BCH of Washington Aids in Pacific Crest Trail Reconstruction

Back Country Horsemen (BCH) of America says it values wild lands and the right to enjoy them by horseback. Protecting the wilderness from unnecessary damage is imperative to keeping it pristine. But that creates unique challenges that can prevent proper maintenance of trails, bridges, shelters, and other amenities that allow us to recreate there.

The U.S. Forest Service’s wilderness regulations prohibit the use of motorized or wheeled equipment, which can cause extensive damage even when operated with care. The only way to access these remote places with the tools and supplies necessary for making repairs is the same way our ancestors traveled: on the back of a saddle horse, leading a string of pack horses and mules.

Back Country Horsemen of Washington collaborates and partners with other trail advocacy organizations to manage and maintain some of the most remote regions in that state’s mountains. The Lewis County Chapter recently provided pack stock support to the U.S. Forest Service and Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) for a month-long project on the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,550-mile trail corridor that stretches from Mexico to Canada. Organized by PCTA, this project rebuilt a section of the trail across Packwood Glacier basin in the Goat Rocks Wilderness of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, where motorized and wheeled equipment is prohibited.

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