Back Country Horsemen Partner with Lassen National Forest to Clear Caribou Wilderness Trails

Susanville, Calif., August 18, 2016 – The High Country Unit of Back Country Horsemen of California (BCHC) recently partnered with Lassen National Forest to clear trails and build corrals.

This past July, more than 20 volunteers gathered at the Cone Lake Trailhead just outside the Caribou Wilderness to repair the two wood corrals already in place and construct a third. They also cleared almost five miles of trail to Triangle and Turnaround Lakes.

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Caribou Wilderness ..Courtesy of Californiatrippin.com

“The Forest provided the materials, and we brought the tools and the muscle,” said BCHC Spokeswoman Heidi Perry-McCourt, who is also the former public affairs officer for Lassen National Forest. “The last few winters have brought a lot of windfall, so we knew there was a need to help open up these trails for the enjoyment of the public.”

Without the millions hours of volunteer efforts provided by BCHC units throughout the state, many wilderness areas and backcountry trails would disappear.

“If a horse and rider can’t find the trail, chances are hikers can’t either,” said Perry-McCourt.

The BCHC unit packed in saws and other equipment on horses and mules to use on this trail restoration and improvement project.

“Using pack stock in the backcountry is also part of the US Forest Service mission,” said Lassen National Forest Forestry Technician Soai Talbot. “It’s amazing what these guys can pack on the animals.”

BCHC follow “leave no trace” ethics: whatever is packed in is packed out. The group also picked up and packed out waste left behind at backcountry campsites.

“To see the passion that these volunteers have for this project is incredible,” said Talbot. “We really appreciate the Back Country Horsemen’s willingness to take this on. The Forest Service depends upon public-private partnerships like these, which are essential to maximizing our limited resources to maintain our trails.”

The mission of the Back Country Horsemen of California is to improve and promote the use, care, and maintenance of California backcountry trails, campsites, streams, and meadows for all people. For more information, visithttp://www.bchcalifornia.org. The High

Caribou Wilderness

Caribou Wilderness

Country unit of the organization works on public lands in northeastern California from the Oregon border south to Plumas National Forest. To learn more about the local unit, contact Ernie Coe at 530-310-0281 or Heidi Perry-McCourt at 530-260-0216, or like Back Country Horsemen of America/Calif. High Country unit on Facebook.

Lassen National Forest lies at the Crossroads of California, where the granite of the Sierra Nevada, the lava of the Cascades and the Modoc Plateau, and the sagebrush of the Great Basin meet. The Forest is managed for recreational access as well as timber and firewood for homes, forage for livestock, water, minerals, and other natural resources. For more information, call (530)257-2151; visitwww.fs.usda.gov/lassen; or like us on Facebook.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.