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.
Learn how to tie a bowline knot, truckers hitch, sheet bend, clove hitch, and taut line hitch by setting up making a hammock out of a canvas tarp.
Solitude, spirituality, wild food, challenge and escape were the themes of responses our Facebook Fans gave when we asked "I hunt Wilderness because ____." In recognition of 50 years of the Wilderness Act, we've compiled 50 reasons why BHA fans choose to hunt the Wilderness...
1. I hate hunting in crowds!!!!!!!!! -Robert Benavidez
2. It's therapeutic. -Patrick Smith
3. I seek solitude. -Luke Johnson
4. For the beauty of nature. Its the closest you can come to how the world in its purest form that you can get in touch with. And get in touch with your purest self. -Shawn Maver
5. That's what men do. -Bill Lamb
6. I feel so much closer to what the good lord has given us. -Harold Cohick
7. It is where I belong. -Peter Morrow
8. I do it for the adventure and the challenge. -Sean West
9. There are few humans. -Bryan Lipscy
10. I seek the path less traveled. -Trevor Herrman
11. No ATVs, no Keystone Light cans! -Mark Penninger
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.