BHA Launches Armed Forces Initiative

News for Immediate Release
July 6, 2020
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, [email protected]

New outreach program engages active duty and veteran service members
in public lands hunting, angling and conservation

MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today officially launched the BHA Armed Forces Initiative, a new program targeted directly toward active duty and veteran service members of all branches in North America. The AFI provides a constructive outlet for current or transitioning service members to continue selfless service and enjoy the camaraderie of likeminded individuals, all while ensuring that they take active roles as public land owners.

“Service is and always has been core to BHA’s mission, and the values that guide us are heavily influenced by military personnel,” said AFI Coordinator Morgan Mason. “Military members have helped BHA become the largest stronghold of public land advocates on the continent. We are honored to have a new focus in engaging with some of North America’s most selfless, driven and service-minded public land owners.”

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

  • an opportunity to engage in BHA’s core work to enhance public access and opportunity, conserve public lands, waters and wildlife, and defend 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.

Mason served in the Army Reserves as an intelligence analyst, enlisting in 1999. He crossed the berm into Iraq early in 2003 during the invasion timeframe. He shifted his azimuth towards Colorado for decompression after coming home from his 14-month deployment. The Arkansas River valley through Chaffee County offered the best healing with a gorgeous river valley and the highest concentration of 14ers in the country. Mason has spent the better part of 15 years in the outdoor recreation and hunting and fishing industries, his last two roles as the hunt and fish editor for GearJunkie.comand as a hunting editor for MeatEater Inc.

“I’ve known and worked alongside Morgan for the last four years as a friend and colleague,” said Stacy Bare, founder of Adventure Not War and National Geographic adventurer of the year. “If there’s a military veteran more dedicated to preserving the sanctity of the backcountry, growing the resilient community of backcountry hunters and anglers through education and experience, and dedicated to North American conservation, I have not met that person. What I’m most excited about for BHA is to see Morgan’s leadership style, focused on finding, mentoring and elevating new voices to the movement, take shape.”

Learn more about BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative.

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for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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