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): http://www.grandrapidsmn.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/article_294b4a88-51f0-11e3-987c-001a4bcf887a.html

-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. http://www.sctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201311080245/OPINION/311080003

-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: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/outdoorsmans-view-hunters-and-anglers-benefit-clean-water-acts-protections


State/Local Issues (Sulfide Mining/Elk/Energy):

1. Continued efforts to stop proposed sulfide/copper mining in northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters region:

-A MN BHA op-ed: “Pro/Con: Can copper mining be done safely?”  Duluth News Tribune: 2/1/14. http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/290345/group/Opinion/

-Also see: “Copper Mining in Northern MN will Lead to Poisoned Waterways & Impoverished Towns:http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/mn-bha-newsletter/622-copper-mining-in-northern-mn-will-lead-to-poisoned-waterways-impoverished-towns

-“Sportsmen against sulfide mining.”  Grand Rapids (Minn.) Herald-Review: 2/5/14, p. 5A. http://www.grandrapidsmn.com/opinion/article_31ec1fca-8de9-11e3-aca5-001a4bcf887a.html

-Also see: http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/minnesota-issues/630-sportsmen-against-sulfide-mining

-A MN BHA op-ed (“Sulfide mining: Bad for watersheds and local economies,” 5/13/14):  http://www.grandrapidsmn.com/opinion/sulfide-mining-bad-for-watersheds-and-local-economies/article_06d7cab4-dad8-11e3-9679-001a4bcf887a.html

2. Provided comments on update of DNR’s Elk Management Plan and supported expansion of the state’s elk herd:

-Minnesota BHA Comments on the DNR’s Elk Management Plan (9/10/14): http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/minnesota-issues/795-minnesota-bha-comments-on-elk-management-plan

-MN BHA: “Local view: It’s time for elk herd expansion.” Duluth News Tribune: 10/9/14. http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/mn-bha-newsletter/804-it-s-time-for-elk-herd-expansion

3. Provided comments on proposed rerouting of oil pipeline across sensitive headwaters region of northern/central Minnesota:

-Minnesota BHA comments on the proposed EnbridgeSandpiper pipeline:




-Minnesota BHA co-chair (& MN DNR Outdoor Mentor), Erik Jensen, along with MN DNR Hunter Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, Jay Johnson, lead a deer hunting seminar on Feb. 26: “Introduction to Hunting Deer for Food.”  This was the start of a new series of hands-on skills-building sessions that will culminate in a mentored/guided deer hunt offered by the MN DNR (Nov. 1-2). See this link for additional information: http://seward.coop/events/item/304

-Chapter co-chair Erik Jensen, along with Mark Nordquist and Will Jenkins, teamed up with the Minn. DNR to teach/serve as mentors at an adult beginner deer hunters for this class.

-An update on the Minnesota DNR’s Adult Deer Hunter Program from MN BHA member Will Jenkins (thanks Will, along with co-chair Erik Jensen and Mark Norquist, for volunteering to assist the DNR with this program!): http://www.thewilltohunt.com/2014/11/minnesota-new-adult-hunter-program/

Public Access:

A MN BHA op-ed (“Local view: Keep public land for recreation,” 7/17/14) in the Duluth News Tribune: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/local-view-keep-public-land-recreation & http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/minnesota-issues/763-local-view-keep-public-land-for-recreation


1. Held MN BHA’s second annual Rendezvous during the weekend of August 15-17, 2014, in Whitewater State Park (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/whitewater), adjacent to 21,050-acre Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/wmas/index.html).

-See this for additional details/contact information: http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/minnesota-bha/mn-bha-newsletter/696-minnesota-backcountry-hunters-anglers-2nd-annual-rendezvous-august-15-17.

-Also see our Rendezvous Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/499494363506426/

-Minnesota BHA Second Annual Rendezvous (August 2014) Roundup/Report:


-Doubled our turnout from the first annual Rendezvous.

-The weekend included fly fishing, traditional bow shooting, and elk burgers w/chanterelle mushrooms for the Saturday wild game cookout.

-One member made a $100 donation to the MN BHA chapter.

-Tour of a chapter member’s nearby 1,500 acre farm that has significant CPR acreage and is managed for whitetail deer/turkey habitat in addition to growing corn.

2. Minnesota BHA had a table/booth at the Hunting Film Tour in Minneapolis (on Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, at the Parkway Theater).

About seventy people attended the Hunting Film Tour in Minneapolis, where MN BHA spread the word about the good work we’re doing on behalf of wildlands, wildlife, and backcountry hunting/angling. Thanks to Erik Jensen for setting this up and Matt Norton, Mark Nordquist and Will Jenkins for assisting at the event!


Minnesota BHA co-chair, Erik Jensen, was recognized as BHA’s Volunteer of the Month for October (see The Backcountry Beat: 10/2014 issue):

“Volunteer of the month, Erik Jensen …  During the month of September, Erik volunteered by setting up a BHA table at the showing of the Hunting Film Tour in Minneapolis. While there, Erik recruited members, passed out BHA journals and spread the message of BHA's core mission. In addition, Erik has been actively involved with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in a very unique hunter recruitment program aimed at teaching first time adult hunters. The program, dubbed ‘Learn to Hunt Deer For Food’ is an education and mentor based effort to give first-time adult hunters a chance to learn from and hunt with an experienced hunter. Over the past several months there have been several classes in which Erik has helped educate these new hunters on being safe, ethical and responsible. On Nov 1-2 mentors such as Erik will actually take these new hunters into the field with the hope of helping them take their first deer.”[1]


[1] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA). “Volunteer of the Month: Erik Jensen.” The Backcountry Beat: 10/2014 Volume 3.

About Caitlin Thompson