March 2024

National Economic Impact Study of the US Horse Industry

Our partners, the American Horse Council (AHC) and the AHC Foundation, recently released their highly-anticipated National Economic Impact Study of the US Horse Industry. AHC conducts the rigorous survey roughly every five years. BCHA is one of many organizations that provides financial contributions to assist the extensive research necessary to produce the report. The latest results highlight the significant and growing contributions to the US economy that result from the multi-faceted equine industry. 

AHC’s report includes a comprehensive overview of economic benefits and trends within the recreation sector, which the report describes as “the largest sector of the horse industry”—larger than the US competition and racing sectors. The report will serve as an important frame of reference for AHC, BCHA and partners when shared with elected officials, state and federal land management agencies, and the tourism industry. 

Importantly, the report notes that trail riding is enjoyed by 9.8% of the US population, or by about 13 million households. The vast majority of trail riders, 87%, utilize public lands. According to the report:

“The recreation sector supports more than 277,000 direct jobs and adds $14.5 billion in direct value to the national economy. These direct impacts drive a further $22 billion in added value to the economy and more than 189,000 jobs from indirect and induced effects.”

February 2024-


The "Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund" passed and was signed by the governor.  Thank you to all who help get the vote out!   Now fully funded to 10 State programs  which include forest restoration, building trails, and emergency relief for wildfires. 

February 2023 -

BLM Socorro Public Comment

​​Re: DOI:BCM-NM-A020-0037-EA
The Socorro office  has completed an EA for trails that connect the Socorro Rodeo and Sport Complex to Box Canyon Recreation Area, and the trail is currently open for Non-Motorized multi-use.  They have proposed some different stacked loops, as well as a potential way of connecting down to the Bosque trail system using a cement culvert under I-25.  They are asking for allowance for class 1,2,&3 E-bike use on these non-motorized trails and are planning a total of 500 miles of trails for future use.  Public comment is until Feb. 24,2023.  Please go to this link and give your opinion.  BCHNM is in support of the trail system, however non-motorized trails are just that non-motorized, and the new ruling down from BLM 43 CFR 8340.0-5(a) allows the overseeing managers to decide whether to allow e-bikes on non-motorized trails. Say no to e-bikes on trails for equine, hikers, and mountain bikers.  Follow this link:

October 2022 -

 NM Outdoor Economics Conference

NMOE was held in Taos from Oct 5-7, 2022. They had an attendance of 350 people.  Many dignitaries were there such as county, state, federal, and outdoor groups such as fish, bicycling, hunting, and more.  A new state division started in 2017,  NM Outdoor Recreation Division is starting a campaign called, “Slow & Say Hello!”  instead of the traditional triangle design on right of way.   The main goal is to eliminate conflict with users. 

Also noted,  the Horse Thief Mesa Trail will be part of the Rio Grande Trail. Also, a few equestrian trails are being designed in the Carson National Forest Area. Construction to begin on the parking lot in Summer of 2023. The Enchanted Circle Trails Association attended and have several trails for horses and would love to have a group adopt a trail for maintenance.  They are all National Forest or Wilderness areas and he’s done all the paperwork to have it done.  In return, you’ll get signage identifying your group.

On the San Lorenzo trail near Socorro, the state is working on making it an example of an “Adaptive Trail System” throughout the state.  They are looking at state lands and seeing which ones can be converted for trail use. They are also working on the Petroglyphs trail as well.  The minimum time frame from start to finish is 4 years. 

August 18, 2020 - Hale Lake Management EA

BCHNM responded to the Hale Lake Area Management Public Comment period in the Smokey Bear Ranger District in the Lincoln National Forest.  The Plan proposed giving special designation to e-Bikes to non-motorized trails. BCHNM opposes motorized bicycles (e-bikes) onto trails that are intended to be shared by hikers, equestrians, and others.  Our primary concerns were safety, potential impacts of e-bike use, not supporting the EA analysis of the Forest Service policy, and the main fact is an e-bike is motorized and should not be on a non-motorized trail. 

Final Decision: Successful

Hale Lake responded with eliminating e-bikes from non-motorized trails.

April 10, 2020 - Revision of Forest Plan for the Gila National Forest

Backcountry Horsemen stated the following : 

  • Building partnerships and volunteerism in assisting with the planning and maintenance of all trail systems.  A well distributed trail system should be maintained to protect the opportunities for solitude, to implement and maintain the purpose of the wilderness, and not be limited.  In 2019, the Gila chapter cleared trees and maintained 135 miles of trail in the Gila. Many of those severely degraded. 

  • Continuing to maintain historic structures such as the log cabin at Mogollon Baldy,  Hillsboro Peak, and White Creek cabin.

Final Decision : Spring 2023