Happy 40th Anniversary BCHW
by Teri Starke
March 17-19, 2017 brings Back Country Horsemen of Washington’s 40th Anniversary Celebration to The Kittitas Valley Event Center in Ellensburg, Washington. You will not want to miss this year’s celebration!
BCHW is hosting several new clinics and demos at Rendezvous this year, and one of the wonderful things about Rendezvous is you do not have to be a member of BCHW to take part in the many offerings. Would you like to get into the back country inexpensively? Ed Haefliger will be giving demonstrations on affordable back country explorations. Also, the Lewis County Chapter will be out by the gazebo all weekend talking and showing how they pack supplies, tools, and personal gear for work parties and camping. And of course we will have the packing contest hosted by the Okanogan chapter. There is a trailering clinic and also a trailering contest. Can you put your horse or mule in the trailer and maneuver through some cones? Andy Breland from Trailhead Supply and Robert “Trailmeister” Eversole, will be in the Teanaway with several discussions, and in the Umtaneum at their booths all weekend. New this year is a ladies cross-cut saw class. Visit http://www.bchw.org for sign-up information.
The ever-popular used tack sale will be in the Taneum and the Naneum rooms. Bring your gently used tack and horse goods to sell. The Umtaneun, Manastash, and Heritage rooms will be full of vendors. The BCHW store will be in the Heritage along with the antique BCHW contest and display.
All of Kittitas Valley Event Center will be full classes, demos, and clinics on this third weekend of March. Please stop by and help BCHW celebrate 40 years of keeping public lands open for all Washington State residents.
We are not only celebrating our accomplishments but we also want to educate all horse and mule people who are not part of BCHW to let them know what we do for all equestrians in this state. We watch what the federal and state land managers are doing and keep our members apprised of any effort to close any public land to recreation. We advocate for increased funding for maintaining recreation on Public Lands. The federal budget for trail maintenance is virtually non-existent. BCHW provided 25,011 hours of volunteer efforts maintaining federal public lands equine recreation trails in Washington State in 2016! That is a value of $1,135,361. The federal budget for trail maintenance in Washington State was not that high. On state lands BCHW volunteered 14,961 hours maintaining trails. BCHW also volunteered 38,716 hours going to meetings, serving on recreation committees throughout the state, and just running the BCHW corporation. This is all volunteer labor. If you want to do something worthwhile, become a member and volunteer on the trail, go to meetings, or help run the corporation. We would certainly welcome your assistance!
Coming up April 7-9 (Friday evening to Sunday noon), the BCHW basic Leave No Trace (LNT) seminar will be held on the east side of Washington for the first time ever. The LNT class will be held at Riverside State Park in Spokane. Look for more information and the registration form at www.pbchw.com.
May 20th is the Joe Watt Canyon Prize ride. It is located in the LT Murray Wildlife Unit. Information about how to get there is at http://www.bchw.org. First place is $500! It is a great spring fun ride. All proceeds go to trail work in the Pasayten Wilderness and other troubled trail areas around the state.