On behalf of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, thank you for the work you do every day on behalf of our public lands and waters. Millions of American families would not be able to hunt, fish or otherwise recreate on our public lands without dedicated public servants like yourself.
Born around an Oregon campfire in 2004, BHA is a voice for the wild public lands, waters and wildlife that sustain our uniquely American sporting heritage. Our organization has grown as sportsmen, public land managers and decision makers look to us to defend against ongoing attacks on the funding, personnel and policy that have supported our public land management system for decades.
Here are a few recent examples of ways we have stood up for our land and natural resource managers:
1) When armed radicals launched an occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January 2016, BHA was there to oppose their anti-government, anti-public lands views. Through BHA members who traveled to the refuge itself, videos on social media, rallies at state capitols across the West and articles in outlets ranging from the New York Times to Field & Stream, we reached millions of public land owners, spurring a national movement to #keepitpublic.
2) Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah skirmished with BHA’s army of public land owners when he introduced bills aimed at diminishing our federal public lands management system through the outright sale of lands (HR 621) and abolishing federal enforcement personnel on public lands (HR 622). Our pushback against these misguided efforts was met with a politician’s rare public about-face when Rep. Chaffetz subsequently announced his decision to abandon HR 621.
3) BHA chapter leaders are working to assist you with the implementation of land management plans by funding signage projects to ensure legal and responsible motorized use, organizing collaborative work projects to remove wildlife migration barriers, and co-hosting policy forums to build awareness of and appreciation for the work you do.
4) Every year, BHA works the halls of Congress to ensure our public land agencies have the financial resources needed to manage our public lands. We’ve done this by actively engaging in the budget process, working to advance legislation like the Wildfire Disaster Resilience Act and advocating for full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
5) BHA understands the challenges of balancing the many uses and values of our public lands. We are focused on mobilizing our members so that you have the support you need to make decisions based on sound science and with broad public support.
Ultimately, we remain committed to supporting public lands managers like yourself, in recognition of both what you’re doing day to day – and what your efforts represent in the long term.
Thank you for all that you do for our wild public lands and waters!