July 23, 2014

National Public Lands Day: Step-up and Speak-out

ducksSeptember 29th marks a deer opener in Western Oregon; waterfowl opener in Montana; moose opener in Minnesota; and last but certainly not least…National Public Lands Day in the United States of America! To honor National Public Lands Day, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is asking sportsmen everywhere to step-up and speak-out for the public lands we all enjoy.

The U.S. remains the only place in the world where sportsmen and women have free access to large swaths of public land, over 650 million acres in total. Much of this land is available to us thanks to conservation-minded sportsmen like Teddy Roosevelt. Sportsmen have since followed in Teddy’s shoes by supporting the funding and policies needed to provide high quality hunting and fishing habitat and access for all to experience.

As the cost of hunting and fishing on private lands becomes prohibitive for many sportsmen, and as development contributes to habitat loss, maintaining public land access and habitat remains as important as ever.

That’s why we all need to do our part to step-up and speak-out in support funding for public lands access through programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Or, that we take the time to educate our Congressional leadership about sportsmen’s concerns with legislation like the Border Bill. Or, (if not already hunting this Saturday) that we volunteer for a National Public Lands Day project.

Regardless of whether you’re chasing black-tail deer on a National Forest in the Cascades, decoying ducks on a wildlife refuge in Montana, or paddling in pursuit of moose in Minnesota’s wilderness – please take a moment this Saturday (9/29) to step-up and speak-out on behalf of our public lands. Our hunting and fishing heritage depends on it.

About Tom Sadler

Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Key grip and trout wrangler at Dispatches from the Middle River. Playing Doc Holliday to the Wyatt Earps of the fish and wildlife conservation world. Tenkara fly-fisherman, outdoor journalist, AFFTA board member.

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