The Minnesota chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) was recently recognized as BHA’s Chapter of the Month (November 2015) for their work on helping to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from sulfide mining and working with state’s Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) on its adult learn-to-hunt program.
Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is America’s most visited wilderness area, encompassing more than 1 million acres. The clear waters and unspoiled forests of the Boundary Waters provide critical habitat for fish and other wildlife, including moose, bear, deer, walleye, bass, trout, pike, grouse and waterfowl. However, the BWCAW is threatened by proposed sulfide-ore copper mines near the wilderness boundary and in the surrounding watershed.
The Minnesota chapter is working diligently to keep the BWCAW pristine and mining pollution-free. As part of this ongoing effort, Minnesota BHA joined forces with Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters to co-host a showing of “Fish Out of Water,” a three-part film series produced by BHA member Mark Norquist that showcases what’s at stake in the BWCAW. The event attracted some 150 attendees, 17 of whom became new BHA members.
Minnesota BHA Friends,
The second annual Minnesota Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Rendezvous is scheduled for August 14–16, 2015. We’ll be setting up camp at a Group campsite in Whitewater State Park west of Rochester.
[Directions: The park is located 3 miles south of Elba on State Highway 74]
Whitewater State Park is adjacent to 21,050-acre Whitewater Wildlife Management Area.
We’ll be in group campsite GC02 (see campground map), and the event will begin as folks drift in Friday afternoon and evening, with an extended social hour and, weather permitting, a group campfire. If anyone is willing/able to haul in a load of community firewood (ideally ensuring it’s DNR approved/not contaminated with emerald ash borer), the contribution will be greatly appreciated.
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.
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.