Spring 2020 Oregon Chapter News

It was a busy end to the decade for Oregon BHA, and we are charging into the 2020’s like a bighorn on a mission!  While membership was busy chasing animals large and small with hunting seasons in full swing, it did not deter us from developing some new and exciting events and programs to expand BHA’s mission, reach and exposure. The past quarter has seen several events that have motivated membership and driven recruitment, reengagement, and retention.  This includes Oregon BHA’s very first pint night in Eugene, Oregon! Thank you to all who managed this event or attended. It’s exciting to see the growth of public land owners and conservationists throughout this great state.

Oregon BHA, however, was not satisfied to have its outreach only in person. We held our first wild game recipe contest on Instagram. Social media has become an increasingly powerful tool and the Oregon BHA communications team looks forward to further engaging online communities in a manner that shows the dedication, passion, and mission of BHA.  Follow us @oregon_bha

Another exciting new event was a crossover brought about by NW Oregon Board Member Joel Strimling and two local winemakers that he has taught how to hunt. They have become ardent proponents of wild food, conservation and how wine pairs with wild food. On Nov 24th Teutonic winery and Fausse Piste winery hosted a Wine & Wild Game tasting event at the Teutonic Winery, in Portland, Oregon. 

While this event brought out BHAers and other conservation-minded folks, it also brought Portland urbanites that otherwise would not have tasted wild game. The bear stroganoff was the most popular dish. All game meat was donated by BHA members, as well as from what the winemakers had harvested on their own. Oregon BHA board members and volunteers were on hand to answer questions about who and what BHA is, while the winemakers made several announcements throughout espousing the benefits of wild game, hunting, and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.  The thank you and welcome that the general public gave BHA at this event was heartwarming.

It has been often said that hunters are not losing numbers and public lands because they are having issues engaging hunters and those that have a hunting background in their family. … Rather, we’re losing out from those that have never hunted and whose families do not hunt.  People removed from public land concerns and hunting issues simply lack exposure and thereby understanding. Oregon BHA looks forward to this continued yearly event to gain exposure with the nonhunting public for our mutual benefit.

We’re not resting on our laurels with events either!  Oregon BHA has been very focused on local policy and action. We have continued to make strides in public land conservation and engagement, with input on the Elliot State Forest.  As well, we are monitoring issues and input on the Kalamath River Recreational Facilities plan, as it pertains both to access and conservation of a critical environment for many species.

Finally, Oregon BHA’s Ambassador team has been invaluable to issues and efforts throughout the state.  Ambassador Scott Peckman is working with the USFS and ODFW to help stop illegal road usage in the Blue Mountains in the NE corner of the state. The goal is to get an inventory of roads that have a history of illegal use. With the help of BHA and others the group will help repair signs and monitor for violations. Ambassador Katelyn Lambert became a Salmon Trout Enhancement Program Instructor in the SW region of the state and conducted training at all of the Jackson County grade schools in 2019. She looks to add all of the schools in Josephine County in 2020 to the list for the STEP program. The STEP program is geared toward education to involve youth in one of the NW’s greatest natural resources. Finally, in a cross organizational outreach, Ambassador Karl Findling, in the Central Region, is working with Oregon Hunters Association to secure grant money to help the Malheur Chapter of Pheasants Forever conduct habitat restoration for upland birds.  We thank these and all our ambassadors for being added eyes, ears and boots on the ground for Oregon BHA!

We’re excited to head into a new decade of working to ensure meaningful discourse, public land access, and representing the hunters and anglers voice for the greatest state in the union.  Please feel free to reach out to us for information, to get involved, or to let us know of any issues you feel we should be made aware of at oregon@backcountryhunters.org

You can also find us social media, where we post our state events for each region as well as updates to opportunities to get your boots a bit dusty for good causes.

 

Happy hunting as we all ruck into the new decade!

About Zack Williams

Backcountry Journal editor

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