AZ BHA has joined Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation. We attended our first meeting in February. This organization unites the most important conservation organizations in Arizona and controls grant funding from the monies collected from the Arizona conservation license plate. During the meeting the membership voted unanimously to craft a “No Public Lands Transfer” proclamation to share with state politicians, businesses and other organizations.
We also attended the AZGFD-led Hunting & Angling Heritage Work Group meeting at the Ben Avery Shooting range on Jan. 30. BHA will be a participating member of this group, which is doing important hunter/angler retention and recruitment work. Having a seat at the table will allow us to both support their efforts and work with other organizations on issues important to all Arizona sportsmen.
We attended The 49th Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona-New Mexico Chapters of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society. These two organizations hosted the plenary session “Who Will Manage the Future of Our Public Lands?” in Flagstaff on Feb. 5. The seven-person panel was a diverse group and represented a cross section of state, federal and foundation leaders.
We assisted the Arizona Game & Fish Department with a Gould’s turkey capture near Sonoita in January. Seventeen birds were tagged, banded and radio collared. They all went to New Mexico in a trade for pronghorn that NM had given to AZ for transplant. The re-establishment of Gould’s to Arizona and New Mexico has been one of the most successful programs in AZ history.
-Kurt Bahti, Ross McCollum, Jim Littlejohn