Montana BHA Issues

MT Chapter: Letter to Fish & Wildlife Commission - Shoulder Seasons

Fish and Wildlife Commission
1420 East 6th Ave
Helena, Montana 59620


Dan Vermillion, Chairman, and Commissioners:


We are commenting on the proposal to establish shoulder seasons for big game hunting prior to and after the general hunting season, in an attempt to reduce elk populations to elk number objectives established in the 2005 Elk Management Plan. Our organization is concerned how changes in the current season structure affect Montana hunters on our public lands. Most of our members do not have privileged hunting on private lands, outside of those lands enrolled in Block Management.

MT Chapter: Letter to Fish & Wildlife Commission

Fish and Wildlife Commission
1420 East 6th Ave
Helena, Montana 59620


Dan Vermillion, Chairman, and Commissioners:


We are commenting on the proposal to establish shoulder seasons for big game hunting prior to and after the general hunting season, in an attempt to reduce elk populations to elk number objectives established in the 2005 Elk Management Plan. Our organization is concerned how changes in the current season structure affect Montana hunters on our public lands. Most of our members do not have privileged hunting on private lands, outside of those lands enrolled in Block Management.

Montana's Largest Newspaper Calls-out, Senator Daines, for Flip-flopping on Public Lands Transfer

Last week, the Billings Gazette called-out Montana, Senator Steve Daines, for flip-flopping on his commitment to oppose a public lands transfer.  The following is an excerpt from this editorial...

"Senate candidate Steve Daines told The Billings Gazette Editorial Board when he was running for office that he didn't think transferring federal lands was "feasible."

That was then. This is now.

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines was one of the senators who voted to put in place the mechanism that would allow federal lands to be sold.

After the vote, which nearly instantly earned him a backlash of rebuke from sportsmen and conservation groups — two formidable Montana camps — his staff was being put to their verbal best trying to explain the vote."

 

Shame on You, Senator Steve Daines

Daines Round 2 Our federally owned lands and waters, including national forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and other public places, provide irreplaceable opportunities for hunting and fishing, as well as innumerable other outdoor activities.

Consequently, American sportsmen were dismayed by Senator Steve Daines' deciding vote (51-49) in favor of an amendment that would help states take possession of our federal public lands. This is part of an organized movement to sell off and limit access to our public lands and waters. As users – and owners – of these lands, we must join together and fight back against this terrible idea.

Unfortunately, Senator Steve Daines of Montana broke the promise he made to Montanans to oppose any efforts to sell or divest our public lands, instead voting in favor of this terrible amendment to sell our public lands heritage for short-term gains.  Senator Daines should listen to Montanans, not special interests.

Please join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in telling Senator Daines how disappointed we are about his vote. 

Send your comments by email here or by calling 202-224-2651.

Help us speak-up for the public lands and waters you depend on by joining BHA today!

Montana BHA's Response to a Slanted Survey on Federal Land Management in Montana

CampingThe following is Montana BHA's response to a recent survey conducted by the Environmental Quality Council in regards to the management of federal lands in the state.

Montana Environmental Quality Council

PO Box 201704

Helena, MT 59620-1704

Attention:  EQC Members:

As a statewide hunting and angling organization, Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (MT BHA) consists of over 300 engaged Montana men and women. The following is our response to SJ 15 and the recent survey of counties re SJ15 by EQC.

Resident hunters and anglers in Montana are increasingly dependent on public lands to hunt and fish, as most private lands have become much more difficult to access.   In fact, approximately 68 percent of resident hunters hunt on public land.  This is important to note as only 29% of the state is held in federal ownership.  To attempt to accommodate hunters and anglers on less than a third of the state will require very careful management of habitat for both wildlife and fish.  Hence to retain huntable and fishable populations, protecting and enhancing habitat to support these species should be the core element considered for the management of public land.

Speak-up for your public lands, sign the Sportsman's Pledge here

MT BHA Submits Major Concerns about Divide Travel Plan and Elk Security Amendment Draft Environmental Impact Statement

gallatin nfMontana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is comprised of Montana hunters and fishermen who value quality fish and wildlife habitat and maintenance or enhancement of traditional non-motorized hunting and fishing opportunities.  Many of our members hunt and fish almost exclusively on public lands, and many  focus on the National Forest lands in the Divide travel plan area.  We have a deep commitment to protection of wildlife and fisheries habitats and traditional non-motorized hunting and fishing not only for the present, but to assure equal opportunities for our children and their children.

We request each of our comments be individually and thoroughly addressed in the process and be entered into the public record in their entirety.  Montana BHA has previously commented on this process as early as 2008.

The Divide Travel Plan process is a rare opportunity to move the Helena substantially toward meeting the Helena Forest Plan goals, objectives, and standards.  In contrast, most day to day Forest Service business has only minor effects moving toward meeting the goals, objectives and standards of the Helena Forest Plan.  Forest Plan Direction appropriately focuses heavily on management of the road and trail network for most Forest Plan goals, objectives and Standards.  Most of the adverse effects of man’s activities on the Forest resources are related to roads, trails, and use associated with them.

Montana BHA Advocates for Science-Based Sage Grouse Management & Hunting

Dan Vermillion, Chairman

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission

P.O. Box 200701

Helena, MT 59620-0701

Dear Chairman Vermillion and Members of the Commission:

As you may be aware, Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has strongly advocated for sage grouse and their habitat in both the Montana Sage Grouse Conservation Plan, as well as in all the major BLM Resource Management Plans currently being revised across Montana.    We are committed to preservation of sage grouse populations and their habitats across Montana.  That being said, our organization has not seen science based evidence that would justify ending sage grouse hunting on a statewide basis.

We believe the regulation of sage grouse hunting should be premised on the best available science.  Therefore, we applaud the recent division of the state into 3 subunits for the better management of sage grouse populations.  We also support restricting sage grouse hunting if the collective data identifies hunting as a substantial mortality factor in declining sage grouse populations.   At this time it is our understanding that hunting related sage grouse mortality is not having a major influence upon Montana sage grouse population dynamics.

MT BHA files Objection on Blackfoot Big Game and Roadless Amendments

Project Name:  Blackfoot Travel Plan FFEIS and Travel Plan Draft ROD

camping-backcountryProject Administrative Unit:  Helena National Forest

Lead Objector:  Greg Munther, Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Lead Objector:  Land Tawney, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Montana Chapter Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is an all volunteer organization comprised of Montana resident hunters and anglers who are dedicated to protecting and enhancing Montana’s public land wildlife and fisheries habitats, as well as fostering traditional non-motorized hunting and fishing opportunities for the present, as well as future generations.  Many of our members hunt and fish extensively within the public lands of the Helena National Forest.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a national organization that seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.

MT BHA files Objection on Blackfoot Travel Plan

elk-securityProject Administrative Unit:  Helena National Forest

Lead Objector:  Greg Munther, Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Lead Objector:  Land Tawney, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Rules associated with Objection are cited and discussed in each individual objection.

Montana Chapter Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is an all volunteer organization comprised of Montana resident hunters and anglers who are dedicated to protecting and enhancing Montana’s public land wildlife and fisheries habitats, as well as fostering traditional non-motorized hunting and fishing opportunities for the present, as well as future generations.  Many of our members hunt and fish extensively within the public lands of the Helena National Forest.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a national organization that seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.

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Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.

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