When Annmarie Ertolacci and her husband moved to Camas, Wash., last year, they weren’t the only ones who needed help navigating the new area, the Camas-Washougal Post-Record reported.

Their horses, Buck and Chili, escaped from their Livingston Mountain home. Thankfully, members of the Washington Trail Riders Association (WTRA) were able to find the wayward wanderers.

“We picked them up the next day and immediately joined the WTRA,” Ertolacci said. “It goes to show you how many people care about the horses and care about other horse people. Joining was a no-brainer.”

Longtime WTRA member Barbara Thomas is on a 911 contact list in the event of wandering equines, so she received the call regarding the missing horses.

“It is kind of a neat story about how it brought Annmarie to our group,” she said.

Thomas, who serves as secretary for the WTRA, noted that this is one example of how the group has branched out from members who are interested in horses.

In 2015, the WTRA organized three work parties on trails and camps at Battle Ground Lake, Rock Creek Campground and Kalama, contributing approximately 400 volunteer hours.

They work alongside other user groups such as the Back Country Horsemen, Pacific Endurance Riders, Chinook Trails Association and Washington Trails Association.

“I really believe this organization contributes through trail work, and also brings people together who want to ride and exchange information,” she said.

Recently, the WTRA was recognized by the Washington State Parks for 2015 Outstanding Group Contribution for their volunteer work.

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