The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers will hold their 11th annual Rendezvous during May 31 – June 2, 2019, at the Lakeview Campground in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest north of Buena Vista/south of Leadville.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) is a hunter-angler conservation group that was born around a southern Oregon campfire during March 2004. Seven hunters and anglers, men and women—brought together by a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, Mike Beagle—decided it was time for a conservation group that would be the “Sportsmen’s voice for wild public lands, waters and wildlife.” In the words of BHA President and CEO, Land Tawney, “The best ideas come from around a campfire.”
That idea has grown from those seven original members to 35,000-plus members in all 50 states and Canadian provinces/territories along with 39 state chapters and two Canadian provincial chapters. The Colorado chapter, the first BHA state chapter, was formed byDavid Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) during 2005. The chapter has over 2,500 members. BHA’s mission/work encompasses:
1. Improving access and opportunity to hunt and fish on our wild public lands and waters.
2. Keeping public lands in public hands and protecting public lands and waters habitat, which includes supporting efforts to minimize OHV and mechanized-travel overuse and abuse along with improving enforcement.
3. Promoting fair-chase hunting ethics.
BHA is the nation’s fastest growing conservation organization. More than 65 percent of the membership is under age 45. The membership is 20 percent Democrat, 23 percent Republican, 33 percent Independent and 24 percent Not Affiliated. “The love of the outdoors doesn’t align with political boundaries,” said chapter co-chair, David Lien, a former U.S. Air Force officer.
“BHA stands up for what it says it’s for, no matter where the political chips fall. We don’t cowtow to one political side or the other,” Lien added. “Our members act to support the mission of the org over political tribalism. We recognize that public lands are not a left issue or a right issue: They are an American issue. BHA is a cross section of the outdoor community. If you love being outside you’ve found your group.”
“Whether you hunt, fish, trap, pick huckleberries, mountain bike, trail run or backcountry ski, if you love public lands and waters you have a home at BHA,” stated Land Tawney. “Our ultimate goal is to help inspire, empower and inform our members so they can help make a difference for wildlands and wildlife and help protect and perpetuate our great North American hunting and angling heritage,” chapter co-chair, Don Holmstrom, said.
The Colorado BHA chapter Rendezvous is open to members and anyone potentially interested in becoming a member. In the words of a recent BHA bio by the editors of Outdoor Life: “You don’t have to be a member to attend, and it’s a welcoming atmosphere. BHA is a little younger (and, dare I say, cooler?) than some of the traditional hunting groups.” For additional information see/visit:https://www.backcountryhunters.org/colorado_bha_annual_chapter_rendezvous_may_31_june_2_2019