The Equestrian Land Conservation Resource is looking for CLIPPERS! Clippers are people who are concerned about the loss of equestrian land and riding areas and want to do something about it. These Clippers clip newspaper and magazine articles, not shaggy horses, and send them in to the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource's national office. The articles assist the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource in developing a national perspective responsive to the diverse local issues and conditions affecting equestrian access to trails, open space and land use. This knowledge enables the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource to link concerned individuals with others in their region or elsewhere who are working on similar issues.
Articles submitted will help the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource to follow land conservation trends in different areas and enable the organization to provide up-to-date information when asked for help.
Of interest are articles such as the following:
What plans does the park board want to implement?
Is a developer seeking to change the zoning for a riding area?
What is your local conservation group working to achieve?
Is there a piece of open riding land in danger of being closed to horses?
Which statewide meetings planned will affect equestrian use?
Are there arguments about who can use trails?
What other open space and trail users are equestrians in your area partnering with?
Any articles potentially affecting equestrians and land use will help create both a local and national picture.
You can become a CLIPPER by sending a clipped article on land use to:
Equestrian Land Conservation Resource
P.O. Box 423
Elizabeth, IL 61028-0423
Having found out how to become a Clipper by visiting our website, you should also know that we are interested in knowing about websites that you have found to be of interest or help as well. Please forward them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With your help, ELCR will continue to expand horse owners' awareness of land issues, building a national equestrian movement for land conservation.
Who We Are:
Tens of thousands of acres of open land are lost every year to commercial and residential development. Many thousands more are conserved with no consideration for horse and rider. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Services latest National Resources Inventory, over 13 million acres were lost to development between 1992 and 1997, the last year for which statistics are currently available. This loss is approximately three million acres annually and cannot be allowed to continue.
Efforts have been made in many locales to preserve land for riding, but there has been no single, national source of information and assistance on land protection and policy matters specifically related to equestrian use. Leading horse organizations have identified loss of open land as the greatest threat to their future, but the industry is fragmented. There has been no unified effort to preserve open land, yet the need for land is the single common element shared by all breeds, sports, industry, and recreational activities.
The need to address this problem is urgent. America cannot afford to lose equestrian sport, recreation, and industry; their economic impact is huge. According to a 1997 National Economic Study of the Horse Industry by the American Horse Council, "The horse industry directly produces goods and services of $25.3 billion and has a total impact of $112.1 billion on U.S. gross domestic product. Racing, showing, and recreation each contribute more than 25% to the total value of goods and services produced by the industry…The industry pays nearly $2 billion in taxes to federal, state, and local governments." This same study reveals that there are 7.1 million people involved in the horse industry, with 1.9 million of those actually owning horses.
All over the country, there are equestrians who are faced with the impending loss of their open land, and they do not know how to go about land conservation. Those who are fortunate have a local conservation group to which they can turn for assistance, but very few conservationists have any expertise regarding equestrian issues. The potential impact of adding over a million equestrians to the land conservation movement is enormous.
The Equestrian Land Conservation Resource was founded in 1997 by a group of concerned horse people who recognized that loss of open land is the greatest threat to the future of all equestrian sport, recreation, and industry. ELCR is a resource for all groups and individuals who strive to preserve open land for equestrian use.
ELCR promotes national awareness of the importance of land conservation for equestrian activity. Articles in the equestrian press sponsored by ELCR have reached more than 4,000,000 readers in the last two years. These include feature articles in Horse Illustrated, The Chronicle of the Horse, Equus, Western Horseman, Horse & Rider and USCTA News emphasizing the need for equestrians to be actively involved in land protection. Those articles have inspired equestrian land conservation nationwide.
ELCR has initiated a national land access survey and has responded to numerous calls from equestrians for help with local issues. Groups and individuals nationwide have received information in support of their protection of trails and land for equestrian use. By developing a database of people knowledgeable about equestrian land protection, ELCR is able to refer many calls to local resources for solutions and support.
At the same time, ELCR has provided direct assistance to individuals and groups working to preserve land. It has assisted them in identifying available resources to maximize their potential for success, while advising them to be anchored by strong, local equestrian interests that develop creative partnerships, including local conservation and other user groups, with the goal of being environmentally responsible and financially sustainable over the long run, and to take action to provide permanent access for equestrians.
The Equestrian Land Protection Guide, published in October 1999, is a comprehensive, step-by-step action plan for land protection that is written specifically for horse people. It offers practical suggestions for developing the appropriate team to make a conservation project possible, developing a manageable plan, maximizing the resources (both financial and manpower), negotiating various types of agreements, building land owner relations, and planning for the future to keep what has been achieved.