BCHW Keeps Trails Open for Everyone
The Back Country Horsemen of Washington has had an extremely busy and successful first half of the year.
Rendezvous in March was a great success. All of the mustangs were adopted to families! The seminars and classes were heavily attended, the vendors were happy and the movie, “Unbranded,” was viewed by over a 100 people. The dinners sold out and the auction was very successful.
This year the BCHW adopted the Joe Watt Canyon Ride from the disbanded Alpine Lakes chapter with a goal of collecting the profits. All the proceeds from this very popular ride on May 14th will go straight to trail work, with thanks to the many chapters who donated funds to cover the expenses. The recipient of these funds in 2016 is the Norse Peak Wilderness, a Tahoma Chapter project.
The ride had over 400 riders this year; it was a lot of fun for a one day event! There was also a game of skill that was played during the ride, with the winner receiving the top prize of $500. Many thanks to all the riders who showed up and especially to the incredible volunteers who put it on.
Speaking of trail work, the summer trail work season is in full swing now. Chapters from every corner of the state are out there working on trails. BCHW provided over 75,000 hours of trail work to Washington State public agencies in 2015 and it looks like 2016 will be another big year.
BCHW has received a RTP grant (Recreation Trails Program) for a few years now and that has really helped us get the resources where they are needed. Chapters write up proposals for trail work and submit a dollar amount to our Executive Director, Darrell Wallace. He then puts those packages together and submits them to the state. BCHW has received a $150,000 grant this biennium for projects on public lands throughout Washington State. Nine chapters in the state will be receiving funds for specific projects in their areas. They will be putting in countless volunteer hours in return for these monies!
The state wide work party each year brings together members from all the chapters throughout the state to work on one particularly troubled trail system; it is chosen for intense trail work, typically over the 4th of July weekend. 2016 finds the 4th annual BCHW SWWP at the Twisp River Horse Camp. The camp is wonderful but the trails are really a mess. Hopefully, a large portion of that trail system will be cleaned up and ready for trail riding after this event.
If you are interested in chapter and/or state events go to www.BCHW.org to see what we are doing across the state. Consider joining BCHW and lending your voice to our efforts to keeping public lands open for equine use. Even if you are unable to get out and work on trails themselves, numbers count when we are talking to land managers and other user groups. All information about who we are and what we do, including on-line membership applications, is at www.BCHW.org. Come join us, we love what we do!