To Every Public Land Owner:
I have had the good fortune to put a check mark in a lot of personal boxes in my 33 years on this earth. I have served our country, I have a profession that provides a great quality of life. I get to live in eastern Oregon, and I have the most beautiful family I could ever dream of. I own a rather large piece of ground with some water running through it. So do you – our 640 million acres of public lands and waters.
They are yours. They are mine. And they need our help.
For some, the colors on a map are nothing more than a series of disorganized squares. However, to the public land owner, they represent opportunity – to pursue a passion, to disconnect, and to experience one of the most uniquely American assets we have.
Yet these squares on the map are under constant threat: fires, under-grazing, overgrazing, excessive logging, mining, drilling, illegal off road use, sales and transfers. Groups like Backcountry Hunters & Anglers keep close watch on all things regarding public land, and BHA’s ability to work across party lines contributes to our success in conserving the places we cherish. To protect our lands, we need all hands on deck.
There are many ways to support our public lands and waters. One is to support companies whose values and mission directly correlate with yours. BHA’s website is an an excellent way to access companies that give back directly to conservation and public access efforts. On Public Lands Day (Sept. 22) last year, First Lite matched every dollar donated for conservation. Companies like First Lite are key in helping groups like BHA help the common public land user – that’s you and me.
Be of service to your public lands. After all, you own them. Yes, you. You are a public land owner. With that title comes great responsibility. If you enjoy your outdoor pursuits, whatever they may be, then you owe it to yourself to get involved. I have never regretted spending time on our public lands and waters. Most of us who experience them feel the same way.
Zach makes his home in eastern Oregon. When he’s not chasing his two daughters around, he’s usually chasing adventures on the surrounding public lands.