BCHC Mid Valley Unit

President's Monthly Message


February, 2018

Michael King (Left) Michael King, and friend.

Greettngs, Mid Valley members and friends.

At the January Mid Valley Unit board of directors meettng, there I was, one of 14 unit directors, prepared to elect a new unit president for 2018. Feeling quite content after a nice pre-meettng dinner, and ready for the tasks at hand, little did I expect or anticipate that the new president selection was going to be . me! So, me it is and I am once again honored by the trust that has been placed in me. I will do my utmost to meet and fulfill that trust to the board and to the unit's membership.

Retiring Unit President, Dennis Serpa, has led Mid Valley Unit for the last two years with the same enthusiasm for Backcountry Horsemen he had when I first met him. He understands the uniqueness of our purpose for being, and has the burning desire to pass on his passion for the backcountry and for Backcountry Horsemen to others. This passion applies especially to engaging and reaching out to the young people who will be the future stewards of our wilderness and backcountry resources.

So, thank you, Dennis, for your past and continued leadership in the Backcountry organization. We have grown a lot since the original Backcountry Horsemen idea was conceived. There are many large plans in the works, too, for the future. I know that as long as you can draw a breath, there you will be, helping to lead the way. Thanks again for all you have done and contributed, and thanks to Loretta for loaning you to us.

Dennis will continue to serve as a Mid Valley director, as well as being one of our California national directors to our parent organization, organization, the Back Country Horsemen of America.

Now, for a bit of pattng ourselves on the back. Mid Valley Unit just happens to be the largest unit in California and the largest unit/chapter in the whole United States Back Country Horsemen organization. Imagine THAT! Mid Valley has long been, and continues to be, a strong leader in both our state and national organization. Many a new and innovative idea has had its genesis in Mid Valley Unit. That is something to be very proud of.

A strong unit is only as strong as its membership, and this is where our membership really shines. We are fortunate to have a large segment of longtime active members with a tremendous knowledge base. We are also seeing a smaller, but growing, contingent of younger people who are increasingly taking the helm of leadership as they get more involved and experienced. Nothing pleases the older members more than to see the same enthusiasm in these younger people.

Our unit leaders always encourage individual members to become more involved in unit activities, and we really appreciate any help you can lend. There are smaller one- time projects that would take minimal time, to larger ones where more help is needed, that are quite rewarding, too. You can start out small and work up to whatever level you desire. We would be more than pleased to see you there!

One of our core missions is to promote the wise and sustained, minimal impact use of the natural resources through education. The other is working with the public land agencies to safeguard and promote the access of public lands to responsible equestrian use.

There are many ways in which to get involved to help make a difference. Each year members volunteer to work at backcountry trail clearing and maintenance projects, we help to establish local riding opportunities through trail construction, we train new packers on packing skills. We also train members and non-members alike on safe hand crosscut and chainsaw skills. Another feather in our cap is that Backcountry Horsemen is now certified to teach sawyer skills to agencies such as the Forest Service, National Park Service, BLM and a multitude of state and regional parks.

Here is a way to check out the many things Backcountry Horsemen is all about. Coming up shortly is our annual statewide get-together called "Rendezvous." Although Rendezvous moves its location from time to time, this year it will be held at the Event Center in Paso Robles, California, April 13, 14 and 15. This is a short drive from our area and will be very much worth the trip.

Plan to attend if you are able. Admission to the general daily events is free. There are all sorts of classes that will introduce you to skills you can use/will need when you make that exciting pack trip into places of beauty and solitude, that you can now only hardly imagine.

On Saturday evening there is a wine and cheese tasting event in the vendor area and a catered dinner subsequent to that. The wine and cheese and dinner events require the purchase of a ticket. A great time to socialize and meet likeminded people will be your reward. There will be VERY COOL live and silent auction items to bid on and (hopefully) take home. There will also be Dutch oven cooking classes with which to hone your backcountry cooking skills.

If I sound enthusiastic about Backcountry Horsemen and Mid Valley Unit, it's because I am. I want you to be, too! Come and get more involved. We would love to see you.

(Our President writes a message every month for the newsletter.)

Backcountry Horsemen of California - Mid Valley Unit
PO Box 1709
Modesto CA 95353-1709

Questions about the Mid Valley Unit? Ask Dennise Davis,
Questions about the web site? Ask Ted Pack,

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