A land that is facing ceaseless development. A people mired in obesity from their over-reliance upon technology and motorized equipment. A quality of life—particularly the sporting life—that is rapidly careening downhill. These are some of the basic tenants of our call to arms—for American and Canadian sportsmen and women to stand up for the wild country and wildlife that depend so much upon it. Now, more than ever before, we need wild lands: places to rekindle the depths of the human soul. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a non-partisan group of sportsmen and women who are standing up for wilderness and for the wildlife that depends upon it.
Following the arrests of armed militants who had been occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement:
"Backcountry Hunters & Anglers cannot support the tactics and objectives of the militants in Oregon. We regret the loss of life associated with the arrests; however, the individuals arrested, along with anyone else who participated in the seizure of Malheur, must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
"We thank law enforcement officials for their attempts to restore law and order to Harney County. The men and women who manage our national wildlife refuge system, including the staff of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, deserve our respect and support."
In conjunction with Trout Unlimited, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and dozens of other conservation groups and outdoors businesses, BHA produced a report on our nation's national monuments to highlight the incredible hunting and fishing values these protected areas have to offer.
Written by Field & Stream's contributing editor Hal Herring, the report highlights five national monuments and the sportsmen who hunt and fish in them. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, NM; Berryessa Snow Mountain, CA; Upper Missouri River Breaks, MT; Browns Canyon, CO; and Rio Grande del Norte, NM offer some of the finest public fishing and hunting in the country, protected forever under the Antiquities Act.
This past week, a group of Oregon and Washington BHA members joined-up at the extremist-controlled Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon to make a strong stand against those who seek to seize our American public lands. This video highlights these boots-on-the-ground efforts. A huge shout out to Ed Putnam, Mark Heckert, and Brian Jennings for their efforts.
At the outset of the current refuge takeover, BHA made a strong statement in opposition to this continued attack on our public lands. BHA National Co-Chair Ben Long has also published articles on this topic for a DC based publication and Outdoor Life.
MISSOULA, Mont. - The sportsmen's group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers urged cool, patient heads to prevail in the extremists' occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, valuable public lands fish and wildlife habitat located in Oregon.
"National wildlife refuges like Malheur are a treasure shared by all Americans," stated BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. "The actions being perpetrated by extremists in Oregon are the misguided actions of a fringe element - and should be condemned by sportsmen and all citizens in the strongest terms."
Oregon sportsmen were quick to decry the extremists' actions. "As sportsmen and conservationists, we urge the occupiers to end this fool's errand," said Brian Jennings, BHA's Oregon outreach coordinator, "and we urge the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to keep their employees safe, be patient and thoroughly enforce the law."