Equestrian Land Conservation Resource Can Help You With Your Land-Use Concerns
RELEASE: July 12, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Carolyn Orr
When a stable falls victim to the bulldozer or a long-ridden trail gets closed to horseback riding, the leaders of the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) care about it as much as you do. That’s why they’re stepping up their efforts to foster communication and to expand it, working hard to stay ahead of the developers’ bulldozers and cement trucks.
“There are many small and diverse equestrian groups around the country,” said John Strassburger of California, a member of the ELCR’s Executive Committee. “And it’s so important that we all talk to each other.”
The ELCR’s primary focus is on specific actions horse people can take at the local and regional level to preserve land for their horses and their sports. These “actions” can be as simple as practicing common courtesy or as complex as acquiring rights to use land and engaging in land-use planning.
“Activism generally begins as a very personal thing—like a zoning change that closes another stable or a favorite trail being closed to horseback riding,” said Strassburger. “These are the people who contact our office when they aren’t certain of what to do next. We can almost always help them.”
In addition to networking within the equestrian community, ELCR promotes the vital connection between landowners who own horses and land conservation in general. Voluntary conservation agreements, known as permanent conservation easements, are an important tool for land conservation. When landowners donate voluntary conservation agreements to a conservation organization or land trust, they protect resources important to the public by permanently giving up future development rights, while retaining ownership and management of the land.
“It’s important for horse owners to create a relationship with their local land trusts that will result in them having access to land for riding,” said ELCR President Georgiana McCabe of Virginia. “ELCR has worked for years to insure that appropriate language is included in the writing of easements.”
For additional information on land use and horses, or an opportunity to become involved with ELCR and its mission, please visit www.elcr.org
. The site offers state and national information, a valuable resource library, useful links to other pertinent sites, and membership and publication information.
A quick and easy way to have your voice heard on equestrian land issues is to participate in the Open Space Access Survey that provides visitors an opportunity to share their information and knowledge of land issues in their area. The information gathered from this survey will help guide our conservation efforts.
ELCR is here to help you answer the question, “Where will you ride tomorrow?” We can be reached at our Lexington, KY, office by phone at (859) 455-8383 or by e-mail at email@example.com