OET Chapter Reports

Learn what your local Oregon Equestrian Trail chapters have been up to and join in on the fun!  Each chapter plays a crucial role in maintaining the trails in their area of the state.  To join, you do not need trail experience or even a horse!  Find your local chapter:  www.oregonequestriantrails.org/chapters

Central Oregon Chapter
We are currently investigating solutions to the inaccessibility issue of Swamp Wells, on the north side of Newberry Crater. It’s a wonderful camp, but since it’s almost impossible to get horse trailers in there, few equestrian campers risk it. Our chapter is working on solutions for the problem since that  area has such beautiful trails. Moving the camp down the road is one of the possibilities we’re discussing to fix the dilemma and not lose the camp.

We received a sizable grant from Deschutes Trails Coalition to replace rails at Paulina and Three Creek horse camps, a long-needed improvement. Hopefully you’ll find refurbished stalls when you camp there this summer.

Also, make your plans to have fun on our chapter’s Poker and St. Jude’s rides on June 3rd and June 4th. This year all the prizes will be cash!

Columbia County Chapter
The CCOET chapter met on February 8, at the Warren Moose Lodge. Our Field Services Coordinator Sandy Tetz reported that Camp Wilkerson has many large tree’s down that will require chainsaw work to clear. This is something we hope to address in the next month as it will take several work parties to get the trail ready. The Laihona loop trail is a summer/fall trail primarily due to all the tree’s that come down in the winter and the mud.

We also discussed working on a partially built bridge that was left unfinished when motorcycle use threatened our trails a few years ago. We are working with the county again to look into finishing the bridge project and hope to get some new signage up this year as well.

At Dibblee point we hope to put up signs advising drivers to the beach to go more slowly and add a horse to the sign that indicates what activities are allowed there. We discussed finalizing the details of a chapter CPR class and explored the possibility of the chapter owning an AED to take to work parties and other events.

Our first parade is hoped to be the St Patrick’s Day parade in Vernonia on March 17 and we have a parade practice day on March 5 that we intend to invite a few other neighboring chapters to. Dave floated the idea of a CC chapter event called “Slay a Dragon” at Camp Wilkerson, but left us in suspense of the details; possibly some kind of scavenger hunt, date TBD.

We have a campout planned at Camp Wilkerson July 7-9. Reservations can be made at the Reserve America website, there are also lots of non horse sites available for anyone who wants to visit horseless, or come for a day ride. If the sites fill, we can also share sites. We ask anyone who plans to come to contact Jana at herestolife9@gmail.com so you can be in the loop of ride times and any changes or the possibility of sharing a site.

Mt. Hood Chapter
Sadly, Colene’s beloved horse Boo Boo, passed away from colic recently. She will not be giving a demonstration on leg wraps at our February meeting. This has not been a good year for our group. At least four horses were lost to colic within the past year, and one member just lost two horses in one week (not colic).

We had word that Letty, Harold Moyer’s wife, recently passed away. They had been married for 63 years. Letty was a wonderful gardener and loved plants, her garden is full of beautiful flowers. Suggestions regarding a gift to give to Harold included their Church, cancer society, more plants, a horse rescue, or wounded warriors. Mary and Bar will research the most appropriate gift for Harold.

Candace Diehl advised that Debbie Hoffman, who runs the Hoffman House in Molalla, is a photographer who has offered to do a photo shoot with owners and their horses. The location can be anywhere, perhaps the Playdate or McIver or the parades. A commitment of at least six people with their horses is needed. The price will be $25 for one picture, and $35 for three pictures. Further discussion will occur and location determined.

Eight members plan to attend The Roundup. Colene was in charge of setting up the silent auction and the raffle, however she cannot attend. Bunny Peschke, Linda Lesowske, Candace and Spencer Diehl and Heather Nelson will get there early to set up. Linda will take all donations that were brought tonight to the Roundup.

We are having a campout at Stub Stewart over Memorial Day. Suggestions were given for other campouts: Silver Falls, Timothy Lake, Sheep Springs, Chief Paulina, Nehalem Bay, Santiam, Whitefish, and Clackamas Lake. Clackamas Lake is near Timothy Lake and is a good choice for a campout around mid-July. Silver Falls has trails a bit steeper and would be a good choice later in the summer when horses are in better shape. There will be work parties at Chief Paulina and Three Creeks Horse Camps to install new corrals. The dates are not yet set, but we want to be sure that our members get a chance to camp and volunteer.

Currently Barb Adams, Field Services, is participating in three telephone meetings each month: Back Country Horsemen of Oregon, OET, public lands, and Travel Oregon. One of the issues discussed was difficulty in getting enough staffing for the Forest Service seasonal work. This is related to our Mt. Hood Chapter in efforts at the Sandy River Delta. There is a five dollar fee to park at the SRD and one of the reasons we supported the fee was to support extra staffing on weekends.

The Forest Service has used some fee money and Great American Outdoors Act grants to replace 37 picnic tables in the Gorge. The Sandy River Delta received two of those. The top two FS recreation managers have departed. Stan Hinatsu retired after 31 years as  Recreation Manager and Lorelei Haukness transferred to another district. Barb and Dave attended Stan’s retirement party representing both OETMH and Friends of the Sandy River Delta. They presented Stan with a card and Pendleton Wild Rag. The new “Stan” named Stephen, was at the party. He made a terrific impression on us. As a bonus his wife owns a horse.

Barb noted we have 832 likes and 962 people follow MH OET Facebook page. Barb expressed that following both OETMH and OET Members FB is a good way to keep up with activities. Barb noted that Friends of the Delta FB has more than 5,000 followers. Since Barb is the board  secretary for Friends, she is also an admin for their page and posts our OET/Friends volunteer work. Pammy Hirigaray is also a Friends board member doing the treasury work that includes state forms that must be done every year,  collecting donations, and paying for material such as quarter minus stone for the trails. A BIG thank you to Lauri for tracking volunteer hours.

Working with Friends of the SRD and the Forest Service we will be mapping out trail work for 2023. Dave Adams refinished many of the trail signs and they are back up. Dave also pulled the recycle cans because it was noted that instead of recycle cans, it was mainly coffee cups. The SRD is still wildly popular. Only Multnomah Falls gets more Gorge visitors. Dave and Barb did ride at the SRD last summer, (weekdays after the rains, floods and extreme mosquitoes). Fortunately Friends and OET accomplished our trail work in March and April putting down 82 tons of stone. Dave does the mowing on the eight foot wide legal trails. Our OET and Friends team is working to set-up a tour of the SRD to discuss 2023 trail work.

North Coast Chapter
The North Coast chapter is ramping up for a very active spring! We have already had several intrepid souls do some impromptu work parties at Ft. Stevens State Park to clear brush and logs on the dune and forest trails. Our activity calendar has gotten fleshed out for the year and includes monthly day rides, at least 4 campouts and our special work party at Northrup Creek.

As if all those activities weren’t enough, we are challenging ourselves to  stimulate greater public engagement and involvement in our local horse scene. Committees have crafted plans for a trailering clinic on March 19 and a  Trail Fun Day on April 16. Both of these will coincide with our hosting the ongoing open rides at our county fairgrounds. Our strongest threads  throughout all our activities are safety and FUN!

On the horizon is yet one more event. Long Beach hosted an Equine Trail Sports event in past but is no longer doing so. A few of our members are researching the viability of our chapter organizing and running the event. It is difficult to see a regional horse affair cease as we have so few opportunities locally. As all chapters must, we still need to weigh what we can realistically do given the energies, talents  and time that our members can share.

There are a variety of other offerings this spring that our members can participate in without having to work much! Of course, the state OET meeting is right around the corner. The Columbia chapter invited us for parade practice and we are so flattered!

Our first day ride is set for mid April near Long Beach, WA. That was the impetus for our member, Nichole Warwick, to educate us about conditioning our horses. She teaches anatomy and physiology at Clatsop Community College and gears up to ride the Chief Joseph Trail Ride annually. So when she speaks, we sit up and listen! Though the wet is still everywhere, we can begin to be safe and fair by gently conditioning our horses now. Just think how you would feel if suddenly someone made you walk 10 miles after a winter of rest. Don’t forget to add a 50 pound pack to that walk. All the North Coast horses will be indebted to Nichole’s wisdom come riding season!

North Valley Chapter
The North Valley Chapter services the east side of Portland, south to Woodburn. Generally, NV meets at Jimmie O’s Pizzeria, in Oregon City, OR. Unfortunately, Jimmie O’s needed to give the room we use to a larger group on our meeting night of March 7th. Stay tuned for notice of a temporary meeting location change, which at this time, may be Abby’s Pizzeria located on the opposite corner off of Beaver Creek Road. (Jimmy O’s has offered us to use their dining room instead.) Meetings are the first Tuesdays of every month. Please contact Marty DeVall for more information via email at Northvalley@oregonequestriantrails.org.

Milo McIver Trail Maintenance – Marty noted that they began working on “shoring up the hillside” on the  section of River Mill Trail below the off-leash dog park area on February 7th. As of the writing of this Chapter Report, it is now finished. Gary Sischo donated about 100 blocks he had sitting around,  already covered with moss. Be sure to ride the River Mill Trail to see it, it looks awesome!

Mounting Blocks/Steps – Marty noted that they have begun building steps and have made two thus far. They are using some recycled “Teeter Totter” decking to start building the steps that will be filled with gravel. Also, if anyone has any 2 x 8’s laying around to donate for this project; that would be appreciated. Lindy noted that when we posted a picture of the mounting block on our Facebook page, there were 14 comments and 90 ‘likes’, everyone was very much in favor of having steps along the trail (all within 24 hours). Rebecca wrote an email to Sam Gibson describing the locations of the first four for approval.

Willamette Mission Park – North Valley will be sending to the State a check in the amount of $1,500 to pay towards horse corrals. An Eagle Scout in the area is heading up this endeavor as part of his Eagle Scout Badge “earnings”.

Winter Riding Challenge – Lindy noted that there are several participants from all over the State for the Winter Riding Challenge; it seems that part of  the challenge has been trying to post a picture of your activity on the NV Facebook page. This problem has been solved by creating a Facebook page just  for the Winter Riding Challenge!

Llamas to visit McIver – Marty received a call from a fellow by the name of Bob Blount from Pack Trail Assn. He wanted to check with us first as to  whether or not we’re using the park on April 29th. Their Llama group are bringing several Llamas for a trail training day. He wanted the word to get out  in case we had any concerns BUT it would be a great opportunity to expose your horse to them. Stay tuned for more details. Marty asked for a copy of their flyer. They will be using the River Mill Trail.

Northwest Chapter
Our biggest news this month is that Linda Harbin has agreed to step into the Chapter Chair position vacated by Karl Swanson. At our February meeting, we had an excellent presentation on end-of-life care and decisions for our horses by our very own Hope Flint, DVM. She provided us with names and  numbers of whom to call and approximate costs of various services. Our Horse Camp Clean-up dates are set.  Our Horse Camp Clean-up dates are set:
Stub Stewart – Saturday April 8th, with free camping on April 7th and 8th
Reeher’s – Saturday, April 29th, with free camping on April 28th and 29th
Stagecoach – Wednesday, May 17th

Silver Falls Chapter
The Silver Falls Chapter had a great turnout for our February meeting. There were sixteen people present, members and non-members. We had no new members, but there was great participation.

The primary topic was about Silver Falls State Park. Our speakers Cynde Stuart and Carlene Benson explained some proposals that were presented to SFSP. Cynde, who represents SATA (Salem Area Trails Alliance), explained what SATA wanted, along with what she thought OET wanted which was a new gentler trail to replace the old 214 trail that was very steep. This would be for hikers and bikers, keeping the old steep portion of the 214 for horses. However, SFSP made it clear that if a new trail is opened, the steep old portion of the 214 trail would be discontinued.

There was a significant exchange of conversation. Cynde said it wasn’t a done deal yet because this plan will need enough money and  manpower to complete the project. It will take many man hours. This proposal doesn’t have a name as yet. SFSP has another big project that needs  completion at the North Falls Gate that is keeping SFSP very busy. We thanked our speaker, and we continued discussing this project after her presentation. Our chapter decided that a letter should be drafted to be sent to SFSP to clarify OET’s wishes.

The Gabe brought to our attention about a  group of people called Resilient Headwater. This is another community-led coalition of 37 local organizations, businesses and individuals that want to develop the Santiam Canyon into a recreational area. A lot is going on in and around our area.

After hearing all this discussion, our chapter decided we needed a few work dates for the Santiam Horse Camp. April 19th was set for general maintenance at the camp.

As for Willamette Mission State park, Max and the boy scouts are planning to tear down the old corrals in March 2023. Once they are down, then the new metal corrals will go up. This should be a pleasant change.

We also had some feedback from Heidi and the Public Lands Committee. It sounds like all the OET chapters have a busy summer ahead of them. Don’t forget that the Canby Tack Sale is on March 18, 2023. Setup is the evening of March 17th. We are getting together to clean tack at Bonnie’s place on Wednesday, March 8th at 3pm. Anyone interested, contact Bonnie. We need helpers on all three days. It should be fun.

We are planning a Summer Solstice ride at Willamette Mission on Wednesday June 21st at 6 pm. Please join us. The weather should be nice by then. Hoping you will join us at our next meeting at the Salem Saddle Riding Club on March 20th at 6:30 pm.

Join our E-Newsletter