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Back Country Horsemen Of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Children & Youth, Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in america's back country and wilderness areas and to work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.

Target demographics: preserve equine/mule access for pack and saddle stock on all of our public lands

Direct beneficiaries per year: by volunteering just under 300,000 hours of service on our public lands and providing education, equating to over $10 million in sweat equity.

Geographic areas served: North America and Alaska

Programs: Leave No Trace education, packing knowledge, saw certifications, a quarterly newsletter produced and distributed to 10,000 plus members and interested persons. We also attend other organizations at symposiums and horse events. We have a national presence to advocate for equestrian access to our public lands. Members also meet with public officials to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jason Ridlon

I joined Back Country Horsemen of Washington BCHW/BCHA in 2008. I wanted to participate in making a difference to open our National Trail System. I love wilderness trail work the best, working with my mules and horses using my collection of cross cut saws. I have lead several large work events from log out operations to bridge building in several trail systems across Washington state. I have had the opportunity to ride with some great folks from across the country. I like participating in public meetings bringing awareness to equine use on our public lands. I currently serve as BCHW State President and as a BCHA National Director I love working with folks in Washington state and across the country.

Jason/Chico, Lilly, Henry, Colby, George, and Bill.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined BCHA in 1985 to learn where the trails were in my area of Washington State. Little did I know what would follow. Seemed I had a lot to give back to the BCHA, BCHA organization. I found a geat deal of personal satisfaction in working on the trails using my riding horses and pack horses to get deeper into the woods and Wilderness areas to help with clearing and maintaining the trail system. Then got involved in the politics of keeping the trails open for everyone to use. If a horse can negotiate a trail, so can a hiker or a biker. We log them out and keep them going on a National basis.

I have spent over 35 years raising awarness of trail issues. Working to raise the needed money for a non-profit to be able to do the great work that BCHA does accross the country. Donating time and money for a cause that I truly believe in. I am a BCHA Legacy founding member, a Trails Forever Fund monthly contributer. Raising funds for the ongoing work that this great organization accomplishes Nationally for the benifit of recreational users in the US.

BCHA has youth outreach. Pioneered Chain Saw Certification accross the US with the USFS, practices Leave No Trace policies. Packs crew gear and supplies into Wilderness areas where Stock is the main source of transportation so hiking organizations can get more from their volunteers.
Mike McGlenn
Washington State

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Back Country Horsemen of America in 2016. Since then I have served as Vice President of BCH MN and as a National Director to BCHA. I have been involved in several committees including Membership, Fundraising and Volunteer Hours.
Why did I join? I feel very strongly about the need to protect our public lands. These lands are a legacy to everyone and we should all be able to enjoy these parts of an unspoiled world. Now these lands are experiencing risks from many industries as well as people. Money is is short supply to support the work that needs to be done. I am proud to be a part of BCHA to support land managers and address the backlog of work. I am also proud of the work we do in Congress to support the needs of equestrians and land managers. This is an organization you can be involved at the local, state and/or national level. And, if you are not able to attend meetings or work on trails you can support us with donations so that this work can go on.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a member of Back Country Horsemen for 20 years. I've been honored to represent my state on the National Board of Directors and to have been elected Chairman for two years.(2017-2019). This group of dedicated people gives selflessly year after year to keep trails open on all of our public lands. Not just clearing trails, but trailheads and access roads; building kiosks and corrals; teaching Leave No Trace principals... BCH members lead by example and are the ones out there doing the work that benefits so many user groups - not just equestrians. (See before and after pictures of an access road in Southern Utah). We come from all walks of life. We are all ages. But our passion for our animals and our love of the outdoors - our public lands - unite us as fiercely as if we were blood relatives. If you want to make a difference ... become a Back Country Horseman!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of BCHA since 2002. Its role and mission to educate members, the public and land managers on the historical and proper access of horses to our public lands is a role that ensures that our children and theirs will have the choice of riding these lands in the future. Being part of an organization that earns its place at the policy and regulation conference table through volunteer efforts to keep the trails open for all non-motorized users is most satisfying. Your donations will help all the trail users and ensure access for generations to come.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of this organization for 35 years now, and have never met or experienced a more driven hardworking group of individuals anywhere. Projects ranging anywhere from simply brushing trails to building Large wilderness Bridges , the enthusiasm and work ethic is always 5 Star. This Organization started out in one state and now encompasses 34 states nationwide . We ARE the number one equestrian orientated volunteer group in America. Help us continue to keep our backcountry open for future generations
Bob Wagner

3 SteveAZ

Donor

Rating: 5

Back County Horsemen of America has around 11,000 members in 32 states. I joined and became a donor because I found the values of BCHA closely align with my personal values. They want to ensure our horse and pack stock heritage is maintained and increased -- now and in the future. BCHA wants to sustain our access to public trails and lands. BCHA is unique and is the biggest, nationwide, volunteer trail organization in the U.S. BCHA is a a service and volunteer organization dedicated to "Keeping Trails Open for Future Generations." In addition to service and education, BCHA has an extensive Advocacy role: BCHA is a well-positioned and well-respected advocate -- a powerful national voice -- and reliable source of influence with land managers, public officials, legislators, and regulators. In 2019, BCHA was instrumental in getting Congress to enhance recreation and trails related budgets of the federal land management agencies. 2020 was the 3rd year in a row when efforts of the National Trails Coalition resulted in budget increases. BCHA was instrumental in getting Congress to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). BCHA is an ongoing leader in preserving and protecting non-motorized trails -- for horses, hikers and mountain bikers -- from the potential destruction of motorized E-bikes.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of BCHA and BCHMO since 2007 and really appreciate the efforts that the organization puts forth to ensure the common sense usage of trails for future generations.
It's nice to see what a difference a few hours of volunteer work can do to improve a trail, taking a sense of pride in the work we do, locally and nationally.

Review from Guidestar

4 Sherry B.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I belong to Back Country Horsemen of America... both a chapter in Colorado... Front Range and a chapter in Arizona East Valley . i am so proud to be riding down a deep forest trail that is open because myself and my chapter members have cleared it Cutting downfall and trimming back overgrowth are a couple of the things we do, keeping national forest trails open for all to enjoy. We also do educational events, such as LEAVE NO TRACE, showing folks how to enjoy our public lands leaving it natural for the next people to enjoy. We provide trail safety events, and pack ins clinics with our equine. This volunteer organization is full of good equine riders who are committed to safety and getting projects done, while having fun. One event our chapter did was clear 9 miles of old down ranch fencing that was hazardous to both wildlife and trail riders. Other events in chapters, may be to build corrals or a trail bridge.. there is never a shortage of needed projects. If you want to join a good cause , love nature, and want to work with some good folks , JOIN A chapter of BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN OF AMERICA. Thank you , Sherry Baker

3 Jay M.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As one who has a passion for horses, trail ridding, volunteer service, the Rocky Mountains, and working with others who share my passions, the Back Country Horsemen of America provides me the opportunities to achieve the driving desire to protect and preserve the invaluable resources of our back country and the trail system that provides access to it. It's humbling to be a part of this organization and my life has been enriched by meeting and working with the great people of the Colorado and Wyoming chapters. Horse people and non-horse people alike benefit from our work. I have made life long friends and had experiences that will last me for the remainder of my time on this earth. I was moved by the video of Smoke Elser and the heart he had for our mountains, and I share that passion. It is a privilege to be the current president of a local chapter and I don't take the responsibility lightly. I hope to be actively involved and volunteering for many years to come. Thank you. L Jay McDonald NCBCH

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a lifelong trail rider, and somewhat accidentally ran across Back Country Horsemen. There is no other group of people so dedicated to maintaining trails we all use, all in the name of volunteer Community Service. In addition, there is no other group who represents horse back trail riders in Washington, and partners with other outdoor recreational organizations to ensure that all the federal land owners understand the importance of continued access to trails whether by foot or by horseback. BCHA has a cadre of dedicated and talented people who only want the best for trails and BCHA. I would recommend it to any other horseback trail riders.

4 Nihla McCabe Helda H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined bcha in the 90s and was encouraged enough to start a local chapter. We are still volunteering and still working on keeping trails open in the San Juan Nat Forest. Learning and teaching leave no Trace practices.

4 Veronica Lynn V.

Board Member

Rating: 5

BCH is a very professional yet friendly non-profit. They consistently keep all members abreast of the goings-on and are always looking to get our feedback. They offer classes for folks new to board positions so they can support and assist in the individual chapter's success. They have many opportunities to participate in volunteering and to get to know other members via social events. In addition to all of this, they contribute to countless hours of trail maintenance that not only keep our trails safe and open but do so in an environmentally sound fashion.

4 Latifia R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a back country horsemen member for about 15 years. I am amazed at the volunteer efforts and work accomplished by this grass roots organization. It welcomes people of all ages, horses or not, working to ensure our public lands remain accessible to everyone and stay public. Great work, great folks.