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.
A new video developed by the University of Wyoming, highlights the importance of designated wilderness areas for five of Wyoming’s migratory big-game species. The researchers detail how elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep and pronghorn all use Wyoming and Colorado wilderness areas, mostly as high-country summer range. It’s the first time that these migration corridors have been mapped to specifically see how animals use wilderness areas.
These wildlife migration patterns have been mapped and are highlighted in the video above.
Nov. 19, 2014 – A new poll shows that sportsmen and women in the heart of greater sage-grouse country want to protect the bird and the sagebrush landscape that supports it, other wildlife and the Western way of life.
The results released Wednesday by the National Wildlife Federation show that a majority of sportsmen surveyed in 11 Western states back restrictions in important habitat to save the greater sage-grouse and avoid its placement on the federal Endangered Species List. A listing likely would lead to more stringent, long-term constraints that would affect such activities as hunting, fishing, recreation and grazing, said John Gale, NWF’s national sportsmen’s campaign manager.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers understands the value of well reasoned travel management planning that protects the fish and wildlife habitat that our sporting traditions depend on. National legislation introduced by Representative Walden (R-OR) has the potential of stripping the many habitat and sporting values that travel management protects. The following video highlights why travel management is important:
In Colorado and much of the west, it has gotten harder to simply move across the parts of the landscape that were special when some of us were growing up here. Many things conspire to take away access even as we try and maintain some of it for our future generations. Currently, there is an insidious but relentless effort to transfer federal public lands to the states. This is a bad idea. It will ultimately impact those who like the freedom of being able to don a pack or saddle a horse or ride a bike and experience beautiful country that is largely undeveloped. Federal land ownership helps to ensure that we will continue to have such access. State lands do provide some important public access and school revenue but 80% are privately leased and have limited access.