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Leave No Trace Stock Handling Guidlines

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Impacts from improper stock use in the back country currently exist in many areas and have the potential to worsen as more people use these special places. The following guidelines will help you decrease the impact of horse activities throughout the Gunnison Country.

Stock Travel

  1. All stock users should use the minimum stock required for the trip. This can be accomplished by good trip planning, use of lightweight gear and equipment, and following required party size limitations.
  2. Stock users should be courteous and respectful of other trail users.
  3. Stock users should ride single file on all trails.
  4. Maintained trails should be used by stock users whenever possible.
  5. Cutting of switchbacks is prohibited.
  6. When trails are wet, stock users should minimize use on trails.

Camping Guidelines

The following guidelines should be followed to lessen the impacts when camping with stock.

  1. Camp and contain stock at least 150 feet from streams, lakes and riparian areas.
  2. Stock should not be tied to trees with the exception of short time periods (e.g. less than 1 hour). The use of a tree saver strap is recommended when tying stock to trees.
  3. Permanent corrals are prohibited within Wilderness areas and are discouraged elsewhere. Appropriate methods to be used to control stock other than permanent corrals are:
    • Use of highlines
    • Use of pickets
    • Use of hobbles
    • Use of electric fences to make temporary corrals.
    • When utilizing these methods of stock containment, stock users should move animals frequently to prevent damage to the resource or overgrazing of one area.
  4. Locate stock far enough away from the campsites to prevent impacts to the camp area.
  5. Scatter manure when leaving your campsite.
  6. Choose a camp location that has durable soil and vegetation rather than wet, muddy or fragile soil conditions.


  1. If feed is hauled in, it must be certified weed free hay or pellets. A list of local sources for weed free hay will often be available at agency offices and local tack stores.
  2. If grazing stock on natural vegetation, keep them in dry and well foraged areas. Keep stock away from wet and boggy areas to prevent resource damage.
  3. Move stock often when grazing to keep from overutilizing any one area.
  4. Stock can be led to water or water can be hauled to stock. Any long term containment of stock must be at least 150 feet from water.

Visit the Official Leave No Trace Web Site

Created by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado
Point of Contact:
Jim Lovelace

Last modified: January 6, 2011