San Juan Back Country Horsemen (SJBCH)

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In June 2016, it was out with the old and in with the new as far as signs go.

Photo 2 (below)—Mike Tam and Lisa McClure attach the new sign designating the Thirty-Mile SUA. They, along with John and Lisa Nelson, also installed two “Share the Road” signs and an “Adopted Trail” sign for a new trail that the chapter put in to bypass much of the busy  Rio Grande Reservoir Road from the Thirty-Mile SUA to the Weminuche and Squaw Creek trailheads.
(Photos by Lisa Nelson)

TRAILS & TRAILS PROJECTS & more....

2015 - Work begins on the Anderson Trail - SJBCH Adopted Trail

Williams Creek Gravel Hauling Project -2016

In 2015, members of San Juan Back Country Horsemen and personnel from the Pagosa Ranger District began discussing the need for an extensive trail rebuild through a bog about three miles into the Weminuche Wilderness Area on the Williams Creek Trail. On Friday, August 19th, 2016, SJBCH and the Pagosa Ranger District completed a week long project that solved the problem. The initial concept discussed by the SJBCH Board envisioned the chapter purchasing the aggregate material required and utilizing volunteer packers to haul the material to the worksite. The board also discussed applying for a grant to help offset the costs.  Pagosa District Trail Foreman Tyler Albers and Wilderness Program Manager Ros Wu had discussed with John Nelson, SJBCH Trails and Projects Committee Chair (and FS liaison) the construction by the FS Trail Crew of a raised causeway through the problem area.  ​
(article continued below the slideshow)

In June 2016, it was out with the old and in with the new as far as signs go.

Photo 1 (below)—At the chapter’s summer breakout BBQ, John Nelson (left) presented Vern Jahnke with the weather-beaten sign from the Thirty-Mile Stock Unloading Area northwest of Creede. Vern had wanted to replace the worn-out sign, and the chapter subsequently submitted for and received a $250 matching grant from Back Country Horsemen of Colorado for new signs near the Thirty-Mile SUA along the Rio Grande Reservoir Road.
(Photos by Lisa Nelson)

Back Country Horsemen Installing Grant-funded Signage in National Forest

By Lisa Nelson

San Juan Back Country Horsemen installed four new informational and safety signs along the Rio Grande Reservoir Road northwest of Creede in June—thanks to a matching grant from Back Country Horsemen of Colorado.

SJBCH partnered with the Rio Grande National Forest’s Divide Ranger District on the project..  

​The SJBCH chapter purchased four signs with $500 made available from the matching contributions of both the Pagosa Springs chapter and the statewide Back Country Horsemen chapter.

“On behalf of BCHCO, the matching grant funds that the San Juan BCH utilized for the information and safety signs is exactly the type of project we were hoping we could assist with,” said Tif Rodriguez, chair of Back Country Horsemen of Colorado. “Being that 2016 was the first year BCHCO offered the grants, it’s projects like these that will give us reason to work to offer the program again.”

One sign designates the Thirty-Mile Stock Unloading Area, northwest of Creede off the Rio Grande Reservoir Road (Forest Service Road 520). The Thirty-Mile SUA is the only available dispersed camping and stock unloading area that accesses the Weminuche Wilderness via the Squaw Creek and Weminuche trails. The new sign replaces a weather-beaten sign that dates back to 1991.

On either side of the new Thirty-Mile SUA sign, SJBCH placed two “Share the Road” signs to promote awareness of horse riders, ATVs and other vehicles traveling that road.

And finally, SJBCH purchased an “Adopted Trail” sign for a new 1.2-mile trail it constructed. The trail starts at the Thirty-Mile SUA and allows horse riders to skirt much of the busy road to reach the Squaw Creek and Weminuche trailheads.

(above) SJBCH President Tara McElhinney, left, is interviewed by Swedish university students Christina Souri, center, and Gunilla Westlund for a class project on social entrepreneurship. The Swedes chose SJBCH because of the chapter's volunteer efforts to clear and maintain trails in the backcountry.
Photo by Lisa Nelson

(below) On hand for the Anderson Trail project day on June 30 were (on horseback, from left) Nancy Seay and Donna Fait; (middle row, from left) Tyler Albers, Pagosa Ranger District trails foreman, Kat "Pickles" Nelson, Lisa Nelson, Christina Souri and Gunilla Westlund; (front row, from left) Ros Wu, Pagosa Ranger District Wilderness program manager, Bob Volger, John Nelson and Vern Jahnke. Not pictured, Bev Warburton who had to leave early.
Photo by friendly hiker