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Camp Far West Ride

I talked to Shawn Bowling last night and will try to correctly relay what he
told me.

The ride is held in the Spenceville wildlife refuge, and has been held for
17 years.  They were unable to get a permit issued by Fish and Game for this
year, as there seems to be a new policy to close the area to horses for 3
Reasons cited were "impact on the terrain", and bird nesting and habitat.
However, it appears no official studies have been done regarding impact on
the terrain.  They may be able to get back in there to put on a ride later
in the year, in August.  The Bowlings may also be able to put on a ride that
weekend, in an alternate location. Up at Cliff Lewis's house is considered.
Meanwhile, they are trying to fight this ruling, and get the ride reinstated
for Memorial day weekend.

Here come some observations of MINE, of course, without hearing any Fish and
Game reasons.  The Bowlings, and other managers (Teresa Haney, the Ribleys),
put on a terrific ride, which include cleaniing up and mowing the ride camp
area; this mowing has got to have a benefit beyond the ride, for fire
issues.  Shawn said they also go back in the day after the ride and do total
cleanup....the area is cleaner than before the ride.  The Bowlings have done
much over years and before the ride interms of trail work and clearing and

I have done the ride 5 times, between LD and 50.  I notice some parts of the
trail are overgrown and barely there for the frontrunners! By the time all
the riders are through, the trail is defined again.  This does not seem like
a bad thing to me, or detrimental to the area, as both loops follow, or have
tried to follow in the past, the perimenter of the area.  Much of it follows

Time of year.  Hard to juggle between too many wet, mushy areas in early
spring, to dealing with increased fire danger and heat later in the year.
Memorial Day Weekend seems to be a great compromise....unless it is a really
wet spring, most of the trail and footing is firm. Of course, I do love this
ride; it is close to me, wonderfully managed, beautiful terrain, and great
to have travel days on both sides of the ride.

Shawn said they would welcome letters sent to Fish and Game on behaf of the
ride.  Lynge posted the adress last week.

That's all I know, I take responsibility for any inaccuracies.

Karen Sullivan

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