In the ever expanding and technological world in which we live, there is a need and a longing to return to the natural world and experience the wonders that wilderness provides. We know full well that hunting and angling are inextricably linked to a healthy environment. We believe that it is a privilege to experience the awesome power of nature and wildlife. Therefore, it is our responsibility to recognize the importance of, and defend wild country, where human beings are only visitors.
In 1964, the U.S. Congress and President Lyndon Baines Johnson provided America the tool needed to keep our hectic lives in perspective: The Wilderness Preservation Act. This law provides a glimpse of what the land was like prior to the founding, development and expansion of our great nation. It also provides all living creatures clean air, clean water, and the habitat needed to sustain biodiversity. Human beings are a part of this equation. We can and will make a difference by promoting the sustainability of all life, and the ethics and traditions of angling and hunting, so that these activities can be enjoyed by future generations.
So, in the tradition of the great Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, along with such noted historical figures as John James Audubon, John Muir, Bob Marshall, Judge John B. Waldo, George Bird Grinnell, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Republican Representative John Saylor and Democratic Senator Frank Church, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers launches its conservation beginnings.
- ORV Abuse: BHA works to protect traditional, non-motorized hunting and fishing experiences and the lands that support those activities. While we recognize that Off-road vehicles (ORVs) are useful tools used by many people, BHA works to protect fisheries, clean water and wildlife habitat from excessive motorized traffic and abuse. BHA educates the public on proper and legal use of ORV's and the importance of enforcing fines and regulations for illegal use that impact fish and wildlife habitat, migration, and breeding.
- Gas, Oil, and Mining: Oil and gas leasing is important economic activity, but America's hunger for energy must be balanced with our responsibility to pass on healthy land and water for future generations. BHA will address energy development projects that impact fish and wildlife habitat, migration, breeding, and sportsmen's hunting and fishing opportunities, by educating decision-making agencies, legislative bodies, and local stakeholders. Mining: We all use minerals in our daily life and mining is important. However, if done irresponsibly, mining can leave lasting scars that pollute water and degrade habitat. BHA will address mining projects that will impact fish and wildlife habitat, migration, breeding, and sportsmen's hunting and fishing opportunities, by educating decision making agencies, legislative bodies, and local stakeholders.
- Education and Outreach: Part of BHA's mission is to educate people about safe, enjoyable and sustainable backcountry hunting and fishing. In particular, we educate the next generation about this ancient tradition. The Backcountry Journal, our quarterly publication available to all members, and our national gathering, the North American Rendezvous, are our main educational activities. The Backcountry Journal is a 16-page glossy magazine with educational stories, hunting and fishing tales, project updates, and public land issues updates. The Rendezvous is a weekend of camaraderie, hands-on seminars, speakers, banquet dinner and auction. BHA also visits numerous sports shows around the country to visit face to face with local sportsmen about the issues they are facing and the work BHA is doing in that state.
- Backcountry: BHA's members greatly value the remaining undeveloped, natural areas of our national forests and other public lands. We work to maintain the backcountry values of solitude, silence, clean and free flowing rivers and habitat for large, wide-ranging wildlife. We work to deploy a variety of legal and administrative tools to maintain those values, including the Wilderness Act, where appropriate.