MN News

Local view: Protect legacy of public lands

The following Op-Ed was originally published in the Duluth New Tribune, here.

Hunters, anglers and other outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen in Minnesota have access to federal and other public lands that most of the world can only dream of: the 666,540-acre Chippewa National Forest and 4 million-acre Superior National Forest, for starters. Then there are the 13 national wildlife refuges that all told cover 359 square miles.

As a citizen of the United States, you are part owner of the largest collection of public real estate on the planet, including California’s Sierra Nevada; the redrock canyons and arid basins of Utah and Nevada; the Cascades of Oregon and Washington; the Rockies of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana; the tundra and rainforests of Alaska; the vast stretches of the Appalachians; and the north woods of the Midwest and New England. They belong to you. Nationwide, there are roughly 640 million acres of public lands, about 29 percent of the total U.S. land mass.

2014 Accomplishments for MN BHA

bwca-buck2National Policy/Legislation/Initiatives:

Provided input/comments/support of/for full Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding and Clean Water Act protections:

-A MN BHA letter-to-the-editor (“Sportsmen support Interior’s conservation efforts,” 11/20/13):

-A MN BHA letter (“Give thanks for public land protection in U.S.,” 11/7/13) in the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times: 11/7/13.

-A MN BHA op-ed (“An outdoorsman’s view: Hunters and anglers benefit from Clean Water Act’s protections,” 5/1/14) in the Duluth News Tribune:

It’s time for elk herd expansion

bull elkThe following Op-Ed by Minnesota BHA Board Member, David Lien was recently published by the Duluth Tribune, here.

Anyone who has heard a bugling bull elk likely remembers the first time. In North America, only the haunting chorus of a wolf pack or ethereal evening calls of loons can come close to matching the mystical qualities of a bull elk’s bugle. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s native elk, although originally distributed over most of the state, were extirpated by the early l900s.

But this year Minnesota celebrates the 100th anniversary of its elk reintroduction, after the Legislature allotted $5,000 to rekindle the herd in 1913. And today there are three small elk herds totaling about 120 animals roaming far northwestern Minnesota.

Most Minnesotans are likely unaware that some 6,000 members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation live in our state, spread out among nearly 20 state chapters. And about 7,000 Minnesotans apply to chase elk in the West each year.

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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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