2022 was a good year for the West Virginia BHA Chapter. Policy and legislative issues were the primary focus rolling into the year and the chapter did an excellent job keeping members privy to possible bills that could impact hunting, fishing, and public lands. Many of these legislative proposals aim to turn our public hunting lands into recreational OHV areas. While we are not opposed to the state and private motorized recreation groups procuring new public lands or access agreements specifically for off-highway recreation and tourism, as was done with the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. We are opposed to expanding general motorized access on our established public lands and wildlife management areas. Such an expansion would be at the expense and displacement of existing user groups and to the detriment to the wildlife and fisheries that are sustained by the quality habitat on our public lands.
You can find more information about the 2022 session here: 2022 WV Legislative Update - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers relies on our membership volunteers as our driving force! So it’s very important that we continually increase our membership and engagement which enables our ability to effectively weigh in on legislative issues, concerns, along with bring positive impacts and assistance to our DNR, Forest Service, and other public land stewards. Some of our best methods of engagement is through diverse events. We were able to host several events in 2022 that brought folks together to improve West Virginia public lands and converse over the importance of our hunting and fishing culture.
Here is a list of the events we hosted in 2022:
January 21-23- Booth space at the Hunting and Fishing Expo.
April 2nd – Our annual Trash and Trout event in the Monongahela National Forest – Tea Creek and Williams River areas. Trash & Trout River Cleanup - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
June 18th – Weathered Ground Brewery Pint Night
September 10-11 – Booth space at the West Virginia Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.
September 24th – Public Lands Packout at Big Draft Wilderness followed by a pint night at Big Draft Brewery in celebration of National Public Lands Day.
Click here to hear our West Virginia Chapter Chair Charlie Mooney along with the BHA State Chapter Coordinator as they discuss hunting and fishing with hosts of "On the Limb" Podcast with Natures Voice Game Calls! “On the Limb” with Natures Voice Game Calls Podcast: (BHA) Backcountry Hunters and Anglers with Jameson Hibbs & Charles Mooney on Apple Podcasts
Upcoming 2023 Events
January 20-22 – Booth space at the West Viriginia Trophy Hunters Hunting and Fishing Expo
The West Virginia Chapter is in the process of planning their 2023 year now! We want to increase our events so that everyone has an opportunity to attend increase the positive impact on our public lands. We also hope to bring on a few West Virginia State Corporate Partners that will assist our efforts with this work.
And one of our main goals for 2023, is to increase the awareness of the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers around West Virginia so that we can continually improve your public lands, waters, and outdoor experience! If you want have any questions, event suggestions, or want to get involved, please email us at [email protected] or reach out to us through our social channels on Facebook and Instagram.
Check out a few more photos below.