WASHINGTON – Sportsmen are commending Montana’s Rep. Ryan Zinke, who yesterday afternoon cast a vote in opposition of a joint congressional budget resolution that includes a provision facilitating the sale or transfer of federal public lands.
“Montana is not for sale,” stated Zinke, who bucked party lines in opposing the budget resolution, which would reduce the deficit by imposing substantial cuts in funding. While non-binding, the legislation sets overall levels for federal spending programs and is expected to advance in a U.S. Senate vote next week. Ultimately, the resolution passed the House of Representatives last night 226-197.
Zinke’s vote elicited praise from the national sportsmen’s group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which remains vocally opposed to the sale or transfer of public lands.
WASHINGTON - As House members met today to vote on a massive defense spending package, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers roundly condemned a rider in the bill that would block activities aimed at conserving populations of the greater sage-grouse, currently a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Rep. Rob Bishop introduced the measure, which would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from moving forward with efforts to conserve the grouse, in the National Defense Authorization Act. The House Armed Services Committee considered the legislation this afternoon.
BHA, a sportsmen's group actively engaged in preventing the sage-grouse's listing under the ESA, criticized Bishop's provision and questioned its relevance to the NDAA.
Wyoming Game & Fish Department considering new rule to prohibit both manned and unmanned aircraft for scouting and hunting
LARAMIE, Wyo. – A sportsmen-led campaign to uphold fair chase hunting in Wyoming is gaining momentum with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s recent decision to consider a new rule outlawing the use of drones or aircraft for hunting or scouting.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers’ Wyoming chapter initiated the effort in the wake of numerous reports of aircraft, as well as a growing number of drones, being used to locate and pursue big game in the Cowboy State.
“No true sportsman will say with a straight face that hunting or scouting animals with a drone or aircraft is fair to the animal or to other hunters in the field,” said Wyoming BHA Co-chair Buzz Hettick, who lives in Laramie. “Yet Wyoming big game regulations currently have loopholes that leave the door open to the use of drones and aircraft for hunting.”
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.”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Releases Public Lands Report to Educate Sportsmen and Decision Makers on the Need to Keep Public Lands in Public Hands
For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Missoula, MT – Today, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) released “Our Public Lands-Not for Sale”, detailing how the proposed transfer, or sale, of America’s federal public lands would negatively affect sportsmen and women in the United States. A growing number of western state legislators and federal elected officials are advocating for the transfer or all out sale of federal public lands. This report highlights how these ideas are nothing new and if they come to pass, how detrimental they would be to America’s sportsmen and women, ultimately resulting in loss of access to quality habitat for hunting and fishing.
The report also illustrates the incredible potential harm to both the outdoor business community and sportsmen and women. More than two thirds of hunters in the 11 Western states depend on public lands for all or part of their hunting, including both resident and non-resident hunters. And, outdoor recreation supports $646 billion in revenue and 6.1 million jobs annually.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is 100% against the transfer, or sale, of our federal public lands. While we think that federal land management could be improved, this is no time to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We look forward to working with elected officials from both sides of the aisle to protect our outdoor heritage and keep public lands in public hands,” said Land Tawney, Executive Director of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
“Without public land we would be out of business, in fact, we would have never gotten into business because there would be no reason to make hunting clothes if only a select few could participate. The opportunity for individuals to access beautiful and wild places in an equitable manner is one of the core American values that enriches the quality of life for all,” said Kenton Carruth, Founder, First Lite, Idaho.