Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Mid-Year Report/Update: June 2020

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“The natural world sustains us with clean air, unpolluted water, recreation, and natural resources. If we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.” –Jim Posewitz, Beyond Fair Chase[1]

The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) has—despite the COVID-19 pandemic—been adding new members and Corporate Partners, holding virtual events and engaging on numerous issues impacting our wild public lands, waters and wildlife along with growing our Habitat Watch Volunteer (HWV) program and expanding our Chapter Leadership Team (CLT).

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us—and the world—with unprecedented challenges, out of every crisis opportunities arise. As Sun Tzu said, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”[2] Life is, in great part, about continually adapting and overcoming obstacles (i.e., problem solving). That’s inherently how all backcountry hunters operate in the field, so we know the drill as well as anyone.

Bad weather brings good hunting … It’s true, to a point … Bad weather can also kill you … The difference, often, is attitude and preparation,” said Ben Long, former BHA North American Board chair. “The same phenomenon is true in conservation. Crises are interwoven with opportunity.”[3] Land Tawney, BHA President and CEO, added: “Fortunately, thanks to our amazing volunteers and staff at BHA, we are withering the storm—and finding opportunities to grow and thrive.”[4]

Last but not least, to quote Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President and 6th U.S. Army Commanding General: “I’ve never been in a fight where the situation wasn’t desperate at one point … the darkest of times may hide an opportunity. We just have to find it.”[5] Some of the opportunities Colorado BHA’s second-to-none boots on the ground volunteers have been finding during the first six months of 2020 are detailed in the following pages.

“BHA is here to make sure that we’re not the Americans who pissed away the greatest heritage of public lands the world has ever known.” –T. Edward Nickens, BHA North American Board member[6]

Table of Contents

  1. Chapter Leadership Team/Groups
  2. Habitat Watch Volunteers
  3. College Chapters
  4. Activities/Events/Seminars
  5. International Sportsmen’s Expo
  6. Women In The Woods
  7. Talkin’ Turkey
  8. R3/Hunting For Sustainability (H4S)/Partners Conference
  9. E-Scouting Elkcast
  10. Colorado Get Outdoors Giveaway
  11. Foraging Seminars
  12. Issues
  13. E-Bikes vs. Elk
  14. State Trust Lands
  15. Stream Access
  16. Bighorn Sheep
  17. CORE Act
  18. Bureau of Land Management
  19. Great American Outdoors Act
  20. Inspire, Empower & Inform
  21. Colorado Corporate Partners
  22. BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative
  23. Jim Posewitz

“I’ve been told many times over the years that BHA would never make it because we weren’t doing what other sportsmen’s groups were doing and/or weren’t catering to the same demographic … it turns out that’s exactly why we’ve has been so successful.” –David A. Lien, Colorado BHA Co-Chair

Chapter Leadership Team/Groups

The Colorado BHA Chapter Leadership Team (CLT) has grown to 38 dedicated hunter-angler-conservationists, and counting. During the first half of 2002, Eric Moyer volunteered to serve as an Assistant Regional Director for the Mesa County-Grand Valley Area.[7] John Chandler and Christian Robertson volunteered as Co-Regional Directors for the Gunnison Valley region.[8]

In addition, former Gunnison Valley Regional Director, Gabriela Zaldumbide, completed her Master of Environmental Management at Western Colorado University and moved to Fort Collins, where she joined the Northern Colorado Group as an Assistant Regional Director. Nathan Kettner volunteered to serve on our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) as treasurer. Nathan stepped up to replace David Kinn, who had been Colorado BHA treasurer since May 2018.[9]

We also have eight Groups (Boulder County, Northern Colorado, Denver Metro Area, Southeast Colorado, Central Rockies, Gunnison Valley, Central West Slope, Grand Valley/Mesa County). For additional information see:  https://www.backcountryhunters.org/group_leaders.

 Habitat Watch Volunteers

We currently have 40 Habitat Watch Volunteers (HWVs) serving as our “eyes and ears” in all eleven Colorado national forests. Additions to the HWV team this year include Robert Harned and Brandon Moyers, who volunteered to serve as a Habitat Watch Volunteers for the Gunnison National Forest.[10]

During April, Colorado BHA Co-Chair (& HWV Program Coordinator), Don Holmstrom, led a HWV training session, with more to come. “Thanks to everyone for the awesome turnout for the Zoom training session!” Don said. “We had 26 attendees and with the stressful times we are experiencing that shows the amazing dedication of our HWVs.”[11] Contact Don (donho2@comcast.net) if you have HWV-related questions.

For additional information also see:

College Chapters

Recognizing the importance that college students play in BHA’s conservation and public land protection mission, the Collegiate Program works to foster the next generation of conservation leaders. By connecting college students with their community and BHA state chapters, we are working to create a louder and more diverse voice for public lands, waters and wildlife.[12] Colorado is privileged to have two outstanding college chapters:

For additional Collegiate Program information see:

  • BHA’s Collegiate Program.
  • Kylie Schumacher. “The Collegiate Quarterly: Moving Forward In A Virtual World.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/19/20.
  • Colorado State University (CSU) BHA Club member, Brianne Lauro, mentioned in: Kylie Schumacher, BHA Collegiate Club Coordinator. “The Momentum Builds.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 3/4/20.
  • Gabriela Zaldumbide. “Western Colorado University Hosts 3rd Annual Chili Cookoff.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 2/26/20.

“As president, [Theodore] Roosevelt made protecting the environment of the entire country one of his biggest priorities. He believed in conservation — saving the country’s natural resources: land, air, water, and wildlife.” –Michael Burgan. Who Was Theodore Roosevelt?[13]

Activities/Events/Seminars

During the year we hold/sponsor various (although in-person events won’t resume until later this year, at best) virtual seminars/events, Hunting & Fulldraw Film Tours, Wild Game Cook-Offs, BHA Happy Hours and “Public Lands Pint Nights” & “Beers for the Backcountry” at varied times/places across the state.

We inform members about these as they get scheduled (as long as your email address is in the national BHA database, you’ll get Colorado BHA Updates, which go out about every 5-7 weeks or so). However, also check our Facebook Events page and Instagram posts. For additional information also see the BHA Events page: https://www.backcountryhunters.org/events

International Sportsmen’s Expo

Colorado BHA started off the year by setting up camp at the International Sportsmen’s Expo (ISE) in Denver during January. We had a booth at the ISE from Thursday, January 9, through Sunday, January 12, which was spearheaded by chapter Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) Liaison, Ryan McSparran. We also hosted an ISE Public Lands Pint Night Friday evening. In addition, we ran a membership sweepstakes and screened BHA’s Public Land Owner Films.[14] For additional information see: “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Set Up Camp At International Sportsmen’s Expo.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 1/17/20.

Women In The Woods

Kassi Smith is a CLT member and Denver Metro Area Assistant Regional Director. She has started a series of “Women in The Woods” blogs, content and virtual events. “I love BHA. I love the network, the events, the members,” she said. “Most of all, I love what we stand for. The reason BHA is a successful organization is because we have a wide network of individuals who are capable of levelheaded, intelligent and considerate conversation. We have different opinions, expertise, ideas … and we can talk about them. Many of us, dare I say most, are even open to hearing other people’s viewpoints! So simple, yet so novel. I want Women in the Woods to extend our reach.”

For additional information see:

  • Chyanne Davis. “Women In The Woods Present: Michele White of Tumbling Trout.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/24/20.
  • Dylan Snyder. “South Park Fly Fishing Venues With Michele White of Tumbling Trout [on May 13].” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/24/20.
  • Kassi Smith. “Women in The Woods: A New Series of Blogs, Content & Virtual Events From CO Chapter Leader Kassi Smith.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/15/20.
  • Liz Rose. “Women and Hunting in Colorado.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 1/17/20.

Talkin’ Turkey

We received numerous compliments/high praise for BHA’s “Talkin’ Turkey” event (on April 29), which was organized by Colorado BHA Southeast Regional Director, Ty Woodward. This presentation included six turkey hunting experts/speakers and a Q&A session.

“After having watched a wide array of videos I found this online session to be one of the best so far. The presenters are western hunters who are familiar with our topography and the nuances of ‘our birds,’ Shawn A. said. “I owe a lot of gratitude to my family for putting up with my ‘turkey fever’ but I also owe a huge ‘Thank you!’ to BHA for adding that icing on the cake of information. That extra bit of information is what truly made it all happen.”

Shawn actually went out the morning after the presentation and successfully harvested his first turkey. Read about it here: “The Journey Is The Reward.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/11/20. For additional (related) information also see:

R3/Hunting For Sustainability (H4S)/Partners Conference

Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) programs are effective ways to grow and diversify our hunting, fishing and conservation community and build a coalition of public lands advocates. At Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, we launched our R3 program, Hunting For Sustainability (H4S), in 2016 as a way to recruit and empower new conservation-minded hunters.

“Upon further exploration, I found that R3 is not simply ‘recruitment, retention, and reactivation.’ It is not a systematic, plug-and-play method for saving hunting,” says Gabby Zaldumide, Colorado BHA Northern Colorado Assistant Regional Director. “It is part of the greater call for inclusivity in a historically male dominated activity. R3 can be tricky; hunters are protective. I get it. Sharing something as dear to you as your own childhood is difficult. However, if Americans want hunting to persist for multiple generations, we must include everyone.”[15]

Last fall BHA collaborated with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and sponsored a H4S event hosted by Adam & Ana Gall. Adam is a Colorado BHA Assistant Regional Director and Adam & Ana own Table To Timber Guide Service. Adam is also a Chrysalis Brewery partner (in Paonia) and the team at Chrysalis Barrel Aged Beers are the newest Colorado BHA Corporate Partner.

On June 4, Adam and some of the H4S event participants joined a CPW Partners in the Outdoors (virtual) Conference panel. “In 2016, we started our Hunting for Sustainability program to reduce barriers for those who want to get into hunting. This past fall, we held a H4S seminar in Colorado with life member Adam Gall,” Land Tawney, BHA President and CEO, said.

“On Wednesday, participants and instructors got together via Zoom to reconnect and see what folks have been up to since,” Land added. “Two Colorado Parks and Wildlife commissioners who had never hunted took the course. The discussion that ensued was powerful and something to build on for sure. I know many of you engage in Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation activities, but now it’s time to double down.” 

“It’s not about 300 inch bull every time you go out. It’s about putting some of the best meat in the world in the freezer to feed your family,” Adam explained. “If every year I can introduce five or six people to hunting, and they keep hunting on public lands for the rest of their lives, they have families, and share that with their kids, now you have more people vested in public lands who will speak up for them.”[16]

“Adam and Ana Gall of Timber to Table Guide Service created an entire guiding service framed by ethical hunting, putting the highest-quality food on the table and training women to be successful hunters,” said Gabby Zaldumide, Colorado BHA Northern Colorado Assistant Regional Director.[17] It doesn’t get much better than that.

For additional information see:

  • “BHA Joins R3 Panel Discussion At CPW Partners in the Outdoors Conference.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/8/20.
  • “A Message From Our President” (on equality). Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/3/20.
  • Gabby Zaldumide. “R3: Revelations, Relationships, And Reciprocity.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/27/20.
  • Brien Webster. “Timber to Table Elk Hunt.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 2/14/20.
  • Mentoring: Develop or hone your hunting and angling skills by signing up to be a mentor or mentee this year.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
  • “Conservation and the Future of our Hunting Traditions: Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Programs Spreading Nationwide.” Colorado Outdoors: 3/12/19.
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Hunter Outreach Program: https://cpw.state.co.us/hunteroutreach
  • Brody Henderson. “How to Find a Hunting Mentor.” MeatEater: 6/2/20.
  • Editors. “How to Hunt: A Step-by-Step Guide for New Adult Hunters: Learning to hunt can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to get started with hunter education, gear, tactics, and more.” Outdoor Life: 6/3/20.
  • Ron Taylor, as told to Natalie Krebs. “I’m an Immigrant, a Veteran, and Finally … a Hunter: From the Caribbean to Nebraska, it took 46 years to start hunting.” Outdoor Life: 7/1/20.

E-Scouting Elkcast

Our E-Scouting Elkcast (on June 25) was the first virtual event in our Hunt Colorado series. We featured a panel of seasoned elk hunters from our local BHA chapter leadership who provided insights on how to start scouting for your next hunt long before your boots hit the dirt. “Tune in to learn how to navigate the world of online hunting resources to notch your next tag. Our panelists are ready to answer all of our questions, from new hunters to seasoned pros alike. Don’t go easy on them!” For additional information see: Dylan Snyder. “Hunt Colorado: The E-Scouting Elkcast.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/8/20.

Colorado Get Outdoors Giveaway

During June, we launched the Get Outdoors Giveaway to bring attention to the Great American Outdoors Act. The Colorado chapter has worked hard to secure permanent reauthorization and fully dedicated funding for the Land Water Conservation Fund. “Our chapter leaders have been hitting the phones, contacting members and speaking with legislators to pass this landmark legislation. Enter our Get Outdoors Giveaway below and not only will you be supporting our efforts here, you will be entered to win a prize package …” For additional information see: “Colorado Get Outdoors Giveaway.” Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/16/20.

Foraging Seminars

-“The Hunter’s Produce Department: A Brief Introduction To Finding And Eating Plants.” Colorado BHA Seminar: 7/14/20. “This virtual seminar will cover herbaceous plants, berries, and other leafy foragable goods that one may come across while out scouting or early season hunting.”

-“Foraging Seminar-Finding Fungi: Common (And Delicious) Mushrooms Of The Rockies.” Colorado BHA Seminar: 7/28/20. “During our second virtual foraging seminar, Spencer with High Country Harvest and Orion with Forage Colorado will talk about a few of the more common and easy-to-distinguish fungi found in our area, as well as some resources for general mushroom identification.”

-“Foraging Seminar: Utilizing Your Harvest.” Colorado BHA Seminar: 8/4/20. “For our third and final virtual foraging seminar, Spencer with High Country Harvest and Orion with Forage Colorado will be broadcasting a live dinner party with some special guests from the Colorado Chapter.”

-Geordie Robinson, Colorado BHA Boulder County Regional Director. “Fox Squirrel Carnitas.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/9/20.

 

“Any sportsman who isn’t an environmentalist is a fool.” –Rich Landers, BHA Ted Trueblood Award recipient (3/7/15)

 Issues

There will always be more targets to engage than we have the collective capabilities to commit to these battles. However, we follow the advice of America’s greatest hunter-conservationist (and Medal of Honor recipient), Theodore Roosevelt, who said: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Some of these issues/threats and our related efforts are detailed below.

E-Bikes vs. Elk

Unfortunately, growing pressure from the e-bike industry led Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, with Secretarial Order 3376, to direct the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to unilaterally reclassify electronic motorized bicycles as “exempt” from motorized travel restrictions and facilitate e-bike use on existing mountain bike trails, while also stating that “e-bikes shall be allowed where other types of bicycles are allowed.”

“A former mountain biker … I’ve found myself … pushing back on a seemingly relentless push by some in the mountain bike community for more trail development everywhere,” said Tim Brass, BHA State Policy Director. “A growing breadth of scientific evidence is showing that recreational disturbance from mountain bikes and other uses is having a significant negative impact on elk populations in Colorado. Wildlife biologists are sounding alarm bells as wildlife habitat on our public lands is increasingly being fragmented … in some cases leading to population level declines.”[18]

“As Tim alludes to, some Colorado elk herds have been collapsing due to the proliferation of outdoor recreation—including mountain bikes and, more recently, e-bikes—on public lands,” said David Lien, Colorado BHA Co-Chair. “Unfortunately, a move by the Trump administration (Secretarial Order 3376) will open millions of acres of public land trails to motorized e-bikes, threatening intact fish and wildlife habitat.”[19]

“The CEO of one e-bike company … even referred to non-bikers as ‘outdoor elitists,’” David added. “An interesting characterization, especially during these challenging economic times, considering that his e-bikes can cost up to $6,199 while a pair of hiking boots might go for around $100.”[20]

For additional information see:

  • E-Bikes & Elk: A Bad Combination.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/21/20.
  • Tim Brass, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers state policy & field operations director. “E-Bikes And The Backcountry.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/23/20.
  • Sylvia Kantor. “Seeking Ground Less Traveled: Elk Responses to Recreation.” Science Findings #219 (U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station): September 2019. https://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/sciencef/scifi219.pdf
  • “Colorado BHA Report: Impacts of Off-Road Recreation on Public Lands Habitat.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/21/18.

State Trust Lands

As stated in BHA’s 2019 Policy Roundup: “Years of hard work by BHA was … rewarded in Colorado when the state approved the expansion of public recreational access on 500,000 acres of state trust lands that were previously closed to public use, with 100,000 acres opened immediately to the public in 2019.”[21]

During 2020, we are looking forward to gaining public access to an additional 200,000 acres of Colorado state trust land for hunting and fishing under a program managed by Colorado state agencies. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado State Land Board have nominated state trust land properties that they are considering for addition to the Public Access Program, which would mean the public could hunt and/or fish on some of these properties as soon as the 2020 hunting season.

For additional information see:

  • John Meyer. “CPW making more than 200,000 acres available for hunting this fall: Addition is part of a multi-year effort to reach a total of 1 million acres of hunting land.” The Denver Post: 5/11/20.
  • “Colorado State Trust Land Access Report And Access Guide.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 3/12/20.
  • BHA Podcast & Blast, Episode 72 (2/25/20): Celebrating Expanded Public Access To State Trust Lands in Colorado.

Stream Access

For anglers, waterfowlers and other sportsmen, access to streams and waterways is the most important factor in our participation in–and the perpetuation of–our storied outdoor traditions. Our access opportunities, however, are far from guaranteed. Well-moneyed efforts are underway to change existing stream access laws, which vary widely from state to state, to bar us from fishing, wading, floating or otherwise utilizing these important resources.

“On January 23, Colorado river users received welcome news from 10th Circuit Court of Appeals by allowing a lawsuit to proceed between fisherman Roger Hill, landowner Mark Warsewa and the State of Colorado,” a 1/31/20 BHA Stream Access update stated. “The recent court ruling gives hope that Colorado stream access policy can be improved in the future. As Don Holmstrom, Colorado BHA co-chair states, ‘The decision … is a significant step forward for public fishing access. Colorado has some of the worst laws for public access in the West. The Court’s ruling overcomes a procedural issue … More legal hurdles are likely to be seen but BHA will continue to support Mr. Hill’s right to fish on property that was navigable at the time of statehood with title held in trust for public uses such as fishing.’”[22]

For additional information see:

Bighorn Sheep

During the summer of 2017, Dan Parkinson—a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Colorado BHA’s Southwest Regional Director—initiated a Volunteer Signage and Bighorn Observation Program on the Weminuche Wilderness landscape in southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Weminuche bighorn sheep are listed by the U.S. Forest Service as a sensitive species, meaning there is concern for their long-term viability. Domestic sheep carry strains of pneumonia that are devastating for bighorn sheep. Terribly, a single outbreak can kill most bighorn sheep in a herd.[23]

During the first half of 2020, we—along with a coalition of hunting and other conservation groups—supported retirement of the Endlich Mesa Allotment in southwest Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness. This action effectively removed 1,500 domestic sheep from 11,222 acres of prime bighorn sheep habitat located just west of the highly valued Tier 1 Vallecito Herd (S 28) core home range. The permittee is a well-known producer with strong political and industry ties. Our BHA spearheaded citizen-science efforts (in addition to hard work by multiple other groups over many years) helped convince this producer to retire the allotment. 

This is a great example of wildlife advocates working with ranchers to find solutions that benefit everyone. Significant investments by hunters, state agencies, conservation organizations and private individuals have been made to restore wild sheep populations around the West and enhance population health. By partnering with ranchers and public land management agencies, like the U.S. Forest Service, we can work together to advance bighorn restoration efforts while supporting solutions that respect ranching traditions and working lands.

For additional information see:

  • Seek Outside Podcast. “Want More Bighorn Sheep? - Terry Meyers - Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society.” May 7, 2020.
  • Jonathan Romeo. “J. Paul Brown to reduce sheep herd amid disease concerns for bighorns: Group buys out one of Ignacio rancher’s high-risk grazing allotments.” Durango Herald: 3/30/20.
  • “Colorado BHA Southwest Regional Director Promotes/Defends Bighorn Sheep & Wilderness.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/28/19.
  • “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Volunteer Signage and Bighorn Observation Program.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 1/10/18.
  • Mountain Studies Institute (MSI). “San Juan Mountains Colorado Bighorn Sheep Monitoring.” MSI: http://www.mountainstudies.org/bighorn/

CORE Act

The Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act unites and improves four previously introduced bills: San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act; Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act; Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act; and Curecanti National Recreation Area Boundary Establishment Act. In total, the CORE Act will protect some 400,000 acres of public lands across Colorado and puts safeguards in place that support struggling wildlife and big game by protecting habitat for black bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, sage grouse, moose, lynx, wild turkey, elk, deer and wolverine.

The CORE Act will also create the first-ever National Historic Landscape, preserving nearly 29,000 acres surrounding Camp Hale (17 miles north of Leadville). The high-altitude camp is where the 10th Mountain Division trained for combat during World War II. The high alpine beauty–it’s located below Tennessee Pass at an altitude of 9,200 feet–coupled with the rich military history makes it especially meaningful to veterans and their families.

For additional information see:

  • Rick Seymour, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Life member (Montrose). “With Gardner’s help, CORE can open eyes.” Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel: 2/11/20.
  • “Your Backcountry: San Juan Wilderness.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/22/19.
  • Bill Fales and David Lien. “Guest opinion: CORE Act is best chance yet to protect key back country areas.” Glenwood Spring (Colo.) Post Independent: 4/12/19.
  • “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers 11th Annual Rendezvous Recap.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/17/19.
  • “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers 10th Annual State Gathering Recap.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 7/9/18.
  • Camp Hale National Historic Site.
  • Camp Hale National Historic Site Photos.

Bureau of Land Management

During July 2019, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order naming William Perry Pendley—a lawyer with a long history of opposition to public lands—acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages 8.3 million acres of public lands in Colorado and 245 million nationwide, the most of any Federal agency.

Perry spent most of his career advocating for the privatization of public lands as president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation in Denver. He now oversees a quarter-billion federally owned acres and, because his extremist anti-public lands agenda is on the record, we know exactly what he wants to do with our great public lands estate. As Pendley stated himself, national ownership of public lands is “oppressive.”[24]

“William Perry Pendley is fooling no one … Earlier generations warned us to be on the lookout. They saw robber barons ruin our rivers and poison our politics,” said Ryan Busse (in the 8/4/19 Bozeman Daily Chronicle), a Montanan and former chair of the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers North American Board. “The Trump administration’s decision to install Mr. Pendley, an unabashed advocate for the sale of our public lands, as the leader of our largest public land management agency is a grave threat that deserves our attention.”[25]

“William Perry Pendley has built a career on attempting to dismantle our public lands and waters and take down agencies like the BLM,” said Land Tawney, BHA President and CEO. “His views and actions should repulse anyone who cares about our shared landscapes.”[26] “Mr. Pendley is not someone who should be entrusted with the management of our public estate,” Land added. “The fox has taken control of the hen house, and he is poised to systematically dismantle the very resources he is charged with overseeing.”[27]

Land and Rose Marcario (Patagonia President and CEO) added: “Our 640 million acres of public lands should be responsibly managed—not defiled and used strictly to generate money for a select few. The current administration, fueled by the extractive industries, is intentionally stripping protections from public lands lawfully designated by previous administrations … It is an insult to the American people and an attack on our natural heritage … [it] is as good a time as any to remind ourselves that we deserve leaders who will protect America’s greatest treasures—not sell them out to the highest bidder.”[28]

Similarly, Kent Ingram, former Sportsmen Representative to Colorado Division of Wildlife Big Game Working Group, said (on 1/7/20): “The fox is in the henhouse for public lands protection, clean air, water, and environmental matters.” America’s greatest hunter-conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt, dealt with extremists like William Perry Pendley during his day too. “This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country,” Roosevelt said.

Trump administration Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said, “One of the president’s priorities is to strive to ensure a conservation legacy second only to Theodore Roosevelt.” Unfortunately, that has not been the case.[29] TR’s great-grandson, Ted Roosevelt IV (a former Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran) has blasted Trump for comparing himself to the 26th president.[30] “Americans don’t want to see an industrial wasteland … We want clean air and clean water. It should be something we bequeath,” T4 said.

For additional information see:

  • Rick Seymour, BHA Life Member (Montrose). “Pendley’s history makes him ill-suited to lead BLM.” Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel: 7/7/20.
  • “Lien: Trump’s BLM pick poisons the well.” Vail Daily: 7/7/20.
  • Rick Seymour, BHA Life Member (Montrose). “Pendley unfit to be BLM director.” Glenwood Springs (Colo.) Post-Independent: 7/6/20 (scroll down).
  • John Frank. “Cory Gardner touts public lands but won’t say if he supports Trump’s pick to oversee them.” The Colorado Sun: 7/3/20.
  • Chris D’Angelo. “Trump’s Pick For Public Lands Chief Puts Endangered GOP Senators In A Bind.” HuffPost.com: 7/1/20.
  • Katie McKalip. “BHA Asks Senate To Reject William Pendley As BLM Head.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/29/20.
  • Cody Perry. “Relocating the BLM headquarters has been an utter barn fire.” The Colorado Sun: 6/29/20.
  • “Unprotected waterways, public land.” Colorado Springs (Colo.) Gazette: 5/22/20 (scroll down).
  • “Trump ramps up attacks on hunting and habitat.” Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel (scroll down): 3/30/20.
  • Land Tawney and Rose Marcario. “Guest view: This Presidents' Day, the fight for public lands continues.” Montana Standard: 2/16/20.
  • “Lien: Trump’s assault on BLM and CORE Act part of larger trend.” Vail Daily: 1/5/20.
  • Land Tawney and Rose Marcario. “Patagonia and BHA CEOs: Congress Needs to Fire William Perry Pendley From the BLM.” Men’s Journal: 12/23/19.
  • Hal Herring, host of BHA’s Podcast & Blast and 2016 Ted Trueblood Award recipient. “Anti-Public-Lands Advocate Now in Charge of 250 Million Acres of BLM Land: Recently Appointed BLM Director, William Pendley, has advocated for the selling of federal public lands.” Field & Stream: 8/6/19.
  • Ben Long, former BHA North American Board Chairman. “The Political Battle for America’s Public Land Is Happening Below the Radar: Public land faces serious challenges under the Trump Administration.” Outdoor Life: 8/5/19.
  • William Perry Pendley. “The Federal Government Should Follow the Constitution and Sell Its Western Lands.” National Review: 1/19/16.

Great American Outdoors Act

The Great American Outdoors Act will appropriate the full $900 million annually allocated to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in addition to providing $1.9 billion annually through fiscal year 2025 to address the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Education accumulating maintenance backlogs on roads, trails, facilities and aquatic structures. 

Hunters and anglers rely on access sites funded by the LWCF, which has supported projects in all counties across the United States. As hunter numbers decline nationwide–leading to a corresponding decline in license-based conservation funding–sportsmen and women cite a lack of public access as the single greatest impediment to time afield. We need LWCF to receive full funding to support hunters, anglers and our $778-billion outdoor recreation economy.  

On June 17, the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act in an historic vote of 73-25. The bipartisan legislation fully dedicates $900 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the nearly $20 billion in maintenance backlogs on our public lands and waters. Following Senate passage, BHA’s focus has pivoted to the House, where we urge representatives to cosponsor the House companion bill, H.R. 7092, and swiftly consider the clean bill that recently passed the Senate.[31]

“In a rare show of bipartisanship, the United States Senate passed The Great American Outdoors Act late last month … The votes came in at 73 ayes, two absent, and 25 nays. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has a list of the votes on their website,” explained Brandon Butler in the Daily Journal (7/7/20). “Noted public lands advocate and conservation writer Hal Herring said, ‘Twenty-five senators clearly demonstrated their opposition to making a nation that works better for us all. They had to lay their cards face up on the table, for once … let’s vote out these … ideologically moribund pillars of negativity, and replace them with men and women of vision.’”[32]

Be sure to contact your representative and urge him or her to cosponsor H.R. 7092 and pass a clean Great American Outdoors Act without amendments. You can also call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or use our legislator directory to find your representative’s direct number.[33]

For additional information see:

  • Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA). “National Policy Update–June 2020: The Great American Outdoors Act.” BHA: June 2020.
  • Brandon Butler. “Great American Outdoors Act a major blessing.” Daily Journal: 7/7/20.
  • Leslie Kaminski, Colorado BHA Central West Slope Assistant RD. “It’s Tipton’s turn to support Great American Outdoors Act.” Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel: 6/26/20 (scroll down).
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Land Tawney (President and CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers). “During a time of uncertainty, Great American Outdoors Act deserves our support.” The Hill: 6/15/20.
  • See how your U.S. Senators voted on the Great American Outdoors Act.
  • “Real hunter-conservationists … believe in the holy trinity of public lands, habitat restoration, and environmental regulation. Those terms may offend some … but without them—and the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to accomplish them—we wouldn’t be enjoying the productive, great outdoors we have today.” –Rob Drieslein, Outdoor News editor[34]

Inspire, Empower & Inform

During the first half of 2020, Colorado BHA chapter leaders have been working on updating our Strategic Plan. During early 2019, the CLT developed a Strategic Plan Purpose Statement. The fundamental question we asked ourselves was: “How do we best Inspire, Empower and Inform (i.e., Motivate) our CLT and other Colorado BHA members?”

Later, the chapter held its first formal strategic planning session during March 8-10, 2019, in Gunnison. “Our ultimate goal is to inspire, empower and inform our boots-on-the-ground members to help them do whatever it is they want to do within the broad parameters of BHA’s wildlands and wildlife protection mission,” said chapter Co-Chair David Lien (a former U.S. Air Force officer).

“We want to help ensure that our great public lands hunting and angling heritage is here for future generations of outdoorsmen and women,” added chapter Co-Chair, Don Holmstrom. “Collectively, when we all do a little, we accomplish a lot!” So far, during 2020, we’ve held two virtual strategic planning sessions and are in the home stretch of finalizing our 2020 Strategic Plan. For additional information see: “Colorado BHA Holds First Formal Strategic Planning Meeting.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 3/19/19.

“All of us are smarter than any of us.” -CO BHA Strategic Plan (2019)

 Colorado Corporate Partners

As BHA grows, we’ve been attracting an increasing number of businesses who are interested in partnering with us. To help chapters better take advantage of these corporate partnership opportunities with companies based in their respective state/province, we’ve developed a “Chapter Corporate Partnership Program” outlining opportunities through which existing and prospective chapter-level corporate partners can support BHA’s work. Colorado BHA’s current Corporate Partners include:

 BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative

Service is and always has been core to BHA’s mission, and the values that guide us are heavily influenced by military personnel. Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, started BHA around an Oregon campfire in 2004. David Petersen, a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot, founded our very first chapter in the state of Colorado that same year. These and other military members have helped BHA become the largest stronghold of public land advocates in the continent.

BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative strives to ensure that veterans and active duty military personnel continue to take active roles as public land owners while providing a constructive outlet for current or transitioning service members to continue selfless service and enjoy the camaraderie of likeminded individuals. For additional information see:

Jim Posewitz

  • “The Jim Posewitz Digital Library: Required Reading For Conservationists.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/3/20.
  • Editor(s). “Posewitz, Jim: March 6, 1935–July 3, 2020.” Independent Record: 7/7/20.
  • Sam Lungren. “Conservation Legend Jim Posewitz Passes Away at 85.” The MeatEater: 7/6/20.
  • Editor(s). “Standard view: We must find a new generation of giants.” Montana Standard: 7/5/20.
  • Tom Bauer. “Conservationist, author Jim Posewitz dead at 85.” Montana Standard: 7/3/20. 
  • “Backcountry Hunters & Anglers named an award after Poz. I helped present the first one to Jim and Gayle a couple years ago. Jim looked at the packed house and said, ‘Looking at all these young faces dedicated to conservation, I can die now.’ Rest easy Jim. I bet heaven looks a lot like Montana.” – Ben Long (7/4/20), former BHA North American Board Chair

“When one arrives at the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter does not look you over for medals, diplomas, and awards, but for scars.” –Jim Posewitz (1935-2020)[35]

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress … Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)[36]

Misc.

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 voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With over 40,000 members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories—including chapters in 48 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.

[1] Jim Posewitz. Beyond Fair Chase. Helena, Montana: Falcon Publishing, Inc., 1994, p. 108.

[2] James Collins. “Management By Philosophy: Successful organizations have philosophies, not strategies, in common.” Credit Union Magazine: April 2017, p. 50.

[3] Ben Long, founding editor of BHA’s Backcountry Journal and former North American Board chairman. “Good Things Come From Hard Times.” Backcountry Journal: Summer 2020, p. 7.

[4] Land Tawney, BHA President and CEO. “Innovation.” Backcountry Journal: Summer 2020, p. 3.

[5] General Grant’s Strategies to win the Civil War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vopVVBiC80g&feature=share

[6] Backcountry Hunters & Angers Headquarters. “Rendezvous Recap.” Backcountry Journal: Summer 2018, p. 12.

[7] “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint Mesa County Assistant Regional Director.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 1/13/20.

[8] “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint Gunnison Valley Regional Directors.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/15/20.

[9] “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint New Chapter Treasurer.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/13/20.

[10] “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint Habitat Watch Volunteer.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 3/23/20; “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint Habitat Watch Volunteer.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/13/20.

[11] For additional information about the Colorado BHA Habitat Watch Volunteer (HWV) program see: http://www.backcountryhunters.org/habitat_watchmen

[12] https://www.backcountryhunters.org/about_collegiate

[13] Michael Burgan. Who Was Theodore Roosevelt? New York, New York: Penguin Random House, LLC, 2014, p. 73.

[14] “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Set Up Camp At International Sportsmen’s Expo.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 1/17/20.

[15] Gabby Zaldumbide. “R3: Revelations, Relationships And Reciprocity.” Backcountry Journal: Fall 2019, p. 49.

[16] Brian Ohlen. “Gunnison Basin And Thompson Divide, Colorado.” Backcountry Journal: Winter 2017, p. 5.

[17] Gabby Zaldumbide. “R3: Revelations, Relationships And Reciprocity.” Backcountry Journal: Fall 2019, p. 50.

[18] David A. Lien. “E-Bikes & Elk: A Bad Combination.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/21/20. https://www.backcountryhunters.org/e_bikes_elk_a_bad_combination

[19] David A. Lien. “E-Bikes & Elk: A Bad Combination.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/21/20. https://www.backcountryhunters.org/e_bikes_elk_a_bad_combination

[20] David A. Lien. “E-Bikes & Elk: A Bad Combination.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/21/20. https://www.backcountryhunters.org/e_bikes_elk_a_bad_combination

[21] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers 2019 Policy Roundup: 12/23/19.

[22] “Appeals Court Decision Advances Stream Access Case in Colorado.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 1/31/20.

[23] “Colorado BHA Southwest Regional Director Promotes/Defends Bighorn Sheep & Wilderness.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 5/28/19.

[24] William Perry Pendley. “The Federal Government Should Follow the Constitution and Sell Its Western Lands.” National Review: 1/19/16.

[25] Ryan Busse is a lifelong hunter, angler and public lands user and (former) chair of the North American Board of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (He lives with his family in Kalispell). “Montanans won’t suffer fools gladly—especially when it comes to our public lands.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle: 8/4/19.

[26] Katie McKalip. “BHA Asks Senate To Reject William Pendley As BLM Head.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 6/29/20.

[27] Editor(s). “New BLM Leader Is Advocate for Sale of Public Lands.” RackCamp.com: 7/26/19.

[28] Land Tawney (Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO) and Rose Marcario (Patagonia President and CEO). “Guest view: This Presidents' Day, the fight for public lands continues.” Montana Standard: 2/16/20.

[29] Chris D’ Angelo. “Trump Is The Most Anti-Conservation President In History, Analysis Finds: The Trump administration has worked to weaken safeguards for nearly 35 million acres—nearly 1,000 times more than it’s protected.” HuffPost: 5/21/20. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/analysis-trump-public-lands-rollbacks_n_5ec59af1c5b6df8b159bf287?fbclid=IwAR0CuMCPoM5PkPsUjMhTqJZHbHbr_0sGIjDM07JVS1Wi8OZzhafhF-fyqsc

[30] Elliott D. Woods. “Ryan Zinke Is Trump’s Attack Dog on the Environment.” Outside: 12/4/17.

[31] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “National Policy Updates: The Great American Outdoors Act.” Backcountry Beat: June 2020.

[32] Brandon Butler. “Great American Outdoors Act a major blessing.” Daily Journal: 7/7/20. http://www.dailyjournal.net/2020/07/07/great_american_outdoors_act_a_major_blessing/

[33] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “National Policy Updates: The Great American Outdoors Act.” Backcountry Beat: June 2020.

[34] Rob Drieslein. “Outdoor Insights.” Outdoor News: 4/1/11, p. 3.

[35] Editor(s). “Posewitz, Jim: March 6, 1935 – July 3, 2020.” Helena (Mont.) Independent Record: 7/7/20. https://helenair.com/news/local/obituaries/posewitz-jim/article_a4e81691-76f2-5136-8abc-58dbd9a8c115.html

[36] Scott Kirkwood. “Renaissance Man.” National Parks: Spring 2013.

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