ARKANSAS BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN
We Keep Your Trails Open
Arkansas Back Country Horsemen is part of Back Country Horsemen of America, a national non-profit service organization dedicated to keeping trails open on public lands and to protecting our heritage of responsible equine use in back country and wilderness areas. Currently Arkansas Back Country Horsemen proudly supports four local chapters: Buffalo River Chapter Back Country Horsemen, Lower Buffalo River Arkansas Back Country Horsemen, Sylamore Back Country Horsemen, and Back Country Horsemen of Northwest Arkansas. Each local chapter has its own area of focus, but they share the common goal of keeping equestrian trails open while riding some of the most beautiful places in the country. We always welcome new members to ride and work with us.
WHAT WE DO
We are a service organization. Through regularly scheduled work days, members of our local chapters meet to clear and maintain trails and campgrounds on public lands in Arkansas. We work in collaboration with the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish, and other land management agencies to ensure that public lands remain open for all of us to enjoy. On a typical work day you may see us clearing brush and deadfall, pruning low-hanging branches, picking up trash, or assisting with erosion control projects.
Educating horsemen on the responsible use of stock on public lands is another important part of our mission. In addition to our trail work, we train members in CPR/First Aid, Leave No Trace principles, packing with horses, and chainsaw safety. Some of our members participate in Search and Rescue, providing a life-saving resource. Others offer informal horse and trail safety lessons to 4-H and other youth groups. All of our members, along with their equine partners, are committed to being good stewards of our treasured back country and wilderness areas.
WHY WE DO IT
Public Lands need our help to remain open.
We believe that the beautiful places we ride in Arkansas deserve our care and protection.
The volunteer work and advocacy efforts of Back Country Horsemen, in Arkansas and nation-wide, are crucial in reducing the severe trail maintenance backlog on Forest Service and other public trails. And, trails worth having are worth working for.
We want to stay informed on issues that affect trail access. Being part of a national organization that gets its strength at the local “grassroots” level helps us stay informed and ensures that we have a voice at the table when equine-related issues are being debated.
We love to ride. True, we are a group of dedicated men and women who work to protect and preserve our access to public trails, but we have a lot of fun doing it. We love the camaraderie of riding, camping, and making memories together, plus we have the added bonus of knowing our efforts have made a positive difference. It’s the perfect blend of work and play!
WHY GET INVOLVED
By joining a local chapter of Arkansas Back Country Horsemen, you will belong to a group that tries to be part of the solution. We build good working relationships with state and national agencies to ensure that public lands remain open for all of us to enjoy.
Membership connects you with other equestrians who enjoy riding, hiking and camping in Arkansas. You may even discover hidden trails or quiet retreats that you’ve never visited. Lifelong friendships are formed along the trail, around the campfire, and in our meeting rooms.
As a member of your local chapter you join with more than 13,000 equestrians in 33 states who also care about protecting the tradition of horses and mules on public trails and in the back country. Legislators and decision makers listen when Back Country Horsemen of America speaks.
Members have access to “members only” Facebook pages and emails with detailed information on meetings, work days, camping trips, and equine-related legislative issues. We will keep you informed.
HOW TO JOIN
Joining a local chapter of Arkansas Back Country Horsemen is easy and rewarding.
Click here to learn more about our chapters, the areas they serve, and how to join each.
OUR BCHA MISSION STATEMENT
- To promote the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness.
- To work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.
- To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resources.
- 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.
- To foster and encourage the formation of new state (and local) Back Country Horsemen organizations.