Persistence Pays Off for the Public Good
By Jewel Hardy
I would like to update recreational enthusiasts about a small success for those of us who enjoy using trails.
Near Naselle, WA, along Salmon Creek, there is a small, primitive, multi-use camp that has been dear to many of us. This camp, officially known as Tunerville, has been a therapeutic escape over the years for many horseback riders, bikers, hikers, and as a camp for hunters. Since the late 90’s the camp has been threatened for closure due to cultural resource, ecologic, and recreational use issues that have all been disproved by those dedicated to keeping the camp open. In each case, the reason could not be verified by land management and produced challenges that defied belief at times.
Since 2012 this situation has changed, which I presume is due to staffing changes that created a more user-friendly atmosphere. This has resulted in a good working relationship with DNR. The camp was finally certified and protected in 2017, keeping it safe from closure for 35 years.
However, we recently faced a new challenge when a routine inspection of a small wooden bridge on the road leading up to the camp resulted in the bridge being condemned. This bridge is situated on a small corner of privately owned Rayonier Timber property, presenting a challenge for repair. Rayonier didn’t have a reason to replace the bridge as it no longer was necessary for their operations, but the bridge provided the only safe access for towing horse trailers up to the DNR Tunerville camp.
Thanks to dedicated help and collaboration from Representative Brian Blake, Back Country Horsemen, Oregon Equestrian Trails, and Friends of Tunerville a solution was brought forward — first in the capital budget, and then through a plan put forth between DNR and Rayonier to begin removal and replacement of the bridge beginning in July 2018. It is scheduled to be completed by October of 2018, just in time for hunting season. In the meantime, access is by way of a difficult detour over the hill.
This is a testimony to those who work together to defend what they have and want to keep it badly enough. Those of us who work and pay taxes deserve our recreation time. It’s not right to have what we pay for scaled back or closed, especially with access fees on top of everything else! Let’s stop taking no for an answer and work together for a better quality of life for all.
The end results are a win/win for agencies too. Back Country Horsemen and other non-profit organizations are there for us to call on in these types of situations. They lobby for us and know the political lingo. This is what encouraged me to join as a member. They came to the rescue in 2000 and again in 2018 and are heroes for all of us.
– Jewel Hardy, member of Willapa Hills BCH and Friends of Tunerville liaison
Back Country Horsemen of Washington is a 501c3 organization with 32 chapters across the state. They are dedicated to keeping trails open for all users, educating stock users in Leave-No-Trace practices, and providing volunteer service to resource agencies. To find out more about BCHW go to www.bchw.org or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/public.bchw/
UPCOMING BCHW ACTIVITIES and EVENTS
– Most of the 32 BCHW chapters have Fun Rides and work parties scheduled throughout the
year. Go to www.BCHW.org and click on Upcoming Activities and scroll down for the list.
– BCHW also holds several big work parties around the state each year that are open to everyone.
All info at www.BCHW.org
– October 27, 2018 – 17th Annual Winery Ride and Halloween Costume & Prize Ride – Zillah
– BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS – Kittitas Valley Event Center – Ellensburg.
All members are welcome to sit in: June 16, September 15, December 1
Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW), is a 501 (c) (3) organization with 32 chapters across the state dedicated to: keeping trails open for all users; educating horse users in Leave-No-Trace practices; and providing volunteer service to resource agencies.