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National Park Service Service asking for comments for

Ozark Roads and Trails Management Plan

BCHMO has not been blind to the announcement made several days ago. We have been studying the proposals and determining how we should respond to this very important issue.

Look under Hot Issues for the announcement from the ONSR on the Ozark Roads and Trails Management Plan proposals and the three alternatives the NPS offers. Alternative Plan C is the preferred option but it has several issues we feel need addressed to make it a workable alternative. Please read the suggested items below and please, PLEASE, respond and comment to the NPS with your ideas. The comment period ends December 15th, which gives us just a few days to respond.


The Roads and Trails Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways proposes the elimination of 95% of the existing trails between Baptist Camp and Akers.  The following thoughts are meant to help when making comments to the National Park Service.  To read the full proposal or to provide your input to the NPS, go to the following website.  Comments are due by December 15, 2017.

Select “Open For Comment”


  • Alternative C is the preferred plan with the following additions:
    1. The trail and river crossings currently in use from Baptist Camp through Akers downstream to the Devils Well Area.
    2. The trails leading to many historic sites such as the Howell-Maggard Cabin, Bluff School, Akers Ferry, and the Welch Spring Hospital.
  • The trails mentioned above have been in use since before the 1960’s, survived the annual flooding of the river, and are self-sustainable.
  • Do not move the trails away from the river. The “river trails” are the most scenic and favored trails because of the view of nature and the natural canopy of shade.
  • Only 21 miles of trails will be allowed in Alternative C. Because of the popularity of the existing trails (approx. 60 miles), if this reduction occurs, the trails will be over used, becoming unsustainable, unmaintainable, and unsafe, thus forcing closure.
  • The current trail system brings a large amount of tourism to this area, so the reduction will have a significant negative effect on the local economy.
  • The local equestrian campgrounds will also feel the negative economic impact if the trail mileage is reduced, as people will not travel to ride so few miles of trails.
  • Alternative C requires that new trails be constructed over some very rugged country, which will be very expensive to build and maintain. That expense will come out of taxpayer dollars, while the existing trail system is already in place and will cost the taxpayer nothing.
  • If Alternative C is implemented with the proposed trail reductions, enforcement of the closures may create further division between local communities, riders, and enforcement officials.

MDC works with partners to open multi-use trails at Gist Ranch CA

The multi-use trails will welcome horseback riders, bicyclists and hikers.

SUMMERSVILLE, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Back County Horsemen of Missouri (BCHMO), and the Summersville Saddle Club announce the opening of nearly 12 miles of multi-use trails located on the Gist Ranch Conservation Area (CA).  This CA is located in Texas County just northwest of Summersville off Highway 17.

Travis Mills, Resource Forester with MDC, and his work team, as time allowed, spent the past year enhancing an existing trail network as multi use trails.

“We are happy to provide this recreational opportunity to a wide group of the public including horseback riders, bicyclists, and hikers,” Mills said.

MDC welcomes volunteer help to maintain the trails, which will allow MDC employees to accomplish other work. Therefore, a partnership has developed between the Summersville Saddle Club and the MDC.  Ronnie Harper, president of the Saddle Club, says the club is looking forward to “a lasting relationship with MDC” and that they will appreciate the opportunity to have trails close to home.

“I’m pleased to see these multi-use trails developed, and to have played a part with getting these organizations together to create a long-term partnership,” said John Turner a representative of BCHMO.

More information about Gist Ranch CA can be found at


Are you interested in teaching Leave No Trace (LNT) Awareness Workshops to the public to learn, practice, and promote Leave No Trace?  To be eligible to conduct the Awareness Workshops you must attend the LNT trainer course. Contact Master LNT Trainers Darrel and Robin Vaughan for availability and details. This training is being offered to BCHMO members for a reduced fee by having participants provide their own food and sleeping arrangements. Minimum student numbers are necessary to hold the class. Class can be offered to other organizations as well.  
Each course has a minimum and maximum number of students. Please email Robin at: for more information or if you are interested in requesting a training class. 

AmazonSmile for BCHMO

Do you shop online on occasion or on a regular basis?  If so, Back Country Horsemen of Missouri (BCHMO) has registered with AmazonSmile so that your online purchases can help support our organization.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support BCHMO every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as  The  difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to BCHMO, a eligible 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Follow the instructions below to select BCHMO when shopping on AmazonSmile.


2)  Select Charity – you can change what automatically appears to:

3)  Back Country Horsemen Of Missouri Inc. (case sensitive )

4)  Order as usual and 0.5% will be donated to us!  (To test, you do not have to place an order, just select a charity.