Speaker: Gwen Wills
Date: November 13, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm ET
Gwen Wills of the Pennsylvania Equine Council, will speak about the issues, solutions, and collaborations with local and state agencies, equine advocacy organizations and consultants that must be understood, developed and maintained to keep and expand trails access for equestrians. She will also address equestrian trail behaviors, including how to avoid potential conflicts and work with other user groups, good environmental practices that will protect trail corridor land and habitat from environmental damage, and how trail design and maintenance will allow equestrians to maintain access to trails.Pennsylvania's equine culture is historic. Of all the state's equine activities, recreation trail riding and resulting tourism draw are high on the list. This webinar will address the strong level of ongoing advocacy, action and behavioral monitoring that is needed to maintain and grow equine accessible trails for the future.
Becoming concerned about the loss of access to public lands for equine use across the country in 2001, Gwen got involved with the Pennsylvania Equine Council (PEC), a grass roots volunteer organization that represents the equine owners in Pennsylvania.
Gwen developed and conducts 3-Day and 1-Day Trail Stewardship Workshops to prepare volunteers interested in preserving shared-use non-motorized trails. The Workshops also train volunteers and agency personnel to work together in order to maintain sustainable trails and to possibly layout and construct reroutes or connectors, if needed, to bypass unsustainable portions of the trails. 2-Day Packing Clinics are also offered for a more “land friendly” approach for packing gravel, tools and materials for trail work. Other educational programs have also been produces from 1 hour to one day regarding “Leave no Trace/Ride Smart” to educate non-motorized trail users about appropriate behavior and shared use ethics while enjoying our great outdoors.
The overall goal of the PEC Trail Committee is to prepare and preserve Pennsylvania’s trails for the benefit and cooperative use of hikers, bikers, and equestrians.
Gwen is also a member of the American Horse Council’s Recreation Committee and the PA Trails Advisory Committee.