Land & Environment

USU Uintah Basin to Help Clean Up Ashley National Forest

By Marcus Jensen |

Students and faculty at Utah State University Uintah Basin will partner with members of the Uintah Basin Back Country Horseman of Utah and the Colorado Plateau Horseman’s Hall of Fame to help clean up the trails of Ashley National Forest.

On Friday, Oct. 8, the group will embark on a trail maintenance near the Manila Park Trail from White Cloud Loop Road to Mill Park. The Manila Park Trail is featured in the documentary, “Highline Trail.” The Ashley National Forest encompasses more than 1.25 million acres of forest in the Uintah Basin region.

“The history of USU is based in serving the people and respecting and understanding the places in which we live,” stated James Y. Taylor, associate vice president. “We are thrilled to partner with an organization that has similar values of people and place.”

The Colorado Plateau Horseman’s Hall of Fame has a longstanding relationship with USU Uintah Basin. The organization has donated $10,000 to USU Uintah Basin to create a scholarship for students who look to make significant contributions to the equine industry in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. Each year, this scholarship is awarded to a local recipient.

“It has been a great pleasure to work with these organizations,” stated Gordon Hirsci, president, Uintah Basin Back Country Horsemen. “They have always stepped up to assist us when needed. Chris Smead, founder of Outmersive Films, who produced the ‘Highline’ film has been another supporter. The efforts of these people have made it possible to fund the Utah State University Uintah Basin scholarships and enabled us to complete our United States Forest Service Ashley National Forest and BLM trail projects.”

The mission of the Colorado Plateau Horsemen’s Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor those horsemen and horsewomen, as well as those special horses, who have made a significant contribution to the equine industry in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.

To qualify for the organization’s scholarship, applicants must be USU Uintah Basin undergraduates, enrolled in at least six credits per semester, maintain a 2.5 GPA and complete an essay about living in a rural setting and perspectives on ranching, agriculture and equine. The scholarship will be available to students for the next five years, with each selected applicant receiving $2,000.

The Back Country Horseman of Utah is a state-wide organization of people concerned about sustained equestrian access and proper use on public lands. The organization is a group of devoted equestrians who love to ride and explore new trails, and assist with trail maintenance and improvement projects, keeping trails clear for all user groups.


Marcus Jensen
News Coordinator
University Marketing and Communications


Dana Rhoades
University Marketing and Communications

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