House Appropriators Move to Slash Funding, Target Public Lands

News for Immediate Release 
July 9, 2024 
Contact: Kaden McArthur, 435-770-3774, [email protected] 

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House Appropriations Committee voted on party lines to advance an Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that would slash funding for federal land management agencies for Fiscal Year 2025, reducing funding levels for the second year in a row. As one of the nation’s leading grassroots advocacy groups aimed at conserving North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) stands strongly in opposition. If enacted, this budget would have significant negative impacts for public lands and waters, and the hunters and anglers who rely on them.  

“The increased funding cuts for the management of our public lands represents a devastating attack on the foundation of our hunting and fishing heritage, and the valuable fish and wildlife habitat that benefits all Americans,” said BHA President and CEO Patrick Berry. “The bill would gut agency funding, significantly weaken conservation efforts on millions of acres, reverse ground-breaking land management strategies, and undermine science-based management of sage-grouse. We strongly oppose this bill which clearly shows disdain for the public lands that provide opportunities for millions of hunters and anglers.”  

In addition to reducing critical funding for the management of our natural resources, this legislation also includes numerous policy riders opposed by BHA that target conservation achievements implemented by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS), with the support of sportsmen and women, including:  

  • Prohibiting the implementation of the Public Lands Rule by the BLM which recognizes conservation as a legitimate use of public lands under their stewardship. This rule conserves intact habitat, restores degraded landscapes, and utilizes landscape health assessments for long-term management. 
  • Prohibiting the BLM and USFS from initiating administrative mineral withdrawals of public lands. 
  • Overturning protections for more than 200,000 acres of the Rainy River watershed that feeds into the Boundary Waters, in addition to reissuing Twin Metal’s mining leases upstream of the nation’s most visited wilderness area.  
  • Giving the mining industry broad rights by deeming all mining claims valid on public lands, and guaranteeing a right to all mining activitiesincluding prospecting, exploration, and associated development.  
  • Targeting modernization of the 1872 Mining Law, a century and a half overdue, by preventing the implementation of policies outlined in a report by the Department of the Interior titled, “Recommendations to Improve Mining on Public Lands.” This would include widely bipartisan Good Samaritan legislation to facilitate the cleanup of abandoned mines. 
  • Attacking science-based wildlife management by prohibiting listing the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act, and preventing the completion of a Resource Management Plan undertaken by the BLM to conserve sage-grouse habitat. 

Consider joining BHA to help ensure there’s a voice at the policy table in support of our shared public lands, waters and wildlife. Learn more, and take action, at backcountryhunters.org. 

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands, waters, and wildlife.  

 

 

About Kaden McArthur

A western hunter and angler, my passion for wild places and wildlife brought me to Washington, DC to work on conservation policy.

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