Back Country Horsemen of Oregon (BCHO) is a passionate collective committed to preserving the rights of individuals to sensibly utilize pack and saddle stock in Oregon’s wilderness and backcountry. Our organization, a nonprofit entity, focuses exclusively on ensuring that public lands across Oregon remain accessible to equestrians. We are part of the larger national movement, Back Country Horsemen of America, the sole organization advocating for private recreational pack and saddle stock use on public lands nationwide.
Comprising diverse individuals from across the state who share a profound love for horses and backcountry riding, we strive to maintain Oregon’s landscapes as welcoming havens for equestrians. Our dedication extends to promoting and instructing Leave No Trace ethics (LNT), emphasizing responsible use of the wilderness. Through active collaboration with city, state, and federal government agencies, we work to safeguard equestrian access to public lands.
At BCHO, our advocacy involves attending and speaking at public meetings, drafting letters, and fostering cooperative relationships with government agencies. We play a crucial role in maintaining both wilderness and non-wilderness trails throughout Oregon, working closely with public agencies. Our commitment to responsible recreation is reflected in our training programs that impart LNT principles and techniques to minimize the impact of equestrian activities on the backcountry.
A cornerstone of our mission is trail work, with volunteers from our nine chapters dedicating time and effort to keep trails open. In the past year, our collective efforts translated to an impressive contribution of over $340,000 worth of volunteer hours, amounting to more than 7,500 hours. This included the use of 302 stock animals, covering a remarkable 43,629 travel miles. We extend our gratitude to all BCHO members whose tireless volunteerism plays a pivotal role in preserving and enhancing our public trails.
Mission and Principals
- To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America ‘s backcountry and wilderness.
- To work to insure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.
- To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resources.
- To educate, encourage and solicit active participation in the wise use of the backcountry resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.
- To foster and encourage the formation of new BCHO chapter organizations.