"We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune." -Theodore Roosevelt
|Tim Brass with his first deer, age 12|
It was way back in 1996 when I first stumbled behind my dad and grandpa with a pair of waders two sizes too big and a musty hand-me-down canvas camo coat. We made it to the lone hackberry tree and then waited, and waited …
It was duck opener on a state wildlife area in Western Minnesota and we arrived a good three hours early with ample time to beat the competition to “the spot” – an exercise I would repeat time and time again, almost exclusively on public lands. From the wide Army Corps mud flats in Oregon to the burly Colorado backcountry, our vast public lands are largely to thank for the many hunting experiences that made me who I am.
Looking back, I realize I was born with a silver shotgun in my hand. But where our family was rich in hunting-tradition, we were poor in land. Thus, we learned to share the land set aside generations ago for sportsmen and women of all backgrounds to hunt and fish on – our rich portfolio of public lands.
By Brian Jennings
Mike Beagle has followed several paths in his life. Growing up, he hunted, fished and excelled at baseball and football in Southern Oregon. Graduating from Southern Oregon University, Beagle became a teacher and coach in both Portland and Medford. He also worked as a conservationist and
regional manager for Trout Unlimited where he was instrumental in establishing new wilderness in Southwest Oregon. He is a father, husband, and a former Army officer and now Alumni Director at his alma mater. But hunting, fishing, a strong connection to the land, and backcountry values feed his soul. Because of his passion, leadership and vision he became the number one founding member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
Celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Wilderness Act with these 10 hunting and fishing trips you must do before you die.
September 4, 2014
RE: Comments from Arizona Backcountry Hunters & Anglers on Tonto National Forest Travel Management Plan
Neil Bosworth, Forest Supervisor,
Please consider the following comments on behalf of the Arizona Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers regarding the proposed Tonto National Forest Travel Management Plan.
Arizona Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a member-driven sportsmen conservation organization dedicated to speaking-up for the solitude, challenge, and overwhelming reward that hunting and fishing our wild public lands and waters provides. These traditions depend on large intact tracts of wildlife habitat, where modern human disturbances are minimal. The Tonto National Forest offers this type habitat and hunting opportunity for small game, deer, bear, javelina, turkey and mountain lion. Our interest is in seeing that this habitat and hunting opportunity continue for future generations, thus our comments follow along these lines. We generally support the preferred alternative, with the needed revisions listed below.
Decommission Unsustainable Routes
A pack string loaded with elk antlers in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana or the Gila in New Mexico. A bighorn ram in the Absaroka of Wyoming. Reeling in pike in the quiet lakes of the Boundary Waters of Minnesota.
Wilderness areas provide, bar none, some of greatest, most adventuresome hunting and fishing in North America. Today we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act. Hunters and anglers were a major force behind the law then, and are a major force for backcountry conservation today.
Not every place can be, or should be, wilderness. By some estimates, only 4 percent of the Lower 48 still have "wilderness quality" characteristics. That may be your backyard, or it may be your once-in-a-lifetime dream-come-true.