Support the PUBLIC Lands Act - Take Action Today!
The California Chapter of BHA has spent several years advocating for the passage of legislation that would have a monumental impact on rivers, forests and habitat for a number of species in the state while also helping to reduce the risk of fire through proactive management practices. The Golden State offers diverse hunting and angling opportunities and boasts breathtaking scenery across a variety of climatic zones and topographies. From the old growth temperate rain forests of Northern California to the mountains and grasslands bordering the sea of the Central Coast, there are ample opportunities for sportsmen and women to pursue their quarry on these majestic public lands.
Hundreds of miles of wild and scenic river systems, hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest lands and hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness in California stand to benefit from the Protecting Unique and Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California (PUBLIC) Lands Act led by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA). This language is included in three stand alone bills in the House of Representatives: the San Gabriel Mountains Protection Act led by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act led by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act led by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). Throughout these landscapes are legendary salmon, steelhead and trout fisheries as well as habitat for California’s iconic game animals including bighorn sheep, bear, elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, quail, turkey and more.
Together these bills would designate nearly 600,000 acres of new wilderness, protect more than 583 miles of new wild and scenic rivers, expand San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by over 100,000 acres, and restore nearly 750,000 acres of National Forest System lands to boost watershed health, ecological resilience and reduce wildfire risk – specifically by requiring federal agencies to coordinate fire management practices in wilderness areas, especially in large wilderness areas managed across more than one jurisdiction. This legislation will secure habitat critical for California’s wildlife in the most remote portions of the state while simultaneously enhancing access and opportunities for sportsmen and women who face the challenges of encroaching urbanization along the state’s coast and inland communities. In the 117th Congress this legislation passed the House of Representatives on multiple occasions and was considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The California Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers strongly supports the PUBLIC Lands Act introduced by Senator Padilla and cosponsored by Senator Feinstein. The Act supports BHA’s mission of preserving access to hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands for all, protecting public land from wildfire risk, creating access to the public, all while preserving hunting and fishing access to these lands.- California BHA Chapter Co-Chair Eric Hanson
Join BHA in asking your member of Congress to support this legislation that would conserve habitat in California and ensure healthy wildlife for future generations of sportsmen and women!