Horses

The Back Country Horsemen Education Foundation: Keeping Trails Open, One Project at a Time

Back Country Horsemen of America Credits: Robbin Schindele

As a service organization with an exemplary record of volunteerism, Back Country Horsemen of America knows the true cost of keeping trails open, not only for horse use but for all users of every kind. They occasionally receive donations of funds, materials, or labor, but BCHers frequently bear the majority of the cost of those projects themselves, out of their individual pockets.

But that’s beginning to change, thanks to the Back Country Horsemen Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation formed to provide financial support for the programs and projects that keep trails open for riders.

Making Projects and Education Possible

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The Back Country Horsemen Education Foundation provides funds for qualified programs that meet its specific objectives and purposes in a wide range of public interests. Supported programs include those that benefit the horse and other stock users, and programs that promote cooperative interaction with other user groups regarding safety, care, and the protection of our wild lands.

Foundation funds may be used to provide scholarships or financial support for training, certification, and/or presenting in a variety of areas, including minimum impact practices with saddle and pack stock (such as Leave No Trace), trail construction and maintenance, promoting cooperative interaction with other user groups and public land managers, wilderness safety and first aid, and research concerning responsible recreation.

When allocating funds, preference is given to projects that involve partnerships with public land agencies and other trail or youth groups. These projects may include 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or other youth groups, and are typically oriented towards education about saddle and pack stock, and the responsible use of our precious back country resource.

Back Country Horsemen of America will be holding their annual board meeting April 22-25, in Airway Heights, Washington. Instead of having outside speakers address the Board, this year they’ll be working together to identify regional and national issues that need attention and brainstorm solutions. With this information, the committees will formulate action plans in the areas of Education, Media & Marketing, Expansion, Fundraising, Volunteer Hours, State & National Public Lands, and Partnerships/Advocacy for the remainder of 2018 and 2019.

About Back Country Horsemen of America

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands. There is a New York chapter.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit www.bcha.org ; call 888-893-5161; or write 342 North Main Street, West Hartford, Conn. 06117.

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