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County Parks Taps Old-Fashioned Horsepower

Backcountry Horsemen visit Indian Tree trail off Vineyard Road in Novato to haul up supplies for a maintenance project this coming spring.

The weather cooperated on Saturday, allowing a horse and mule team from the North Bay Unit of the Backcountry Horsemen's Association to haul supplies up the Indian Tree trail in Novato for a maintenance project this spring.

According to Marin County parks volunteer coordinator Greg Reza, water bars — which prevent erosion of the trails — will be installed after the winter rains, and the pack teams were the best way to get them up the steep and narrow grades. The horses can haul about 10 times the normal supply load of the motorized wheelbarrow usually used for such trail maintenance projects. 

Reza said Novato volunteers will be asked to help with the water bar installation next spring. People who board their horses at will be hit up for help, but anyone can volunteers, Reza said.

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