going uphill, but there are places where you’re going downhill,” Keen says. “Coming back toward town (Bend), you generally are descending. The key is just looking ahead and expecting other users and respecting other users. It’s situation specific.”

Dogs

Keen says that one of the most prevalent types of user conflicts recently has been off-leash dogs versus on-leash dogs.

The vast majority of the Deschutes National Forest allows off-leash dogs. According to the U.S. Forest Service, from Nov. 1 to May 1, dogs are allowed on all but 1 % of the Deschutes National Forest. The area where dogs are not allowed is located north of the Cascade Lakes Highway (west of Bend) and includes areas accessed by the Virginia Meissner, Swampy Lakes, Vista Butte and Dutchman sno-parks.

During the summer, about 54 miles of the 1,200 miles of trails on the forest have an on-leash requirement, according to the Forest Service. These trails include the Three Sisters Wilderness Area between the South Sisters Climbers Trail and Todd Lake from July 15 to Sept. 15. Also, dogs must be leashed on a portion of the Deschutes River Trail (between Benham Falls and Meadow Camp) from May 15 to Sept. 15, except when entering or exiting water sources to swim and play.

Muddy trails

Many trails remain covered in snow and ice, and some are muddy from a combination of snowmelt and rainfall. Trail users are advised by both the Forest Service and COTA to stay off muddy trails, because using them can leave ruts from footprints, tire marks, or horse hooves that dry and harden later in the spring.

“Wait until they drain and firm up a little more, and dry out,” Johnson says. “Those ruts can last for a long time.”

Mountain bikers can check bendtrails.org for information on conditions of area trails.

“It was a pretty long winter — it still is,” Keen says. “I get that people want to go recreate on dirt trails. I understand that. But we ask people to use good judgment and if you observe that you are leaving tread damage because the trail is too soft, turn around and go somewhere else.”

—Reporter: 541-383-0318,

mmorical@bendbulletin.com

11. April 2019 · Comments Off on South Korea to Open 3 Hiking Trails to DMZ · Categories: Around The Campfire

11. April 2019 · Comments Off on Recreational Trails Program – 2019 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

2019-RTP-Report

Grant Program Guidance 2019

07. April 2019 · Comments Off on CPR & Outdoor First Aid Review – Bogus Basin Ski Patrol · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

http://www.bbsp.org/              https://www.facebook.com/bogusbasinskipatrol/

Service and Safety
Written by Carol Peterson

Service and Safety……………….Since the inception of the National Ski Patrol by Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole in 1938, “Service and Safety” has been the NSP motto. Keeping people safe on the mountain and during other outdoor activities is the mission of every patroller wearing the red jacket with the white cross on back.

Could you be a patroller? Would you like to become a member of an organizations whose core values are Excellence, Service, Camaraderie, Leadership, Integrity and Responsiveness? Life happens and the patrol is continually looking for snow sport enthusiasts willing to give their time and skills to help recreationalists be safer during their outdoor pursuits.

The Bogus Basin Ski Patrol is a mostly volunteer organization that primarily provides support for the Bogus Basin Mountain Resort non profit organization that is entrusted with the stewardship of the ski area by the U.S. Forest Service. The support we provide is emergency first aid services. We respond, assess, treat, package, and transport to higher medical authority. Now that we have the technical accurate description out of the way, we can talk about what is ‘under the hood’. Basically, we are a large family. After the shared adversity of enduring the 15 months that it takes to become a patroller, you really get to know your fellow candidates, the patrollers that train you, and the whole patrol family.


Do I need prior medical or emergency medical care experience?

No. The patrol training program begins with the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) training course. This is a comprehensive class and practical training program that has been developed and refined over the years by the National Ski Patrol. It is intense and requires good personal study habits. You must, ultimately, successfully demonstrate that you have learned the knowledge and are able to perform the treatment skills that this course covers in a series of written and practical tests. So while prior experience is a benefit the curriculum requires only that you make a strong commitment to learn – and succeed in doing so.

On April 6, 2019 eleven Squaw Butte members joined five Bogus Basin Ski Patrol members lead by Karen King to take a one day version of their “OEC” Outdoor Emergency Care training course. This very hands on course is tailored by Karen and her team to target the types of medical emergencies that Back Country Horsemen might encounter on the trail, and what steps to take and what not to do, until the injured party is delivered to higher medical assistance.
The BBSP team would demonstrate and then we would break up into small groups and practice the procedure, during which questions were ask, suggestions made and techniques learned. 2019 Outdoor First Aid Class SummaryCoffee and snacks were available to fuel attendees and during the short lunch break we grabbed by the slice pizza from a shop near by. During the whole day, Bogus Basin staff selling season passes and taking in rental ski packages could hear the laughter through the walls of the training room. If you have not attended one of these classes, it is highly recommended you do in the future, you will greatly increase your knowledge and have a great time doing it.

29. March 2019 · Comments Off on FB – Trail Workers of America · Categories: Around The Campfire

25. March 2019 · Comments Off on Saddle Tune UP – DeMac Mules · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Bob McFadden has a spring special going for BCHI members.  A complete cleaning, repair and conditioning of your saddle.  My 17 year old McCall Packer was in serious need of some TLC.  Bob did a great job and I am ready for the next 10 year on the trail.

EPSON MFP image

18. March 2019 · Comments Off on 26 years managing wild horses in Gem County · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

About 15 miles north of Emmett is 25,806 acres of rolling hills, prominent buttes and ridgelines that make up the Bureau of Land Management’s Four-Mile Wild Horse Management Area (HMA). Elevations vary from 2,500 to about 5,400 feet.

The Four-Mile population census taken in February 2018 was 128 horses according to Boise District BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Raul Trevino.

History of Gem’s wild horses

The Four-Mile horses originated from domestic stock owned by those living in the Big Willow Creek and Four-Mile Creek areas. Pinto horses were raised by Jack Macomb in the 1930s in the Four Mile Canyon. Others raised horses in the area including Nelson McCullough on Willow Creek, Tom Wilburn on South Crane Creek and Walter Knox on the Indian Jake Ranch. These horses were not considered wild according to the BLM until people came and tried to catch them or chase them. Being difficult to corral, they were considered wild. Sixty-five privately owned horses were rounded up and removed in 1965.

At the passage of the Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act in 1971, two HMAs were identified and BLM was given authority to manage wild horses and burros on public lands. There were 75 horses in the 4-Mile HMA and West Crane HMA. Decisions removed the horses permanently from West Crane and reduced the Four-Mile to the appropriate management level of 20 head for rangeland health.

An aerial survey in 1972 counted a total of 13 adult and two foals. Of those, one was a mule, one wore a halter and another horse wore hobbles.

During a 1986 wildfire in the Four-Mile HMA, 14,000 acres burned. The horses were removed January 1987 due to a lack of forage on their home range and to allow vegetation recovery. The area was aerially seeded with grasses and forbs. Then in the fall of 1991, nine horses from the Owyhee Resource Area were introduced back into the Four-Mile HMA. Three years later there were 12 head on 18,018 acres.

Currently there are 128 horses in the HMA. The Low Allowable Management level is 37 head for the area, so the BLM is in the process of gathering and removing horses to meet the allowable number. BLM manages a total of six wild horse herd management areas in Idaho on approximately 418,000 acres of private, public and state lands.

As of March 1, 2018, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated at 82,000 animals, which is more than triple the number of animals the land can support in conjunction with other legally mandated land uses. Four-Mile HMA is also overpopulated.

05. March 2019 · Comments Off on 2018 Trail Log Total – 566.15 miles – The Sage Writer Blog · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE

04. March 2019 · Comments Off on 2019 Idaho Sportsman Show · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA, Current Events, Education



For the 10th year the south western Idaho chapters of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho, Boise, Squaw Butte and Treasure Valley have manned a BCHI information booth at the Idaho Sportsman show at the Expo Idaho grounds. As in years past our booth was next to Public Land Agencies, the US Forest Service and BLM. Our display generated a lot of interest, with lots of questions about the various pictures and the trail safety posters. We handed out lots of information about BCHI, and the ITA (Idaho Trails Association) who partners with our chapters on wilderness projects. Thank you to the members of the Boise and Treasure Valley chapters who stood booth shifts, and to the Squaw Butte Members, David Benson, Charles & Lorraine Chick, Shannon Schantz, Nancy Smith, Arlynn Hacker, Phil Ryan, Carmen Tyack, Bill Holt, Rob Adams and Bill & Marybeth Conger.

01. March 2019 · Comments Off on 2019 – Packing Clinic – Squaw Butte · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA, Current Events, Education


2019 PACK CLINIC

28. February 2019 · Comments Off on Protecting Big Prairie · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands


Bob Article July 2018

22. February 2019 · Comments Off on IHC Report February 2019 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Meetings

IDAHO HORSE COUNCIL report Respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger- IHC Director for BCHI – one of seven

After IHC President Dixie Christensen called meeting to order, roll call was taken and motions carried to approve the November 17,2018 minutes as amended and the special director meeting of December 27, 2018.

The following guests and IHC membership representatives were introduced and welcomed: Randi McCallan- AQHA, Ann Martin- 2019 IHC Organizational member SCGH, Rhonda Gundert (Kimberly Kvamme’s friend), DeEtte Lindberg- IHB Executive Director, Dan Tackett, and Sabina Amidon- 2019 IHC Individual Member.

1. Treasurer’s Report & Financial Summary presented.

Unfinished Business:

2. Hiring of Executive Director- A committee was formed. Director input on what an Executive Director should do for the IHC. Please respond to committee email requests. IHC has temporarily hired a temporary secretary.

3. Please welcome and congratulate Cheryl Keshian as the IHC 2019 2nd Vice President.

4. Janine Townsend discussed Horse Statue. Cost could be $2,500- $3,500. Sabrina Amidon has one for the IHC to borrow temporarily. Janine will handle getting this horse to the 2019 Expo.

5. DeEtte Lindberg, Idaho Horse Board Executive Director, gave update. Senator Patti Anne Lodge working to present draft bill to increase equine fees.

Read complete report

IHC January 26 2019 report for BCHI 2019-02-07 Meeting Minutes

09. February 2019 · Comments Off on Horse Trailer Maintenance – Video · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education


Link to Video

07. February 2019 · Comments Off on ITA – 2018 Annual Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

READ FULL REPORT


Read Laurie Bryan’s Blog

17. January 2019 · Comments Off on When Government is closed! · Categories: Around The Campfire

17. January 2019 · Comments Off on Shoshone National Forest – Great Horse Country · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA, Public Lands

 

09. January 2019 · Comments Off on Payette National Forest Trail Status Map · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

PAYETTE TRAILS! Introducing the Payette National Forest Trail Status Map! This is a great map that allows you to see the current status of every trail on the Forest. Plan your next trip with this map. Click this link – its easy to remember! http:/bit.ly/PayetteTrails

04. January 2019 · Comments Off on Equine Trail Sports · Categories: Around The Campfire

Posted by Arlynn Hacker
Link to website

21. December 2018 · Comments Off on Back Country Horsemen of Washington – Videos · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA


Their are a number of excellent videos that are worth your time watching. LINK

20. December 2018 · Comments Off on SBFC – The Wildest Place – Fall 2018 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Read Fall 2018 Newsletter

18. December 2018 · Comments Off on A People’s History of Wilderness · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

A People’s History of Wilderness Paperback – September 2004
by Matt Jenkins (Editor)

Published on the 40th anniversary of America’s most important public lands protection movement

·Highlights the citizen activists who made and continue to make wilderness real
·Features new and archival stories from High Country News

With the signing of the Wilderness Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964, the National Wilderness Preservation System was established to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness. High Country News brings to life the people and events who shaped this unprecedented citizen’s movement. Drawn from the pages of this award-winning newspaper whose coverage has been solely focused on environmental and cultural issues affecting the American West for over three decades, A People’s History of Wilderness presents the competing philosophies, complexities, and passions, as they happened, that has resulted in the protection of over 104 million acres of wilderness.

This is an excellent compilation of articles, essays and editorials from the top magazine about the western United States, High Country News, specifically dealing with wilderness.

Major national environmental groups as well as local organizations all get their due, as well as insight onto their different angles in wilderness legislation attempts, lobbying, etc.

So, too, do questions about compromise vs. hardball tactics, local vs. national perspectives, state-by-state vs. interstate wilderness bills and more.

But, this is also about the enjoyment of wilderness on the ground, along with related issues such as its overenjoyment in some cases, compromises with rancher grazing rights, and even more so with old mining claims and such.

You can’t do better than this book as an intro to wilderness issues.

18. December 2018 · Comments Off on Fire Season · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

16. December 2018 · Comments Off on Idaho Wildlife Federation – December News · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Deeds Reveal Billionaire Brothers Illegally Gated Public Road

Contact: Brian Brooks, Idaho Wildlife Federation, (208) 870-7967

BOISE – The Idaho Wildlife Federation has found deeds from past landowners granting easements for sections of Forest Road 374, the Boise Ridge Road, for public use in perpetuity. The easements apply to the sections of road the Wilks’ brothers company, DF Development, has recently installed gates on, making the installations a violation of Idaho law.

Earlier this fall the Texas billionaire Wilks brothers made waves by installing gates on the very popular Boise Ridge Road located just north of Boise, which is frequently used by Idahoans for hunting and recreation access on the Boise National Forest. But Brian Brooks, executive director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation says, “this is about more than just gates. This is about wealthy individuals flaunting Idaho’s laws and illegally claiming public resources as their own without repercussions. And it spurs the question- how many more public roads have they illegally claimed as their own?”
IWF’s investigation into the construction of the Boise Ridge Road revealed the road was built with public dollars, and has been maintained using taxpayer dollars. The road was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s using public funds for the purpose of public use and fire management. Through a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by The Wilderness Society and shared with the Idaho Wildlife Federation, it was found that taxpayers have been footing the bill for maintaining the road for nearly 90 years, fulfilling prescriptive road easement requirements.

“DF Development has never had the right to close or install gates on the Boise Ridge Road, because it belongs to the public. These out-of-state folks have a lot of nerve coming into Idaho and gating a road that was built and paid for by the public,” says Brooks.

Current Idaho law prohibits marking public lands and roads as private. However, as a criminal violation only, a government entity must initiate the lawsuit for its enforcement. “The law lacks a civil remedy common in property disputes, which would give Idaho citizens the power to resolve the issue peer to peer in court,” according to Brooks.

“Counties are strapped for resources, especially rural counties where these violations are happening. Choosing to derail county budgets to prosecute billionaires over access issues, while burdened with more heinous crimes, is not financially practical. It’s time we give citizens legal recourse to enforce public access. By adding a civil remedy to the existing law we can save taxpayer dollars and mobilize enforcement procedures faster.”

Adding a civil suit clause will require action by the state legislature and could be passed as an amendment to the recently updated trespass law, the same law the Wilks brothers lobbied for. During the 2018 legislative session, IWF attempted to include a civil remedy provision to the legislation, but the idea was rebuffed and Idaho’s citizens were kept from enforcing their right to access public property. IWF is vetting potential legislation to lawmakers and interest groups for the 2019 session.

“It’s a small change. A civil remedy exists to protect private property rights. Now it’s time to protect public property rights.”

MORE NEWS from IWF

Matthew interviewed by Becca Aceto

Worn leather boots lined the wall and a dusty wood stove sat in the corner of the room, ready for the inevitable chill to return to the mountains. “What we really need right now is a whiskey.” I smiled at this remark.

Matthew’s small cabin was dimly lit and a faint smell of game meat lingered in the air, the only trace of meals past. Out the front door and across the airstrip mules and horses snoozed in the midday sun. A few miles to our north and less to the east was the massive Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

We talked for over an hour, laughing about ornery mules in the backcountry and reminiscing of trips past. Some of the wildest places in the lower 48 have shaped Matthew, both professionally and personally. I’d also like to point out that Matthew never mentioned a specific animal he’d harvested or shot he’d taken. His words were of experience and place – he puts great value on the intrinsic worth of things. I was glad to sit down and have this conversation. Enjoy!

B: Tell me a bit about your background. Did you grow up outdoors and hunting?

M: I sure did. My father is a lifetime hunter who had me out in the woods of Missouri with him from a young age. We’d hunt deer, turkeys and squirrels on both private and public land. I also ran my own traplines beginning in middle school, water trapping for beavers, muskrat, mink and otters predominantly. Paddling a canoe down the river checking traps really builds up an appreciation of the natural world in someone. I don’t trap anymore. Now my dad comes out to Montana every fall and we take the mules into the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall wilderness to hunt elk and deer.

B: So how’d you get into packing?

M: I got into packing when I was 18 as a trail crew member in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and learned from a fellow who’s the lead packer there to this day. Our trail crew would take stock out to self-support us during 10-day hitches. I went to Glacier National Park a couple years later as a backcountry ranger. I used stock and learned a lot more about packing from a guy who was the lead packer there for over 30 years.

I really learned a lot when I started working with an outfitter out of Augusta, Montana packing and guiding elk and deer hunts in the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat. We had one camp that was a 24-mile ride one way over the highest pass in the Bob. That’s some wild country back there. I like having grizzlies on the landscape. You get an elk down, snow is falling and you see fresh griz tracks bigger than your head, all the while thinking “I wonder if it’s on the elk.” It’s great.

B: Do you see yourself fitting into the realm of conservation through this work?

M: Absolutely. I support public access for fishermen, hunters, hikers, backpackers – really anyone using the country I work in. I also support trail crews and rangers to get trails opened up and to make sure regulations are followed in the backcountry. I pack out a lot of trash, too. Last year during the solar eclipse I spent a week in the White Clouds. We had a lot of people in the mountains so I made sure everyone was following fire restrictions and wilderness regulations over the span of that week. Fortunately people were pretty knowledgeable so I didn’t have much work to do. In 2016 I packed the chief of the Forest Service as well as Mike Simpson and a few others into the newly-designated White Clouds Wilderness which was a really good time. That trip left a big impression on everyone.

B: Have you had any wildlife encounters while packing that could have been a bit hairy?

M: Oh, once I was leading a pack string through Glacier National Park and we came across a grizzly chowing down on glacier lilies. I started yelling at it, “Hey, bear! Hey, bear!” It didn’t even look up so I just rode right on by. The stock did great, didn’t make a fuss at all.

B: And the bear?

M: That damn bear never even looked up. Just kept on eating as we passed by at about 20 yards.

B: Do you have any conservation idols who come to mind?

M: It’s hard for me to just pick one, but I really like the Montana writer and conservationist Joseph Kinsey Howard. I also like Wallace Stegner and Jack Turner. And Fred Bear is probably my favorite hunter/conservationist.

B: Any hunting stories that have stuck with you over the years?

M: Oh, well there was this one time… A few years back I was hunting deer at the edge of a meadow near a clear cut. Suddenly this mountain lion walks out into the meadow not 40 yards from me, lays down and takes a nap. It was there for three hours and the whole time I just sat there watching. Every now and then it would lift its head up, look around and yawn, then lay back down. Finally, it got up and stretched with lazy kitten eyes that I was watching through my binoculars. I turned around for just a second to look for deer on the hill behind me and when I turned back around the cat was gone. Just like that. It was amazing.

B: Any final thoughts?

M: The best thing I can say is that I am poor in the sense that I own no house and no property but living between Idaho and Montana I am so land rich as a citizen of the United States. I can head out my door and do an array of activities on millions and millions of acres. It’s unparalleled. Let’s hope lots of folks step up to keep it that way.

Matthew Chappell is a wilderness packer for the Payette National Forest. He spends half his year packing in Idaho’s wilderness areas and the other half at his home on the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana.

11. December 2018 · Comments Off on 2019 Wilderness Ranger Internship · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

2019 Wilderness Ranger Internship

The goals of the SBFC Wilderness Ranger Intern (WRI) program are to train, educate, mentor and provide employment development opportunities for the next generations of wilderness professionals and provide skilled support to the Forest Service for accomplishing priority wilderness work.

This is a 14-week internship for military veterans and college students doing under-graduate or graduate work in conservation, resource management, wilderness, recreation or related fields.  The internship offers wilderness skills training including the basics of trail maintenance, Wilderness First Responder, and Wilderness Act history and policy, followed by 12 weeks working in the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church Wilderness areas, with trained wilderness professionals, US Forest Service managers and volunteers.   LEARN MORE

** The 2019 WRI application will be open until January 4, 2019. **    APPLY

Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation

Committed to wilderness and to the people who love it as much as we do.

The Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation is a community of wilderness minded and hardworking individuals, dedicated to connecting wilderness with the people who work, live, and play within it.

The efforts of the SBFC community protect and preserve the natural, pristine character of wilderness.

02. December 2018 · Comments Off on Northwest Horse Source – December 2018 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education


Click either story to load the On-Line Issue

29. November 2018 · Comments Off on BCHI – Chapter Squaw Butte 2018 Miles & Hours · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA, Work Parties and Projects

Spreadsheet is available – Contact Rob Adams

Click on Sheet to see larger View

29. November 2018 · Comments Off on Idaho Horse Council Annual Meeting · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA

 Our Annual Meeting Idaho Horse Council Meeting Saturday, November 17, 2018

Les Schwab Corral, (Ford Idaho Horse Park Restaurant)
16260 Idaho Center Blvd, Nampa, ID 83687
November 17, 2018
7:30 AM Breakfast
8:00 Registration Desk Opens
8:30 Welcome Charlene Cooper – Idaho Horse Council
9:00 Cody Burlile –Idaho State Brand Inspector
9:30 Bill Conger President – Back Country Horsemen of Idaho
10:00 Q & A for Trails in Idaho
10:30 Open Discussion on Trails
10:45 Break
11:15 Dixie Christensen – Idaho Horse Council Youth Fund
11:30 Lunch
1:00 Steve Taylor Board of Directors Responsibilities – Presentation
1:30 Committee Report
Committee Reports:
Finance–Audit Report Diana Wadsworth
Animal Welfare-
Idaho Horse Census – No Report
Idaho Horse Expo
Legislation
Promotion & Membership
Racing
Scholarship Program
Trails & Urban Land Use
Wild Horse
Youth Activities
Historic Racing Youth
Call to Order Annual Business Meeting and Election of Officers
Roll Call Directors – Approval of Minutes- Report of Treasurer
Unfinished Business – New Business – Election of Board Members
Closing of Business Meeting
6:30 – 7:00 No Host Bar and Banquet Dinner
After Dinner Speaker Miss Teen Rodeo Idaho Kylee Whitting 2019
After Dinner Speaker Pete Ritter Ridges to River

IHC 11-17-2018 report  Posted by Marybeth Conger

27. November 2018 · Comments Off on Hands On Grooming Gloves · Categories: Around The Campfire, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits


Love them! We discovered HandsOn Grooming Gloves in the winter of 2016 and have been using them continuously ever since. Learn more about HandsOn Grooming Gloves and get yours at https://handsongloves.com/

Being flexible the HandsOn glove make scrubbing difficult areas such as joints and ears easy and enjoyable.
The Gloves come in various sizes to fit hands on any size. If you have smaller hands, now you don’t have to worry about trying to grip awkward large grooming tools.

The curry combs, mitts, and scrubbers in your grooming kit may well start gathering dust once you try a pair of HandsOn Grooming gloves.

21. November 2018 · Comments Off on TrailMeister Trailer Project · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Air Bags for Safe Trailer Towing – Trailer Project #1

Trailer Hitch, Balls, Haney Meadow – Trailer Project #2

EBY Visit – Trailer Project Part 3

21. November 2018 · Comments Off on Idaho in the Movies | Outdoor Idaho | IdahoPTV · Categories: Around The Campfire


Posted by David Benson

19. November 2018 · Comments Off on Thankful for Mules and Their People · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

We’ve just about finished up our 2018 clinic season with the exception of one upcoming clinic next week in Australia. This will conclude our 6th year of teaching clinics! Time goes fast when you’re having fun! It has been wonderful helping people with their mule problems and mules with their people problems. We are so grateful for all of you who have supported us at these clinics, it has been a pleasure serving you and you’re mules. We have made so many friends, met so many amazing people, seen some incredible country, and made life long memories all because of the mule. I personally owe much to the mule. The mule is my life, my love, my hobby, my living, and my passion. I have learned that the best teacher out there is the mule. Especially the troubled and misunderstood mules. They, like so many of us, just need a little help, a little confidence, a little nudge in the right direction, a chance for their potential to blossom. I am thankful for the mule and especially for all of you who are reading this. My family and I are forever grateful for all of you!

New class descriptions for 2019   /    Clinics Dates

Posted by David Benson

14. November 2018 · Comments Off on New BCHA Facebook Video · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education


TRAILS, FRIENDS & FOOD!
Please share with your Facebook Friends.
Marybeth Conger-Education Chair

09. November 2018 · Comments Off on End of Season Party, Tuesday Dec 11 , 2018 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

End of Season Party, Tuesday Dec 11 , 2018
Time 18:00 – 22:00 (6-10 pm) 
Pot-luck dinner for members and guests

Food Drive – We will be collecting monetary donations for the GEM County Food Bank

Pet Food Drive – We will be collecting $ or donations of pet food (PAL)

Gift Exchange
Pictures  2016   2017
Location:  Rebecca Ignacio Party Venue 4131 West Central Road, Emmett
Contacts: Shannon Schantz & Party Committee  208-365-7691 

Sign UP to tell us you are coming


 

30. October 2018 · Comments Off on Hermit Camp – Owyhee · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

Laurie Bryan – Trail Log: 10-25-2018 HERMIT CAMP

  • Trail: Succor Creek Canyon Camp to Succor Creek
  • Miles: 3
  • Riders/Hiker: Self
  • Horses: Jack and J
  • Dogs: Shade and Hank

Notes:  Sometimes I just need to get my hermit on. It’s been a whirl wind year of shooting, IMO, work and just every day life. It was time to make one last hermitage into the Owyhee’s before winter. Destination: Succor Creek Canyon.

Trail Log: 10-26-2018 – Fisherman Rd. To Owyhee Reservoir

  • Trail: Fisherman Rd. To Owyhee Reservoir
  • Miles: 21.8
  • Riders: Self – Lee B.
  • Horses: Jack – J’Lo – Prince

Notes: Met Lee at the beginning of Fisherman Rd. bright and early. Needed an early start to make sure we were back before dark if possible. I’ve been wanting to do this ride for a long time. Lee has driven and hunted the route, but not ridden it. Fisherman Rd. goes all the way in and drops you down onto Owyhee reservoir.

Trail Log: 10-27-2018 

  • Trail: Lonesome Willow – Antelope Springs – Succor Creek canyon loop
  • Miles: 14.15
  • Riders: Self – Lee – Cynthia and Becky
  • Horses: Jack and J – King – Paint and Jude

Click here for full set of photos: Get’in my hermit on

Notes: Well, I thought the previous ride to the lake would have been the highlight of the weekend. I was pleasantly surprised to find today’s ride even better. I met Lee, Cindy and Becky at the head of Camp Hermit on Succor Creek Rd and followed them to a road above Lonesome Willow – previously known as the Bob Davis Ranch. The State purchased the old ranch and turned it into …pretty much nothing. Sure wish they would put it up for sale and let somebody bring it back to life. What an awesome place in it’s day.

30. October 2018 · Comments Off on Fall Ride & Potluck – Sweet/Montour · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

Montour, Gem County, Idaho, USA sits at the base of Regan Butte on the Payette River. At an elevation of about 3300 feet, the peak of Regan Butte rises 800 feet above the small farming community below. Off not far in the distance a little east of north one can see the small town of Sweet, Idaho and off in the distance in the same direction just out of sight is Ola, Idaho. Looking just a little south of west one can see a portion of Emmett, Idaho. The Payette River wraps almost entirely around the butte, bordering about 3/4th of its base. 360 degree ViewIn the early 1860’s the first ranch was established at what is now Montour and it was used as a stage/mail stop along the road to the Boise Basin. Montour was officially platted after the railroad came through in 1911. Montour once vied for the Boise County seat but in 1915 it was incorporated into Gem County, Emmett being the County seat. In 1941 a new highway bypassed Montour which greatly slowed growth and shortly thereafter the school closed.

Montour
In the early 1860’s the Marsh-Ireton Ranch was established as a stage and mail stop along the freight road to the Boise Basin. After the railroad came through the Valley in 1911, the Montour business district and town were platted. They vied for the Boise County seat, but in 1915, the town was incorporated into Gem County with Emmett as the County seat. Dreams of prosperity faded, when in 1941, the new highway bypassed Montour, and shortly thereafter the school closed due to school reorganization.

The last store closed in 1968. In the 1970’s, ice jams along the backwaters of the dam flooded the Valley. The Bureau of Reclamation bought out the landowners and has since turned the area into a wildlife refuge and camping area. A natural landmark is the small butte, generally known as Regan Butte, named after the homesteader who ran cattle there in the late 1800’s.

Riders: Terry MacDonald, Mike & Karen Heilman, Carmen Tyack, Janelle Weeks

Sweet
During the gold rush to the Thunder Mountain Mines, Sweet served as an important freighter’s supply station. At the turn of the century, Sweet boasted of three hotels, three saloons, a bank, a newspaper, two lodge halls, and other business. It was named for the first postmaster Ezekiel Sweet. After the gold rush subsided and a series of fires in the business district, the town began to deteriorate, and was not rebuilt.

Potluck – Was held after the ride at the hobby ranch of Linda & Rob Adams located south east of Sweet. It was well attended by members and guest who enjoyed great food and interesting conversations.  Stories were swapped of our summer adventures and plans started to form for 2019.  No one went home hungry!

19. October 2018 · Comments Off on Trailer Doctor – Emmett Idaho · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Trailer Doctor, 1577 N Plaza Rd, Emmett, ID 83617
Contact: Mike NYCE    https://www.facebook.com/Trailer-Doctor-188801334530051/

I had Mike over to work on my two horse trailers.  My goose-neck trailer was in need of new brakes after ten year of hauling it all over the back country including a number of trips to the Stanley Basin.  My Green three horse trailer needed its bearing packed and to sort out an intermittent electrical problem.

Mike comes to your location and brings a complete shop with him!

The electrical problem with the green trailer was a broken ground wire. BUT, while confirming that everything was working we found out that the wire that enable the brakes had come loose so the trailer brakes were not helping the truck to stop. Lucky for me, I only carry one or two horses in that trailer and generally only on day rides. The fact I didn’t notice is on me!
I was pleased with the quality of Mikes work and I though he charged a reasonable price.

08. October 2018 · Comments Off on Next generation satellite beacons · Categories: Around The Campfire

Emergency Locater Beacons with bi-directional texting

18. September 2018 · Comments Off on Tips from TrailMeister · Categories: Around The Campfire, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

Cleaning your saddle pad

Cleaning your saddle pad

Saddle pads get dirty, really dirty, really quickly.  Sweat and dirt happen when we ride and it’s up to us to stay on top of the filth lest our mounts suffer. It’s time to clean our saddle pad.

I’m not about to say that I wash my pads after every ride. What I do is let them dry between rides (I have three pads that I alternate using) and prior to the following use I gently brush them in a circlular motion, with a rubber curry to break up any dried grime and sweat chunks.

But, by the end of summer those pads have seen a lot of trail miles pass under them and it’s time for a more thorough cleaning to remove the more stubborn deposits.

My fabulous first idea was to put the pads in the washing machine. My much better half said that wasn’t going to happen and that I should find a better alternative. Being too lazy to visit the local laundry mat I opted for a fence gate and a hose.

I use Skito saddle pads that have laminated foam shims inside a fleece pocket, so my cleaning process may be slightly more involved.

1 – Remove the foam inserts and let them soak in a bucket of cool water. I don’t use any detergent because it’s next to impossible to get out. Any soap residue that remains will irritate my animals and that’s a bad thing. Scientists consider water to be the universal solvent because it’s capable of dissolving more substances than anything else (barring oils which I don’t generally find inside my saddle pad). I use this property to my benefit and simply repeatedly squeezing the foams to slowly work any accumulated salts out of material. Dump and refill the bucket with fresh water as often as you can. I’ve been known to put a small amount of vinegar in the water to help kill any lingering beasties.

2 – With the saddle pad securely supported, it’s going to be heavy, use a garden use to spray the saddle pad from the inside out. I want to force the grime out of the material not push it further into the fibers. I also try to work from the middle outward, again always trying to push the dirt away from the pad. I’ve found that once the pad is completely saturated with water that rubbing the material with my fingers is easier on the fabric and works better than brushing with curry combs. This phase takes a while and yes, you will be cold and wet, but keep up the good work until the water runs clear.

3 – Once the pads and the foams cease releasing dirt into your clean water it’s time to dry. Help the pads keep their shape by hanging them over a saddle rack, out of the sun and away from direct heat. Leaving the pad hanging over the gate will cause it to stretch and lose its contoured shape. Direct heat or sun can cause the materials to shrink. Yes, drying this way is slow and takes a while. That’s why we have spare saddle pads.

I wish that I could say that these three steps to a clean saddle pad are a great secret that I discovered. Unfortunately, equipment cleaning is just another part of riding horses and mules. What I have discovered is that by ensuring that when this vital piece of equine tack stays in good working condition it makes for a better ride by continuing to provide the support, protection, and comfort that my animals deserve.

How often do you clean your saddle pads?

For more TrailMeister trail riding tips and thoughts visit www.TrailMeister.com

Keeping Paradise Possible

Keeping Paradise Possible – By Robert Eversole – North East Chapter, BCHW

Paradise. For some that’s an image of a tropical beach, for me it’s a dirt trail that twists and meanders to a backcountry camp deep in the wilderness. It’s a quiet solitude punctuated by the peaceful clip clop of hooves and the far scream of an eagle aloft. It’s the sweet perfume of pine on a warm summer day. It’s the
companionship of a trusted horse who will faithfully take you home.

Unfortunately, in a growing number of cases paradise has padlocks.

In only a few short generations we’ve “improved” a lot of backcountry and rural areas into suburbia and shopping malls. Trail Closed signs are both dreaded and unfortunately frequently encountered. Least we lose them, we’d better take care of the equine friendly country that remains.  Paradise needs protecting.

You don’t have to be a trail rider, or even have your own horse, to recognize the importance of conserving horse trails. There are many things that each of us can do to preserve equine trails. Unfortunately, often it’s sometimes hard to explain why groups like ours are important. Here are some of the reasons to join that I talk about during my expo clinics.

Horse clubs are focal points for both social events and trail stewardship efforts. For me the biggest reason to join an equestrian club is for the comradery of people who have the same interests. Being able to talk about trail conditions, feed, training, etc. is priceless.

Don’t have a local Back Country Horsemen group nearby, or don’t care for the one that is? Start a new one. These organizations are always looking for new members and new chapters. A quick google search will put you in touch with someone who can help.

Here are four reasons to join a, or start, a horse club. And quotes from those who have.

  • You’ll meet like-minded people and make new friends

“Share activities with like-minded people both socially and out on the trails.”

“The diversity of a club’s membership allows members to ride and camp with others who have similar aspirations and at a whole range of experiences. It makes it easy to find people to ride with when their regular partner is unable to get away.”

“There’s a large group of us who don’t just go out on club rides, we’ll meet up on other weekends too – it’s great to have lots of different people to go riding with.”

“Looking for love?  I know lots of couples who met through horses!”

  • You’ll see new places and do new things

“You can expand the scope of your own activities by taking part in those organized by more experienced members”

“A lot of clubs have a range of social events which complements the riding scene”

“If you want to go to a new trail area there’s bound to be someone in the club who has already been and willing to give you info on the place”

  • You’ll learn new skills

“Many clubs offer training opportunities, however chaotic or informal, and there are always more experienced members around to provide guidance and help.”

“Practical peer-to-peer coaching so that we all learn together”

“Knowledge transfer from more experienced members, a bit like an apprenticeship”

“As a new member I doubt that I’d have made the steps to ride outside the arena without the support of the club”

  • It’s fun!

“It’s more fun spending your day out with others.  And they can get great photos of you and your partner on rides too.”

There are more benefits than just being a member of a club. There are new friends to be made, information to learn and most of all the comradery of people who get what it means to love horses and trail riding.

We live during a time when equine trail use is being curtailed. Most Americans live in urban settings, removed from our version of paradise. Most of them don’t understand the importance of conservation, outdoor recreation, and the protection of trails.

Please, don’t wait until you’re faced with a crisis before you get involved. Volunteer with trail projects, join a club that will help protect your trail access, and educate yourself and others on best practices.