Erin Mcdonough en Horseback riding bill may cost state millions in federal aid <p>State lawmakers are considering legislation that would <a href="">open more state owned land to horseback riding.</a> But the proposal could also end up costing Michigan millions of dollars in federal grant money.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The state House Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation committee is scheduled to discuss the <a href=";objectname=2011-HB-4684">horseback riding bill</a> Wednesday. The bill&rsquo;s sponsor says opening up more state parkland to horseback riding could increase tourism.&nbsp;</p><p>But Erin McDonough says the state could lose $25 to 30 million&nbsp;in federal grant money. McDonough is the executive director of the <a href="">Michigan United Conservation Clubs. </a>The federal grant money is intended to promote hunting and McDonough says increasing horseback riding would negatively affect land the state bought for hunting.&nbsp;</p><p><em>&quot;There&rsquo;s a way to have a balance.&nbsp; And there&rsquo;s a way for everybody to have recreational opportunities on all those lands,&quot;</em> says McDonough.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>McDonough says supporters of the bill do not believe federal officials will follow through with a threat to cut the grant funding.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Michigan has approximately 80 thousand recreational horseback riders using around 25 hundred miles of trails around the state. Tue, 08 Nov 2011 20:15:20 +0000 Steve Carmody 4882 at Horseback riding bill may cost state millions in federal aid