Trail Advocacy

This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.


Illinois: Kandee Haertel

Kandee is nationally known as a trails advocate, especially among the equestrian groups.

Much of her adult life has been dedicated to preserving trails for equestrians by coordinating and educating the many partners and advocates of trails.

When Kandee is not astride her long standing trail companion, a chestnut Paso Fino mare named The Lady, she is working to affect every aspect of keeping and enjoying horses. Before becoming affiliated with Back Country Horsemen as the Director of Development she served as Executive Director, Equestrian Land Conservation Resource (ELCR), Galena, IL.

Kandee has developed national and local networks and partnerships between horse owners, trail partners, and land managers in the private and public sector. By creating lasting alliances among various interest groups she has helped to build organizations from the initial idea-state into on-going realities. Kandee is notorious grabbing the reins of a fledgling organization and teaching it to fly. Regardless of her volunteer or employment status, her passion has always been to preserve trails and greenways for "All Americans." Equestrians from all over the United States recognize her efforts and hold her in high regard for all of her efforts. A large group of equestrians from numerous states have agreed to nominate her for this award knowing how much she has contributed and that there is still more to come as Kandee sets to work with the Backcountry Horsemen of America as Director of Development.