I imagine that many of us who read the Horse Previews are active horsemen and have an interest in keeping trails open for riding. As more private land becomes developed, and public land becomes more restrictive, this issue becomes more and more urgent.
The Inland Empire Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington (IEBCH), located in Spokane, has a mission “to preserve and enhance the rights of responsible horsemen to use horses and mules on public land.” We do this in several ways.
First, in our education program we teach and follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) along with other subjects of interest. Second, we work with land managers providing on the ground volunteer services to design, build and maintain trails and trailheads for equestrian use. Third, we work with the various legislative bodies, and other decision makers, to ensure that the equestrian interests are protected. Fourth, we work with many land managers providing input on land issues.
In addition, we must have an adequate support staff to ensure that IEBCH is a viable, legal and financially sound organization.
All of the above is a big challenge but we feel it is worth the effort to ensure trails are open to us and future generations. However, to be successful requires many hands on deck sharing the work and providing a variety of talent, time, skill and enthusiasm for the mission.
Where do you stand? Are having trails open important to you? Right now IEBCH needs volunteer leaders, and workers, to help with this important mission. We invite you to join us in a major role. We are in need of leadership in specific roles such as Legislative and Lands. Support workers are needed in these areas as well as a variety of other important functions such as Education and Trail Work.
IEBCH is one of 33 chapters of Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW). We are affiliated with the Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) and are a volunteer, non-profit, 501C3 tax exempt organization. We welcome all support to accomplish our mission. Membership meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of each month. More information can be found at www.iebch.com and www.bchw.org
If you, or someone you know, are interested in helping to keep trails open, or would like more information, I encourage you to contact: Ken Carmichael at 509-466-2225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.