|Photo Credit - Bryan Huskey - Fishbite Media|
The spending bill for Fiscal Year 2016 represents a hard-won – and at times bitterly contested – agreement that funds the federal government in the coming year while narrowly averting another shutdown. While acknowledging the hard work by Congress, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers reiterated the need for LWCF legislation that permanently reauthorizes and fully funds the highly successful conservation program.
“Christmas came early for sportsmen late last night when Congress passed a budget deal that not only avoided a government shutdown but also includes a provision to reauthorize the Land and Water conservation fund for three years at $450 million,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney.
Oregon’s 92,000-acre Elliott State Forest is well known by sportsmen and women for the coveted public access it provides to high quality hunting and fishing. Roosevelt elk, blacktail deer and wild populations of salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout call the old growth timber and cold, clean waters home.
Established in 1930 as Oregon’s first state forest, the Elliott was dedicated to provide a sustainable source of timber revenue to Oregon schools. Unfortunately, the Elliott stands today as an example of what can happen when states take on the responsibility of managing public lands. Shifting public attitudes over forest management resulted in declining timber revenue, and the state was forced to sell a portion of the forest in 2014 to private companies. At least one of those parcels has already been closed to the public, and the state has put the remainder of the Elliott State Forest on the auction block for sale in 2016.
This report published by Oregon BHA describes what you can do to help - and why we need to protect public access to the Elliott and advocate for the future of our outdoor traditions.
Montana hunters and anglers are thanking Sen. Jon Tester, the Department of the Interior and the Blackfeet Tribe for their continued commitment to conserve some of the finest big game habitat and native fisheries in the Treasure State: the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.
Sportsmen from across Montana welcomed the Interior Department’s much anticipated action pursuing lease cancellation in the heart of the 130,000-acre Badger-Two Medicine area, also commending Tester’s role in championing actions to protect the Badger-Two Medicine for clean water, traditional access, hunting, fishing and tribal concerns. The area lies between the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Hunters long have recognized that the Badger-Two Medicine is prime habitat for Montana’s most prized big game – elk, moose, mule deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, black bear, wolf and mountain lion. It also includes 51 miles of cold, clean waters that support wild rainbow and native cutthroat trout fisheries.
BHA rejects proposal from congressional fringe that would gut 50-year-old conservation, access program
WASHINGTON - Legislation introduced this morning would dismantle the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a keystone federal program that has enabled conservation and enhanced public access to millions of acres over its 50-year history, drawing heavy criticism from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which dismissed the proposal as a nonstarter.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop from Utah, would considerably rework the popular, bipartisan conservation program, unduly limiting its scope and diminishing or eliminating successful components of the current program, such as the opportunities for private landowners to create conservation easements or work with partners on projects that would conserve landholdings rather than develop them. Also under Bishop's bill, 20 percent of LWCF funds would be allocated to "workforce education," such as training programs for oil and gas industry workers.
BHA President and CEO Land Tawney called the measure "a slap in the face to American sportsmen."
Inside you’ll find stories about northern Quebec’s Ungava Peninsula, tips for float hunting, backcountry cooking essentials, hunting elk by horseback and wheelchair, and the intergenerational bonds of fly fishing.
See the attachment for our President/CEO’s message and our featured conservation piece about the dangers presented by high fence game farms.
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