Each Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. This week we salute the Equine Land Conservation Resource.
This week’s honoree:
The Equine Land Conservation Resource is an important force in the modern landscape of horsekeeping, and works at the heart of issues that directly affect every single horseman and horsewoman in the country.
Mission statement: The Equine Land Conservation Resource leads in the protection and conservation of lands for the horse and horse-related activities.
Vision statement: A future in which horse lands have been conserved so that America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of mankind’s bond with the horse remain accessible to all.
The ELCR’s executive director Holley Groshek kindly took the time to answer a few of our questions about the organization.
How did the ELCR get started?
In 1996, members of the United States Pony Club’s Task Force for the 21st Century identified loss of land and access as the greatest threat to the future of that organization – and to equestrian activities in general. Out of that committee came the founders of ELCR.
Initially ELCR worked through the highly-respected group The Conservation Fund as one of its programs, but in 1999 ELCR became an independent 501c3 with its own offices and staff. Since that time we have become the only national organization dedicated to preserving land and promoting access for all types of equine use.
What is the nature of your work in equine land conservation?
ELCR is primarily an educational organization working with individuals and organizations to provide information, tools, templates and other resources including one-on-one counseling and technical assistance to help them keep lands open for horses and horse related activities in their communities. ELCR also provides educational webinars and other programing on conservation related topics.
Our on-line resource library at www.elcr.org provides over 100 unique educational resources to the public free of charge.
What other organizations do you work with?
ELCR works closely with conservation and equine organizations at the national, regional and local levels. Organizations can partner with ELCR through our Conservation Partner Program. For information about our Conservation Partner Program can be found at https://elcr.org/partners/.
What is a ‘typical’ day in the office like at the ELCR?
It is difficult to define a “typical” day in our office. Often times our work is dictated by requests we receive for technical assistance regarding a specific land loss issue in community. A great deal of time is also dedicated to researching and writing unique educational materials in six conservation related issue areas which are available horsemen in our on-line resource library at www.elcr.org.
Where does your funding come from?
ELCR is funding primarily from private donations and is also supported through grants, memberships and corporate sponsorships.
What do you see as the biggest threat to the future of the equine industry, in terms of conservation?
The biggest threat to both individual horsemen and the equine industry in regard to conservation is the loss of land due to development in and around urban areas where most of our equine population and owners are located. This issue combined with growing competition from other land user groups (hikers, bikers etc) and a lack of understanding, at the local level among horsemen, about how to get organized and advocate for horses in their communities is a serious concern.
Much of our work in the following years will focus on working closely with local organizations focusing on land related issues and advocating for horses in their communities. Specifically helping these organizations by providing the information and resources they need to be successful and sharing best management practices from other communities.
Do you have any upcoming events that we can share?
We just released a great deal of new original information on-line in the Planning for Horses in Your Community section of our website. We will be offering a webcast on The Basics of Planning and Zoning for Horse Friendly Communities in conjunction with My Horse University on March 24 at 7:00 PM EST. Check our website www.elcr.org for registration information.
We applaud the Equine Land Conservation Resource for the work that they do. For more information and to sign up for the free newsletter, we encourage readers to visit the Equine Land Conservation Resource website. The organization can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected] Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.