Congress Passes Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act

The bill is designed to address a trail maintenance backlog impacting users at national forests, including equestrians.

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The Senate has passed the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act (HR 845/S 1110). This follows House passage of the bill earlier this fall.

Introduced by Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN) and Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), the bill will direct the U.S. Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users of many national forests, including equestrians.

“The AHC applauds Congressional passage of this important legislation and would like to thank the bill’s sponsors Representatives Lummis and Walz and Senators Enzi and Bennet for their leadership,” said American Horse Council (AHC) President Julie Broadway. “We would also like to thank the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) for their help. The AHC has made trails a priority and has been working with Backcountry Horsemen of America, the Wilderness Society and many other recreational groups to advance this bill.”

Added Ben Pendergrass, AHC senior vice president of policy and Legislative Affairs, “Many people have worked to achieve passage of this bill over the last couple of years and this is an important victory for equestrians and everyone who enjoys our national forests. National forest and trails are important to thousands of recreational horseback riders and are a vital component of the $32 billion recreation segment of the horse industry. This bill will help make certain that equestrians and all trail users are able to have access to and enjoy our national forest

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The American Horse Council was organized in 1969 to represent the horse industry in Washington before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies. It is a nonprofit corporation that represents all segments of the equine industry.

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