Photo: MT BHA Board Member Rachelle Schrute
Leaders of the Montana chapter made more than 150 phone calls to BHA members urging them to call our congressman and thank him for voicing his support for the Great American Outdoors Act - and also asking him to do more to ensure that his colleagues in the House support a clean bill with no amendments. Montana members also sent 368 emails asking the same. The chapter spent $200 in promoting BHA’s GAOA action alert here in Montana, and also offered $2,000 of their own money supporting other, younger BHA chapters with targeted House districts. Two chapter leaders - Molly Elliott and Rachelle Schrute - had letters to the editor published in the bottom of the ninth, days before the House vote.
Prior to that, in June, leading up to the vote in the Senate, Montana members sent 785 letters to our senators thanking them for cosponsoring the Great American Outdoor Act and encouraging them to use their influence to pass a clean bill. Chapter leaders made more than 100 phone calls to members asking for them to call both Sens. Daines and Tester.
The chapter’s tireless grassroots efforts helped ensure that all three members of the Montana delegation supported the GAOA.
In late June, the chapter hosted an outdoor, socially distanced member meeting followed by a state lands cleanup with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks where bags of casings, shotgun shells and pieces of clay pigeons were picked up. A few days later, the chapter rewarded the black bear hunters who reported illegal motorized use - a helicopter landing, no less - within the Bob Marshall Wilderness, once the pilot was convicted and fined by the U.S. Forest Service.
In July, the chapter commented on three different proposed conservation easements that would ensure permanent public access, and they’ve exceeded their goal of raising $2,000 in a Montana chapter sweepstakes, which includes a custom "Keep it Public" longbow and a pack from BHA partner Stone Glacier - you can still enter here!
On July 19th, Eastern Montana Chapter Leader Matt Rinella hosted a fence pull on private lands enrolled in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Block Management Program, which means they’re open to public hunting. The group of nine BHA members pulled roughly a half-mile of dilapidated fence to improve wildlife movement and express public hunters’ gratitude for these private landowners opening access.
And finally, in just one week, Montana BHA members generated 278 letters encouraging Montana's federal delegation to introduce legislation to permanently protect the Badger-Two Medicine. At the end of that week, on July 22, Montana’s senior senator, Jon Tester, answered the call and introduced the Badger-Two Medicine Protection Act, which will safeguard this sacred landscape as a cultural heritage area while preserving public access, hunting and fishing opportunities and traditional uses. Show your support for this legislation here.