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This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.
Sally Aungier, a dedicated leader of the Virginia Horse Council, has worked for many years to change state policy regarding equestrian accommodation in Virginia state parks.
Sally devised a strategy for these policy changes and lobbied legislators and attended meetings for many years to get the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to add equestrian trails and campgrounds to the recreational opportunities available at state parks.
She was a strong supporter and participant in the Horse Council's annual Legislative Trail Ride, and lobbied for the 2002 state park bond package that funded equestrian improvements in state parks. She worked closely with DCR to educate management and park staff where equestrian use was accepted to design facilities and trailhead policies. She also worked closely with the Horse Council and equestrians in general to ensure that park rules were followed and manure was managed. Each year, the Horse Council educates trail riders about trail etiquette, including the importance of avoiding trails after heavy rains. This year, Sally helped put together an annual meeting and educational seminar that included sessions on developing and sustaining relationships with land managers and leaving no trace.