The California Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers was amped to see the House pass a massive public lands package last month, H.R. 803, Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands.
H.R. 803 consists of nine bills designating roughly 1.49 million acres of public lands as wilderness, incorporating more than 1,000 river miles as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and ensuring that wildlife habitat across approximately 1.3 million acres of public land will remain permanently intact. Within this monumental package of legislation are three California specific bills that the Chapter has been working on promoting since they were first announced several years ago. You can read the chapter’s endorsements of each piece of legislation here:
- San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act
- Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forests Act
- Central Coast Heritage Protection Act
“The California Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has long supported the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act; the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act; and the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act,” said Eric Hanson, policy chair for the California Chapter. “These bills promote public access and protect critical habitat in the state by adding hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness, expanding the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, designating hundreds of miles of rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and enhancing wildfire management.”
“The challenges of the past year have shown how important our public lands are to Californians,” Hanson continued. “Record numbers of people relied on our open spaces for solace and recreation, even as catastrophic wildfires ravaged parts of the state. These bills address crucial issues on our public lands while preserving recreational opportunities like hunting and fishing. We thank the House for moving on this important legislation and encourage the Senate to quickly pass these bills as well.”
We will continue to monitor this legislation and will inform our members of its status as it moves on to the Senate. Thank you to everyone for your grassroots activism in support of these bills!