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Is the Government Shut Down Affecting Your Trail Work?
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1/18/2019 at 6:06:27 PM GMT
Posts: 1
Is the Government Shut Down Affecting Your Trail Work?

Has the federal government shut down affected your chapter’s trail work?
Has it put an important trail planning effort in limbo or, worse yet, threatened critical funding for trails?

What trail work on federal public lands are you able to continue, despite the shut down? Or have your agency partners told you to stop work until the shut down is over?

BCHA will maintain a forum on the effects of the shut down where you can share your experiences and observations, good or bad.

Please share your story with others via the forum. Your insights during these trying times might help the efforts of BCH chapters in other states. Thank you!

Last edited Friday, January 18, 2019
1/21/2019 at 8:33:58 PM GMT
Posts: 1
In northern Utah the government shutdown has not significantly affected our trail work. The mountain trails are covered in snow so there is not much work we can do. Hopefully the shutdown will be resolved before the mountains snows have melted in May/June!

1/21/2019 at 9:19:02 PM GMT
Posts: 1
On the Buffalo National River Park trails in Arkansas, we have not been affected. We have had 2 or 3 workdays since the shutdown began, and it hasn't mattered at all. (On one workday, we cleared trees that the Park had already cut before the shutdown occurred, so that workday wouldn't have happened had they not been able to do their part beforehand...)

1/21/2019 at 11:30:21 PM GMT
Posts: 2
Yes, our Back Country Horsemen of the Blue Ridge participates in the Adopt-A-Trail program to assist in maintainence of several sections of trails that are part of the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park in North Carolina. This program is administared by the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway and 2 of our chapter members are co-chairs of a Friends Chapter where trails are open to riding. The volunteers that work with the staff of this Park have been asked to stand down durning the shutdown. The Park staff is concerned with safety and liability of workers during this time. It would be difficult to work with our partners when our partners are out on furlough. So we have agreed to stand down.

It is very difficult to see issues develop with runoff that we normally address while we stand down. Sometimes Mr or Mrs Joe Public just have to swing into action.

1/21/2019 at 11:38:43 PM GMT
Posts: 2
Members of the Back Country Horsemen of the Blue Ridge in NC have also been asked to stand down by the Forest Service. We were told that they will not ask us for assistance durning this time and will not give permission for any volunteer efforts. But if Mr and Mrs Joe Public are certified sawyers and desire to take care of an issue they will do so totally on their own without any kind of protection from the Forest Service. But they will accept that volunteer time in the annual report we supply them.

1/22/2019 at 1:34:27 AM GMT
Posts: 1
Washington is largely under snow on FS trail systems, so shut down has no effects that I have seen at this time. RTP funding is held up that may or may not effect our volunteer efforts come spring. Planning efforts are slowed a little with FS land managers. But hard to measure seeings even when in the office they are paralyzed to effectively support our efforts.

1/22/2019 at 1:59:39 AM GMT
Posts: 1
The government shut down has not effected us. We are doing recon rides on many miles of trails with some minor maintenance work being done. The shut down is just a non issue at this point. We just do what needs to be done to keep our trails safe.

1/22/2019 at 12:46:33 PM GMT
Posts: 1
We are not currently doing trail work here in Southwest Colorado due to Winter snow conditions, so the shut down has not affected us in that way, but it has and will affect us significantly this year in terms of opportunity lost. Winter is when we work with the Forest Service to plan fund raising for trail work, plan project work, etc., and we have now almost completely lost the chance for much of that, especially for fundraising. With our trails clogged with downed trees due to beetle kill and lack of trail maintenance resources, for the past two years the trail partners here (FS, vol groups, etc.) have been able to open only about 50% of our system trails. This comes even after our local community raised about $35,000 in 2018 to help clear our trails. More trees were down in 2018 than in 2017, so our issue has been compounding. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, and so we have been trying to plan for fundraising and trails project work this year, but the critical Forest Service partners are not there due to the furlough. And because of this we have now missed some key deadlines, e.g. for National Forest Foundation matching grants (grant submission deadline is January 23rd) and other similar programs. We're not sure where this will leave things, what will happen this year, but it is not looking good at all for Wilderness and other trails in 2019. Not good, folks!

1/22/2019 at 3:56:59 PM GMT
Posts: 1
Olympic NP (and I assume most others) have officially ordered all volunteer trail work to stop (because NPS is unable to provide emergency comm & response). However, unofficially it hasn't, and the few NPS rangers (deemed "essential") on duty who know we are working are "turning a blind eye" and letting us do so. So things are getting done! We have many low-elevation trails, and many windfall from winter storms. p.s. And also no problem continuing USFS trail work during shutdown.

1/23/2019 at 12:55:21 AM GMT
Posts: 1
Back Country Horsemen of Michigan believes that if your going to have a shutdown, now is the time of year to have it. We've been experiencing "Life Below Zero" temperatures lately. Plans have already been made for our work bee activities which will start in May! The shutdown has not impacted the many meetings that are going on this time of year. As you may know the lions share of work here in Michigan is on State Land, not Federal. There is however an issue that's ongoing in the Hiawatha National Forest in the U.P. Concerned parties are trying to resolve the situation. Thanks, Dick Kleinhardt

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Last edited Tuesday, January 22, 2019