Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (commonly called “drones”) are increasingly important in the military and have high potential to contribute to the fields of wildlife biology, search-and-rescue, agriculture and many other applications. However, in private hands there is small but growing interest in using these highly sophisticated remote-controlled aircraft to scout, monitor and stalk big game. BHA believes this technology represents a widespread opportunity for abuse, and if not regulated poses a significant threat to fair chase hunting and fair distribution of hunting opportunity.
Each year Backcountry Hunters & Anglers recognizes the members and partners that have dedicated substantial time and energy to furthering the mission and reach of BHA. Through hard-work and selfless dedication the following leaders have given their all to conserve our backcountry sporting heritage and traditions. An award is but a small token of our appreciation for all that they have done and continue to do.
Aldo Leopold Award Award - Craig Grother
The Aldo Leopold Award is given to a member who has made significant contributions to preserving wildlands and wildlife habitat. This year’s winner is Craig Grother of Colorado.
Colorado BHA Uncompahgre National Forest Habitat Watchman Craig Grother has been a BHA member since February 2008 and a Habitat Watchmen for the Uncompahgre National Forest (UNF) since May 2011.
In 2009, Craig retired from the U.S. Forest Service after 33 years of service as a wildlife biologist on various ranger districts in Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado. He worked the last 20 years of his career as the wildlife biologist for the Norwood and Ouray Ranger Districts of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests and continues to live in the Norwood, Colorado, area.
You know you’ve had a successful event when multiple states area vying to host Rendezvous next year and members are already emailing to find out where it will be! Put simply, Rendezvous 2013 was a smashing success. Members had the opportunity to learn how to be more effective advocates for wild public land, water and quality wildlife habitat; were exposed to the joys of llama packing; found out how to mount that monster mule deer and got to try out traditional archery as a sample of just part of the packed schedule.
Listening to last year’s comments we provided time on Friday night just for folks to visit, share new hunting and fishing stories and get their first peek at live and silent auction items. Saturday was full-tilt with seminars, air gun shooting, traditional archery, book author talks at lunch; kid’s casting and visiting the great booths our vendors provided. Energy throughout the weekend was high and that amazing feeling of being together with good friends for a good cause roared right into our evening banquet, speaker Jason Hairston, and live auction. Thanks to the dedication of so many people from all the chapters, live and silent auction items were top notch. Our professional auctioneer, Chris Brown, and his crew, worked the crowd and helped our members open their hearts and wallets.
The following article originally appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal on February 2, 2013
THE BACKCOUNTRY Hunters and Anglers organization — a national non-profit sportsmen conservation outfit dedicated to ensuring opportunities to hunt and fish on wild public lands and waters — is organizing a chapter to work on behalf of Kansas’ remaining wild spaces.
Led by BHA member Daniel Schapaugh, a Kansas native who values the escape that intact tracts of publicly accessible land provide, BHA will be the first Kansas-based sportsmen organization dedicated to protecting wild country in the state.
By building on existing opportunities for non-motorized hunting and angling, BHA is working to ensure that future generations of sportsmen have places that are quiet and wild enough to get “lost.”
In western states, where BHA has been actively advocating for protection of large tracts of roadless, public land, state chapters and individual members have been instrumental in protecting thousands of acres of fish and wildlife habitat from development and motorized disturbance.
Schapaugh hopes to replicate BHA’s success in Kansas.
The following is a summary of state legislation that chapters have been working on during the current legislative session, relevant to public land habitat management, public access to wildlife and the protection of sporting traditions.
As you know, a single piece of state legislation can have a major impact (good or bad) on the state’s fish, wildlife, and sportsmen. That’s why it’s so important that members like you remain informed and engaged on relevant state legislation.
As should be evident from the examples below, BHA state chapters have had no shortage of legislation to weigh-in on. BHA continues to serve a much needed bipartisan voice of reason on the most important issues for those of us who value hunting and fishing that is wild and open to all.
Thanks to all who continue to work on these important issues – we couldn’t do it without you.
Support SB 67: OHV Enforcement by Wildlife Officers
Currently on the Governor’s desk and ready to be signed, CO BHA testified in support of reauthorization of legislation (HB08-1069) which gives state wildlife officers the authority to enforce off-highway vehicle regulations on federal lands. For more information on this legislation and BHA’s position, click here.