A local group of horseback riding enthusiasts has been recognized by its provincial organization.
Back Country Horsemen of B.C. (BCHBC) awarded its 202o Excellence for an Outstanding Project Award to the North West chapter located in Telkwa.
The Telkwa group has been around for approximately 15 years, but its Coalmine Camp, located on Telkwa Coal property only came together over the last three years.
The camp now consists of a member clubhouse, a fenced horse corral, several individual horse camping sites, a horse shelter, watering system, manure containment structure, high lining station for horses, barbecue facility and campfire area, a contained vaulted pit toilet, 10-station equine training obstacle course, and trail maps for riding on private lands and adjacent Crown lands.
BCHCB North West chapter chair Tom Roper was very pleased to receive the award.
“It was awesome, because it was a lot of work,” he said.
Furthermore, Floyd Kennedy, vice-chair, who Roper credits with having been the driving force behind the Coalmine Camp project, won the BCHBC Volunteer of the Year Award.
“Floyd leads by example in a thoughtful and humble way and, of course, with infectious positive energy,” BCHBC said in a Facebook post.
In addition to many volunteer hours by a core group of local riders, the project was made possible by a grant from the Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest and an informal arrangement with Telkwa Coal, Roper said.
Back Country Horsemen was founded in Montana in 1973 by a group of men concerned about losing their traditional rights to use recreational stock on public lands. The organization has since spread to 31 states and beyond.
In B.C., there are 23 regional chapters comprising some 900 members.
In addition to advocating to preserve the right to ride, the organization promotes responsible management of public lands and seeks to educate and encourage based on its guiding principle of “leave no trace.”