Public lands are very dear to me. I have worked on National Forests and National Park Service adminstrated lands. I have recreated on everything from city parks to state forests to national seashores. I try not to take them for granted.
It was a real delight to find a sportsmen's (and sportswomen's) group that was so invested in united a diverse set of stakeholders to make sure our national legacy was preserved from divestment from the public trust.
Seeing a disconnect in some of my peers from the importance of both public lands and the sportsfolk that have been their stewards for a long and the health of the wildlife and habitat they study, I decided something had to be down. With a small group of like-minded students, I started a collegiate chapter of BHA at my university.
The state and national components have backed me from the start. Providing support for our local student chapter, and helping us find a voice, we have contributed to local and national conversations on conservation. They also truly value the opinions and experiences we bring to the table. I have seen suggestions and materials brought to their attention by members and seen it incorporated into the larger conversation in the organization. Further yet, they support and pay attention to science, helping me achieve professional development by providing me support to get to a national academic conference as well as the national BHA Rendezvous. Both provided me with great leadership training oppurtunities.
Let me be real for a moment, this organization is not a unicorn fart. It actually exists and such as room to grow and learn from mistakes. But what makes this organization so great, is that if they do find something the need to improve on, they go forward thoughtfully to make sure they actually do improve. And they don't just wait for something to happen, they actively look for areas of improvement to prevent problems.
All in all, this organization has been a constructive part of my life, and the community derived from the fellow volunteers with whom I share the hard work is worth all of the hardwork and more. BHA just gets it. At least that's my experience.
I am a student at the University of Montana and the current president of the collegiate club of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers for the 2019-2020 academic year. Before coming to school in Montana I had never heard of BHA and first got involved with the colligate club. That first semester of school 3 years ago I quickly became an active member of the club sharing the same values as many of its members. The collegiate club also provided me with a welcoming hunting community that helped me harvest my first Montana mule deer that fall! After that first year, I became much more involved with the national club (the headquarters being in Missoula) providing me with great opportunities to expanding my professional network and developing my leadership skills as a collegiate leader. BHA has been an integral part of my time here at the University of Montana and has provided me with outstanding experiences to help me in my professional career after graduation.
Aside from my personal benefits, the colligate club here at UM has benefited hundreds of students by providing them with the resources and opportunities to become knowledgeable, independent, sportsman/woman. We provide flagship programs, like hunter mentorships, fishing clinics, and wildlife/wildland management talks to get students of all backgrounds into the outdoor community and becoming conservation advocates.
Attached is a picture of my first Montana mule deer harvested at one of UM BHA's flagship hunter mentorship programs my first semester at UM.
BHA is the premier organization in North America fighting to protect our public property rights. Some see public land as a resource to be given to states and then sold to wealthy business people. For them, maximizing economic gain is all that matters. BHA sees public lands as a birthright for all citizens of North America, to be stewarded and passed to future generations. It makes us all incalculably richer to know we can go anywhere on hundreds of millions of acres in the U.S. and Canada, and that those lands will be rich in fish and wildlife resources for all.
I became aware of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers about 7 years ago. I was pleased to find an organization whose mission was to protect and maintain access to our public lands, promote responsible hunting and fishing, and advocate for scientific management of fish and wildlife and their habitats. I've been volunteering ever since attending their 2nd Annual Rendezvous in 2013.
The most inspiring group i've ever been a part of. They drive a positive and growing community of volunteers to stand up for public land, fair chase and ethics in the outdoors. from leadership to the newest volunteer, there's great buy in and actual projects with boots on the ground that lead the public lands movement. I recommend them to anyone and everyone
I have volunteered with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers over the past 3 years and I look forward to many more. BHA fights for the things that I care about as an outdoorsman, specifically access, habitat and opportunity. BHA isn't just talk either, they are actively working nationally and locally to protect these things. A great example being the Montana chapter recently filed suit against the Forest Service because it is not maintaining historical public access in the Crazy Mountains - an area that I recreate in often.
BHA wants to ensure that access to public land is maintained, increased and improved for all public land owners.
Best hunting and angling organization out there in my book! For those of us who relay on quality public access to public lands and waters - BHA helps speak-up for you.
I've been involved with BHA in Minnesota and Wisconsin in varying roles for about 6 years now. I've been a state chapter board member and have helped organize several events. I've been involved with various other conservation groups and those have paled in comparison the to the absolute passion that drives BHA. Their dedication to conserving land, water and wildlife is unmatched and they make amazing use of the funds generated. They have a great track record of advocacy and getting volunteers involved in various activities from cleaning up public lands to meeting with stakeholders. I'm a proud BHA member and couldn't be more excited for the future of this organizaion.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is an incredible organization that I'm proud to support. BHA consistently exceeds my expectations in terms of providing its volunteers with the resources & support they need to protect public lands and waters on a grass roots, state, regional and national level. I can't think of another conservation group out there that better reflects my personal values, but more importantly, that is consistently showing up, standing up, and speaking up for critical resources like clean water, public lands, open space, and ecosystem services that benefit all Americans - not just hunters and anglers. They are a first class non-profit organization.
BHA is a solid organization. Rare amongst hunting-oriented conservation groups, it is a measured, bipartisan voice for wildlife and wildlife places. It is also unique amongst its peers because of the youth of its member base. All in all, BHA is one of the most exciting new conservation NGO's out there.
I am grateful that this organization exists. BHA does a great job at promoting science-based wildlife management decisions and championing public land and water issues. As a biologist and sportsmen, I couldn't think of a better organization to represent me. They are well organized at the National and state levels and full of passionate, hard-working employees and volunteers.
As a young hunter and angler, I appreciate what this organization stands for in advocating for better management of our public lands and waters. They're well organized on the state/chapter and federal levels by educating outdoor enthusiasts and shedding light on how important access is to our outdoor recreation economy.