Equestrian Partners in Conservation (EPIC Montgomery)

Equestrian Partners in Conservation (EPIC Montgomery) Equestrian Partners In Conservation (EPIC Montgomery) helps preserve land for equestrian use in Montgomery County, Maryland's Agricultural Reserve. Become a member today! http://epicmontgomery.org/contribute/membership
Equestrian Partners in Conservation (EPIC) is a Montgomery County, Maryland-focused community organizing effort to engage the equestrian community in a strategic effort to conserve land for equestrian purposes and increase equestrian access to private and public lands.

SAVE THE DATE: The Montgomery Soil Conservation District and University of Maryland Extension are sponsoring a pasture w...
02/20/2020

SAVE THE DATE: The Montgomery Soil Conservation District and University of Maryland Extension are sponsoring a pasture walk & educational outreach event at Blue Moon Farm in Gaithersburg, Md., on February 28, 2020, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

The event includes a free lunch and a chance to network with fellow equestrians. Topics include technical and financial assistance available for farm stewardship practices, rotational fencing, and subsidized equipment rental.

RSVP to [email protected] by Feb. 21
https://www.montgomeryscd.org/equine2

UPDATE: Montgomery Countryside Alliance reports that you were heard loud and clear regarding opposition to legislation i...
02/13/2020

UPDATE: Montgomery Countryside Alliance reports that you were heard loud and clear regarding opposition to legislation introduced that would have opened the Ag Reserve to deer hunting with rifles for herd management. The bill has been tabled, and the MoCo delegation will take this up over the summer with the county in a working group. A huge thanks to all of you who contacted your county officials.

ACTION ALERT: From our friends at Sugarloaf Citizens Association--A bill introduced in the Maryland legislature proposes...
02/10/2020

ACTION ALERT: From our friends at Sugarloaf Citizens Association--A bill introduced in the Maryland legislature proposes allowing some hunters to use high-powered, long-range rifles to hunt deer in the Ag Reserve. Current law prohibits the use of any rifles for this purpose.

The bill's purpose is to enhance control of the deer population and reduce crop damage. That purpose is worthy, but the bill poses a danger to public safety. Bullets from such rifles can travel up to 3 miles. The bill's sponsors have presented no convincing evidence that killing deer with such weapons will reduce the deer population.

We believe a safer and more effective solution could be to allow all hunters increased bag limits and a longer hunting season with limits retained on the weapons they can use (such as bow and shotgun).

The first vote (in the House Land Committee) on the bill HB 287 is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, Feb. 11. We urge you to email your local representatives, House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke, and the Land Committee members as soon as possible to oppose the bill:
[email protected]
[email protected]
david,[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

REMINDER: You have until Monday to comment. Please tell legislators that you are against hunting with rifles in the Ag R...
02/01/2020
Montgomery Countryside Alliance

REMINDER: You have until Monday to comment. Please tell legislators that you are against hunting with rifles in the Ag Reserve.

Take Action Before 2/3: Rifle shot can travel miles - rifles are proposed to be added to other firearms allowed for deer culling on all Ag properties (in yellow) that have obtained deer management permits. Ask MD legislators to collaborate and find other solutions.

ACTION ALERT: State legislation introduced by MC Delegate Eric Ludtke (MC 06-20) would open Montgomery County’s Agricult...
01/30/2020
Take Action: Deer Management in the Ag Reserve: Rifles Cause Concern

ACTION ALERT: State legislation introduced by MC Delegate Eric Ludtke (MC 06-20) would open Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve to deer culling with rifles (hunting with bow, shotgun and black powder is currently allowed).

Under this proposed new legislation, anyone with a Deer Management Permit would be able to hunt for deer with rifles 365 days/year.

Click on the link below for more info and to share your concerns with the Montgomery County Delegation by 2/3/20.

How Far Can Rifles Shoot? State legislation introduced by MC Delegate Eric Ludtke (MC 06-20) would open Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve (Reserve) to deer culling with rifles (hunting with bow, shotgun and black powder is currently allowed). Under this proposed new legislation, anyone with...

11/21/2019
All About Equestrian

Save the date! Stop in and see us December 6-8th for a chance to WIN BIG in a Nationwide event for Independent tack shops!

Feeling lucky? Stop in during this event for a chance to WIN BIG in a nationwide giveaway for independent tack shops!

Montgomery Countryside Alliance
06/20/2019

Montgomery Countryside Alliance

📢Barnesville Oaks... quick update!
Summary: Board did not grant the applicant’s Request... they did not deny it either.

Read More here and on our website with link to hearing - warning complex:

First, a huge thanks to the over 385 folks that wrote in on this issue. Truly a remarkable response and an indication of how much people care about the Reserve and the integrity of our prime farmland and public trust in local government. Bravo!
Second big thanks to Peter Gimbrere, Kerri Cook on behalf of the town of Poolesville, Dolores Milmoe, Marie Shepard, The League of Women Voters, and Ginny Barnes for their strong in person testimony.
Hooray for Barnesville and Poolesville (both wrote in)- the municipalities that treasure the Reserve!

The hearing can best be described as a waay down county board and staff wrestling, largely ineffectively, (and/or disinterested) with up county/Reserve issues. Board and some staff folks seemed confused over key points. Some Staff had key facts incorrect.

But both Chair Anderson and board member Patterson voiced strong concern about approving this request wo knowing what the applicant is proposing to do.... “it’s a wild card,” said Tina Patterson.
In the end the Board asked the applicant, clearly now stated as Duffy builders, to bring their pre-preliminary plan for subdivision and at that time the board will review the particulars. Be clear: the board stated that the provision of Zoning Text Amendment 17-06 which allows for farm labor housing in the Reserve wo needing a development right (TDR) would be applied uniformly and therefore to this property. So the applicant frees up 2 TDRs. Would these be buildable on the farm parcel, effectively undermining the protection of the prime farm remainders? Or would the Duffy folks be able to benefit from the sale of the TDR’s for development elsewhere ? That would be the subject of future debate.

Chair Anderson and Planning Director Gwen Wright indicated that staff will address the important issues we raised with the developer and land seller placed covenants that limit farming on all 3 of the subdivided parcels as well as non- conformance with hard fought condition requiring public access/maintenance of the public use trail.

HELP SAVE LWCF!The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a primary source of federal funding for the protection and preser...
12/20/2018

HELP SAVE LWCF!
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a primary source of federal funding for the protection and preservation of open space for horse facilities and trails. Click on the link below to contact your representatives to help get the LWCF reauthorized.

This is the moment, The Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent reauthorization has been agreed to and it needs to go on the last must-pass vehicle moving through Congress in 2018. There is no reason this should not happen, and if it doesn’t LWCF will remain expired, continuing to bleed money that belongs to community-driven conservation and recreation priorities for the American people. We’ve lost nearly $200M so far since LWCF expired and it ends TODAY.

Follow this link, contact your representatives, share this message, and do your part in getting the Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorized today!

https://www.lwcfcoalition.com/blog/contactyourreps

12/17/2018

Originally posted by The Equiery:
Congress Approves Farm Bill Protecting Horses

On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R.2), which is now pending President Trump’s signature to make the bill law. The bill is a revision of the Pet and Women’s Safety Act (PAWS Act), which protects pets, service animals, emotional support animals and horses of victims of stalking and domestic violence.

Previously, horses were listed as “pets” under the PAWS Act but under the new legislation, horses will be under their own category while still being included in the protected animals act. This new category removes any ambiguity related to horses that are considered livestock in other contexts. It allows horses to still be considered livestock while allowing them to also fall within the scope the PAWS Act.

Here in Maryland, state law has included horses under the “livestock” category for many years.

Woodstock Equestrian Park is now open. Use caution on the trails  because some areas are still very saturated. Same with...
10/02/2018

Woodstock Equestrian Park is now open. Use caution on the trails because some areas are still very saturated. Same with the XC course. The low-lying areas are still very wet and have standing water.

ALERT: Managed Deer-Hunting Season Dates & ClosuresDeer-population-control hunting starts in October. Please see a link ...
09/26/2018

ALERT: Managed Deer-Hunting Season Dates & Closures

Deer-population-control hunting starts in October. Please see a link to the schedule in the comments for hunts in Montgomery County Parks. Parks with trails that allow horses include Hoyles Mill, Blockhouse Point, Black Hill, Rachel Carson, Little Bennett, and Woodstock Equestrian.

Montgomery County has closed all natural-surface trails until further notice, due to excessive rainfall. The current wea...
09/25/2018

Montgomery County has closed all natural-surface trails until further notice, due to excessive rainfall. The current weather conditions create dangerous conditions for trail users and may also cause damage to trails. Closed trails include Breezy Loop and Dry Seneca. Woodstock Equestrian Park is also closed. We will let you all know when they reopen.

ACTION ALERT!!From our friends at Sugarloaf Citizens' Association:The Montgomery County Council is about to take three v...
09/25/2018

ACTION ALERT!!

From our friends at Sugarloaf Citizens' Association:

The Montgomery County Council is about to take three votes that impact the Ag Reserve and our neighborhoods.

Please take a few minutes to email the council
and/or its members with your views.

Scheduled to take place TOMORROW is a vote on the county's 10-year water and sewer plan. We urge you to tell the council to Vote NO on this measure. Conservation Montgomery has labeled it a "dirty water bill."

We agree. The bill paves the way for "sewer sprawl" - the extension of sewer pipes to properties with functioning septic systems. Where sewer lines go, higher-density development follows, even in rural areas.

Also scheduled for a vote in the coming days is a bill (Zoning Text Amendment 18-11) that would allow telecom companies to put cell towers 30 feet from residential properties if they want. That's too close for comfort! Tell the council to Vote NO. See more info here.

Finally, a vote on a proposed zoning change that favors alcohol production and promotes large-scale and frequent events at wineries, breweries and distilleries in the Ag Reserve is scheduled for October 2.

This zoning change (Amendment 18-03) is a Sugarloaf Citizens Association priority.

Please urge the council to put this vote off pending completion of a study on agri-tourism in the county and Ag Reserve. The study, already underway, will explore traffic, noise pollution, and environmental impacts related to the expansion of agri-tourism. For more information, see here.

Email the council at [email protected]

Email individual members at these links:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

07/20/2018
All About Equestrian

$ALE!! TODAY-Monday only!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to buy those items you’ve been eyeing! July 20th-23rd ONLY! #Sale #Horseware IrelandHorseware

Ever wonder who has the right of way when you’re riding EPIC’s trails? What about how long you should wait to ride after...
07/10/2018
Do’s and Don’ts of Trail Riding on Maryland’s Public Lands - The Equiery

Ever wonder who has the right of way when you’re riding EPIC’s trails? What about how long you should wait to ride after a good rain? Read this great article from The Equiery to get answers to these common questions and more!

provided by Trail Riders of Today (First appeared in the July issue of The Equiery) Maryland has been blessed with a wide array of beautiful trails throughout the state. From the Atlantic Ocean where we may ride on the beach, to flat farmlands, to mountain trails in the western portion of the state....

Good weather, great volunteers and a wonderful venue all contributed to the success of EPIC Montgomery’s ride/hike/lunch...
06/10/2018

Good weather, great volunteers and a wonderful venue all contributed to the success of EPIC Montgomery’s ride/hike/lunch today commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Dry Seneca trail system, held at Harkaway Farm in Poolesville, Maryland. Many thanks to all who helped, including Stefanie Schroller, Elaine Jones, Melissa West, jennifer Nagle, EPIC board members Allan Noble, Hap Bauer, Naomi Manders and Debby Price, and a host of others. To all participants, thank you for coming and showing support for EPIC. Special thanks to Harkaway owner Susan Porter for opening your beautiful farm to host this very special event. The time, attention and care you devoted guaranteed a lovely time for all. Thank you! For those who could not be a part of today’s ride, we missed you but we thank you for your ongoing support of the EPIC trail system. We encourage all to come ride the trails!

We had a great turnout today with 28 riders & hikers, followed by a wonderful lunch and cooldown hosted by Susan Porter ...
06/09/2018

We had a great turnout today with 28 riders & hikers, followed by a wonderful lunch and cooldown hosted by Susan Porter of Harkaway Farm.

Our 10th Anniversary is certainly something to celebrate!

Thanks to everyone who made it out to spend the day with us today.

All About Equestrian
05/15/2018

All About Equestrian

All About Equestrian is looking to add a new person to our awesome team! If you have availability on the weekend and will continue to be available into the coming school year then contact Maria! We have a six hour shift up for grabs with potential to cover other shifts if available. Serious inquiries only please. Horse experience and knowledge a must, retail experience a plus!

All About Equestrian
03/30/2018

All About Equestrian

Special Easter Sunday hours! Stop in before we close at 3:30! Happy Easter and Happy Passover everyone 😊

ACTION ALERT: Attention All MD Trail Riders & Land UsersYour action is needed NOW! Bills are Pending for Statewide, All ...
03/09/2018

ACTION ALERT: Attention All MD Trail Riders & Land Users

Your action is needed NOW! Bills are Pending for Statewide, All Day Sunday Hunting in Deer Season

For almost 20 years, our friends at the Maryland Horse Council have worked aggressively to ensure fair use of shared natural resources during deer hunting season, by seeking to preserve Sundays as the one day of the week when hikers, birdwatchers, trail riders and other outdoor enthusiasts could enjoy the outdoors without concern for adverse interactions with hunters. 20 years ago, we successfully fought off various statewide Sunday hunting bills. Some of the recreational hunters changed tactics, going granular, county-by-county. Sometimes they were successful; most of the time, the rest of us were successful. When they were successful, they succeeded in making an already complicated situation more complicated, making it more difficult for others to plan their outings, and for Natural Resources Police to effectively crack down on poachers and irresponsible hunters, which has caused even more negative encounters between irresponsible hunters and other users.

The Maryland Horse Council has proposed reasonable compromises that would still allow fair use of shared natural resources, by cutting off Sunday deer hunting, where allowed, at 10:30 am. This compromise still gives trail riders and others plenty of Sunday access to trails. This compromise has been embraced by some legislators, who have praised the Horse Council for this reasonable approach.
Now, once again, there is a statewide bill that does nothing to improve the situation for Natural Resources Police and continues to infringe on the fair rights of other users of our shared natural resources in Maryland.

MHC is not anti-hunting, and many of our members are licensed hunters who support having fair use of shared natural resources during firearm season.
If having safe access to trails or open space on Sundays during hunting season is important to you, we need your help now! Please do one or more of the following:

1) Attend a Hearing
You don’t have to speak – just having your presence will make an impact, and we will make sure you are acknowledged. If you would like to speak, we will sign you up ahead of time (which is required), so please contact the chair of the MHC Legislative Committee, Jane Seigler, at 301-774-3756 or [email protected]. Please note that the hearings start at 1 p.m. with numerous bills to be discussed. These bills may be heard immediately or not until later in the afternoon and sometimes not until early evening.

HEARING ON SENATE VERSION: SB 817 Click Here
DATE: Tues. March 13 at 1 p.m.
LOCATION: Senate Education, Health & Environment Affairs Committee
Miller Senate Office Building entrance, 11 Bladen St., Annapolis, Maryland, January 2007.

2) Contact a Legislator
Your calls and emails to these Maryland legislators are critical to killing these bills! Let the legislators know that you are a voting Maryland resident (especially if you reside in their district). If you happen to have a hunting license, let them know that as well! Include your license number! Not all licensed hunters support this bill, so if you are one of them, let the elected officials know! Make sure your letter or email includes the bill number – and remember, this is not about anti-hunting; this is about fair use of shared natural resources!

House Environment & Transportation Committee - HB 1338
Kumar Barve, Chair, [email protected] (410) 841-3990
Dana Stein, Vice-Chair, [email protected] (410) 841-3527
Pamela Beidle [email protected] (410) 841-3370
Alfred Carr [email protected] (410) 841-3638
Andrew Cassilly [email protected] (410) 841-3444
Jerry Clark [email protected] (410) 841-3314
Bob Flanagan [email protected] (410) 841-3077
William Folden [email protected] (410) 841-3240
David Fraser Hidalgo [email protected] (410) 841-3186
Barbara Frush [email protected] (410) 841-3114
Jim Gilchrist [email protected] (410) 841-3744
Anne Healey [email protected] (410) 841-3961
Marvin Holmes [email protected] (410) 841-3310
Jay Jacobs [email protected] (410) 841-3449
Tony Knotts [email protected] (410) 841-3212
Stephen Lafferty [email protected] (410) 841-3487
Robbyn Lewis [email protected] (410) 841-3772
Cory McCray [email protected] (410) 841-3486
Herb McMillan [email protected] (410) 841-3211
Charles Otto [email protected] (410) 841-3433
Shane Robinson [email protected] (410) 841-3021
William Wivell [email protected] (410) 841-3447

To easily send one email to entire committee, cut and paste email block below:
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee - SB 817
Joan Carter Conway, Chair, [email protected], (410) 841-3145
Paul Pinsky, Vice-Chair, [email protected], (410) 841-3155
Gail Bates, [email protected], (410) 841-3671
Cheryl Kagan, [email protected], (410) 841-3671
Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, [email protected], (410) 841-3612
Barbara Robinson, [email protected], (410) 841-3656
Johnny Ray Salling, Bill Sponsor [email protected], (410) 841-3587
Bryan Simonaire, [email protected], (410) 841-3658
Stephen Waugh, [email protected], (410) 841-3673
Ronald Young, [email protected], (410) 841-3575
Craig Zucker, [email protected], (410) 841-3625

To easily send one email to entire committee, cut and paste email block below:
[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

Then please call and email your own County Delegates and Senators too and tell them to Vote NO on HB 1338 and SB 0817!

To find out who represents you in your County go to:
http://mdelect.net

GAM-HB1338 Summary 2018 Regular Session
State House | 100 State Circle | Annapolis, MD 21401-1925 410-946-5400 | 301-970-5400 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 5400
MGALEG.MARYLAND.GOV

3) Tell Others
Reach out to your riding associations and clubs, but also reach out to other users, such as hikers, bikers, bird watchers – we all need to support each other for fair use of shared resources!

Address

Boyds, MD
20841

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