What Happens When We Vote Public Lands and Waters? We Win!


BHA chapters in Connecticut, Colorado and Georgia are cheering the results of the Nov. 6 election and the outcomes of ballot measures impacting future management of state lands, waters and wildlife. In true boots on the ground fashion, BHA chapters worked hard to ensure sportsmen and women had the information needed to make the right vote on the following measures:

 

Connecticut – Amendment 2, Legislative Requirements to Transfer State Properties Amendment 

The New England Chapter of BHA worked hard to show sportsmen’s and women’s support of Amendment 2, which will make it harder for the state of Connecticut to transfer or sell off state lands. State lands in Connecticut have long been accessible to the public for hunting, fishing and other forms of recreation. Connecticut voters enthusiastically supported the measure, with 84 percent voting yes.  Amendment 2 will now require a two-thirds vote by the legislature to approve state land transfers.

“The success of this ballot measure is a great example of the importance of working with other non-hunting and fishing conservation groups to achieve our shared goals,” said Andy Billipp, a New England BHA board member who lives in Connecticut. “While sportsmen, birdwatchers and mountain bikers may have differences, we have a shared interest in protecting our wild places, and together we can be a far more powerful force in conservation.”

 

Georgia – Amendment 1, Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act

Through a range of events, opinion pieces and regular communication with members and supporters, the Southeast Chapter of BHA backed passage of the bipartisan Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act, or GOSA, which passed on Nov. 6 with 83 percent of voters voting yes.  Amendment 1 directs a portion of the sales tax on outdoor gear to outdoor recreation and conservation projects within the state. 

“We are ecstatic to see that GOSA passed!” said Chris Jenkins, Georgia-based Southeast BHA chapter board member. “Now the work begins, and as we look forward, we must be steadfast in making sure the dedicated funds are spent wisely.”

 

Colorado – Amendment 74, Compensation to Owners for Decreased Property Value Due to State Regulation Initiative

Colorado BHA applauded the defeat of Amendment 74, which would have required state and local governments reimburse private property owners for any financial loss incurred due to land use rules, zones or fish and wildlife habitat conservation regulations. 

“We’re glad to see Colorado voters join BHA in soundly rejecting an attempt by special interests to limit state and local government from directing land use planning decisions that conserve valuable fish and wildlife habitat,” said Colorado BHA co-chair Don Holmstrom. “The defeat of Amendment 74 is a reminder that Coloradans of all stripes will defend our ability to put limits on development and conserve fish and wildlife habitat in our great state."

 

We commend our chapter leaders for helping drive our successful “Vote Public Lands & Waters” campaign. Support and expand efforts like this by donating to BHA here.

 

 

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