FROM:  Judy Warnick, BCHW Legislative Co-Chair


DATE:  February 11, 2006




The Backcountry Horseman of Washington came to Olympia!  


We had a great turnout for our February 9, 2006 Legislative Day.  With over 60 members attending the event, I would classify it as a resounding success. 


Mark Gjurasic and Terry Kohl from Public Affairs of Washington LLC, our lobbying firm, were very impressed with the interest and enthusiasm that BCHW has for the political process. 


A few unqualified successes from that day include:


  1. Meeting with Lt. Governor Brad Owens to request support for the Right to Ride Livestock on Federal Land Act of 2005 (S. 781 and HR 586).  He signed a letter of support and mailed it to Senators Cantwell and Murray on Friday, February 10th.  (He also thought we had at least 200 members in Olympia that day – maybe all our cowboy hats and busy members gave a bigger impression than we intended? – I have no problem with that!)
  2. Obtaining full sign up sheets for both the House and Senate on our proposed Joint Memorials directed to President Bush, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and each member of Congress from the State of Washington. The bills were dropped and have received the numbers HJM 4042 and SJM 8041.  We are attempting to get hearings for both at this time.
  3. All attendees either met with their legislators or dropped off information to their staff.  Lots of BCHW calendars and copies of the THN were given out along with our position papers on the Memorials. 
  4. Louise Caywood, from the Capitol Riders Chapter, brought the BCHW - LNT Trailer for display.  We even picked up a new member to BCHW because of it being parked outside the Capitol.  Way to go Louise!
  5. Lunch at Ramlin Jack’s Restaurant was filled to capacity with attendees hearing from Rep. Jim McCune (Dist 2 R) about the political climate and what it takes to “get things done” in Olympia. Thanks to Jaceil Easton for inviting him to our luncheon. (Unfortunately our other invited guest, Rep. Lynn Kessler (Dist 24 D) was unable to break away from the House Floor to attend.)
  6. Jeff Chapman from the Buckhorn Range Chapter and Bob Mayer from the Crab Creek Riders Chapter brought displays for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition Reception that evening.  They put together an impressive amount of information regarding BCHW and the trails we maintain. 
  7. While attending the WWRC reception, several members spoke to Former Governor Mike Lowry who also pledged support of our Right to Ride Program! He is expected to send a letter of support to our Congressional Delegation as well.
  8. BCHW President, Bob Shonka, was unable to attend our Legislative Day, however he is working on support from Governor Christine Gregoire’s office as well!


All in all, I am very impressed with the accomplishments of our 2006 Legislative Day and thank everyone who had any part in making this day a success. 


Finally, please watch the THN and the BCHW website for more information on the VIP Rides planned for June 24th.


Judy Warnick,

BCHW Legislative Co-Chair