Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Recognized as BHA’s Chapter of the Month


The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) was named BHA’s Chapter of the Month for July 2019.

For years, the Colorado chapter has been a leading voice advocating for improved access on state trust lands in Colorado. Thanks in part to the chapter’s sustained efforts, the quality work of CU graduate student Liz Rose, and our dedicated members and partners, Colorado hunters will have access to an additional 500,000 acres in the coming years, with 100,000 acres becoming accessible to hunters this fall. This is a big victory and it would not have happened without the leadership from the Colorado chapter.[1] 

As Colorado BHA Chapter Co-Chair David Lien put it: “The CPW commission’s approval of seasonal hunting access to an additional 500,000 acres of state trust lands is a significant step in the right direction for the future of hunting. Lack of public access is the No. 1 reason hunters cite for giving up their sporting traditions. Thank you Gov. Polis, and all the state lands agency’s public servants, for helping ensure that our great public lands hunting and angling heritage is protected and preserved for future generations!”[2]

Until recently, Colorado hunters only had access to approximately 480,000 acres, or less than 20 percent, of state trust lands. This changed in July when both the Colorado Board of Land Commissioners and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted to expand public access on state trust land in Colorado over the next few years. While we’d like to see Colorado adopt state trust land access policies that are more consistent with those of other Western states, this proposed addition is a big step in the right direction, and a long time coming.[3]

Colorado BHA thanks the Colorado State Land Board, the Board of Land Commissioners, CPW, the Parks and Wildlife Commissioners, Gov. Polis, and the Department of Natural Resources for heeding our call to expand public access on state trust lands. And thank you to everyone who has spoken up to advocate for this needed expansion of public access and opportunity. Your voice matters![4]

 For additional information see:

-Liz Rose. “Want Access to 500,000 More Acres of Colorado State Trust Land During Hunting Season? It Might Just Happen.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 7/16/19.

-Ben Long. “In Colorado, Most State Trust Land is Closed to Public Hunting. What Gives? A new effort by outdoorsmen and the governor could open 100,000 acres to hunting and Recreation.” Outdoor Life: 7/9/19.

-Liz Rose. “Colorado’s outdoor opportunity: Open state lands to public access.” The Colorado Sun: 7/7/19.

-“Let’s make lands more accessible.” Craig Daily Press: 6/25/19.

-“Expansion of recreational access will strengthen state funding.” Glenwood Springs (Colo.) Post-Independent: 6/21/19.

-Judith Kohler. “Colorado has 2.8 million acres of state trust lands, but most is closed to the public. Sportsmen are trying to change that: Analysis shows roughly 80 percent of Colorado trust lands closed to public recreation.” The Denver Post: 6/19/19.

-“Improve access to state trust lands.” The Durango Herald: 3/26/16.    

-“Sportsmen hunting for more access to state trust lands.” The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, Colo.): 3/22/16.

Founded by Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, and formed around an Oregon campfire, in 2004, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With some 37,000 members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories—including chapters in 45 states, two Canadian provinces and one territory, and Washington, D.C.—BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands. Since the Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) in 2005 (the first official BHA chapter), they’ve grown their boots-on-the-ground presence to some 3,000 dedicated hunters and anglers.[5]

[1] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA). “Chapter of the Month: Colorado.” Backcountry Beat: July 2019.

[2] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA). “Chapter of the Month: Colorado.” Backcountry Beat: July 2019.

[3] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA). “Chapter of the Month: Colorado.” Backcountry Beat: July 2019.

[4] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA). “Chapter of the Month: Colorado.” Backcountry Beat: July 2019.

[5] Katie McKalip. “BHA Membership Is Young, Active, Nonpartisan, Demographic Survey Shows: Two-thirds of members are 45 or younger, identify as Republican or Independent.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 8/7/18.

About David Lien

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