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Back Country Horsemen of Missouri (BCHMO) is part of the Back Country Horsemen of America. As such, BCHMO coordinates activities throughout Missouri to keep Missouri’s public trails open to horsemen.
Purposes of Back Country Horsemen of Missouri
- Perpetuating common sense use and enjoyment of Missouri’s back country and wilderness areas.
- Ensuring Missouri’s public lands remain open for recreational stock use.
- Assisting Missouri and Federal government agencies in maintaining public equestrian and multi-use trails
- Educating government officials and the general public on equestrian use of public trails.
Back Country Horsemen of Missouri is first and foremost a service organization. We volunteer our time and energies to keep equestrian trails open and enjoyable to horsemen. We clear deadfall, prune low hanging branches, clear brush, pick up trash, improve trail heads and work on erosion control projects on Missouri’s public lands.
One of missions of the Back Country Horsemen of Missouri is to provide sound science based educational material and resources to those interested in trail riding and trail issues associated with horses and the environment. Other goals include educating riders and non riders to promote and follow the Leave No Trace Principles, basic trail courtesy and ethics, and best methods in trail building and maintenance.
Advocacy as the third spoke of the Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) philosophy is inherent in all of the stated purposes. “To speak in favor of, to recommend” is a simple definition but, its accomplishment involves going to meetings, lots and lots of meetings, on public land management and other issues.
Back Country Horsemen of Missouri believes that the first step is a strong statewide organization addressing trailrider issues. The second step for equestrians is adherence to trail ethics; every responsible equestrian by their actions and courtesy is a trail advocate. Other steps involve going to meetings, contacting your elected officials, the list goes on and on.
Equestrian access to public lands is being challenged nation-wide by increased competition for trail use, reduced budgets for trail maintenance at all levels of government and misconceptions about the impact horses have on trails. The equestrian community needs to earn a ‘seat at the table’ where ever decisions are being made about equestrian access to public trails or face the likelihood of further reductions in trails open to horseback riders.
Back Country Horsemen of Missouri, as part of Back Country Horsemen of America, is working to earn a “seat at the table” and promote the interests of all horsemen who enjoy using our public lands. Please join us! Together, we will make a difference!