Change is Made By Those Who Show Up: Where Has BHA Shown Up For You Lately?

a hunter in the mountains with antlers strapped to his packWe know that one of the reasons you support Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is because our staff, contractors, and Chapter volunteers show up to represent YOU at meetings with agency professionals, decision makers, legislators, and other sportsmen's groups all around the West. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen's voice for wild public lands, and we fight for big wild country and quiet, pristine habitat where you don't have time to.

Here's where we've been showing up for you:

California

4/16 - CA BHA Board Members George McCloskey, JR Young and Adam Ratner met by conference call to discuss forming an official state chapter. 

Colorado

April

4/4 - Tim Brass met with Senator Michael Bennet and staff to discuss efforts to protect habitat on the Thompson Divide and Hermosa Creek.

4/6 - CO BHA Members Kent Ingram, Dan Parkinson, Kevin Alexander, Tim Brass, Ty Churchwell and Terry Meyers attended Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Sportsmen Rountable Meeting in Silverthorne.  These members will be serving as state sportsmen representatives for the next 2-3 years.  For more information on the Sportsmen's Roundtable, click here.

4/6 - CO BHA Habitat Watchmen had a booth at the BLM's Travel Management Workshop and Open House in Grand Junction.

4/7 - Tim Brass Mmet with Senator Bennet's staff on the Thompson Divide Mineral Withdrawl.

4/10 - Tim Brass testified on behalf of CO BHA in opposition of SB 188, the landowner voucher bill.

4/11 - CO BHA hosted an informal gathering in Boulder, Colorado to discuss upcoming events, which will include a "Front Country Taste of Backcountry Angling" workshop hosted in collaboration with Colorado Parks & Wildlife (end of Aug) and a work day in Yampa, CO to restore decommissioned roads into native habitat (date TBD).

4/13 - CO BHA members Bill Dvorak, Bill Sustrich, Dick Ray, John Gale and Tim Brass spoke in support of protecting Brown's Canyon at an open house in Salida, CO, which was hosted by Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Doug Lamborn.  For more information on this event, click here.

March

3/4 - Tim Brass provided testimony in support of SB 67, which gives wildlife officers the authority to enforce OHV regulations on federal land.  For CO BHA's position on this legislation, click here.

3/5 - BHA members participated in Colorado Sportsmen Advisory Coalition meeting to discuss current legislation.

3/6 - Durango BHA Members David Peterson and Matt Kenna hosted a free showing of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time.  For more details on this event click here.

3/10 - Tim Brass provided peer reviewed scientific research on recreational impacts on elk behavior and productivity

3/11 - CO BHA gave a briefing to the Operation Game Thief Board at their annual meeting, requesting that OHV violations be reportable using the existing phone number.

3/14 - Habitat Watchmen Adam Gall and Life Member Roger Cesario provided comments regarding land protection efforts in Central Colorado.

3/18 - Tim Brass testified on behalf of CO BHA in support of permanent reauthorization of Colorado Parks & Wildlife's Habitat Stamp, SB 175.  For CO BHA's position, click here.

3/20 - Tim Brass testified on behalf of CO BHA in opposition of expansion of the Landowner Voucher Program, SB 188.  For CO BHA's testimony on this legislation, click here.

3/28 - Tim Brass attended workshop on the USFS Travel Analysis Plan (TAP) process.

February

2/1 - Met with Senator Michael Bennet's staff to discuss proposed wilderness and conservation legislation.

-2/6 - CO BHA met with representatives from the International Mountain Biking Association to discuss national conservation and wilderness proposals

-2/7 - Tim Brass provided testimony on SB 67 which gives wildlife officers the ability to enforce OHV regulations.  For a summary on BHA's position click here.

-2/13 - On behalf of BHA's Habitat Watchmen, Tim Brass provided public comments on OHV grant requests, highlighting concerns that wildlife would be negatively impacted by grants to facilitate OHV use in the USFS Dolores District.

-2/27 - CO BHA provided testimony on the need to protect roadless habitat from energy development in the Thompson Divide.  For an article on this, click here.
http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=356:thompson-divide-co-bha-asks-the-usfs-and-blm-to-let-the-leases-expire&catid=83:co-news&Itemid=113

2/28 - CO BHA member Kent Ingram was elected to the NE Region Sportsmen's Roundtable. 

January 

- 1/18/13 Filed an Appeal on the Decision Notice (DN) for the Boggy-Glade Travel Management Plan (in the SJNF). The major appeal points were that the DN violates the Travel Management Rule because it does not include an affirmative analysis to MINIMIZE the "harrassment of wildlife and significant disruption of wildlife habitats" and that the DN/EA violates USFS Policy because it contains an Elk Security Area Analysis that is not based on science.

- 1/31/13 Had an Appeal resolution meeting with Derek Padilla (District Ranger) and staff regarding the above described Appeal. We did not reach a resolution but it was a great opportunity to discuss the reasons and facts behind our concerns - in particular our opposition to motorized game retrieval.

-1/17-1/20 - CO BHA attended the ISE event in Denver – they recruited 35 new members and 100 potential members, and engaged 6 volunteers.

-1/19 - Tim Brass represented BHA at the Sportsmen Conservation Breakfast and participated in weekly call with the Colorado Sportsmen’s Advisory Committee to discuss pertinent legislation for wild public lands in Colorado.

-1/31 - CO BHA hosted a Sportsmen's Open House in Carbondale, CO to develop support for the Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Proposal. 20 attendees provided information and comments on what items should be included within a proposal to best benefit fish and wildlife habitat.

December

-12/18/12 The University of Colorado Law Clinic (representing CBHA) sent a letter to the USFS Region 2 office regarding the lack of response to our 6/8/12 FOIA request. We are seeking background documents regarding the motorized status of 14 trails in the Rico-West Dolores area of the San Juan National Forest (SJNF).

-12/21/13 The University of Colorado Law Clinic (representing CBHA) sent a letter to the SJNFconcerning the 2007 San Juan Public Lands Draft Land Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement. We are disputing the Baseline used in the upcoming/new Forest Plan and the subsequent improper designation of areas in the SJNF that allow motorized travel. Disruption of wildlife habitat is the big issue here.

Idaho

May

- 5/18 & 19 Idaho Chapter members attended a Clearwater/Nez Perce Forest Plan Revision Collaborative meeting.

- 5/15 Idaho Chapter members gave a presentation on drones to the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner's meeting.

- 5/3- 5/5 Idaho Chapter members complete a public service project in collaboration with Idaho Fish and Game, removing fence from elk migration corridors

March Update

Holly Endersby has been busy with Clearwater Basin Collaborative meetings working to get closure on land and water protection agreements to send on to Senator Mike Crapo as part of the larger CBC legislative package. As part of that package she met last week with representatives of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, motorized recreation stakeholders and Potlatch Timber Corporation to discuss the steps forward in a plan for a 243 mile atv route across a variety of land ownerships in the Basin. This project will take years to bring to fruition due to the array of public and private issues that remain to be solved. This route, all in the roaded front country, is designed to promote diverse financial streams to small rural communities.

On April  18th Holly beet with the CBC’s Landscape Forest Health subgroup to discuss issues surrounding management in areas adjacent to roadless Forest Service land and to discuss the draft EIS on CBC-USFS Clear Creek CFLRA project. The EIS is just beginning the 45 day comment period and CBC will be making comments to ensure that we can continue to be part of the discussion as this large project moves forward.

Derrick Reeves, Idaho tri-chair, Derrick Farr, BHA member from Grangeville, Scott Stouder, BHA member from Pollock and Holly all attended the new Forest Planning Rule session dealing with recreation on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest all day on Saturday, April 13th. Having non-motorized hunters speak up for land, water and wildlife protection is critical to this planning process which is dominated by motorized proponents. We all plan on attending the next two day meetings to be held May 17 & 18.

Idaho BHA will be working with IDFG the weekend of May 3 to take down old barbed wire fencing on Craig Mt. Wildlife Management Area northeast of Lewiston as a protective measure for elk passage.

This week, Holly asked Idaho chapter leaders to call Rep. Mike Simpson’s DC office to thank him for his outspoken support for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Rep. Simpson is swimming against the Republican tide and we appreciate his support for LWCF.

February

-2/27:Holly Endersby, Interim Executive Director, invited representatives from the USFS Regional Office in Missoula to discuss the lack of trail maintenance in our large, Idaho wilderness areas with the Clearwater Basin Collaborative. The Forest Service is aware that this issue has reached all the way to the Chief’s office in DC and they will be forming a group of stakeholders to begin dealing with this issue. Holly asked that the Minimum Tool Analysis be evaluated at the same time to reflect what is actually happening on the ground and to include the forest service’s lack of staff and funding to the analysis and that BHA be at the table for these talks. 

BHA also spent an entire day going over proposed restoration projects with the Nez Perce/Clearwater NF as part of the Landscape Health subgroup of the CBC. The CBC is collaborating with the Forest Service on eight projects in 2013, all of which will improve forest health and resiliency as well as providing wood products from some projects. The Landscape Health group made on the ground visits of all sites last summer to ground truth the proposals. Additional field trips will be scheduled this summer as we evaluate the progress of the projects. 

January

-1/15: Meeting with John Haney, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo’s State Chief of Staff as well as Mitch Silvers and Bryan Ricker, liaisons to CBC from Senator Crapo’s office, to discuss Clearwater Basin Collaborative land and water protection as well as rural economic development. Mike Roach, Senator Jim Risch’s Natural Resource Director also attended the four hour meeting.

-1/15: Met with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation state and federal grant manager, Kathy Muir, to talk about current grant cycle funding for the CBC sponsored 260 mile ATV trail to connect small towns in the Clearwater Basin for economic diversity. IDFG is submitting a grant for the first trailhead construction on behalf of CBC.

-1/15: Met with Idaho Department of Fish and Game Deputy Director Sharon Kiefer, Jim Unsworth, Deputy Director of Operations and about one dozen other employees to discuss the CBC’s Wildlife Initiative to work on habitat improvement throughout the Clearwater Basin, with a special emphasis on the needs of elk. The CBC has received a $200,000+ grant from the USFS to employ elk and mule deer expert Dr. Mike Wisdom. The USFS, IDFG, Nez Perce Tribe and CBC are all engaged in this effort.

-1/16-1/17: Attended the Idaho Forest Resources Partnership conference to learn about landscape wide assessment, both terrestrial and aquatic, to use in decision making for the Clearwater Basin Collaborative Wildlife Initiative and in the Landscape Health and Function subcommittee. Collaboratives around the state also shared their efforts. The CBC is the most encompassing and involved of the Idaho collaboratives, most of which focus solely on forest restoration and forest products.

Nevada

March

3/6 : Monthly NV Coalition for Wildlife meeting. BHA is a member. Kyle Davis & Karen Boeger = attendees. Topic = strategizing for testimony on an anti-bear hunt bill.

3/7: State Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing on anti-bear hunt bill. Testimony from Karen Boeger and Kyle Davis.  Written comments submitted (KB).

3/8: White Pine Co. Co-ordinated Resource Management Committee meeting, Ely, NV. Karen Boeger = environmental representative. Lengthy written comments on a wide range of public land issues

3/12: written comments submitted to the NV State Senate Natural Resources Committee re: proposed resolution to discontinue wild horse round-ups (KB).

3/14: NV Wildlife Commission Public Lands Committee meeting. BHA oral comments on new rush of oil/gas leases in E. NV.

3/14: NWC Wildlife Damage Committee meeting: informational on 2013 Predator Management Plan.

3/15: NWC Legislative Committee meeting: Kyle Davis, as a member of the committee and lobbyist for NV Conservation League, comments on the status of a number of wildlife bills in the state legislature. 

3/16: NV Wildlife Commission meeting: Karen Boeger comments on anti-trapping bill and 2013 Predator Management Plan.  Written comments submitted on Predation Management Plan (KB).

3/18: written comments submitted to NV State Senate Natural Resources Committee re: anti-guzzler bill (KB).

3/20: written comments submitted to the NV OHV Committee re: various proposed changes to the OHV Registration Law (KB).

February

2/6: Kyle Davis and Karen Boeger (NV Chapter Board members) attended the monthly NV Wildlife Coalition meeting in Reno. (A group of the leading sportsman/conservation organizations, such as RMEF, SCI, NBU, etc. NV BHA is a member) The primary topic of discussion was the latest political drama. NV Gov. Sandoval had just unexpectedly fired the chief of the Dept. of Wildlife, apparently in part due to disagreement over the sage grouse management plan. NWC is concerned that the message = less science and research and more predator control and exemptions for mining and grazing standards of management. Lively discussion occurred as to what, if anything, the group could do to be sure that the gov. will appoint a replacement that would hold fast to science-based management.

2/13: The annual conservationists' lunch for the state legislators held in the Carson City legislative bldg. hosted by the NV Dept. of wildlife and sponsored by numerous conservation organizations, including NV BHA. Attended by numerous BHA members with Karen Boeger as the BHA representative. An opportunity to chat informally with legislators about upcoming legislation related to wildlife issues and express concern about the future direction of the Dept. of Wildlife.

2/20: Western Wildlands Initiative Workshop, Reno. Karen Boeger attended the portion devoted to information/discussion of TRCP proposal for BLM special designation of Backcountry Conservation Areas. BHA Board member Joel Webster = a key presenter. Productive time allowed for informal conversation/questions/concerns over beers in the evening. 

2/21: First meeting of the Governor's Sagebrush Habitat Council, Carson City. BHA member Ted Koch, is an advisor to the council,as USFWS. Karen Boeger spoke at the public comment period. Kyle Davis attended as well.

2/9: Idaho Chapter members attended a Clearwater/Nez Perce Forest Plan Revision Collaborative meeting.

January

- 1/12 Idaho Chapter members attended a Clearwater/Nez Perce Forest Plan Revision Collaborative meeting.

New Mexico

April

4/11 - NM Board met by conference call to discuss priority issues

4/23 - NM BHA Issued a Press Release in support of reintroduction of legislation to protect the Columbine Hondo as wilderness.

March

3/25 - NM BHA Applauded Designation of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument through Press Release

3/30 - NM BHA & the Rio Grande del Norte Coalition hosted a celebration of the designation of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, click here for more info

 

February

2/26 - NM BHA filled two state board vacancies and again has a full board.  Laddie Mills will serve as Co-Chair and Peter Lupsha as Secretary/Treasurer

2/10 - NM BHA received over 700 letters from sportsmen in support of reforming the game commission to better reflect the interests of sportsmen

2/9 - 2/10: NM BHA was at the Bob Gerding sportshow in Albuquerque, recruiting members and getting petitions of support for the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

2/7 - Oscar Simpson attended meeting on Columbine Hondo Wilderness Proposal - Testimony available here:
http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=110&Itemid=132

2/7 - NM BHA Issued a press release in support of legislation to protect the Rio Grande del Norte as a National Conservation Area.
http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=354:rio-grande-del-norte-legislation-reintroduced-for-taos-rio-arriba-counties&catid=110:new-mexico-news&Itemid=132

January

1/22-1/24: BHA rep.'s attended a state planning meeting to prioritize and strategize conservation legislation in the state.

Oregon

-1/31: Oregon BHA member Karl Findling of Oregon Packworkswill be sharing information about BHA at the Idaho Sportmen's Show, Boise Idaho, Feb. 28 - Mar. 3. Thanks, Karl!

Utah

April Activites by Ken Theis, Utah Coordinator included attending:

Emery County Public Lands Committee in Castle Dale, Utah.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Southeastern Regional Advisory Council in Green River, Utah.

 March Activities Include: 

Utah Coordinator Ken Thies traveled to Vernal, Utah where he attended the state's largest indoor 3-D archery shoot.  Over a thousand archers participated, including world-class archers representing major archery equipment manufacturers.  Bow shooters from Colorado, Wyoming, as well as Utah and Idaho attended the three-day event.   Visitors to the BHA display booth picked up Backcountry Journals and membership brochures.  A number of visitors also provided email addresses for future mailings and BHA activity updates.

The trip through eastern and southern Utah included stops in Monticello, and Moab, Utah.  In Moab, Ken participated in the Colorado Plateau Roundtable, a quarterly meeting attended by representatives from national, state, an local conservation groups.  Topics of discussion included regional land planning and habitat protection initiatives being advanced by Utah legislators and county commissioners. "

Ken and two others from the conservation community met with the editorial boards of the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News to explain why BHA supports the recent BLM Record of Decision for Oil Shale and Tar Sand research and development in eastern Utah.  Ken also had a ten minute interview with the public radio station KCPW.

February Meetings Include: 

-2/21: Utah Coordinator Ken Theis met with Wayne Bradshaw of Utah U.S. Rep. Rod Bishop's office in Ogden to introduce himself on behalf of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.  They discussed a number of public lands issues that could effect prime wildlife habitat in northern and eastern Utah.  They also discussed BHA's concern over Rep. Bishop's support of SkiLink as well as his intent to introduce legislation to revamp the National Environmental Policy Act.

January Meetings Include:

- Attended the Utah Legislative Summit and participated in discussions with legislators and attendees that included public land use experts.

- Met with Brigham City Archery Club, discussed public land hunting regulations and distributed BHA information.

- Met with potential donors to the BHA National Rendezvous

- Corresponded with local legislators regarding pending legislation of concern to sportsmen and recreationists

- Arranged for sportsmen representative to attend legislative press conference regarding expansion of National monumnents in Utah.

- Met with representatives of Trout Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and BHA to discuss potential public land trades to protect high quality wildlife habitat in eastcentral Utah.

- Met with sportsmen ISE  organizers to arrange for meeting space for BHA social activities.

Washington

- 2/4, 2/12, 2/19: Washington Coordinator Matt Scott has been participating in a local collaborative process specific to the Deer Jasper planning area.  The stakeholders are meeting every Tuesday in Colville WA from 1-4 p.m. and are in the process of developing a proposed action an approximately 25000 acres around the Boulder Pass area of the Colville National Forest.  This process has had the involvement of some stakeholders that have in the past been skeptical of collaboration including motorized recreation, grazing, and county leadership.

-  2/13: Matt Scott was asked to participate in a forum discussion sponsored by the Colville Chamber of Commerce and the North East Washington Forestry Coalition to discuss public lands and how users could come together for the benefit of our local community.  The forum was attend by 60 plus community members including leaders from all three county commissions, USFS personnel, local industry leaders and interests of all kinds.  Matt represented BHA as one of the panel experts that included a town hall style question and answer period.

-  2/20: WABHA facilitated a habitat discussion that focused on one Game Management unit located between the Pend Oreille River and the Idaho border.  The meeting was attended by two Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, two Kalispell tribal biologists, our local USFS biologist, three BHA members, and the president of the Pend Oreille County Sportsman Club.  Conversation focused on habitat improvement projects, security habitat, roads, and how BHA and other stakeholders can help move these projects forward.

January

-1/5 - Represented BHA at a joint meeting of Pend Oreille County Parks and Recreation and the USFS. District ranger Gayne Sears and other stakeholders discussed how the community could work together to solve problems with Batey Bould motorized area.

-1/16 and 1/29 USFS requested BHA’s participation in a new collaborative process specific to approximately 25,000 acres in Ferry county. The “Deer Jasper Collaboration” is at the building stages and will meet weekly to develop proposed actions. BHA will be there to ensure traditional non-motorized recreation and habitat interests are protected.

- 1/18 Meeting with Tanya Riordan the Eastern WA outreach director for Senator Maria Cantwell discussing rural economic development, collaboration and BHA’s role in habitat protection on the Colville National Forest. Tanya requested a monthly update meeting to keep the senator’s office informed.

- 1/23 -1/24 WA coordinator Matt Scott attended the Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership conference to learn about the successful collabratives in Idaho and bring back information to help rebuild the struggling collabratives efforts in Eastern Washington.

Wyoming

April

4/9 - Wyoming BHA Board Members held their first board meeting via conference call

4/29 - Wyoming BHA members meet to discuss issues of interest in the state

February

2/4 - 2/5 - Wyoming BHA members met in Lander and by phone to discuss the formation of an official state chapter. Members also helped prioritize key issues in the state.