Mike Woods, chair of the New England Chapter of BHA, is our member of the month.
In addition to helming the very busy New England Chapter, Mike has been taking on some big issues in his home state of Rhode Island.
Mike has for several years been waging a battle to prevent captive hunting of cervids and hogs in Rhode Island. There are no active captive hunting operations in Rhode Island right now, but some groups have indicated they want to start.
This year, with Mike as lead, the New England Chapter and Rep. Scott Slater (D–District 10) introduced language in the Rhode Island General Assembly to prohibit captive hunting. As of this writing, the bill is in House committee.
While spearheading the captive hunting bill, Mike also took on another monumental issue in Rhode Island: shoreline access. This issue has come up recently as some coastal landowners have sought to privatize shoreline despite a guarantee of access for all in the Rhode Island Constitution.
On behalf of New England BHA, Mike testified in support of a bill that would clarify access rules for anglers and other beach goers during a public hearing in February. If passed the bill would remove ambiguity, allow conflicts to be resolved quickly and ensure legal access to the shoreline.
Mike also hosted a live panel discussion on the issue featuring lawmakers and various stakeholders.
Cheers to Mike for all his work on behalf of hunters and anglers in Rhode Island and across New England!