Backcountry Beat, October 2021
It's my favorite time of year!
At BHA we're out chasing grouse, elk, pheasants, whitetails and mule deer. Some of us are still fishing, too. But we're also stoked about some huge policy wins we've achieved this month in Washington, D.C.
First, the Biden administration reinstated protections to three national monuments. That's huge. The Antiquities Act is one of our most powerful tools to conserve large landscapes, secure important fish and wildlife habitat and safeguard hunting and angling opportunities on public lands and waters. Signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt, it’s been used by 16 presidents – eight Republicans and eight Democrats – to permanently sustain great places to hunt and fish. We’re glad to see the administration restoring integrity to this bedrock conservation law.
Conserving our wild public lands and waters is why BHA exists. We are proud to have worked alongside millions of hunters, anglers and others to secure this victory. And it wasn't our only win in October!
The Boundary Waters Wilderness is a place of immense natural beauty and incredible biodiversity. For me and my family this past summer, that meant exploring the plethora of opportunity catching smallies, seeing deer and moose sign, frying up fresh-caught pike and even getting attacked by extremely resilient mosquitoes. This last week, the departments of Agriculture and the Interior filed an application for a 20-year ban on sulfide-ore copper mining on public lands in the wilderness watershed. The process kicks off a comprehensive study of the potential effects of sulfide-ore copper mining in the Boundary Waters watershed - and takes another step toward conserving a place that has provided hunting, fishing, camping and adventures to families for generations...the most visited wilderness in the United States.
This is huge, positive news. But we still must make our voices heard, in particular in the Boundary Waters. We need to tell decision makers that this action is critical to keep the invaluable Boundary Waters landscape intact. Let's keep our foot on the gas in support of our public lands, waters and wildlife.
Onward and Upward,
President and CEO, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers