Conserve public land I read with interest Karl Puckett’s Sept. 14 story, “Sportsmen seek protections for BLM backcountry,” about the Bureau of Land Management’s new efforts to protect Montana’s undeveloped backcountry lands. It’s welcome news at a time when many pressures are coming to bear on the kind of hunting opportunities that most of us have grown up with and have taken for granted. As resident sportsmen, we’re witnessing what has been long the norm in more crowded states — loss of access to private lands, less public opportunity and less wildlife. We’re living in a fast-changing world and a challenging economy. We Montanans are fortunate to have the lands managed by the BLM. They are some of the last best opportunities for people of average means to get out and hunt, fish and camp on a Montana-sized scale and Montana-sized budget.
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Region 2 FWP
3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula, MT
Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, comprised of nearly 400 Montana hunters and anglers, strongly supports the FWP acquisition of 148 acres from Five Valleys Land Trust in the Fish Creek drainage. Our boots-on-the-ground organization is firmly committed to fostering a public land legacy protecting public lands and waters, as well as access to them.
This acquisition of nearly ½ mile of Fish Creek assures anglers and water enthusiasts access to these waters, as well as assurance their habitat value will be protected and enhanced. Likewise, the hill slopes provide important wildlife winter range, as well as habitat for those species dependent on Ponderosa Pine habitats. This land, if sold to private landowners, could result in disturbance that impacts more than the 148 acres of Fish Creek habitats.
Greg Munther, Co-chairman
Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
1420 East 6th Avenue
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
Dear Mr. Northrup:
Montana Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, composed of nearly 400 grassroots Montana hunters and anglers, strives to be “the sportsmen’s voice for wild public lands, waters and wildlife.”
With that in mind, we are writing to express our strong support for the conservation easement that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and The Trust for Public Land are proposing to purchase on approximately 7,150 acres of highly productive timberland located at the north end of the Flathead Valley about half way between and a little north of the cities of Whitefish and Columbia Falls.
The land is owned by the F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company and is located immediately east of Haskill Basin where Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and The Trust for Public Land have been working with Stoltze to protect another 3,020 acres that the company owns immediately next to the high-end Iron Horse subdivision and the Whitefish Mountain Resort. This companion project is currently ranked as the nation’s top Forest Legacy Program priority for Fiscal Year 2015. Permanent protection of the Trumbull Creek property would complement this on-going effort and greatly enhance the partners’ efforts to conserve two of the largest, contiguous blocks of private land in the Flathead Valley.
Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission
Helena MT 59620
Dear Chairman Vermillion and Commissioners:
Re Wanken settlement on Marias River WMA
Members of Montana Backcountry Hunters and Anglers have had very positive on- the- ground experiences with the Marias River WMA in its present condition. Some of our members have hiked, floated, drove to available canyon rim access points since its acquisition.
The WMA is comprised of relatively undeveloped prairie river canyon and adjacent slopes. Once in the canyon, the sights and sounds of civilization are largely not present. Wildlife observations are frequent. Hunting is excellent. This experience and undeveloped habitat is now relatively rare in a prairie setting. Putting in to float at Sullivan Bridge and floating to the Interstate bridge is a comfortable two day float with camping available along the Marias River. We are attaching two photos of a recent non-motorized float through the WMA.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and Kimber Celebrate Opening Day with Films and Raffles
(Whitefish, MT) Celebrate hunting season early this year as the Hunting Film Tour comes to Casey’s Pub and Grill in Whitefish, screening its annual collection of heart-pounding hunting films. The doors open at 6 p.m. on Oct. 22
Hosted by the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and sponsored by Kimber along with Sitka, Yeti, Vortex, Costa, and other top shelf outdoor brands, the Hunting Film Tour attracts outdoor enthusiasts of all ages with its exciting story-driven content from hunting adventurers from around North America. Two films were produced in Montana.
“The Hunting Film Tour captures the excitement and diversity of hunting in a great cinematic and artistic manner,” said Josh Kuntz, events coordinator of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, “Besides celebrating the beginning of hunting season, it also allows us to spread the word about conserving habitat, access and opportunity in America’s public lands.”
Formed around an Oregon campfire 10 years ago, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers now has membership in all 50 states with 17 state chapters and one in British Columbia. BHA strives to be the “sportsmen’s voice for public lands, waters and wildlife.” Its headquarters are in Missoula.