Public Lands are the basis for our mission and the reason that Back Country Horsemen of Washington exists. Access for stock users to public lands was seriously endangered in the early 1970’s. Small groups of people in 4 western states recognized the need to organize in order to retain the right to ride. These states created organizations with a mission to advocate for stock use on trails and to provide support to the Forest Service and other agencies by providing volunteer maintenance. These state organizations rapidly coalesced to form a national organization, Back Country Horsemen of America.
Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW) has established chapters and has members all across the state to support the BCHW mission. The tabs located on this website will provide a number of links to resource materials that are necessary to accomplish our mission. Members will be able to find information for work party leaders and recreational rides as well as organizational documents. This Public lands webpage will contain links to webpages for the USDA Forest Service, Washington State Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management and Washington State Parks.
Before heading out on your next adventure make sure you have all the information you need to have a successful outing.
USFS Agreements, Forms and Documents
Current Issues and Updates
Please scroll down to find more information
CAMPING ON PUBLIC LANDS:
Click below for more info:
E-BIKE USE ON NATIONAL FOREST AND GRASSLANDS
Click below for info:
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE: 2/28/2022
Letters submitted during comment period on recent issue.
Click here to read what Kathy Young of BCHW submitted on the Draft 10 Year Recreation Strategy
Click here to read the recent comment letter regarding Grizzly's 11/13/2023
Click here to read our updated comment letter regarding Grizzly's.
Click Here to read our comment letter from 2017 regarding Grizzly's.
Northwest Forest Plan Amendment
Click Here for Kathy Youngs, BCHW Comment Letter regarding the recent proposed amendment!
BCHA encourages chapters to review the USFS memo regarding (Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds"
Then discuss with our local USFS Staff
"Recommended Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds" Published by the USDA
Click here to download and/or read the document.
If you have comments or questions, please direct them to Kathy Young, your Public Lands Liaison at:
USDA Forest Service Region 6 WA Projects
Department of Interior National Parks Projects
DOI project data for National Parks and BLM managed lands can be found at the following link:
Kim McCarrel Article: "If you don't show up, you don't matter"
Please read the article posted in the Riders' Roundup (February 2021) from Kim McCarrel "VP of Public Lands).
Click here for the link to see "If you don't show up, you don't matter. If you show up, you'll matter."
Current Public Lands Report and Leadership Recording
Click the links to access the recorded information.
BCHA Response for e-Bike Use on National Forest Lands
Please review the below link and send questions to our Public Lands Chair (Kathy Young) Public_lands@bchw.org
Teanaway Community Forest Trail Planning Effort Begins
The Teanaway Community Forest (TCF) is co-managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
For more info on the Teanaway Community Forest Click Here
As Washington’s first state-administered community forest, the Teanaway Community Forest is legislatively bound to hold five goals in balance of each other:
1. To protect and enhance the water supply and protect the watershed;
2. To maintain working lands for forestry and grazing while protecting key watershed functions and aquatic habitat;
3. To maintain and where possible expand recreational opportunities consistent with watershed protection, for activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, camping, birding and snowmobiling;
4. To conserve and restore vital habitat for fish, including steelhead, spring Chinook, and bull trout, and wildlife, including deer, elk, large predators and spotted owls; and
5. To support a strong community partnership, in which the Yakama Nation, residents, business owners, local governments, conservation groups, and others provide advice about ongoing land management.”
Washington State Public Lands
For more information about recreation opportunities on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, please visit or website or contact the District Office nearest you.
Passes and Permits
Passes and permits are a reality of recreating in Washington. Information about necessary passes and permits for the different agency properties are also linked here. (Link permission granted by Washington Trails Association)
Links for our Land Managers
US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Region 6
- Colville National Forest
- Gifford Pinchot National Forest
- Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
- Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forests
- Olympic National Forest
Based on the most recent inventory (2014) by Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office all public natural resource and recreation lands total about 43% of Washington’s territory, approximately 19.8 million acres.
Back Country Horsemen of Washington’s members work actively with the lands managers and with other recreational user groups to maintain trails across the state. We partner with many recreation organizations throughout the state with the goal to build relationships, coordinate work and optimize each other’s strengths. BCHW’s members are invested in making certain that public lands remain open for stock use.
Washington State Public Lands #Recreate Responsibly
We urge you to watch the following video on recreating responsibly. Please help us in spreading the word.
Washington Dept. of Natural Resources For site specific information and status updates go to www.dnr.wa.gov/open.
Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife For specific information on restrictions/closures and status updates go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates
WDFW has created an online form available for users to report any condition concerns or issues. https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands/report-conditions
Washington State Parks For a complete list of open and closed parks go to https://parks.state.wa.us/1181/Parks-opening
U.S. Forest Service is continuing to plan for a phased opening later in May, no majors' changes to current guidelines have been announced for FS properties and facilities.
Kathy Young, Public Lands Chairman, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 2, 2020
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced a 60-day public comment period on proposed electric bike, or e-bike, regulations. Their intent being to make it easier for more Americans to recreate on and experience their public lands. This effort is in line with Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt’s call for the BLM and other Interior bureaus to expand access on public lands to e-bikes. Given their use of a small (1 horsepower or less) electric motor, the BLM currently manages e-bikes as off-highway vehicles. As a result, there is some uncertainty among e-bike users as to where they may ride their bikes on BLM-managed public land. As a remedy, the proposed rule would amend the BLM’s current off-road vehicle regulations to add a definition for e-bikes, compatible with Secretarial Order 3376, Increasing Recreational Opportunities through the use of Electric Bikes. The 60-day public comment period has commenced, and the proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register. The public comment period will end on June 9. You can find the proposed rule at this link here. Interested parties may submit comments on the proposed regulation, identified by the number RIN 1004-AE72, by any of the following methods:
- Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134 LM, 1849 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240, Attention: RIN 1004-AE72.
- Federal eRulemaking portal