Saturday, March 22, 2014

New Process for Volunteer Hours

Kay MacCready, MVBCH Volunteer Hours chair, announced that BCHW is making changes in the way we collect and report Volunteer Hours (VH) data.

To prevent "end of year craziness and forgetfulness", we will now be turning in our volunteer hours to Kay on a regular monthly basis. No more waiting until the end of the year to turn them in! Kay will compile the volunteer hours data and send it in to BCHW on a quarterly basis. 

Please document ALL your volunteer hours (excluding hours spent in monthly meetings or time spent for purely social planning/events) on the new state form, and turn the forms in to Kay. Examples of hours that might be included (in addition to those related to work parties) are:
  • Collecting donation items and related travel time.
  • Shirt selection, ordering pickups and deliveries.
  • All business planning meetings and phone calls.
  • Food planning, purchasing, and preparation for the Spring Ride.  
Kay asks that members estimate and record the hours daily, weekly, or monthly--whatever is the best that you can do. She will take what you send her and "make it work", as long as you get the information to her monthly. She will also work with members on finding the best collection method for you as individuals.

The new forms are a bit simpler than the old ones, but Kay asks that you not be concerned about any codes you don't know or understand. When you don't know the codes, she recommends that you write a brief note on the form describing what you did and where you did it so she can apply the appropriate codes in her quarterly report. 

It is predicted that we will see a huge increase in our volunteer hours. This is important for our political clout in keeping the trails open! 

More information and resources for tracking/recording on the updated VH form can be found on the Forms tab in this blog, or on the BCHW web site.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 Back Country Horsemen Day

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee Declares March 15, 2014 to be Back Country Horsemen Day

As stated in the proclamation (see below), Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW) is a statewide non-profit organization with chapters in communities throughout Washington that provide volunteer services to federal, state and local government agencies in the common effort to maintain recreational trails, trail heads, campgrounds, and other facilities on public lands.

The Methow Valley is home to one of the 35 chapters of BCHW. The Methow Valley Back Country Horsemen (MVBCH) has been in existence for 29 years. Over that time members have accrued numerous volunteer hours working with public land managers and other trail-user organizations to build, clear and maintain trails, to develop and maintain campgrounds, and to assist in constructing bridges and other trail structures. MVBCH also seeks grant funding and donations to help pay directly for certain projects. 

The volunteer trail work provided by BCHW and other trail-user organizations is becoming increasingly important for the Forest Service, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Parks and the Department of Natural Resources, and other public lands agencies as their budgets continue to decline. 

On April 26, 2014 MVBCH holds its 30th annual fund raising Spring Ride. Members are currently seeking donations from the community for the Spring Ride auction. In the past, in addition to members of BCH, local businesses and individuals (particularly artisans and crafts people) have been generous in their support of the auction. We very much hope that all trail users, and those who benefit from visitors who come to enjoy the wonderful array of trails in the Methow Valley, will feel able to contribute items for the auction when our collectors call by in the next few weeks. (Text contributed by MVBCH member Jan Ford)

The proclamation as presented to BCHW...