BHA rejects proposal from congressional fringe that would gut 50-year-old conservation, access program
WASHINGTON - Legislation introduced this morning would dismantle the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a keystone federal program that has enabled conservation and enhanced public access to millions of acres over its 50-year history, drawing heavy criticism from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which dismissed the proposal as a nonstarter.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop from Utah, would considerably rework the popular, bipartisan conservation program, unduly limiting its scope and diminishing or eliminating successful components of the current program, such as the opportunities for private landowners to create conservation easements or work with partners on projects that would conserve landholdings rather than develop them. Also under Bishop's bill, 20 percent of LWCF funds would be allocated to "workforce education," such as training programs for oil and gas industry workers.
BHA President and CEO Land Tawney called the measure "a slap in the face to American sportsmen."
Inside you’ll find stories about northern Quebec’s Ungava Peninsula, tips for float hunting, backcountry cooking essentials, hunting elk by horseback and wheelchair, and the intergenerational bonds of fly fishing.
See the attachment for our President/CEO’s message and our featured conservation piece about the dangers presented by high fence game farms.
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Share your favorite hunting photos as part of BHA’s 4th Annual Hunting Photo Contest and win quality hunting gear! To enter, upload your photos HERE, along with a brief description of your image by December 1st. Winners will be selected by a panel of BHA experts and the photo with the most “likes” will receive a prize for “people’s choice.” Winners will also be featured in forthcoming issue of the Backcountry Journal. This year, we will choose winners based on categories – The Hunt, The Harvest, The Lifestyle and The People’s Choice. The Hunt: Pictures should capture essence of the hunt. Examples could include mending a blister, stocking the fire, setting the decoys, taking an elk nap, etc. The Harvest: Pictures should include the animal taken, examples include pictures of trophies (and non-trophies), butchering, mounts, etc. The Haunts & Wildlife: Pictures should capture the landscapes and wildlife we hunt. Examples include pictures of camp, an elk bugling, a doe deer with her fawn, ducks in flight, etc. The People’s Choice: To be chosen from any category by the total number of votes a photo receives. Voters can submit one vote per day.
WASHINGTON - With expiration of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund only hours away, American sportsmen are converging on Capitol Hill to urge members of Congress to prioritize reauthorization of the 50-year-old conservation program.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members from across the country traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with administration officials and elected leaders to send a strong and uncompromising message of support for a program responsible for conserving some of America's most valuable fish and wildlife habitat and most important public access opportunities.
"Over half a century, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has supported projects that conserve intact wildlife habitat, sustain healthy fisheries and uphold public access to hunting and fishing," said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. "Congress' inability to reauthorize this immensely popular program is disappointing to say the least.
"Today," continued Tawney, "American sportsmen have traveled to Washington, D.C., from across the country to deliver a clear and unequivocal message to our elected officials: Don't let the sun set on the LWCF."
"The Land and Water Conservation Fund secures access for American citizens to our public lands and is responsible for protecting millions of acres for us to enjoy in every state in the Union," said USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie, who met with the sportsmen this morning. "For 50 years, the law has been one of the most successful programs for recreation and conservation in our history. Congress can continue this record of success by swiftly reauthorizing the LWCF to ensure that local communities, states and land owners are not left without a critical source of funding for conservation projects - and so that recreationists of all stripes, including hunters and anglers, can continue to actively participate in our nation's great outdoor traditions."
Senate leaders also voiced support of the LWCF and spoke positively of its impact on public lands and citizens' ability to access them.
Sportsmen stress need to continue implementing management plans to keep bird off Endangered list, sustain habitat relied upon by sage-grouse as well as numerous other species
DENVER – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers commended the Interior Department’s issuance today of a “not warranted” listing decision for the greater sage-grouse, calling the federal ruling “a product of successful collaboration” among stakeholders while at the same time urging continued adherence to Bureau of Land Management plans to advance the bird’s recovery.
“The decision to render a ‘not warranted’ listing decision for the sage grouse is a product of successful collaboration among a range of diverse stakeholders,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney, “including sportsmen, recreationists, business owners, ranchers and other private landowners, Western states and the federal government. BHA supports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ruling, which will uphold hunting and fishing, keep working lands in production and enable sage-grouse populations to recover and thrive.”