The members of Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) value our nation’s landscape and works hard to protect equestrians’ rights to enjoy these lands by horseback.

They also believe in being good stewards of this limited natural resource by practicing sound outdoor ethics, participating in trail maintenance, and sharing the trails with other users. So, BCH members forge strong relationships with other user groups and the agencies that manage public lands. Back country horsemen in Montana and Missouri recently completed trail projects that exemplify this spirit of collaboration.

Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area

A three mile-trail leading to the Humbug Spires in southwestern Montana is normally a walk through postcard-perfect scenery in an old growth forest braided with a creek. The Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area contains a group of more than 50 granite spire formations just southeast of the continental divide.

A series of storms in 2014 left the path riddled with downed trees. Although the annual trail cleanup here typically consists of 10 to 20 trees, this year’s crew faced more than 100 downed trees. As part of the Wilderness 50 celebration and National Public Lands Day, Mile High Back Country Horsemen of Montana assisted employees from the Bureau of Land Management’s Butte Field Office in reopening this scenic trail.

The Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area is an 11,175 acre roadless preserve managed by the BLM as a de facto wilderness, which excludes the use of motorized or mechanized equipment. In these types of areas where the environment and ecosystem must be protected, horses and mules aid s