Current News

Sign the Backcountry Pledge Today!

The radical cry to sell our public lands continues to echo across the nation.  The House of Representatives recently proposed a budget (Page 33) that calls for the sale of public landsand SenatorSportsmans Pledge 2 Cruz (TX) offered an amendment to the Sportsmen's Package recently that would have called for the sale of public lands in any state with over 50% public ownership.   Some state political parties are making this part of their party.  BHA will not stand idly by while these attacks on our heritage continue to mount.  We will keep public lands in public hands.

What can you do?   

  • Sign the Backcountry Sportsman's Pledge today to show your support.
  • Send the PLEDGE to your friends/family/acquaintances.  Numbers matter!  We have an audacious goal of 10,000 signatures and we can only do this with your help.  

What else can you do?

  • Join your fellow BHA members in sending a letter to your local newspaper.  In true boots on the ground fashion BHA members have already lent their voices and done just that.  

A big backcountry high five to David Lien in CO, Eric Tangedahl and John Sullivan in MT, Randy Gray in NM, and Trevor Herman in WY for submitting pieces to their local newspapers. 

If you would like to submit an editorial or letter to the editor, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

 Donate to the campaign today

Together we will insure that the backcountry legacy gifted to us will be passed down for generations to come.

Onward and Upward,


 Land Tawney, Executive Director

Secretary Jewell Joins Senators Jon Tester, Mark Udall and Ron Wyden to Call For Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Jeremy  Egbert-Dry fly sniperThe Sportsman Channel’s Randy Newberg Notes, “LWCF has been a Great Tool for Securing Places to Hunt and Fish for Sportsmen”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) joined Randy Newberg, host of The Sportsman Channel’s “Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg,” to discuss the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to sportsmen. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) served as a host of the event. Co-sponsored by the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Trout Unlimited and National Wildlife Federation, the event showcased several projects that have benefitted from the use of Land and Water Conservation Funds for public access to hunting and fishing.                                                                                                  

Created by Congress 50 years ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund uses revenues from oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) – instead of taxpayer dollars – to conserve important natural resources.  Since 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been one of the most successful federal conservation endeavors – protecting American history and heritage, as well as conserving public land and clean water for recreation and wildlife habitat, and supporting the hunting, fishing and larger $646-billion outdoor recreation economy.

Sportsmen Ask Senate to Defend Clean Water Protections

1 megan brassJune 3, 2014 

Dear Senators: 

As sportsmen-conservation organizations representing millions of hunters and anglers nationwide, we ask you to oppose any legislation that would block the administration’s very deliberate and vital action to clarify and restore longstanding Clean Water Act protections for headwater streams and wetlands across the country. 

America’s 47 million sportsmen rely on clean water for access to quality days in the field hunting, angling, and enjoying other outdoor-based recreation. When wetlands are drained and filled and streams are polluted, we lose the ability to pursue our passions and pass them on to our children. Moreover, pollution and destruction of headwater streams and wetlands threaten America’s hunting and fishing economy – which accounts for over $200 billion in economic activity each year and 1.5 million jobs, supporting rural communities in particular. 

Since its enactment, the Clean Water Act has been highly successful at improving water quality and stemming the tide of wetlands loss. However, Clean Water Act safeguards for streams, lakes and wetlands have been eroding for over a decade because of a pair of Supreme Court decisions (Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook Cty. v. Army Corps of Engineers (2001) and Rapanos v. United States (2006)) that cast doubt on more than 30 years’ worth of Clean Water Act implementation. As a result of the decisions, 60 percent of stream miles in the United States, which provide drinking water for more than 117 million Americans, are at increased risk of pollution and destruction. Wetlands are at risk as well. In fact, the rate of wetlands loss increased by 140 percent during the 2004-2009 period – the years immediately following the Supreme Court decisions. This is the first documented acceleration of wetland loss since the Clean Water Act was enacted more than 40 years ago during the Nixon administration. 

”Conserving Greater Sage-Grouse: A Sportsmen’s Priority” Report.

REPORT (PDF): Plan ahead so hunting and sage grouse can thrive alongside energy devleopment  

elk-backpackingProactive strategies save sage-grouse habitat, protect treasured wildlife-based recreation and economy, provide needed certainty to oil and gas industry – without sacrificing energy output

MISSOULA—In advance of the annual Western Governors’ Association meeting next week, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers released a study today showing how sound planning can benefit severely-threatened sage grouse habitat areas – which are also  prized hunting and recreation areas – without sacrificing energy development in the American West.

The sportsmen’s conservation group released the report, entitled “Conserving Greater Sage-Grouse: A Sportsmen’s Priority,” which shows that conserving the greater sage-grouse is crucial for Western states’ wildlife-based recreation and economies, and will also provide much-needed certainty and stability to the oil and gas industry.

Rancher and Wilderness Advocate Cecil Garland Recognized by BHA

By Jay Banta

Cecil was a treasured friend since we first met in Utah's West Desert in 1981.  A true oxymoron, he was the first cattle rancher I had ever met who was a passionate and active wilderness advocate.  It cost him dearly when he lived in Montana, and it continued to cost him socially during the remainder of his life in Utah.  Many like to "talk the talk", but when the price becomes too high, they give up "walking the walk."  But never Cecil.  We didn't always see eye to eye on everything but I always held him in high respect.  He was a grassroots activist that knew how to get things done.  He was on a first name basis with a succession of Governors as well as our Federal delegation.

Cecil always regarded his efforts with the Scapegoat Wilderness as perhaps his greatest accomplishment.  I think it quite a legacy.  Rest in peace my wilderness warrior friend.  We will carry on the fight.

A full profile of Cecil can be found here.