Utah BHA Spring 2019 Update

The Utah Chapter has hit the ground running this spring! Earlier this year the Utah Chapter met in Salt Lake City for the 2019 General Elections. Three new members were added to the Central Region Board, while Board members in the other regions returned for another year of service. The increase in board seats is a reflection of our dramatic increase in membership over the past year. Additionally, we welcomed a new Chapter Secretary, Caitlin Curry, and our previous Secretary, Perry Hall, stepped up to become the Chapter Vice Chair. Josh Lenart remains Chapter Chair.

Our first major event of the year was a Pint Night, hosted during the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo. While the politics and priorities of the WHCE and its organizers remain somewhat nebulous, this was a golden opportunity to bring new public landowners into the fold. Vortex Optics generously donated a large number of T- shirts for new and current members, as well as a spotting scope, binoculars, and a rangefinder for raffle prizes. With over 100 people in attendance and 35 new members signed up, this was by far our most successful pint night to date. Highlights included visits from Randy Newberg and the Born and Raised Outdoors crew. The public landowner spirit is alive and well in Utah!

While it seems that the public land movement is gaining ground here, our elected leaders are up to their usual tricks. The State of Utah has filed a petition with the USDA to revoke and rewrite the Roadless Rule as applied to Utah’s national forests. The state claims this petition is being put forth as an effort to reduce fuel loads in roadless areas, a fire prevention measure. Unfortunately, this also opens these areas up to commercial logging and the building of permanent roads. This petition misrepresents the state of Utah’s roadless areas by implying that our roadless forests are unhealthy and that fire suppression efforts have increased the risk of catastrophic fires. The best available scientific literature does not support either conclusion. BHA stands firmly in opposition to efforts that threaten the integrity of roadless areas. The Utah chapter will be keeping a close eye on this petition and preparing our official response. More to come.

To learn more about current issues in Utah, visit the BHA website.

About Katie DeLorenzo

As BHA's Western Regional Manager Katie supports Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah and other coordinators across the west. When not working, she's exploring the Southwest with her husband, toddler and black lab, cooking wild game, and shooting her bow.