Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back Country Horsemen of America Welcomes New Advocacy Partner

January 28, 2014

by Sarah Wynne Jackson
Back Country Horseman of America preserves our right to ride horses on public lands across the country. They know that joining forces with other groups strengthens our voice and our influence. They proudly introduce their latest Advocacy Partner, the Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trail Association. LRRETA is an affiliate of the Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County, a not-for-profit organization that promotes recreation and preservation of the Greenbelt of Lake Ray Roberts State Park in Texas. 
The Best Trail in Texas
Located just outside the city of Pilot Point in North Texas, the Lake Ray Roberts equestrian trail system is 20 miles of multi-use trails that runs north from Highway 380 to Pilot Point. This unique trail corridor meanders along the heavily wooded banks of the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River. Equestrians, hikers, and bikers can access the trail at three trailheads.
This popular trail is shaded from summer sun and shielded from winter winds. Considered one of the best trails in Texas, it offers riders beautiful scenery and varied terrain, including undulating hills and flat stretches, woods and meadows. The highly prized sandy loam soil provides excellent footing, regardless of the weather. 
Coming Together to Get It Done
In 2010, local flooding washed out a bridge in the middle of the trail, significantly impacting the trail experience by breaking it into two shorter trails. Park Rangers proposed collapsing the equestrian trail into the biking trails due to the wash-out, but over 200 equestrians responded to a call to action and expressed their support for separate and expanded horse trails. The equestrian community volunteered to clear trails and attended various meetings to resolve the damaged section. 
In June 2013, the Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trail Association formed to restore the trail to its original condition. In short order, they voted in officers, created a Board of Directors, and appointed folks to oversee various committees. Their goal is to raise $60,000 to $120,000 to replace the bridge through construction of a new one or placement of a used one.
LRRETA’s long-term mission is to maintain and enhance the Lake Ray Roberts equestrian trail system. Certified horse country, Denton County and the Pilot Point area are home to many riders of different disciplines, all of whom enjoy taking their horses on the trail. In the future, LRRETA would like to add additional and enhanced horse camp sites and put Lake Ray Roberts on the map as a destination for trail riders from across the country.
About Back Country Horsemen of America
BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in the wilderness and public lands.
If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:; call 888-893-5161; or write PO Box 1367, Graham, WA 98338-1367. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!
Peg Greiwe

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