Armed Forces Initiative


At BHA we recognize that members of the North American Armed Forces are a critical constituency when it comes to the defense of our wild public lands and waters. The men and women who have bravely served are to thank for the freedoms that allow North American sportsmen and women to enjoy our outdoor opportunities and traditions.

Service is and always has been core to BHA’s mission, and the values that guide us are heavily influenced by military personnel. Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, started BHA around an Oregon campfire in 2004. David Petersen, a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot, founded our very first chapter in the state of Colorado that same year. These and other military members have helped BHA become the largest stronghold of public land advocates in the continent.

BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative strives to ensure that veterans and active duty military personnel continue to take active roles as public land owners while providing a constructive outlet for current or transitioning service members to continue selfless service and enjoy the camaraderie of likeminded individuals.

BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative offers active duty military and veterans: 

  • An opportunity to engage in BHA’s core work to enhance public access and opportunity, conserve our public lands, waters and wildlife, and defend our fair chase hunting and fishing traditions
  • A better quality of life through exposure to backcountry experiences  
  • The chance to experience and enjoy the mental and physical benefits of backcountry experiences
  • The resources to share their backcountry experiences with other service men and women


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