Last Chance Back Country Horsemen headed to Big Belt Mountains to help rebuild bridges

Woods Creek Fire
Posted at 7:17 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 18:20:55-04

HELENA — The Last Chance Back Country Horsemen are working to renovate trails up in the Big Belt Mountains that were destroyed during the Woods Creek Fire.

This group, 1 of 17 chapters in the state, works to preserve the usage of and heritage of equines in the state and country. They work alongside organizations such as the forest service in order to preserve trails and maintain the backcountry.

“Stock use is a tried and true tradition, and we firmly believe it needs to continue,” says Sherri Lionberger, Last Chance Back Country Horsemen group member.

After the Woods Creek Fire in the Big Belt Mountain range, many trail systems were left charred and difficult to traverse. The Last Chance Back Country Horsemen are working alongside the forest service by bringing 300 4-foot wood planks out to 10 former bridge locations. These small bridges are used to make a horse or mule’s journey easier while crossing creeks.

“We work on motorized trails. We work on trails for everybody. And that's important to us, to all of us,” says Lionberger.

The group plans to be gone from August 12th – 14th and the party will consist of 23 members and an additional 4 people from the Forest Service.

Once the wood planks are set in the proper location, the Montana Conservation Corps will then come in and build the bridges.