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.
News for Immediate Release
March 27, 2015
Senate Votes in Favor of Public Lands Seizure,
Drawing Criticism from Sportsmen
Budget amendment enabling sale, transfer of federal public lands passed yesterday in a 51-49 Senate vote
MISSOULA, Mont. – Following a flurry of votes during last night’s budget deliberations in the U.S. Senate, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers sharply criticized the passage of a measure that would enable the sale or transfer of federal public lands, including national forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and other places relied up by sportsmen and outdoor recreationists.
SA 838, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and passed in a 51-49 vote, would support and fund state efforts to take possession of federal public lands.
“Public lands are the fabric that binds America together, and last night’s vote by the Senate sends an alarming message to sportsmen and -women – along with every citizen who values our publicly owned resources,” said BHA Executive Director Land Tawney. “Nationally, an organized, concerted movement is underway to sell off and limit access to America’s public lands and waters. These are not merely the actions of a lunatic fringe. Now is the time to double down and fight back against this ill-conceived idea.”
Montana Sportsmen Stung by Daines' Reversal on Public Land Sales
MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana sportsmen are strongly questioning U.S. Sen. Steve Daines for supporting a controversial amendment that would enable the sale of America's public lands.
Daines cast the deciding vote late Thursday that resulted in the Senate's 51-49 approval of Amendment 838. The amendment allows the federal government "to sell or transfer to, or exchange with, a State or local government any Federal land that is not within the boundaries of a National Park, National Preserve, or National Monument." Both Republicans and Democrats opposed the amendment.
"Montana's hunters and anglers are deeply troubled by Senator Daines' support for selling our federal lands," said John Sullivan, co-chair of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers' Montana Chapter. "Just a few weeks ago, Senator Daines told Montanans he opposes selling our public lands, but now he supports this terrible idea from Washington, D.C. Actions speak louder than words, and the senator's action last night has sent shock waves throughout the state."
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a national organization representing more than 100,000 hunters and anglers around the country, is asking for your help to defend against attacks currently underway as senators in Washington, D.C., finalize their budget for Fiscal Year 2016. A “vote-a-rama” is taking place today to consider numerous amendments that have poured in from both sides of the political aisle.
Sportsmen have some urgent priorities to tackle together if we are to uphold our public lands hunting and fishing traditions. Before voting begins today, please take a moment to contact your senators’ offices to express your strong opposition to budget amendment 838. Introduced just last night by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the costly provision would enable the sale and/or transfer of federal public lands, including national forests, wilderness areas, national wildlife refuges, historical sites and other important conservation lands, for the purpose of balancing the budget. A similar attack is being levied by Sen. Mike Lee. His senate amendment 747 proposes selling federal public lands to reduce the federal deficit. If passed, these measures could permanently affect our ability to access and enjoy our public lands and waters. We need to stop them in their tracks!
Check out this BHA radio interview with Northwestern Outdoors Radio, recorded live from the 2015 North American Rendezvous in Spokane, Washington. BHA's Executive Director, Land Tawney discusses the Rendezvous and our efforts to stop a public land sell-off.