Rural areas still exist in the United States with little access by car or truck. ATVs are known to cause extensive damage to the environs in which they are used – as noted here. As long as the horses and other equine are properly cared for, this maybe a decent alternative to more destruction. ~ HfH
From: The Horse
The Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) strives to ensure that everything the organization does has the lowest impact possible on the land and the environment. That’s one reason the group’s members love horses and mules. Horse power is irreplaceable in the many public lands where motorized use is prohibited, such as the Bass Lake area in California’s Sierra National Forest, and the Idaho Panhandle National Forests where the endangered woodland caribou makes a last stand.
Places like these need protecting, but also require occasional trail improvements. The predicament is easily solved with the use of the original horse power, the BCHA said.
Refurnishing an Historic Structure
The Selkirk Valley Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho recently used horses and mules to complete two packing assignments for the U.S. Forest Service in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests without violating the forests’ “no motorized use” rule.
West Fork Cabin, a historic reconstructed smoke-jumpers’ cabin, sits in a small meadow about a mile-and-a-half from a forest service road. Originally built in 1931, it is open to the public for shelter and overnight stays. Because it sees heavy use, many things needed to be replaced.
Members of BCHA’s Selkirk Valley Chapter gathered at the trailhead and secured the items needed for renovations on their pack stock. One pack animal carried a 150-pound wood stove and 150-pounds of water on the other side to even out the load. Another carried bunk bed frames, while two others carried three mattresses. The last carried a variety of miscellaneous items.
When the motley-looking crew arrived at West Fork Cabin, the surprised resident campers helped crew replace the old items with the new. After a brief visit, they packed the horses and mules with the old items and returned to the trailhead, accomplishing an essential job with a minimum impact on the land.