Keeping Public Lands Open with Our Sweat
by Teri Starke, BCHW Treasurer
Wow! And that does not even seem like enough. Wow!
The Back Country Horsemen of Washington and their volunteers gave many hours of labor last year. From October 2015 to September 2016 BCHW members gave a staggering 86,421.5 hours of their time to public agencies in Washington State. The value of the time given is $3,070,632.03! For a small 501(c)3 organization we have really stepped up to assist the federal and state agencies with the backlog of trails needing to be cleaned up in this state. With 31 chapters working separately throughout the state and with the state-wide work party BCHW, really does accomplish a lot!
We will be in Olympia on February 15, 2017 for Legislative Day and the Big Tent Lobby Day. That is the one day each year that the recreation groups get together to talk to our state legislators about keeping public lands open. Back Country Horsemen are very active in this endeavor; we are as visible as possible to our legislators to ensure they know we use public lands and want the trails kept open for equines.
BCHW takes part in this effort to showcase the economic value of recreation on our public lands. We lend our voice to all the other recreation groups and believe in building relationships with all public land users. We want to be sure that BCHW are a big part of the conversation when discussing public lands and their recreational use.
Our 2017 Rendezvous is March 17-19, 2017 in Ellensburg at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds. We completely take the place over for our event. 2017 is our 40th anniversary and the weekend is jam-packed with everything from the used tack sale to clinician demonstrations with horses and mules. We are fortunate enough to have the Trailmeister, Robert Eversole, back at Rendezvous in 2017. Andy Breland from Trailhead Supply will also be in attendance and will be giving a few different talks during the weekend. Be sure that you are there too!