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.
It has been twenty long years since President Ronald Reagan signed the last significant wilderness bill. Today, with increased pressures of natural resource extraction, the gutting of the USFS roadless rule, and the rapid decline of the quality hunting and angling experience, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is taking a leadership role to ask our elected leaders to step up for wild places. It’s time for national conservation groups from all corners of the continent to set aside any differences in philosophy or politics. It’s time to shake hands. It’s time to get something done. The continuation of the very things we love—hunting, fishing, wild places, wildlife—depend upon our ability to move forward.
The visionaries who gave us this great legacy of wildlands—men like Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold—fully realized something we appear to have forgotten: Without wild places for wild animals, there will be no place for Americans or Canadians to hunt and fish.
“This country has been swinging the hammer of development so long and so hard that it has forgotten the anvil of wilderness which gave value and significance to its labors. The momentum of our blows is so unprecedented that the remaining remnant of wilderness will be pounded into road-dust long before we find out its values.” These prophetic words were written by Aldo Leopold in 1935.
The membership of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers values wildlands and wildlife. We are driven to protect what little is left of our wildlands heritage before the value that Leopold wrote about is lost in the midst of our greed.
What can you do? Join us! As sportsmen, our power and influence to protect what we love lies in our numbers. When we speak up to congress, land management agencies, and in land protection collaboratives, we stand with all our members behind us. With your help, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers will continue to grow as a force for protecting wild lands, big game, great fishing, and the kind of real backcountry experience we are determined to pass on to future generations.