Pigeon River & Beyond - Back Country Horsemen, Michigan

AHC Releases Report on Equestrian Access

March 9, 2010

AHC WASHINGTON UPDATE


AHC Releases Report on Equestrian Access

On March 9, 2010, the American Horse Council released its 2009 Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land. The 2009 report is intended to provide a brief overview of the responses the AHC received from equestrians to its ongoing access survey in 2009.  The report can be viewed and downloaded here.

In July of 2009 the American Horse Council launched an effort to collect information regarding equestrian access issues on federal lands.   This effort was prompted by a growing concern among recreational riders around the country that they were seeing a reduction in the number of trails and trail heads open to equestrians on federal land.

The center piece of this effort has been an AHC online form riders can use to report their personal experiences regarding trails on federal lands that have been closed to them or other access issues.  This online form is located here on the AHC website.           

Hundreds of thousands of Americans use horses and pack stock to enjoy America ’s great outdoors each year.  However, it is an experience that cannot be enjoyed without access to public land, trail systems, and trailheads. 

The AHC will use this report to illustrate some of the challenges facing recreational riders to Congress and the federal agencies. This report will be an important tool in the fight to ensure equestrians continue to have recreational opportunities on federal land.

The AHC asks all recreational riders to visit the AHC website and continue to report any access issues they have had using this electronic form. https://www.horsecouncil.org/survey.php

If you have any questions please contact the AHC.

 

U.S.Rider has created a special limited-time program just for Back Country Horsemen of America members!

Traditionally, roadside assistance programs have been unable to help drivers who are transporting horses. To fill this need, USRider created the Equestrian Motor Plan. This unique plan provides roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to members traveling with horses. 

With an annual fee comparable to that of other roadside assistance programs, USRider’s plan offers service anywhere in the continental United States, Canada and Alaska and includes the typical flat-tire repair, battery assistance and lockout services.  In addition, the Equestrian Motor Plan offers services designed with horse owners in mind, including 100 miles of free towing for the tow vehicle and/or horse trailer, emergency veterinary, stabling, and farrier referrals, and more, for just pennies a day.

USRider membership is one of the best values in the horse industry at just $119 annually, plus a $29 new member activation fee. Associate memberships for family members are available for just $79 each. USRider waives the new member activation fee for members who add an associate member when they join.  Join USRider today by calling 1-800-844-1409 or by visiting http://www.usrider.org/.

USRider has created a special limited-time program just for Back Country Horsemen of America members!  For any member of BCHA who joins USRider between February 1 and February 28, 2010, USRider will make a $10.00 donation for each new primary membership.  Call 1-800-844-1409 to join – be sure to identify yourself as a Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) member.  Or, join online at www.usrider.org – be sure to choose BCHA in the “How did you hear about us?” box to assure credit to our organization.

ACTION ALERT!

Friends/ Members and Supporters

 
DECEMBER 3RD 8:30 A.M. Senate Hearing scheduled.
 
The Agriculture and Bioeconomy Committee will be meeting next Thursday, December 3rd to hear testimony on both bills-HB4610 and SB 578. Because of time constraints of one hour we are requesting that all testimony that was previously submitted  be resubmitted to the clerk of this committee to be placed in the committee members folders for review .  Testimony should be addressed to:  Senator Gerald VanWoerkom, chairman and committee members. 
 
We are optimistic that a vote from the senate will take place the 1st part of December.  We would like to urge all trail riders and members to please contact your respective state senator and all (5) committee members urging them to support this bill ASAP!
 
Agriculture and Bioeconomy:  Clerk: Jordan Hankwitz   jhankwitz@senate.michigan.gov  517-373-1635
 
SenGVanwoerkom@senate.michigan.gov   Chairman  517-373-1635
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you again for always being there with support.  We are making a difference-let's continue to press forward for a better tomorrow!  If your work schedule will permit, please come and join us in Lansing on the 3rd!  There is strength in numbers.
 
Thank you once again,
Dick Kleinhardt
Pres.
Pigeon River & Beyond
Back Country Horsemen, MI
 
 

Report Equestrian Trail Closures or Access Issues on Federal Land

The American Horse Council writes:

horseEquestrians are seeing an increasing loss of access through trail restrictions, trail closures, and use restrictions.  Riders and stock users are being excluded from areas that they have historically traveled through and indeed first opened up.  It is a loss of opportunities for riders, families, persons with disabilities, school groups and others.  There seems to be a management environment less open to these traditional forms of use.  Sometimes restrictions on equestrian use are done intentionally through management plans that reduce, restrict or eliminate horses, horse facilities, camping or grazing restrictions, cross-country travel restrictions or closures.  Sometimes the restrictions are indirect though a lack of trail maintenance, or over regulation, or lack of services to the public like facilities that provide saddle and pack animals or parking for horse trailers. 

In order to better combat this disturbing trend the AHC is asking equestrians to document examples of trails or entire areas that have been closed to equestrians on federal land (National Forest Service, National Parks Service, and Bureau of Land Management, etc).  The AHC is seeking all relevant information concerning these closures such as the reason for the loss of access, details concerning any public process that was involved and the history of equestrian use on the closed trail or area.  

The AHC is committed to preserving equine access to public lands.  It is very important for these efforts that we have evidence that demonstrates the extent of the problem and the need for action on the part of Congress or the federal land agencies.

The AHC is also interested in examples of attempts to bar equestrian access that have been defeated.

Please take a few moments and use the electronic form to report any access issue you have experienced. 

Click Here to Report a Trail Access Issue 

AHC Seeks to Document Equestrian Access Issues on Public Land

Submit your information on equestrian lands that have been lost or blocked.

July 24, 2009

 

The American Horse Council has launched a new effort to collect information on access issues equestrians are experiencing on federal lands. The center piece of this effort is an online form equestrians can use to report their personal experiences regarding trails and federal lands that have been closed to them or other access issues.

Americans who use horses and pack stock enjoy a unique experience when they ride on trails and public lands.  It is an experience that ties them to the “pioneer” era and provides not only a way to connect with America’s vast and unique natural resources but a link with America’s history and traditions.  It is an experience that cannot be enjoyed without a trail system, trailhead access and areas for camping.  It is an experience that Americans enjoyed even before there was a national park system and an experience they want to continue.

Unfortunately, equestrians are seeing an increasing loss of access through trail restrictions, trail closures, and use restrictions.  Riders and stock users are being excluded from areas that they have historically traveled through and indeed first opened up.  It is a loss of opportunities for riders, families, persons with disabilities, school groups and others.  There seems to be a management environment less open to these traditional forms of use.  Sometimes restrictions on equestrian use are done intentionally through management plans that reduce, restrict or eliminate horses, horse facilities, camping or grazing restrictions, cross-country travel restrictions or closures.  Sometimes the restrictions are indirect though a lack of trail maintenance, or over regulation, or lack of services to the public like facilities that provide saddle and pack animals or parking for horse trailers. 

In order to better combat this disturbing trend the AHC is asking equestrians to document examples of trails or entire areas that have been closed to equestrians on federal land (National Forest Service, National Parks Service, and Bureau of Land Management, etc).  The AHC is seeking all relevant information concerning these closures such as the reason for the loss of access, details concerning any public process that was involved and the history of equestrian use on the closed trail or area. 

The AHC is also interested in examples of attempts to bar equestrian access that have been defeated.

“The reduction of trails, trail heads and the closure of public lands to horses and pack animals is a continuing problem for equestrians.  However, there is no centralized, comprehensive database that documents any loss of access and even fewer specific examples,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “We hope by giving equestrians a place to report their experiences we can get a better picture of the problem and use that information to fix it.”

The AHC is asking all recreational riders to visit the AHC website and report any access issues they have had using this electronic form https://www.horsecouncil.org/survey.php.  This will be a permanent feature of the AHC website.

“The AHC is committed to preserving equine access to public lands.  It is very important for these efforts that we have evidence that demonstrates the extent of the problem and the need for action on the part of Congress or the federal land agencies,” said Hickey.

                                         "TAKE ACTION NOW!"

We must utilize every available resource to unite
and to get our message heard!
 
One of our State representatives is urging us to take action and to contact any and all of your friends who live outside the borders of Michigan as well.  Please urge them to write letters to our State Reps. and Senators to say that they are friends of members of Back Country Horsemen and would like to visit our state to ride and would they please stand behind all equestrians and support our "Right to Ride" legislation.
 
This is key-and will make them stand up and take notice!!!!
 

                    ATTENTION ALL OWNERS AND BREEDERS!

URGENT!

Governor Granholm is seeking to eliminate all of the incentive program funds from the Ag Equine Development Fund.  What this means to you is that there will no longer be any owners or breeders awards or supplement money for Thoroughbred racing in Michigan.  If this budget cut is  approved by the Ag Committee, the impact on our industry will be devastating. 

We are calling on your support!  You will be receiving a packet in the mail very soon with letters already prepared for you to sign and mail off to the Ag Committee members in Lansing.  There will be stamped, addressed envelopes for you to use for your convenience.  Please sign the letters and mail them back to Lansing as soon as possible.  If you have any questions, please contact our office at 231-798-7721.

Also the letters are available to download below.  Please print some copies for your friends, family, feed store, farrier or anyone else you can encourage to mail a letter.  Together we can make a difference! 

Click here for more!

 

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