Update from Former Chapter Chair
Not sure where you are in the state but where I am it seems to be perpetual early March out there.
This will be my last greeting as NY Chapter chair as I am super excited to step into my new role as the Chapter Coordinator for New York, New Jersey and New England. It has been a great time as chair and I am stoked to see the NY Chapter take off with Vice Chair Greg Whalin as interim until the board elects a new chair in March. As always, Get out there and enjoy your public lands and waters!
Former NYBHA Chapter Chair
Chapter Board Member Search!
In January, the board voted to add 2 additional seats to the board to bring the total board seats to 13. With Brian leaving the board, we now have a total of 3 open board seats. We are looking for passionate public land advocates in NY interested in getting more involved to apply to join the board. We are open to current BHA members from anywhere in the state, but we would specifically love to see a member from Long Island step up as we currently don’t have a board member representing LI. If you (or anyone you know) is interested, please apply prior to Feb 19th by filling out this form!
The February, 2024 NY BHA Board Search is over.
2024 Chapter Planning
The board is currently wrapping up our annual chapter planning for the 2024 year. We will share an update in the March newsletter with our goals for the year. Stay tuned as we have some exciting event planned in 2024!
Intro to Ice Fishing Event a Success!
The NY BHA chapter partnered with Artemis Sportswomen and WildHERness in hosting a learn to ice fish event on Jan 20th on Mariaville Lake in Pattersonville. The day included a safety debriefing, gear talk, tip-up and jigging ice fishing demonstration, and hands-on skills practice. Several perch and pickerel were pulled up through the ice. For some participants, it was their first time on the ice.
New York Sportsman's Expo
NY BHA volunteers were present at the New York Sportsman's Expo in Syracuse from Jan 26th-28th. The event was attended by thousands of New York sportsmen and sportswomen and was great exposure for the NY Chapter. Thanks to a motivated group of volunteers we spread the word about BHA and recruited a pile of new members!
Legislative / Policy Update
With the legislature back in session in Albany for 2024, it’s a good time to contact your elected officials on important issues. The following are a few bills of interest.
Lead ammo ban on all public lands - Both the Assembly and the Senate have bills proposing banning all lead ammunition only on public lands. This nearly passed last year (passed Assembly and died in Senate) and this is going to be back this year. While we are very much in favor of hunters voluntarily switching to non-toxic ammunition, we feel that these bills are likely to be ineffective and unfairly target only public land hunters. Reach out to your elected officials! The relevant bills are S4976 and A2084
New York wildlife crossing act - A bill that directs the Department of Transportation to identify sites along all highways, thruways and parkways in the state where wildlife crossings are most needed to increase public safety and improve habitat connectivity and create a priority list of wildlife opportunity areas where federal grant monies may be available to implement the top five projects identified. We are in favor of this proposed bill and encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to get this one over the finish line. The relevant bills are S4198 and A4243.
Back tags, hunting rights, crossbows and dogs - A few other bills we would like for you to take action on by contacting your elected officials:
- Remove the requirements for back tags - S367 / A1486
- Remove restrictions on crossbow size/weight/licensing - S3191 / A2940
- Hunting dogs cannot be deemed running at large - S5498 / A2224
- Constitutional right to hunt and fish - S870 / A3348
- Prohibits leasing public land for gas production - S724
- Ban leg gripping traps - A110 / S1619
Unit/Recreation Management Plans and Proposals - DEC regularly seeks public input as they work to manage our public lands. While they will regularly receive input from other groups, often hunters and anglers are fairly silent. It directly benefits the hunting and angling communities for you to take a look at these plans and voice your feedback directly to DEC. They do listen to your input and in the past, our voices have resulted in wins for hunters and anglers. Current plans open for feedback include:
- Keuka Highlands UMP and Keuka Lowlands UMP - comments open until further notice
- Great Divide Unit Management Plan (formerly Erwin UMP and Great Divide UMP) - comments open until further notice
NY BHA Call for Volunteers
We need your help! We are looking for volunteers to help with the following efforts.
- Regional Event Coordinators - Want to help us plan gatherings for your fellow NY BHA members? We need help with local Pint Nights as well as our upcoming NY Rendezvous
- Policy and Legislative work - Our Policy team and newly forming Legislative team needs passionate folks to jump in and help us do the important work to protect our public lands and access for hunters and anglers!
- Mentorship work - We want to build a list of folks in the state who are open to being mentors for new hunters and anglers. We have opportunities and need for folks who can give a little all the way up to folks who want to really invest a lot. Everything from answering questions to being a one on one coach to participating on our larger weekend long hunt camps for new hunters.
- Conservation work - We are working with DEC to have more opportunities for events to do quality habitat work on our public lands. Want to roll your sleeves up and help, we would love to have you!
If you are interested in volunteering a bit of your time and talents, please let us know by filling out and submitting this form.
How to Connect with Us
Here are a few ways you can keep in touch with the New York BHA chapter:
Stay up to date with events and blogs from New York on our BHA web page at New York Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
Join our Facebook group at New York BHA on Facebook.
Follow us on Instagram New York BHA (@newyorkbha).
Contact the Chapter Board by email: [email protected]
Thank our sponsors: New York BHA Corporate Sponsors
Join us at an upcoming event: BHA Events
Signup to be a volunteer: NY BHA Volunteer