2024 Annual Planning Meeting
As 2023-24 hunting seasons wind down, New England BHA’s Board is making plans for the upcoming year. During the weekend of January 27th theNEBHA Board held its annual meeting, where we recounted success from last year, and strategized around how the Chapter could more effectively carry out the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Mission within our Region.
Since last year’s planning meeting New England BHA’s Chapter Board welcomed two new Board members – Aaron Townsley & Pat Saunders, both of Massachusetts. Pat & Aaron join Rob Bryan (ME), Ethan Dreissigacker (VT), Alex Gust (CT), John Simoneau (ME, Chapter Secretary), Heather Kusmierz (NH, Chapter Treasurer), Matt Breton (VT, Chapter Board Vice-Chair), and Michael Woods (RI, Chapter Board Chair) to fill out New England BHA’s Chapter Board for the upcoming year.
Successful Small Game Course
On Thursday, January 11th the Massachusetts State Leadership Team partnered with MassWildlife to offer a Small Game Hunting course. Well over 200 individuals registered for this online live taught course. The comprehensive program covered squirrel and rabbit biology, regulations, equipment, where to hunt, tips for during the hunt, and of course processing and cooking.
The team is following up the course with a cleanup and squirrel hunt at MassWildlife’s Headquarters on February 10. For more information, see the event page here.
Striped Bass Addendum II & ASMFC Winter Meeting Recap
Late last year, ASMFC’s Striped Bass Board approved the development of Addendum II , which was intended to “build upon the 2023 emergency action by considering management measures intended to reduce fishing mortality to the target level in 2024”. Last November, BHA published our priorities for inclusion in the Addendum, and every Chapter from Maine to North Carolina collaborated to submit written testimony to ASMFC supporting our priorities.
In addition to the Chapter comments, hundreds of members and supporters weighed in through BHA’s Action Alert, and thousands more provided public comments supporting the inclusion of conservation-minded options.
At ASMFC’s Winter Meeting, the Striped Bass Board convened to finalize Addendum II and implement the measures that were approved for inclusion. In this piece we’ll be breaking down the happenings and results of the meeting issue-by-issue, vote-by-vote. If that’s more detail than you’re interested here are a couple simple takeaways:
Rhode Island 2024 Policy Priorities
On January 2nd, 2024 both chambers of the Rhode Island General Assembly convened to begin the 2024 legislative session. In the upcoming year BHA’s Rhode Island team plans to continue working on several ongoing policy initiatives, and to address new legislative and regulatory issues that arise affecting Rhode Island’s public lands, waters and wildlife. Click here for a deep dive on the Rhode Island team’s top policy priorities for 2024.
Massachusetts 2023 Policy Roundup
2023 was another busy year for the Massachusetts BHA team! From Beacon Hill to Westborough, the New England Chapter worked diligently on behalf of our fishing and hunting heritage, not to mention our public lands, waters, and wildlife. For a complete rundown on all of our top issues click here.
Rhode Island 2023 Policy Roundup
2023 was a busy year for the Rhode Island BHA team – we made progress on several key issues, and notched a couple significant wins too. Click here for an overview of our work at the Rhode Island General Assembly and other state agencies from 2023.
We have an extraordinary group of Corporate Partners that are supporting the chapter. We strongly encourage you to support these businesses. If you are looking to book a guided hunt or fishing trip, start with these businesses. We’ve got conservation minded guides offering waterfowl, upland, freshwater fly fishing, saltwater fly fishing, and in-shore saltwater trips. Now is the time to book trips because many of these guides are fully booked by spring.
If you have health and fitness goals for 2024, or a big hunt planned in 2024 check out Ridgeline Athlete. They have a bunch of training plans to help you achieve your goals, including a program that kicks off on February 5 that is perfect for getting ready for all your outdoor adventures. BHA members get a discounted rate, so get in touch with Ridgeline Athlete to learn more and sign up. If you are ready to register, contact Brian Bird ([email protected]) for your exclusive discount code for Ridgeline Athlete Programs.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in becoming a Chapter Corporate Partner, please reach out to Brian Bird ([email protected]) for more information.
Call to Volunteer
BHA Members who are interested in getting more involved in efforts within their state can send the applicable State Leadership Team an email to learn more.
Connecticut – [email protected]
Maine – [email protected]
Massachusetts – [email protected]
New Hampshire – [email protected]
Rhode Island – [email protected]
Vermont – [email protected]
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The best way to support BHA’s work in New England, and across North America, is to become a member. Not only will this get you entered for deals & giveaways, but it also comes with a subscription to BHA’s quarterly magazine, Backcountry Journal and signs you up for Chapter emails about events, projects and policy issues in your area.