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National Public Lands Day Celebrated By U.S. Forest Service, Douglas County Horsemen

Steve Assenmacher (left) and Dave Ewing decide where to drop a tree.

Clipping, clearing, and cleaning trails was how personnel of the U.S. Forest Service and members of the Douglas County Fox Trotters and Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen horse groups spent Saturday, Sept. 28, “National Public Lands Day.”
The group also marked trails, closed an over used trail, and routed a new trail around a heritage site in the Bateman Area of the Mark Twain National Forest.
The Bateman Area, often referred to by locals as the “Bateman Ranch”, is an exceptionally beautiful area of the National Forest located at the end of Bateman Road off of the Glade Top Trail.
The area covers several thousand acres and is crisscrossed with numerous trails, most only accessible by foot or horse back.
The group cleaned, cleared and improved over four miles of trails in the morning, then stopped for a camp fire lunch provided by the Missouri Fox Trotters National Trail Committee, Back Country Horsemen and the Douglas County Fox Trotters.
The Fox Trotters and Back Country Horsemen packed in a chainsaw and trail clearing equipment on their horses while the Forest Service personnel Ranger Jennie Faurenbaugh, Darla Rein, and trail manager Dave Ewing hiked in with back packs. The primary goal was to close an overused trail and make a new trail around a heritage site. On the way down to and back from the site the group of 16 cleared and numbered trails.
After lunch it was back on horseback and out to clip, clear, clean, and number other trails in the Bateman. The weather was great and everyone that participated had a great and rewarding time. All who participated received a T-shirt provided by the U.S. Forest Service, commemorating National Public Lands Day.