ARKANSAS BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN OF AMERICA

Arkansas Back Country Horsemen of America (ARBCHA) is an official state chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA), a non-profit service organization dedicated to keeping trails open to everyone on our public lands and to protecting our heritage of responsible equine use in the back country. Currently Arkansas State BCHA oversees and proudly supports three local chapters: Buffalo River Chapter BCHA, Lower Buffalo River Arkansas BCHA, and AR-Ozark Back Country Horsemen. Each local chapter unit has its own area of focus, but each share this common goal of keeping trails open.

If you enjoy horseback riding, hiking, or backpacking the trails of north central or northwest Arkansas, you have likely benefited from the volunteer work provided quietly behind the scenes by our members. Through regularly scheduled work days, members of our local chapters meet to clear and maintain trails and campgrounds within the Buffalo National River, the Ozark National Forest, and several Wildlife Management Areas, often working in collaboration with the National Park Service and other land management agencies. Because of their declining budgets, most public land management agencies understand that cooperation with volunteer groups is increasingly important. In fact, in 2016 Congress acknowledged the severity of the trail maintenance backlog (less than 30% of Forest Service trails are currently maintained to standard), and the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act was signed into law. The intention of the legislation was to keep more trails open and accessible by expanding the use of volunteer and partner organizations like BCHA.

Along with BCHA, Arkansas Back Country Horsemen of America strives to build good working relationships with state and national agencies in order to ensure that public lands remain open for all of us to enjoy.

Nadean at Work
Nadean at Work

Its board of directors and elected officers also work to keep local chapters informed on issues that affect equine use on public lands and to promote their interests at the state and national levels.

All of our members, along with their equine partners, are committed to being good stewards of our treasured wilderness and back country resources while riding some of the most beautiful trails in the country. In addition to our trail work, we train members in back country first aid and Leave No Trace skills and encourage young riders as they learn to camp responsively with their horses. Perhaps our Mission Statement, which we share with the national BCHA, says it best:

BCHA MISSION STATEMENT

  1. To promote the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness.
  2. To work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.
  3. To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resources.
  4. To educate, encourage, and solicit active participation in the wise use of the back country resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.
  5. To foster and encourage the formation of new state (and local) Back Country Horsemen organizations.

If you share our mission and would like to join Arkansas Back Country Horsemen of America or one of our local chapters, please contact us. We are always happy to welcome new members.

Arkansas Back Country Horsemen of America

Arkansas BCHA President
Evelyn Mills
3566 Highway 397 South, Harrison, Arkansas 72601
(870) 365 6700
Arkansas BCHA Vice President
Jacque Alexander
575 Getaway Road, St Joe, AR 72645
(501) 951-9914
Arkansas BCHA Secretary
Pam Floyd
20 Tri State Rd Berryville, Arkansas 72616
(870) 480-6655
Arkansas BCHA Treasurer
Arlus Trice
10647 Erbie Cutoff Road, Harrison, AR 72601
(870) 204-0117

Buffalo River Chapter BCHA

Primary service area is the upper Buffalo National River from Boxley to Mt. Hersey, as well as portions of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness. Holds quarterly membership meetings and trail work days are generally scheduled one or two days each month.

Buffalo River Chapter President
Jeff Blake
1516 May Lane
Harrison, Arkansas 72601
(719) 351-3544
Buffalo River Chapter Vice President
Pam Floyd
20 Tri State Road
Berryville, Arkansas 72616
(870) 480-6655
Buffalo River Chapter Treasurer
Mike McGee
HC 33 Box 9B, Compton, Arkansas 72624
(337) 459-0448
Buffalo River Chapter Secretary
Donna Blake
1516 May Lane
Harrison, Arkansas 72601
(719) 337-4474

Lower Buffalo River Arkansas BCHA

Primary service area is the lower Buffalo National River from Mt. Hersey to the White River, with a current focus on the Hathaway area of the lower Buffalo. Meetings are held quarterly and work days are regularly scheduled.

Lower Buffalo BCHA President
Chad Darnell
1117 MC 5032, Yellville, Arkansas 72687
(870) 404-6242
Lower Buffalo BCHA Vice President
Ron Neff
PO Box 99, Gilbert, Arkansas 72636
(870) 221-1590
Lower Buffalo BCHA Secretary
Ronda Keeter
210 Keeter Lane, Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653
(870) 404-3369
Lower Buffalo BCHA Treasurer
Marjorie Heacock
2434 South Woolum Rd, Saint Joe, AR 72675
(740) 360-0541

AR-Ozark Back Country Horsemen

Primary service area is the Ozark-St Francis National Forest with a special focus on the beautiful Sylamore district.

Ozark Arkansas BCHA President
Wayne Goodman
124 Lillian Drive, Cave City, Arkansas 72521
(501) 412-4721
Ozark Arkansas BCHA Vice President
Lynn Pirani
P O Box 180, Clarkedale, Arkansas 72325
(870) 636-2296
Ozark Arkansas BCHA Secretary
Jillian Taylor
12 Lumpkin Dr, Apt 10, Batesville, Arkansas 72501
(479) 747-5143
Ozark Arkansas BCHA Treasurer
Donna Goodman
124 Lillian Drive, Cave City, Arkansas 72521
(501) 412-4721