The Eastern Sierra unit of the Backcountry Horsemen of California will be holding its annual dinner and fundraiser with musical accompaniment by a band featuring Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter.
The horsemen (and women) are the folks on the mountain trails in early summer clearing away snow and debris, opening the way for every traveler. The unit donates more than $120,000 a year in trail support. The group also offers free equestrian first-aid and packing classes.
“Each year the Eastern Sierra Unit of Backcountry Horsemen of California volunteers the equivalent of $121,651 in work hours and stock hauling to open and maintain trails in the Inyo and Sequoia Forests,” said unit member Sarah Sheehan.
She explained that the unit has had a long-standing agreement with land managers such as the Forest Service or National Park Service.
She added that while the unit is essentially based on horseback, the group is an advocate for all in the backcountry. Sheehan said that the unit is proud to be a working partner with many groups, including hikers, runners and anglers who share the trail.
The unit also provides classes and ongoing education about backcountry safety for horses and other stock animals that hit hooves on the dusty trail.
Sheehan said the classes are offered free of charge, open to the public and “very hands-on.” These classes include equestrian first-aid, dental health, bandage wrapping, heart monitoring and basic emergency management when miles away from the nearest phone or veterinarian.
The organization is now asking the public for its support by attending the annual kick-off dinner and fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 5.Reservations are due by Jan. 29.
This year’s dinner will be held at the Bishop Elks Lodge. Dinner will be a choice of either tri-tip roast or barbecue turkey breast. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by the Peavine Pickers, and a no-host bar. Dinner will be served at 7.
Carter described the Peavine Pickers in an e-mail as “a group of close friends and family who play music as a sideline when they run out of things to talk about.” The band originated in an area of central Nevada, near Peavine Creek. He explained that the band’s line-up is ever-changing, but all the original members remain, including himself. The band plays a mix of music from classic and modern Country, traditional Cowboy tunes, 1970s soft rock and ’60s folk music.
“They consider themselves more of a ‘Campfire’ group rather than a dance band,” Carter said. “There is no lead singer as they all sing lead at one time or another and everybody in the band gets equal billing.”
For more information about the band, visit the Peavine Pickers Facebook page.
Reservations for the dinner can be made by visiting the unit’s website at http://www.easternsierrabch.com  and filling out an application. Checks and applications can be sent to Jim Cameron, 2539 Sunrise Lane, Bishop, CA 93514. Checks should be made out to the BCH Eastern Sierra Unit. For more information call Jim at (760) 873-7003.