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Le Bar Horse Camp opens on May 27th!

It’s a strikingly beautiful camp with 13 sites – pull through and back in. There’s  no water in camp so you need to bring water for you and your stock. The trail meanders through giant firs with some views of the Skokomish River with a pleasant river lunch spot. 

We need to use this camp otherwise we run the risk of closure or having it be opened to non-stock campers.  Additional information gladly provided through our Buckhorn Range chapter website or Facebook.

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Work Party at the Horse Park

Thank you to the volunteers who came out to the horse park yesterday to cut scotch broom on the Mustang and Boundary Trails!!    We had 7 in attendance plus 2 horses and a dog.   All the targeted work was completed.   The trails are all opened, and we were able to park in the parking area (among the log decks).   Work, conversation, and riding – that’s a good day.   Even time for packing and highlining.

Jeff

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GOOD NEWS!

LeBar Horse Camp Grant Progress

We’re on schedule to replace 6-9 of the camp’s 13 high line cables as well as arranging for gravel delivery to improve the in-camp road.

A work party will be forthcoming, likely April/May.

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Grant for LeBar Horse Camp

The Forest Service has reached out to us about our Title II Grant for LeBar, offering to just let the USFS acquire the gravel with the grant fund and have it moved to LeBar where we can spread it.   They will also purchase the highline cable if we tell them what we want.   This cuts out all of the grant administration work on our end. We are excited by this renewed spirit of cooperation and partnership with Olympic National Forest and look forward to when we are able to get back to work to restore this beautiful Horse Camp.

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Don’t Forget to Renew Your Membership!!!

We Need You! It’s Easy To Do.

Just go to https://form.jotform.com/202445892875164 and fill out the form. Be sure to scroll down and select your chapter, click the “Agree” button, then click the “Go To Payment Page” button.

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Buckhorn Range Chapter at LeBar Horse Camp for National Public Lands Day

By Juelie Dalzell, Buckhorn Range and Peninsula Chapters (article published in Trailhead News)

National Public Land Day saw eight members of Buckhorn Range Chapter working hard to restore LeBar Horse Camp. This lovely camp had been closed all summer in part due to Covid-19 and in part due to USFS staff shortages. What interested our members was the fact we had to negotiate with the Forest Service for over six weeks just to be permitted to hold a work party in the campground with the work needing approval before we entered. LeBar Horse Camp was built by Mason County (now Oakland Bay) and Olympic Chapters. Unwilling to give us a key, a Forest Service employee unlocked the gate for us the day we arrived.

The camp nestled between huge trees is extremely well designed with mostly pull through sites, cable high lines, picnic tables and fire rings. There is also a large picnic shelter at one end of the campground. With no use over the summer the camp looked very forlorn and overgrown. Small trees and shrubs had to be cleared from the camp road loop. Tent pads had to be replaced, brush and weeds cut off the hitch rails and sites parking areas, picnic tables wire brushed, the toilet sanitized and moss scraped off the concrete pad holding the vault toilet. A sign post had to be replaced, and fallen trees cleared from connector trails. Every fire ring was cleared of debris and creeper vines snipped away from camp sites and the road.
In addition, our crew cleared downed trees blocking the LeBar access and 140 access to the Skok River Trail.


While the work required the eight of us to spend three days at LeBar, we all had a marvelous time together. Two of our members prepared meals for all of us making it a festive occasion and those of us not cooking felt coddled. When we left, the camp looked ready for campers, but alas it will not open until next year. For those of you who have never been to LeBar, Buckhorn members would strongly suggest you do yourselves a favor and stay at this premier horse camp next summer.

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Gold Creek Ford Approach Restored

Buckhorn and Peninsula Chapters of BCHW submitted for two projects in the northeast portion of the Olympic National Forest to be funded by the Title II distribution of the Secure Rural Schools Act.   Title II funds are spent to benefit the public’s use of the National Forest and includes road improvements on access roads, noxious weed treatments, youth crew employment, watershed enhancement, and recreation work.  

One of our projects, located in Clallam County, is restoring to stock standards the washed-out approach to the Sleepy Hollow Trail ford over Gold Creek.   This trail has been the planned route for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, running from Montana to Port Townsend, then up Mt Zion, and onto the Tubal Cain Mine Trail, winding through the high Olympics to the Pacific Ocean.

Our project involved purchasing gravel from the Title II grant along with compensating pack support and administration costs (for both projects).   Over 3 days of work, we completed restoring the ford approach including packing over 2,700 lbs. of gravel on horses supplied by Peninsula and Buckhorn Chapter members, and that is after having used the same stock to pack in the logs used for retaining the gravel on the steep approach.   A big thanks to all for this joint chapter effort!!!

Our next project will be packing in and out youth crews to Bark Shanty on the Lower Big Quilcene Trail.   Our chapters are paying for the youth crews out of the Title II grant funds.   All of the packing for this project will be donated by the stock handlers.   The packers are ready, but due to Covid, we are having a hard time lining up youth crews for the current season.   Fortunately, the grant funds carry over to next year if we run out of time.   I hope to call on members to assist with this effort when we get it planned.

Jeff Chapman, Buckhorn Range Chapter Director

Summer Greetings!

The flowers are in their glory, evenings are pleasantly warm and our ponies love the morning sun.

Unfortunately, we remain in a state of separation. Our August meeting is canceled as well as any work parties. This is our status until further notice. But, for your information, the Board has “Zoomed ” and we’re on schedule with a current grant and are going to apply for a NO MATCH REQUIRED grant!

Stay well and ride on!

Kris Lenke, President

Buckhorn Range Chapter

Back Country Horsemen of Washington

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Inclusion and Diversity

The Buckhorn Range Chapter (BRC) of the Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW) hereby confirm that we welcome all people of any ethnic or racial background to be part of our organization. We do not discriminate in our chapter or in our organization as stated in the BCHW Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy, and expanded here with regards to the timely social discussions on racial prejudice happening in Washington State.    It is our belief that everyone has a story to tell, and that it is the celebration of our differences and commonalities that make our chapters stronger, deeper, and in a better position to move forward with promoting the importance of stock use to the future of land management in our state as well as staunchly supporting safe access to public lands for everybody.   We will be part of the continued discussions on inequalities in Washington State.

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“Virtual” Work Party

With COVID-19 safety precautions and restrictions imposed by the Governor’s office and a virtual National Trails Day being silenced nationally by the American Hiking Society to “suspend our promotion of National Trails Day® in solidarity with the ongoing protests across the country”, our Chapter had already decided to limit work parties to “Same-Household” groups and work individually on our favorite trails. In our household, we took on a project that Buckhorn Range Chapter member Summer Martell had suggested back on Valentine’s Day to install a hitch rail near the picnic table at the Vista point on the Silent Alder Loop trail in Gibbs Lake County Park.

After spending the day Saturday obtaining materials and creating the hardware to fasten the rail to the posts, I loaded up the truck Sunday morning. Judith and I moved the material to the work site and then spent the rest of the day digging holes and erecting the new hitch rail. Our newest canine co-worker, Ruby, was on hand to supervise and has inherited our old dog Tigger’s skills at photobombing.

One of the primary concerns that Jefferson County Parks manager Matt Tyler had was manure at the picnic area, so I suggested that a manure fork be placed there with a sign asking folks to clean up after their horses. Matt liked this idea and gave the go-ahead. We placed a manure fork there, and a sign will be installed soon. Jim Shaver of Quimper Trails Association, the mountain bike group that has built and maintained the trail system at Gibbs Lake County Park, also mentioned that there has been a lot more manure on the trails lately. This indicates more equestrian use which is great, but it is annoying to other users, so let’s be considerate of them by getting our horses to the side of the trail when possible, or dismounting to kick it off the trail if you can safely do so.

Once the Silent Alder Trail is re-opened after the logging activity is over, this spot will be a nice place to stop and have a snack while taking in the view of West Valley below. You can view more photos of the project by clicking on the link below.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qCFXkmNeLFx9aszU6

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Looking ahead

Remember that we will not have our May 8th meeting. Hoping June will find us together and really have my fingers crossed that we can go camping at LeBar Horse Camp on July 17-19. 
Until we meet again…

Kris Lenke, President

Buckhorn Range Chapter

This is a picture on the fabulous LeBar Trail last summer.
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The Magnificent Seven

We, the Magnificent Seven, had a very productive work party today at the Horse Park. We cut massive amounts of scotch broom and beat it into submission placing it into piles. The “Sevens” were Helen, Larry, Robin, Peter , Jeff, Juelie, Kris.