By Hannah Ryan
A pronghorn’s sharp exhale resonated through the pre-dawn air. Somewhere in the dark, the buck could easily see us awkwardly approaching a small rise without the use of our headlamps. Earlier, a dozen elk crossed in front our low beams as we bumped down a two-track towards this quiet stretch of high desert far from any pavement. The big game numbers in this region are impressive, but that’s not why we were creeping through the sagebrush in early April, armed only with binoculars.
As the light grew stronger we could see the antelope trotting away, nearly stepping on the animal we came to observe. The bird’s white chest stood out against drab surroundings as it shuffled about, making a plopping noise akin to the sound of faucet dripping. More greater sage grouse began flying in to join the others on their historic meeting ground on the side of this nondescript sagebrush knoll.
MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today praised an announcement by the U.S. Department of the Interior that one of the last remaining oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis & Clark National Forest will be cancelled. The region lies between the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park.
BHA board member Ryan Busse, a Kalispell resident, issued the following statement:
“The Badger-Two Medicine ranks high among Montana’s most beautiful and treasured backcountry habitat for big game and native trout. My family joins the chorus of Montana families thanking Senator Tester, the Blackfeet Tribe and agency officials who recognize just how unique the Badger-Two Medicine is. Some places are just too special to drill. The Badger-Two Medicine is one of those places.”
March 9, 2016
The MN Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers thanks you for your leadership in opposing the proposed Twin Metals sulfide-ore copper mine at the edge of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. As sportsmen and women who value the challenge of pursuing fish and game in wild, unbroken habitat with minimal technological support, we consider the BWCA a premier outdoor adventure destinations in America. Our members have detailed knowledge of lakes and rivers that include their secret "honey holes" for walleye, trout, pike, and smallmouth bass. We have members who hunt whitetail deer, grouse, waterfowl, and black bear in the BWCA. Many of us had the good fortune to hunt moose in the Wilderness before the population drop necessitated a suspension of the hunt.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers was formed as a boots on the ground organization of men and women who seek to protect wild public lands and waters from degradation by applying the best science available. We are committed to opposing unwise or shortsighted management decisions and believe that sulfide-ore copper mining at the edge of the Wilderness will most certainly cause long-term and irreparable harm to this priceless public treasure.
The presidential primaries are under way, with “Super Tuesday” taking place on March 1. On this day, a dozen states and American Samoa are holding their nominating contests for the general election this coming November.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is invested in conserving important backcountry lands and waters, upholding and expanding public access to those places and, of course, ensuring that U.S. public lands remain firmly in the public’s hands. BHA remains strongly opposed to any efforts to sell, transfer or otherwise divest ownership of these lands from you and me – the American people.
Where do the presidential candidates stand on this important issue?