Are you looking for new riding partners? How about new places to ride and camp? Are you concerned about having trails to ride your four-legged partner on?
As 2020 comes to a close it’s time to join or renew your memberships to trail organizations such as Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW). Also consider donating to support other trail organizations who work so hard to keep trails open for everyone.
If you’re not currently a member of BCHW, please consider joining. There are several reasons current members return year after year. For many, their first response when asked if they are joining again is, “Of course! That’s where I found some of my best friends,” or “That’s how I discovered all the beautiful places to ride.”
Another major reason many of us belong to BCHW is because we are concerned about keeping public and private lands open for saddle and pack stock, both now and in the future.
We also support the BCHW Mission Statement:
- To perpetuate the common-sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness.
- To work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.
- To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resource.
- To educate, encourage and solicit active participation in the wise use of the backcountry resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.
- To foster and encourage the formation of new chapters in the state organization.
The best part for many is combining all of the above and participating in work parties with friends. Some are small and take just a few hours; others are large, state-wide events lasting for several days. And if you’ve ever been involved in a BCHW work party you’ll know that food is often involved. Potlucks (when allowed) and work parties are usually synonymous.
With 31 chapters located across the state you can join one or several (or none if you sign up as an independent). Not physically capable or don’t have the time to work on trails? No problem! You’ll still be able to meet like-minded people and find new places to ride. And the more members we have the better we are heard when working with our trail advocate partners and elected officials. There are many jobs available that do not include trail tools—just ask a chapter or the Independent Director.
Members receive many benefits that include automatic membership in the Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) with 31 member states. BCHA sends out a quarterly newsletter plus a subscription to Trailhead News magazine. Members are also offered stock packing classes, on-the-job trail maintenance and structure construction education, first aid, chainsaw and crosscut saw education and certification, and Leave-No-Trace skills and the option to become an LNT trainer. Members also have representation and can participate in meetings with our elected officials in Olympia and with land managers around the state and at the federal level too, thanks to BCHA.
We would love to have you be a part of this 40-year-old saddle and pack stock trails advocacy organization. For more information, a chapter locator, and how to join visit www.bchw.org or email [email protected].
BCHW members reported a value of $615,097.25 in volunteer hours in 2018/19.
Watch our chapter accomplishment videos on our YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/user/BCHWashington
Like and follow us on the official BCHW Facebook page www.facebook.com/public.bchw
The Northwest Horse Source is an independently owned and operated print and online magazine for horse owners and enthusiasts of all breeds and disciplines in the Pacific Northwest. Our contemporary editorial columns are predominantly written by experts in the region, covering the care, training, keeping and enjoyment of horses, with an eye to the specific concerns in our region.