A land that is facing ceaseless development. A people mired in obesity from their over-reliance upon technology and motorized equipment. A quality of life—particularly the sporting life—that is rapidly careening downhill. These are some of the basic tenants of our call to arms—for American and Canadian sportsmen and women to stand up for the wild country and wildlife that depend so much upon it. Now, more than ever before, we need wild lands: places to rekindle the depths of the human soul. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a non-partisan group of sportsmen and women who are standing up for wilderness and for the wildlife that depends upon it.
The spring issue of Backcountry Journal is arriving in BHA members' mailboxes now. Here's a taste of what you'll find inside:
The Big East: Featured on the centerfold spread is BHA board member and Field & Stream Editor at Large T. Edward Nickens, who writes about canoeing the wilds of the eastern United States, including Missouri, North Carolina and Georgia. Often overshadowed by the giant landscapes of the West, the East provides backcountry fishing opportunities to last a lifetime, says Nickens. Often all you need to do is to paddle out of sight of a bridge.
Bikepacking the Backcountry: New contributor Brian Ohlen uses a mountain bike and customized carrying system to "bikepack" into the remote lower Deschutes River of central Oregon to fish for steelhead. He takes the reader on a ride through the history of backcountry bike travel, recent advances in the sport, and his own adventure Spey swinging for steel.
Fishing the Spring Runoff: In the instructional department, well-known journalist Jack Ballard breaks down the difficulties - and opportunities - presented by the annual spring runoff high water. Never one to take a break from fishing, even for floods, Ballard suggests that spring runoff is one of the best opportunities to catch big trout. You just have to be smart about where you look.
The U.S. House of Representatives is meeting this week to consider a massive defense spending package. Tucked inside the bill is a rider, H.R. 4739, the misleadingly named Greater Sage Grouse Protection and Recovery Act of 2016, which would block implementation of conservation measures that helped avert an Endangered Species Act listing of the greater sage grouse in the fall.
Last September, following an unprecedented collaborative effort among federal, state and local governments and a wide range of stakeholders, the Interior and Agriculture departments finalized land use plans to protect habitat for the imperiled sage grouse and more than 350 species of fish and wildlife, including mule deer, elk and pronghorn. This conservation strategy sustains natural resources critical to fish and game, hunters and anglers, and our economic well-being.
First comprehensive energy bill passed by Senate in nine years permanently reauthorizes Land and Water Conservation Fund, includes key components of bipartisan sportsmen's bill
WASHINGTON - In a morning vote on April 20, 2016 the U.S. Senate advanced a comprehensive energy bill that includes measures critical to public lands, fish and wildlife management and public access for hunters, anglers and other recreationists, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers announced.
In addition to making vital advancements in America's energy future, Help BHA push this legislation across the finish line by becoming a supporting BHA member today! permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a popular and successful conservation program long advocated for by BHA, and allocates a percentage of LWCF funds to opening access to public lands currently unreachable by the public.BHA President and CEO Land Tawney commended today's Senate vote.
"Public lands sportsmen and women have spoken up, loudly, clearly and consistently, in advocating for a responsive energy bill that will sustain our sporting heritage by conserving lands with high wildlife habitat value and healthy fisheries - as well as securing access for economically important activities like hunting and fishing," Tawney said. "The Senate's foresighted actions deserve to be loudly praised, not just by sportsmen but by all Americans with a stake in outdoor recreation and who appreciate the importance of our nation's public lands and waters."
Senate leaders have cleared a path forward for passage of the first comprehensive energy bill in almost a decade. But your help is vital in getting it across the finish line!
The Energy Policy Modernization Act (S.2012) could receive a vote on the Senate floor as soon as today. In addition to making important advancements in America’s energy future, this legislative package would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund – and allocate a percentage of LWCF funds to opening access to public lands currently unreachable by the public.
A select number of amendments to the bill also will receive a Senate vote. Unfortunately, one of these amendments (introduced by Sen. James Lankford) would significantly alter the LWCF and limit the ability of states, local officials, federal partners and groups like BHA to enhance public access, create new recreational opportunities and conserve important fish and wildlife habitat. Please contact your senators today and tell them to vote NO on this damaging amendment #3210 that would unravel more than 50 years of bipartisan conservation success.
Other important amendments that your senators must vote YES on are as follow: