BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN SOCIETY OF BC

Trails & Projects

Our members have a proud and prolific history working on many projects to maintain existing trails and trail infrastructure such as bridges, signage and mapping.  BCHBC is very active in developing, constructing and often maintaining trails and equestrian camp facilities.  This has been achieved with thousands of direct volunteer hours of labour in completing hundreds of projects across the Province.  We are able to leverage this volunteer time by garnering materials, equipment and/or tools from individuals and other community-minded businesses.

Over the years BCHBC has built a strong reputation with governing agencies such as municipalities & regional districts, BC Parks, and Recreation Sites & Trails BC as we work together on any number of initiatives annually in support of backcountry and front-country trail riders.

Collaborate
$0
Volunteer efforts since 2000, contibuting over 1.6 million value for BCHBC projects.

WHAT OUR CHAPTERS ACCOMPLISHED IN 2020

Over $111,500 in volunteer’s work bee contributions

WHERE YOUR TRAILS COMMITTEE DOLLARS WENT IN 2020 …

  • Robson Valley Chapter – Bell(e) Mountain Multi-Use Trails rehabilitation
  • Yarrow Chapter – Nesakwatch Bridge replacement
  • Shuswap Chapter – Skimikin Trails, signage & mapping upgrade
  • North Vancouver Island – Memekay Horse Camp manure containment upgrade

We are appreciative of all land managers and our communities who work collaboratively wherever possible in maintaining and expanding trail networks and camp facilities.  More often than not, chapter work supports local communities and other trail user groups.
Over the years, we have also gained a great deal of knowledge and awareness of how best to move a vision through the many steps required to turn an idea into a reality.

In our Chapter Handbook (Chapter Resources – Sec 9 “Trails, Projects and Work Bees”) you will find a step-by-step process which we believe represent best practices, as well as valuable resources to assist and guide your chapter.

If you have questions or need assistance regarding a project – please contact  trailcommittee@bchorsemen.org

Back Country Horsemen of BC members have been volunteering their time and effort for the benefit of recreational trail riders and other trail user groups for over 30 years!

Beginning with our Chapter executive members who often put in endless time by leading the way or being the catalysts that pull it all together, to Chapter members generously donating many hours of work with all equestrians being the direct beneficiaries.

Why do so many members and others contribute so much, for the benefit of recreational riders in maintaining trails, trailheads and various equine-friendly campsites? Because they believe in the organization, its values and purpose.

  • Volunteering helps keep trails open for all types of users.  It shows us as a good neighbour with community, youth and other user groups by ensuring that public lands remain open to recreational use.
  • Volunteers perform work that would not otherwise get done when various government funding is cut.
  • Volunteering helps overcome negative opinions about sharing trails and enhances our image as stock riders on trails.
  • Volunteering gives a sense of pride, brings a positive attitude to the chapter and promotes teamwork by planning, building, and maintaining trails and trailheads.

If you know a fellow member who you feel is worthy of being a recipient of the John Gardner Volunteer of the Year Award, be sure to submit your nomination before the March 31st deadline.

guy on horse

2019 “John Gardner Volunteer of the Year” Award Winner – Floyd Kennedy & “Joanne”, North West Chapter

Back Country Horsemen Society of BC

Making a Difference

Members, and often friends or family, participate in work bees to help maintain and build trails in your local area and elsewhere in the province.

Our members are active and often very eager and willing to put their hands and backs together to get things done.  A favourite quote is:  “Many hands make light work“!

Without volunteers, our organization wouldn’t be what it is now.

Another aspect

The recording and reporting of work conducted by volunteers is important for many reasons:

  • BCHBC uses hours documented to support our efforts and mission of perpetuating enjoyable and common sense stock use on the trails and in the backcountry.
  • Legislators and land managers know that our volunteer hours are an asset – work donated has a positive effect and gives credibility to BCHBC during discussions with land managers.
  • Volunteering and recording of hours gives BCHBC chapters an opportunity to participate in grant programs that can augment government funding. 
  • It shows that as a user group we take responsibility for keeping our public lands in good condition for future generations.

Work Bee Reporting and Forms

Chapter Work Bee reports are submitted to Provincial so we can provide a summary and accurate information to prove historic use of and commitment to a trail.

What can be included on a Work Bee report?  Some of the elements that might be involved are:

  • Scouting new trail
  • Meeting with authorities over access/permission
  • Building new trail
  • Maintaining an existing trail
  • Mapping/documenting trails
  • Other

The work bee report has provisions to record all activities that arise out of these elements. Time spent meeting with authorities can be included as well as on-the-trail work.  How to complete a Report offers details on completing your report – or contact the coordinator directly if you have further questions.

Please remember the next time you go and clear some windfalls or build a new section of trail, fill out a work bee report and send it in – your future right to ride may depend on it!

Please submit your Chapter Work Bee Reports to:  workbeecoordinator@bchorsemen.org

BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN SOCIETY OF BC

Project Funding

Individual chapters can apply for BCHBC trails grants for trail, access and campsite projects across BC.  Available funds are allocated to projects at the Provincial Trails Selection Committee’s discretion.  For more information click here:

BCHBC Trail Grant Application Guidelines

BCHBC Trail Grant Application

If you have questions regarding our Trails Grant Program – Please contact trailcommittee@bchorsemen.org 

 

OTHER SOURCES

BCHBC actively seeks funding for our projects from a variety of sources including membership fees, chapter fundraisers, various grants, government agencies, corporate and private businesses and from initiatives such as our annual Rendezvous event.

We appreciate and acknowledge the support received over the years from Horse Council BC through their BC Equestrian Trails Fund.

We at BCHBC recognize and also wish to bring awareness of the value our local community businesses bring through their generous support of in-kind donations of materials, supplies, equipment and rentals.  Our projects and membership often receive discounted pricing from local merchants as well.

Donate Now

SAFETY

Over the years BCHBC has had an exemplary record pertaining to safety and we take it seriously.  Our Trails Committee has done a terrific job in managing our documentation and defining particular safety requirements, policy and procedures. 

Click here to review our BCHBC Safety Plan

Additional forms and information available in the Members Only Library.

(To the right )   Practicing first aid with real life situations – a critical factor when in the wilderness.

safety first aid

A Partnered Initiative for a Trails Database

History:  Back in the early 2000’s, longtime member Jack Breaks worked tirelessly to create a database of trails in BC, which was located on the original BCHBC website.  Around 2012 the decision was made to transfer the records to Horse Council BC, which had a more secure website.  Read More »

Members are encouraged to continue the support & maintenance of  the HCBC TRAILS DATABASE in two important ways:

  • Confirmation on the existing database where and when possible – any member visiting a site or trail on the database can provide additional information such as condition of the site or trails, if the site still exists or possibly was lost due to forest fire, flood, logging, etc.  Are there any new conditions that others should be aware of?  The new & current information will then be uploaded into the database by HCBC.
  • Mapping new trailheads and trails with either a GPS unit or utilizing the Avenza mapping program along with other pertinent information and/or photos can be submitted to be uploaded into the HCBC database.

Find information such as nearby cities, photos, length, directions, water, parking, camping, maps and comments from users.

Geo-Referenced Maps:  free maps can be downloaded to your phone.  HCBC has partnered with Canadian company Avenza , who offer a free Smartphone App that tracks your position without using data or cell service.  The App allows you to create and save GPX tracks of your trails, which you can upload to HCBC and they will be added to the trail listing in the Online Database.

Click here for more Avenza information & tutorials

Partner Up and Contribute Information:

As a trail rider, you are a vital team member in keeping this database up to date.  To add a trail or amend information on trails already listed, visit our Trail Submission/Update page.  If you have questions you can email recreation@hcbc.ca or call HCBC at 1-800-345-8055.

Do you ride the trails we clear or camp at the many locations we’ve developed and want to support the good work we do, amenities we provide and service within our communities?  We invite you to donate now.  Your donation assists BCHBC with continued trail maintenance, trail development, campground development, education, and more towards ongoing operations and initiatives for the province-wide benefit of the recreational riding community.

BCHBC Award of Excellence for Outstanding Project

To nominate a project for an Outstanding Project Award, click here for Nomination Form and additional information.

Click Here to View More of Our Great Projects “TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM”