Sometimes, it's all about timing... I've been appalled - more than usual lately by the way our local trail-heads are being abused. Even Lord Hill, where I seldom go & is usually clean - had many piles of manure left on the gravel of the parking areas when I was there last week. I've picked it up myself & hauled it away - but why should I have to do that?
The Bracken Road parking area on the Pilchuck Tree Farm, was so dirty last week that I could hardly take a step without walking on manure... What's happening here? Is it that horsemen take these areas so for-granted that they forget it's a privilege to ride there?
During the last few months, Butch was corralled into taking on Leave No Trace, for our local Traildusters Chapter of Back Country Horsemen. We also belong to the Cascade Horse Club. Both Chapters sent us to this class & we were looking forward to the weekend.
We left Fri. night about 6:30, had dinner at South Hill, outside Puyallup & made camp at the Cowlitz Ranger Station in Randle - by 10:30 p.m. Pulling in so late, we weren't there for the work of getting the tents set up.
Our alarm went off early to a brisk sunshine morning! Breakfast was at 7 & class started promptly at 8 a.m.! I had on my thermal pants & warm jacket - but the tents were already warmed by a nice propane fire. Jane Byron was our instructor - otherwise known as; "LNT Jane" :-) She did a wonderful job of leading us through the program in an easy to understand fashion. We were challenged to think about what impact we may have - before we make one!
|Gar Abbott came by to welcome us to his neck of the woods :-)|
|"Trail"in the grass~|
|"Doc" lectures on high lining~|
|This one on a fire barrier & on top of rock!|
|Ours, in a pan. Butch raised it off the ground & filled the pan 1/2 way with mineral soil.|
|We'd built it in a rut - there was no scorching of the grass or soil!|
|Portable fire blanket for Fire Fighters|
Another lesson, digging a proper pit for human waste. A minimum of 6" deep, removing the top layer of grass or plants intact, dig beneath - then re-fill. A minimum of 200 ft. from any water source.
|Hole in the ground~|
Becoming a member of Back Country Horsemen is more than sending in your yearly dues. It's a commitment to a cause! The cause of keeping horses on the trails in every sense of the word. Leading the way in educating others when it comes to minimal impact on our fragile environments - whether they be in the Wilderness, or on our Front Country Trails.