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On March 19, 1998, a group of Yankee Springs horseback riders gathered at the outdoor center of the Yankee Springs Recreational area. Sixty-six people were in attendance, with Dennis McDermott, Park Ranger, and Ben Stapish, Park Manager at that time. According to Wayne Mears, founder of the Waterloo Horseman's Association and Michigan Horse Council member, “Many state parks and recreation areas are in need of people to organize horse riding groups and help maintain camps and trails.” Due to government cutbacks and increased competition for resources from other sports such as mountain biking, the development and maintenance of Michigan horse trails has become virtually nonexistent. This group of equestrians believed there was a need for a volunteer group at Yankee Springs who believed in the right to:· Protect the right to camp and trail ride· Preserve the horse trails and camping facilities· Improve the system of trails and other facilitiesAt this time, Yankee Springs had about twelve miles of horse trails in the park. The DNR had five full time staff, with three being full time rangers, plus four seasonal help and 22 summer help. They had one tractor with front end loader, a flatbed dump truck, and two four wheelers for equipment. Needs for the camp included repair or replacement of the well, trail work, downed trees cut and cleared, culverts, gravel and picket posts. Trails needed to be policed for trash and cleaned up after organized rides have occurred. Nancy and Jessie Anderson received a 4-H grant of $500 to be used for the horse trails, and 30 picket posts were purchased. A hat was passed and $362 was collected to get the YSTRA organization started. The money was turned over to Jane Robertson who volunteered for the board. Fifteen people also volunteered for the board. The first board meeting was held March 26, 1998, at 7:30 PM at the Yankee Springs outdoor center. Officers were elected, committees started, membership dues decided and Yankee Springs Trail Riders Association was chosen as a name. Here is a list of the first YSTRA board members:Edith Buxton, President - George Guthrie, Vice President - Dorothy Flint, Secretary - Jane Robertson, Treasurer - Pat Lynn - Ross Meehan - Virginia Werner - Janet Nichols - Darryl Yerrick - Randy Overmire - Cindy Osborne - Nancy Anderson - Greg Kaiser - Howard Hartely - Jessie Anderson