CO Issues

Colorado Releases Sage-grouse Conservation Strategy; Sportsmen Praise Plan but Urge Stronger Measures to Prevent ESA Listing

State-specific plan for grouse management must integrate ongoing conservation activities by ranchers, sportsmen, federal government, says Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

DENVER – Following today’s release by Gov. John Hickenlooper of an “executive order” outlining sage-grouse management in Colorado, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers reiterated calls for “strong and proactive conservation activities” that build upon existing efforts and forestall the bird’s listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The sportsmen commended the Colorado sage-grouse EO for acknowledging the importance of ongoing regional collaborative efforts to sustain populations of the grouse, as well as the sagebrush ecosystems critical to fish and game, sportsmen and Colorado’s outdoors-based economy. However, the group also voiced some concerns: namely, that while the EO helps offset habitat loss through mitigation programs, it relies too heavily on voluntary mitigation measures that don’t provide the certainty needed for habitat mitigation to be successful.

Action Needed: Tell Governor Hickenlooper to Conserve Sage Grouse Habitat

sagegrass hunter Eddie Nickens 1Over the past few years, an unprecedented effort to conserve greater sage-grouse habitat has engaged Western states, the federal government, ranchers and private landowners, and numerous stakeholders, including BHA. Declining populations and impacts to habitat have put sage-grouse under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). An ESA listing for the bird – which would trigger a range of negative impacts – is an outcome sportsmen are invested in averting.

This is a much bigger deal than you might think: 350 other species – including elk, pronghorn and mule deer – depend on the same healthy sagebrush habitat. BHA released a report demonstrating the importance of strong conservation plans that benefit habitat for these species. Sportsmen rely on sagebrush country to put meat in the freezer and provide the kind of world-class hunting for which Colorado is known.

But we need the state of Colorado at the table working with the Department of the Interior to implement strong and meaningful sage-grouse conservation plans.

Please contact Gov. Hickenlooper at 303-866-2885 or by emailand ask him to implement wildlife-forward conservation plans that benefit habitat in sagebrush country, protect our sporting heritage and uphold Colorado’s way of life. Strong leadership can keep the sage-grouse off the endangered species list, enhance the ability of states to manage populations, and conserve sagebrush habitat for the benefit of other species important to sportsmen. 

Thank You, Senator Larry Crowder

Brooke Benham Park County CO2Public lands are the fabric that binds America together, part of our shared national heritage. Hunters and anglers understand this fact better than most, as our federally owned lands and waters, including national forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and other public places, provide irreplaceable opportunities for hunting and fishing, as well as innumerable other outdoor activities.

Consequently, American sportsmen were heartened by the Colorado Senate's recent vote (18-17) against Senate Bill 232 - a bill aimed at taking possession of our federal public lands. This is part of an organized movement to sell off and limit access to our public lands and waters.

Please join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in thanking Colorado Senator Larry Crowder for putting politics aside and voting against a bill that would undermine the public hunting and fishing access we all depend on.

Help us thank Senator Larry Crowder by phone at 303-866-4875 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank You, Senator Gardner for Voting Against a Public Land Sale

Gardner round 2Public lands are the fabric that binds America together, part of our shared national heritage. Hunters and anglers understand this fact better than most, as our federally owned lands and waters, including national forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and other public places, provide irreplaceable opportunities for hunting and fishing, as well as innumerable other outdoor activities.

Consequently, American sportsmen were dismayed by the U.S. Senate’s recent vote (51-49) in favor of an amendment that would help states take possession of our federal public lands. This is part of an organized movement to sell off and limit access to our public lands and waters. As users – and owners – of these lands, we must join together and fight back against this terrible idea.

Thankfully, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado put politics aside and did what was best for American sportsmen by voting against the amendment to sell off our public lands. 

Please join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in thanking Sen. Gardner for standing up for the public hunting and fishing access we depend on by actively opposing congressional efforts to sell your public lands.

Thank Sen. Gardner by email here or by calling 202-224-5941.

Help us speak-up for the public lands and waters you depend on by joining BHA today!

CO BHA Comments on CPW Strategic Plan

TO:  Colorado Parks and Wildlife

RE:  Comments on CPW Strategic Plan

Please consider the following comments on behalf of the Colorado Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in regards to the CPW Strategic Plan and process.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a grassroots sportsmen conservation organization dedicated to serving as a voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.  We support wildlife and land management plans that are scientifically-based and which balance social demands with biological needs.  Accordingly, we felt compelled to comment on the current effort to draft a Strategic Plan for CPW for the next 10- 20 years.