San Juan Back Country Horsemen buys and installs signs for Rio Grande National Forest with statewide matching grant
by Lisa Nelson
San Juan Back Country Horsemen installed four new informational and safety signs along the Rio Grande Reservoir Road northwest of Creede in June—thanks to a matching grant from Back Country Horsemen of Colorado.
SJBCH partnered with the Rio Grande National Forest’s Divide Ranger District on the project.
The SJBCH chapter purchased four signs with $500 made available from the matching contributions of both the Pagosa Springs chapter and the statewide Back Country Horsemen chapter.
“On behalf of BCHCO, the matching grant funds that the San Juan BCH utilized for the information and safety signs is exactly the type of project we were hoping we could assist with,” said Tif Rodriguez, chair of Back Country Horsemen of Colorado. “Being that 2016 was the first year BCHCO offered the grants, it’s projects like these that will give us reason to work to offer the program again.”
One sign designates the Thirty-Mile Stock Unloading Area, northwest of Creede off the Rio Grande Reservoir Road (Forest Service Road 520). The Thirty-Mile SUA is the only available dispersed camping and stock unloading area that accesses the Weminuche Wilderness via the Squaw Creek and Weminuche trails. The new sign replaces a weather-beaten sign that dates back to 1991.
On either side of the new Thirty-Mile SUA sign, SJBCH placed two “Share the Road” signs to promote awareness of horse riders, ATVs and other vehicles traveling that road.
And finally, SJBCH purchased an “Adopted Trail” sign for a new 1.2-mile trail it constructed. The trail starts at the Thirty-Mile SUA and allows horse riders to skirt much of the busy road to reach the Squaw Creek and Weminuche trailhead.
Mike Tam of San Juan Back Country Horsemen works with Lisa McClure, lead Wilderness ranger of the Divide Ranger District, to install one of four informational and safety signs along the Rio Grande Reservoir Road northwest of Creede. The project was funded by a matching grant to SJBCH from Back Country Horsemen of Colorado. A group of SJBCH volunteers installed the signs earlier this month (June).