As outlined in an article that can be found on CO BHA’s Issues page here, the Thompson Divide provides one of the largest remaining tracts of unprotected, undeveloped roadless habitat in the state of Colorado. It remains one of the top units for elk hunting in the state, serves as the headwaters of four high-quality trout streams and hosts a fragile population of mule deer.
On February 28, 2013, CO BHA spoke alongside other sportsmen, ranchers, teachers, the CEO of Patagonia, and over 50 other community members in support of withdrawing mineral leases on the Thompson Divide. Our testimony highlighted the need for undisturbed big game habitat, cold and quiet waters and scientific data from Colorado Parks and Wildlife which suggests that “gas development in this area is likely to be detrimental to mule deer and other wildlife.” For a Public Radio broadcast on this hearing, featuring CO BHA’s testimony (1:50), click here.
The news that President Obama has selected REI CEO Sally Jewell to lead the U.S. Department of Interior is encouraging for backcountry hunters and anglers who rely on quality wildlife habitat to continue our traditional, non-motorized sporting heritage.
Ms. Jewell was a key stakeholder in discussions to craft President Obama's America's Great Outdoors program, an agenda for the 21st Century to support community-driven outdoor recreation initiatives that was widely embraced by the sportsmen community. We hope she builds on that experience as Interior Secretary and pursues a balanced approach that prioritizes sportsmen access and protection of critical wildlife habitat and puts energy development on equal footing with protection of our public land and water.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.