Saddle Up for Wilderness

By Devon Naples

The Wilderness Act limits access to Wilderness areas to feet and hooves only. Graciously, no wheels are allowed. If you’ve ever explored the rugged beauty of New Mexico’s backcountry on horseback, you may have the Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico (BCHNM) to thank for those clear trails beneath your steed’s hooves.

One of New Mexico Wild’s newest board members is Debbie Spickerman, president of the Santa Fe chapter of BCHNM. For her, riding in New Mexico’s scenic wild places isn’t just recreation. It’s also an opportunity to contribute something meaningful: accessibility of the backcountry for her fellow equestrians.

New Mexico’s nine local chapters partner with other stewardship organizations to clear hundreds of miles of trail a year, advocate for accessible trailheads for horse trailers and report on trail conditions in their communities.

The Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico are gearing up for another season of trail maintenance and stewardship projects, and they’re eager to welcome new members who have horses and mules ready to hit the trails. If you’re interested in exploring the backcountry on horseback and want to contribute to the trail maintenance that makes this primitive recreation possible, ride on over to their website at to become a member and saddle up for Wilderness this season.