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.


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


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.


“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.



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.

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.


Horse Park Work Party

We are holding a work party on Saturday Feb 1 at the Jefferson County Horse Park on Cape George Road.   The work will begin at 10 am.   If it rains hard, we will be out of there by 10:01.   If it rains a little, we will work much longer.

The task at hand is a simple one – clean up the scotchbroom around the parking lot and make the area more slightly.

I plan to burn that scotch broom pile that has been sitting there since we were young.   We will pile the fire with more broom that we cut with whatever tools we have…………loppers, brush cutters, knives, swords, saws, trained beavers, and hand pull (for the macho).   I know folks are worried about what we will do if we get all the scotch broom pulled.   Not to worry – there’s an endless supply.

We need to get rid of the old steel gate.   Maybe stuff it into someone’s trunk when they aren’t looking.  

Please bring gloves, cutting tools if you have them, and maybe a wheelbarrow too if you have it.  This is a Bring Your Own Refreshments work party so we won’t have the usual oyster shooters and lemons.  

Hopefully this year, we will finally get the opportunity to build the world class Happy Horse Trail across the horse park.

I don’t have any virtual glasses this time so you won’t think you’re working in Hawaii.

Thanks to all who show up!!   It’s 2020 and time to get excited about a new year. 

Contact me with any questions.

Jeff Chapman,

Buckhorn Range Chapter Director


Fear and Riding

Buckhorn Range Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen will host Dr. Heather Macdonald onFebruary 14th at 7:00 p.m. at the Tri Area Center in Chimacum. 

What horseback rider hasn’t at times felt his confidence undermined by perceived threats to his safety? 

Our guest speaker is an outdoor enthusiast, equestrian, and former international mountain guide.  As a practicing psychologist and professor of psychology Dr. Macdonald will help us understand the biology and psychology of fear.

Not merely an academic Dr. Macdonald speaks her own existential understanding of fear having fallen into a crevasse on Mount Denali and experiencing a blizzard in the Himalaya while leading a climb.The presentation is open to the public.  All horseback riders who have ever felt afraid to ride are encouraged to come and bring a friend.


Trail Safe!

Do you work as a trails volunteer for National Park Service? This video series was designed for you, but is useful to everyone! Based on NPS Operational Leadership Training, Trail Safe! captures the core learning objectives of the 16 hour Operational Leadership course while allowing volunteers to learn from their own homes on-line through eight video lessons. Register yourself (and others if you are watching as a group) to receive credit for participation. When you have viewed and registered for all eight individual lessons, each volunteer will receive a Trail Safe! pin and a SPE/GAR card in the mail for your use in the field. Not sure what a SPE/GAR card is? You will after viewing the Trail Safe! series!”



Trail Safe!

TRAIL SAFE! is a unique safety training program designed specifically for National Park Service (NPS) Trail Volunteers, but is useful to everyone! It’s based upon NPS Operational Leadership Training, where the Human Factor of safety is explored.Trail Safe! captures the core learning objectives of the 16 hour Operational Leadership course while allowing volunteers to learn from their own homes on-line.

The Trail Safe! series is found below in eight video lessons, each ranging in length from 18 to 40 minutes long. Viewing the entire eight lesson series will take approximately three hours. Watch them over the course of multiple days, or “binge watch” the entire series in three hours—it’s up to you—but please watch them in numeric order from Lesson 1 through Lesson 8.

After viewing each individual lesson, return to the Trail Safe! main page and scroll down to learn how to get credit. The Training Verification Roster is in email format, with several standard data questions for you to answer (where you volunteer, your mailing address, etc.).

Register yourself (and others if you are watching as a group) to receive credit for participation. When you have viewed and registered for all eight individual lessons, each volunteer will receive a Trail Safe! pin and a SPE/GAR card in the mail for your use in the field. Not sure what a SPE/GAR card is? You will after viewing the Trail Safe! series! Thank you for helping to make the Ice Age National Scenic Trail one of the safest work environments for NPS Trail Volunteers like yourself.

Ready to start? Simply select which lesson you want to watch from the choices below. Click the “play” arrow and in just a few moments your Trail Safe! lesson will play automatically. To turn Closed Captioning on or off, click the CC button on the video.

Audio Description versions are available. Please be sure you are selecting the appropriate version for your needs.

  Trail Safe Lesson 1 – Introduction Windows Version DURATION: 18 minutes, 21 seconds
    Trail Safe Lesson 2 – Effective Leadership Windows Version DURATION: 19 minutes, 45 seconds
    Trail Safe Lesson 3 – Error & Accident Causation Windows Version DURATION: 40 minutes, 27 seconds
    Trail Safe Lesson 4 – Mission Analysis Windows Version DURATION: 27 minutes, 35 seconds  
  Trails Safe Lesson 5 – Stress & Performance Windows Version DURATION: 27 minutes, 21 seconds  
  Trail Safe Lesson 6 – Situational Awareness Windows Version DURATION: 15 minutes, 42 seconds  
  Trail Safe Lesson 7 – Decision Making Windows Version DURATION: 12 minutes, 55 seconds  
  Trail Safe Lesson 8 – Communications & Assertiveness Windows Version DURATION: 23 minutes, 30 seconds
Thank you for your participation in the Trail Safe! video training series. In order to receive credit for your participation, please fill in your answers to the following questions (copy and paste the following template questions in your return email message):
1.Which video lesson did you just complete viewing (i.e. : #1, #2, #3…)? 2.Name of the Trail where you volunteer (i.e.: North Country NST, or specify if other).
3.Name of the Trail Chapter or Affiliate Group (i.e.: Wampum Chapter, At Large, Buckeye Trail Association, etc.).
4.Your name and full mailing address, so we may send your course completion materials to you (i.e.: Jane Smith, 123 Maple Street, Anywhere, USA 12345).
5.Names and addresses of others if you are viewing this lesson in a group setting.
6.Optional: Please let us know what you found most useful about this lesson.
7.Optional: Please let us know any comments or suggestions you have about this lesson.

Please email your responses to the above questions to:
daniel_watson@nps.gov (please include underscore between first and last name). Please title your email: “Trail Safe Training Reply” Thank you, and enjoy the rest of the video series. Upon registering your completion for the entire eight lesson series, you’ll receive your Trail Safe! pin and risk assessment card via mail.
Daniel Watson
Trail Safe! Program Manager
National Park Service
700 Ray-O-Vac Drive, Suite 100
Madison, WI 53711
Office: 608-441-5610
Email: daniel_watson@nps.gov


Halloween Ride!

The date for the Halloween Ride is Saturday, October 19 at the Horse Park. Arrive at 9:30, pre-ride briefing at 10 with first rider going out at 10:15. Drag riders leave at 10:45 or 10 min after the last rider.

As usual, the trail will be well marked and there will be a delicious  Halloween theme snack on the trail.

The ride, at a leisurely pace will take about 2-21/2 hours.

Please rsvp by Thursday October 17.



Buckhorn President buckhornpresident@gmail.com


Buckhorn at the Fair!

Come down and visit us at the Jefferson County Fair Friday thru Sunday, August 9-11th. We’re right between the grandstand and the cow barn, right across from the texas longhorns.

Here we are setting up the booth this evening.

Barb, Pat, Amy and Bob
Larry and Kris horsing around.
Start ’em young.
And that’s a wrap!