Backcountry Horsemen advocate a combination of service and education to protect our heritage of back country stock use on all public lands.


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Updated: January 11, 2013

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Philosophy and Purpose

We share our Philosophy and Purpose with the Backcountry Horsemen of California:

  1. To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America's backcountry and wilderness.

  2. To work to insure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.

  3. To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of backcountry and wilderness resources.

  4. To educate, encourage, and solicit active participation in the wise use of the backcountry resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.

The Top of the State Unit started in 1992. Our first officers were Manuel Rais, President; Bill Kleaver, Vice President; Karen Dunford, Secretary; and Sharon Horton, Treasurer. Our first Top Hand Award went to Sharon Horton the same year.

Our local unit made connections with local government officials and began to do volunteer trail work. We now clean and clear 300+ miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and trails leading to the Pacific Crest Trail. We have also worked closely with the California Department of Fish and Game planting fish in the high lakes .

The Top of the State Unit meets the first Thursday of every month. We now have about 200 members in our local unit. Besides all our volunteer work we also have a lot of fun camping out and going on trail rides. Any questions regarding our unit, events, and membership can be answered by contacting our officers via e-mail (see the Contacts page) or the old fashion way, at our address BCHC-Top of the State Unit, P.O. Box 461, Etna, California 96027-0461.

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