Every month, the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) receives requests for information about how to preserve land for horses, maintain access to land for equestrian activities, and what can be done to promote these activities. The answers to these requests are not always simple, but all seem to have a universal theme – stronger, long-lasting relationships, with open communications, need to be developed with land owners and land managers.
These relationships can be created, developed, and maintained by concentrating on the main commodity in these interactions – land. Owners and land managers certainly understand the value of their land. Establishing and permitting equestrian activities on these lands will be more successful when the horsemen and their organizations demonstrate their understanding of the land’s value as well.
ELCR is providing an opportunity to demonstrate the value that equestrians have always had for the land they ride and use for their activities. The Trail Trotters program, launched by ELCR with cooperative and financial support from Tread Lightly!®, the National Forest Foundation, Anhueser/Busch Corporation, as well as others, will give horse people the chance to be counted for stewardship efforts that may have gone unnoticed before. ELCR will collect information about the stewardship activities performed on National Trails Day and develop it into a resource which will highlight these efforts and activities.
ELCR is asking for anyone who has a trail maintenance, clean-up, marking, or other general work project, scheduled for June 4, 2005, National Trails Day, to register both the project and all individuals who plan to provide the labor. Registering everyone will ensure all efforts are acknowledged and create an accurate and detailed “snapshot” of equestrian stewardship efforts.
Registration is simple: go to www.elcr.org and follow the links to Trail Trotters. Registration options include Individual, Project, and Organization. Trail Trotters is a free program; however, with everyone’s efforts the return will be great!
ELCR values the stewardship efforts of all equestrians across the nation and would like to acknowledge each and every one of them. Currently, 30 projects are registered in 16 states. A complete list of these projects is available on ELCR’s website. ELCR is calling all equestrians in an effort to register more projects in more states. Questions about the Trail Trotters program and assistance in project registration can be obtained by calling ELCR’s national office at 815-858-3501 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.