National Policy Update

The Great American Outdoors Act

The President signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law on Aug. 4. GAOA is bipartisan and bicameral legislation that fully dedicates $900 million annually to the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the nearly $20 billion in maintenance backlogs on our public lands and waters.

This victory could not have happened without your support and the support of Congress. It’s important to thank your lawmakers for helping advance the Great American Outdoors Act to the President’s desk and enacting it as law.

Bristol Bay

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today welcomed a decision by the Trump administration to slow development of a massive gold and copper mining project in the fish- and wildlife-rich region of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is requiring the Pebble Partnership to develop strategies for mitigating “adverse impacts” of the Pebble Mine on fish and wildlife habitat, including wetlands and streams, in the southwest Alaska project site, delaying advancement of a project long criticized by a broad coalition of sportsmen and women, businesses and Alaskans.

William Perry Pendley

Since the summer of 2019, the Bureau of Land Management has been under the temporary authority of William Perry Pendley, a vociferous opponent of U.S. public lands who has advocated for their sale. Earlier this summer, the Trump administration announced its intent to nominate Pendley to officially lead the agency, which oversees over 245 million acres of public lands and waters in the western United States. In mid August, the administration withdrew Pendley’s nomination; however, Pendley remains acting director of BLM.

Pendley is an attorney with a long and established track record of supporting the sale of millions of acres of U.S. public lands and waters. Until 2018 he was president of the conservative law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation and has authored books including Warriors for the West: Fighting Bureaucrats, Radical Groups, and Liberal Judges on America's Frontier and War on the West: Government Tyranny on America's Great Frontier. In 2016 he wrote a National Review column calling on the federal government to sell Western public lands.

Pendley is not fit for nomination, and he is not fit to be employed by the BLM in any capacity. Join BHA in asking your senators to call for qualified nominees who can be vetted appropriately in a transparent U.S. Senate confirmation hearing process.

Expanding Hunting and Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges

On Aug. 18, Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt announced a final rule that expands hunting and fishing access across 2.3 million acres at 147 national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. BHA praised the proposed rule back in April. You can find the complete list of refuges and hatcheries impacted by this rule here.