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Front Page » October 31, 2006 » Lifestyle » Back country horseman
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Back country horseman

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San Rafael Back Country Horseman is the new chapter of the Utah Back Country Horseman.

Recently, the Utah Back Country Horseman met and recognized their newest chapter, the San Rafael Back Country Horseman. The establishment of the San Rafael Back Country Horseman, based in Carbon and Emery counties, was a culmination of several months' effort by a number of people in Carbon and Emery counties. The Back Country Horseman of Utah (BCHU) an organization dedicated to preserving pack and saddle stock use in the America's back country recognized their newest chapter, the San Rafael Back Country Horseman.

Wayne Ludington, the chapter president stated that it has been a good experience to meet and work with a number of people in Emery and Carbon counties who use and are interested in sound management of the public lands for saddle stock use.

The Back Country Horsemen of Utah is a non-profit organization presently consisting of 11 local chapters spread across the state. They work with public land administrators and develop relationships to assist the land managers in making decisions for the good of all stock users. They work to perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses and recreational stock in Utah's road less back country; assist various governmental agencies in their maintenance and management of said resources; educate, encourage and solicit active public participation in the wise and sustaining use of horses and other recreational stock, commensurate with our heritage and the back country resources; work to ensure the public lands remain open to recreational stock use; and foster and encourage the formation and continuation of local back country horse organizations.

The San Rafael Back Country Horseman is made up of people from Carbon and Emery counties that share a love of using saddle stock to see all of the beauty of Carbon and Emery counties. Some of the members use pack stock with their horses while others find that they can see everything on day trips, but we all have a common concern about maintaining stock use on the public lands. The chapter meets the third Wednesday of every month and the November meeting will be at the Carbon County Court House on Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

The San Rafael chapter has been active since January 2006 and has been working to establish relationships with the local public land management agencies in Carbon and Emery counties. They have completed two volunteer projects. Their first activity was maintenance on the Second Water Canyon Trail Head on the Manti-La Sal National Forest. The chapter removed the brush that was choking the trail head and replaced rotting wooden rails. Their next work project was to assist the USFS in building the Horse Canyon Trail Head in Scad Valley. The chapter helped construct a bridge for horse and hiker use over a small narrow stream. The project included digging in anchors and hauling five 12 inch diameter 20 feet long pine logs a hundred yards to the bridge. In the past this stream had been responsible for the death of at least one horse and this bridge eliminated this danger. It also provides protection for the riparian vegetation that grows along the stream.

While organized to work with the land agencies and to help encourage and support horse use, the chapter has also found time to go on several pleasure rides. They have enjoyed rides on the San Rafael Swell as well as Manti-La Sal National Forest. They had scheculed a ride in Range Creek , but it was washed out by rain, and is planned to be rescheduled in the spring.

The chapter is looking for additional members who would like to volunteer some time to perpetuate saddle stock use on the public lands and who would enjoy the comradary of others while working and riding horses or mules on the public lands.

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