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P.O. Box 533, silver city, NM 88062
Grant Received County Amount
Outdoor Marketing Grant 2024 Grant County $30,000
Trails+ 2021 Catron County $15,655.17
Trails+ 2022 Catron County $85,000
Trails+ 2023 Catron County $87,000
Total Grants Awarded $217,655.17

The Gila Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen (Gila BCH) is a volunteer 501c3 organization with a primary mission of “perpetuating the recreational use of horses on public lands through the maintenance and improvement of trails” for all users, including horseback riders, hikers, hunters, fishermen, and mountain bikers (except in wilderness areas). We believe in “Keeping Trails Open for ALL” and have been doing so for over 20 years, since our formation in 2001. Our core values of sustainable economic development, conservation, access, equity, education, and health/wellness are in line with NM ORD. During our first 15 years, Gila BCH members repaired and installed corrals at trailheads, advocated for equine use on the Gila National Forest, organized fun rides, put on crosscut and chainsaw trainings, did crosscut and equine packing presentations at local events, and coordinated members only logging trail projects in the Gila. We also offered educational events and packer trainings to engage equine users. In 2019, we became an official 501c3, and since then, we have expanded our trails program to include removing brush, improving tread, building trail markers, and installing signs, in addition to logging. We have also engaged volunteers beyond the Gila BCH members. We created the website in 2021 with updated trail information to help visitors and locals plan safe adventures. In 2023, we brought on two seasonal trail contractors to expand our ability to open trails. Our Trails Director and Trails Contractor have over 50 combined years of experience on the GNF and trail work, ensuring quality work and greater efficiency to keep trails open and accessible. Over the years, Gila BCH members and recruited volunteers have contributed over 30,000 hours to keep the forest trails open and maintained over 1500 miles of trail. In 2023, we removed 1795 logs, built 520 trail markers, and improved tread, among other things. We addressed 60 miles of deferred maintenance and 126 miles of routine maintenance, thanks to 5867 volunteer hours plus additional hours of contract work. Some of the trails we improved have not had significant maintenance in over 2 decades. Our focus is to partner with community groups and the Forest Service (FS) to restore trails, disperse use, and improve local user access, safety, and visitor experiences. We are grateful for the funding to do this work, including the ORD Trails + Grant. The program area that we want to improve is marketing and website design. This is outside of our expertise and requires additional funding to pay a marketing professional. This we where the OMG grant comes in. Note: Although we are an independent chapter, we are part of the Back Country Horsemen of America, which advocates for trails on a national level and has played a vital role in creating the Great American Outdoors Act.