Back Country Horsemen’s cornerstone was laid on a firm foundation of research and planning. A small nucleus of back country horse users developed and modified the original concept.The actual formation of BCH took place in Montana’s Flathead Valley in January of 1973. Since then, our progress is a matter of record, a record of which we are very proud.
We have used our specialized knowledge of stock and the back country to bring about changes and modifications of restrictive management. We have participated in many agency meetings and land use planning and regulations and have become a strong voice for continued, responsible horse use. We have arrived at our position through extensive research and discussion. This responsible approach has assured us of valid consideration regarding regulations and planning and has given us the support of other conservation groups.
Growth of the Back Country Horsemen organization continued with formation of additional chapters in Montana. In 1979, these chapters and one from Salmon, Idaho, formed the Back Country Horsemen of America. Three more Montana chapters and one from Idaho were added in the next few years.
The Back Country Horsemen of Washington was incorporated in 1977 and developed an informal liaison with the Montana and Idaho Back Country Horsemen. In 1981, a California organization was formed known as the High Sierra Stock Users. After several years of discussion, the four groups decided to merge, using the Back Country Horsemen of America name. A constitution was drafted in 1985 and adopted in 1986. It provided that the governing body of this new organization would be a board of directors elected from each state. Montana, Idaho, California and Washington Back Country Horsemen units became the BCHA. Since that time, there has been steady growth within the four founding state organizations and in other states.