AHC Hopes to Direct Stimulus Funds to Horse Trails

The American Horse Council has asked the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management to use stimulus funding for trails.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriates more than $1.7 billion for these agencies. These funds can be used for the maintenance and construction of trails and other infrastructure improvements on public lands.

The AHC recently wrote to the directors of these groups, urging them to allocate a significant portion of stimulus funding to address the current backlog of needed infrastructure improvements on public lands, including maintenance and construction of trails and other facilities that are open to equestrians.

The AHC cited the importance of public lands and trails to recreational riders around the country and the economic impact of the recreational riding community on the national economy.

"The recreational horse industry contributes $11.8 billion a year directly to the economy and directly employs nearly 130,000 people nationwide," said AHC President Jay Hickey. "Indirectly the industry contributes an additional $20.1 billion and generates another 307,000 jobs. That is significant and extremely important in these economic times."

The AHC encourages members of the equestrian community who use these public lands to contact their local Ranger Districts, Forest Supervisors, BLM field or District offices, and National Park Service Superintendents and work with them to identify projects beneficial to riders in their area.

"This is a great chance to improve trails for equestrians and stimulate the economy," said Hickey.

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