A land that is facing ceaseless development. A people mired in obesity from their over-reliance upon technology and motorized equipment. A quality of life—particularly the sporting life—that is rapidly careening downhill. These are some of the basic tenants of our call to arms—for American and Canadian sportsmen and women to stand up for the wild country and wildlife that depend so much upon it. Now, more than ever before, we need wild lands: places to rekindle the depths of the human soul. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a non-partisan group of sportsmen and women who are standing up for wilderness and for the wildlife that depends upon it.
DENVER -- Colorado's backcountry's streams and lakes offer a lifetime of fishing opportunity for anglers willing to explore. But hiking into these high-country fisheries can be daunting for those who have never done it before.
To help give anglers the skills and confidence needed to take that next step, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is joining with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers to present "A Taste of Backcountry Angling," on August 23 near Empire, Colorado.
This day-long clinic is designed for intermediate anglers and will offer presentations on safe backcountry travel and camping, tips on catching trout in lakes and streams, and hands-on instruction in spin- and fly fishing. Participants will also have an opportunity to fish two high-country lakes during the morning and afternoon bite.
Back in October 1991 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its Wilderness Study Report for the Browns Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) between Salida and Buena Vista in Chaffee County, Colo., saying (in part): “Due … to its rugged topography, this WSA is important habitat for numerous wildlife species such as mule deer, mountain lion and bighorn sheep ... bobcat, black bear … and … elk.”
Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall has introduced legislation that would protect 22,000 acres of Browns Canyon, to ensure that the canyon remains just like it is now for coming generations of hunters, anglers and others. Salida area resident Bill Sustrich is a Word War II/U.S. Navy veteran and National Rifle Association (NRA) Life/Benefactor Member who raised a family of four youngsters on deer, elk, and trout he shot and caught in Browns Canyon and surrounding public lands.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers understands the value of well reasoned travel management planning that protects the fish and wildlife habitat that our sporting traditions depend on. National legislation introduced by Representative Walden (R-OR) has the potential of stripping the many habitat and sporting values that travel management protects. The following video highlights why travel management is important:
This week public land sportsmen and Senator, Martin Heinrich (D-NM), reintroduced legislation called the HUNT Act, which would dedicate a portion of Land & Water Conservation Funding to unlocking landlocked public land and provide hunting and fishing access to the lands we all own, but cannot use.
The following testimony in support of this legislation was submitted on behalf of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Trout Unlimited, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance and the National Wildlife Federation.
Each year, America’s 40 million hunters and anglers contribute $200 billion to the national economy, and support millions of American jobs. Hunting and fishing aren’t mere pastimes, they are lifestyles; lifestyles that depend fundamentally on access to quality fish and wildlife habitat. For many hunters, including 72% of all hunters in the Mountain West and Pacific states, access means public lands. Without reliable access to quality habitat, sportsmen reduce their days afield and reduce their economic impact. For small towns across the country, fewer sportsmen mean fewer customers, fewer jobs, and a lower quality of life. Of course, it is no mystery why sportsmen and women stay home: the single most prevalent reason hunters and anglers stop hunting and fishing is lack of access.