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Crews improve trails in Huntington Canyon

Crews work on the Left Fork non-motorized trail in Huntington Canyon.

Back Country Horsemen improve Huntington Canyon trails.

Non-motorized trails in Huntington Canyon received much needed maintenance this summer. The San Rafael Backcountry Horsemen obtained a grant from the Manti-LaSal Resource Advisory Committee to maintain 56 miles of Forest Service non-motorized trails in Huntington Canyon. The funds were used to hire a four-person Utah Conservation Corps trail crew to clear out fallen trees, install water control structures and improve hazardous areas. Castleland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. was used to distribute the funds from the grant.

The crew worked closely with another UCC crew hired by the Forest Service under a State of Utah grant. As a result, this fall hunters and other trail users noticed improved trails in the Huntington Canyon drainage. A common statement heard from hunters was "I didn't even have to start my chainsaw."

The Forest Service RAC committee awarded the RAC grant to the San Rafael Backcountry Horsemen in the spring of 2011. The grant provides sufficient funding to hire the crew for six weeks in 2011 and three weeks in 2012. Energy West Mining Company donated roof bolts used to anchor cribbing and water control structures in place.

After first cutting out fallen trees on all of the trails, the crews worked to reduce hazards and erosion by installing water control structures, placing French drains, and stabilizing sections of trail that were sloughing off into streams. The first priority was to cut out all the downed trees.

Due to reduced budgets several of the trails had received no or very minimal maintenance for more than 10 years. Local Backcountry Horsemen contributed more than $10,000 in labor and equipment to help with this work.

The crews found several new landslides in the head of Mill Fork Canyon. These slides had cut across the trail. The crews were able to clear the debris and construct trails across the slides. However, more work is needed to remove water from the trail way.

More information concerning this project and the San Rafael Backcountry Horsemen can be found on the San Rafael Backcountry Horsemen face book page or on the website for the Backcountry Horsemen of Utah at: http://www.bchu.com at the San Rafael link.

Organizers said, "If you believe in preserving our heritage of enjoying our land by horseback, become a member."

You can also find more information regarding Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) by accessing their website at: www.backcountryhorse.com.

As the leading organization in saving trails for horse use, BCHA sees their website as a valuable tool for keeping equestrians up-to-date on today's right to ride issues as well as teaching newcomers how to safely and responsibly enjoy America's pristine country by horseback.




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