22815 168th AVE East, Graham WA 98338

Dedicated to Preserving Pack and Saddle Stock Use in America's Back Country

History of BCHA

Back Country Horsemen's cornerstone was laid on a firm foundation of research and planning. A small nucleus of back country horse users developed and modified the original goals espoused by horsemen.

The actual formation of BCH took place in Montana's Flathead Valley in January 1973. Since then, our progress is a matter of record, and it is a record of which we are very proud of. We have used our specialized knowledge of stock and the back country to bring about changes and modifications of public lands management. We have participated in many agency meetings and land use planning sessions and have become a strong voice for continued, responsible horse use.

In 1979, the Montana clubs and one from Salmon, Idaho formed the Back Country Horsemen of America. In 1986, California and Washington joined with the Back Country Horsemen of America. Since that time there had been a steady growth within the four founding state organizations. New Back Country Horsemen units have formed in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming; and there are affiliated units in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. Philosophy and Purposes

The BCHA is a different type of organization. We are a service club doing work in the back country and educations the users of the back country. These two elements, along with a determination to protect the heritage of back country stock use, are primary factors in our existence.

Our name was chosen because it signified an interest in much more than wilderness. Members are interested in perpetuation recreational stock use on virtually all public lands.

The Purposes of Back Country Horsemen are:

  1. To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America's back country and wilderness areas.
  2. To work to insure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.
  3. To assist the various government, state, and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resource.
  4. To educate, encourage, and solicit active participation in the use of the back country resource by stock users and the general public commensurate with our heritage.
  5. To foster and encourage the formation of new state organizations and BCHA.
If you share the goals and interests of our organization, we invite you to become a member of an exciting chapter or help form a chapter in your community. You may contact one of our state organizations directly or send a letter indicating your interest to our national BCHA address.

22815 168th AVE East
Graham WA 98338-7906

Mountain Manners

  1. Plan and Prepare: Take only the minimum gear and number of animals you need.
  2. Camp and travel on durable surfaces. Locate your camp 200 feet from any water, sanitary facilities, and stock containment areas, other campsites, and trails.
  3. Be aware of weeds - use weed seed free feeds.
  4. Water stock while on trails by allowing animals to drink at trail/stream crossings (use a portable bucket to bring water to picketed stock).
  5. Use minimal impact techniques to contain your stock. Never tie stock to trees - use a proper highline of electrical corral.
  6. Keep a neat, clean camp: pack it in, pack it out. Naturalize your camp before leaving - kick manure piles.
  7. Minimize the use and impact of fires: use a fire blanket/mound fire on a durable surface or an existing fire ring to have campfire.
  8. Properly dispose of gray water and materials you cannot pack out.
  9. Smoke only in camp and fire safe areas.
  10. Leave what you find, including all natural objects or cultural artifacts.

Trail Manners

Be polite when meeting others on the trail.

Saddle horses should give way