After carrying a heavy load this legislative session, Montana BHA was able to lighten our packs just a bit as we strode into summer. Here's a quick recap on what we've been up to and what's on deck.
First, Some Well-Deserved Recognition, and Some Fun
Before BHA's big annual event, the 10th Annual North American Rendezvous, the Montana Chapter was recognized for its outstanding work as BHA Chapter of the Month.
At Rendezvous, our Board Chair, John B. Sullivan III, was awarded the Mike Beagle-Chairman's Award, an award presented to an individual who shows outstanding effort on behalf of BHA.
During the same event, the MT Chapter, led by Tom Healy and Scott DeSena, represented us in the Camp Chef Cookoff, with a presentation themed, "A Celebration of Sage" as a nod to North America's most threatened landscape. The courses featured critters and plants - both native and invasive - found in the sagebrush steppe.
A few weeks later, Chapter Leaders Molly VandeVoort and Scott DeSena were at it again in the kitchen, this time hosting a couple from North Dakota who held the winning bid on a Cabin with a Cook offered by the Chapter. All had great fun, and they ate like royalty!
Policy, Letters of Support, Stewardship Outings and New Faces
We sent a letter of encouragement regarding a public land acquisition funded with LWCF dollars.
We supported efforts to restore native trout fisheries.
We cheered the reintroduction of two pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Tester: the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, which would protect 80,000 acres of new wilderness, and the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act, which would designate 387 miles of Montana's rivers as Wild & Scenic.
We applauded the reintroduction of the MAPLand ACT, co-sponsored by Sen. Daines, which would uncover existing access easements and help identify where future public access opportunities exist.
We pulled unnecessary fences that were inhibiting wildlife movement near Missoula.
We asked the USFS to use funds allocated from the Great American Outdoors Act to help with trail connectivity in the Custer Gallatin.
We elevated Montana BHA life member DJ Zor to be the Chapter's Armed Forces Initiative liaison, and we added or renewed several state-based corporate partners.
We partnered with Wild Montana to clear more than 5 kilometers of trail in the Sapphires.
July 17: Antelope Migration Fence Pull near Horse Prairie
Aug. 2-9 - Grizzly Park Weeds Project in the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Aug. 13-15: Indian Creek Invasive Weed Pull in the Great Burn Proposed Wilderness
Aug. 27 - Fly Fishing Film Tour - Missoula's Ogren Park at Allegiance Field
Recipe from the Backcountry
For a summer favorite and a great way to put your venison grind to good use, we recommend this simple but delicious maple bleu-cheeseburger shared with us by public land owner Marty Maddalena. Click here for the recipe.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement from all of us on the Montana BHA Volunteer Board. As a reminder, if you're not already a BHA member, we ask you to join us here. If you're unsure if your membership has expired or need to update your mailing address for the Backcountry Journal, you can do so here.
Thanks again, and please remember to give those trout a break in the heat this summer, and please, please, please be mindful of the hot and dry conditions as you celebrate the 4th.
- The Montana Chapter of BHA
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