BHA Response to McMorris Rodgers’ Nomination as Interior Secretary

Trump, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Trump, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

MISSOULA, Mont. -( In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s expected nomination of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement:

“Representative McMorris Rodgers’ track record in Congress should raise a red flag for Americans who care about the responsible management of our public lands and waters. President-elect Trump has pledged to keep public lands in public hands, and American sportsmen expect him to be true to his word.

“Representative McMorris Rodgers’ misguided positions on public lands, including co-sponsoring bills that would have transferred public lands to private ownership and undermined the Land and Water Conservation Fund, one of America’s most successful and popular conservation programs, are troubling to say the least.”

McMorris Rodgers has represented Washington’s 5th congressional district, which includes Spokane and the eastern third of the state, since 2005. In 2011 she co-sponsored the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, which would have transferred ownership of more than 3 million acres of public lands to private interests.

Last year, she advocated to limit public lands acquisitions via the LWCF, a proven tool for successfully conserving habitat and sustaining public access opportunities.

McMorris Rodgers in 2014 voted in support of legislation introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah that would hobble the authority of presidential administrations to create national monuments.

She has consistently favored the interests of extraction interests such as the oil and gas industry, which has been a major financial backer of her election and reelection campaigns.

She also has supported efforts to address the problem of “fire borrowing” and resolve budgetary conflicts in the U.S. Forest Service, an issue of particular importance to BHA and other sportsmen’s groups.

BHA Washington chapter leader Bart George, who lives in Colbert, urged McMorris Rodgers to support America’s public lands system:

“In the past, Representative McMorris Rodgers has been receptive to the forest management priorities of the Washington chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in the Colville National Forest. We look forward to continuing this dialogue should she become Interior secretary. Our public lands and waters comprise a shared legacy that I and my fellow hunters and anglers want to pass on to future generations. We stand united against any efforts to weaken or dispose of this legacy.”

Tawney concluded:

“Ultimately, we look forward to working with the Trump administration, including its Interior secretary, to responsibly administer valuable lands and waters, conserve important fish and wildlife habitat and uphold opportunities for the public to hunt, fish and otherwise access our public lands. Since adequate funding is critical to the work of federal management agencies, we will work to ensure that our natural resource professionals have the resources they need to do their jobs. Most importantly, we will remain absolutely focused on overcoming efforts to sell, transfer or otherwise turn over management of public lands to state or private interests. Our public lands represent our nation’s best idea, our kids’ inheritance, and our past, present and future.”

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.


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Comrade X

Oh an guess what;

Today Is Bill of Rights Day;

And for those who have forgotten; “The key point is this: A free society does not just “happen.” It has to be deliberately created and deliberately maintained. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”


No, the state’s will sell them and we the people will lose access to them. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Comrade X

Where does it say in the constitution that the federal government has the right to own 50% to even 80% of the land of one of our states?

There would not be a United States if that was in the constitution prior to ratification, no state would have accepted it.

Any group that promotes such insanity is a group that also promotes living outside the limits that our fore fathers intended in our constitution and is a group that should not be supported by anyone who holds up our constitution as the law of this land.


We are the government, local, state, and federal. If you sell the land to private interests, you sell our heritage and our kids’ legacy. Regulation stops abuse by exploiters, abusers, and destroyers, and keeps it for our enjoyment.

Comrade X

caseyman, The constitution does not give the federal government the ability to take over vast amounts of state lands. If “We the people” desire that than there is a process to change the constitution in the constitution otherwise the federal government continuing actions to seize vast parts of state lands are unconstitutional and one day should be reversed if we ever get a Supreme court majority made up of originalists, such as the late Justice Scalia. Something I hope will happen in our future one day. We need to start following the 10th amendment just like we do also need… Read more »


Actually, there is no property at all without the government, so it is not an issue of giving the gov the right. There are no states without federal recognition.
You seem to fear serfdom of the government, but I fear serfdom, tyranny, and abuse by business and corporations. The government I have a say in, Exxon, BP, Kimberly Clark, etc.—not so much. Despite what the Orange Neo-Mussolini and Russian lover says, big business is not our friend.


BTW–The feds have “seized” no land; that is a myth perpetrated by cowboy welfare queens like the Bundys. The Bundys use OUR land and exploit our resources, and then refuse to pay even the minimal rent we charge them. They are worse than the oil, mineral, and timber companies who at least pay 19th century value royalties to we the people. The Land belongs to all of US, the people of the United States, not to any particular person or state.


Better regulation by we the people than no access or crude exploitation because some greedy corporation or rich person owns it. Ever see the coastal “forests” in the state of Washington? 8-10 trees deep, then clearcut stumps for miles

Comrade X

caseyman I understand you completely, the government is all powerful, it gives us our rights and thus can take them away just like our property. The individual rights is always subservient to the rule of the government just like in our constitution it was not the federal government powers that our forefathers wanted to limit but those of the individual and the states. Our forefathers did not intend to give us a divided & thus weak federal government but one where those few (a growing number all the time it’s appears) who make up our government are our supreme rulers… Read more »

Comrade X

I live in Washington state and am proud to say I have been involved in cutting down a bunch of those dem dere trees, ever heard of trees being a renewable resource. I know a bunch of people who have made themselves a good living with a hoedad replanting those trees too! Good jobs cutting those trees, good jobs replanting those trees and good jobs building houses (among other things) with those cut trees too! Been a lot of schools built and teachers paid (another good job btw) with the taxes made from cutting those trees too! How do you… Read more »


I am not really finding anything wrong with this pick. Although, I’d be more in favor of transferring federal lands to the states for them to decide what to do with.


No, the state’s will sell them and we the people will lose access to them. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Wild Bill

@Caseynm, Yes, that is so, but I do not know which is worse: 1 the federal government that mismanages the land and animals, and can only keep the law abiding people off the land: or 2. the states that would be just as corrupt, inept, and quick to sell the land to big business; or 3. big business that would exclude the people forever; or 4. the people ourselves who can’t even refrain from throwing garbage out of their car windows, much less manage vast millions of acres.


I never have understood why the govt. owns vast acres of land. It is just another drain on our tax dollars because they over regulate the land and hire too many people to manage it. Sell it off to help pay the national debt down and put in individuals hands to own and operate. Doesn’t this ownership sound a little like socialism? Just think, that would stop the govt. from heavily handed fighting with citizens over rights to use.


You ARE the government. Quit trying to sell your own kids’ heritage.


The state has far more restrictions or just as many! The people own the lands. I dredge for heavy metals in our creeks and rivers. I create fish habitat! I leave a deep blue pool of water that fish need during hot summers. They swim behind me while dredging and eat! 1872 congressional minING act allows citizens to locate/prospect for minerals on public lands. Keep the land in the people’s hand. Police ourselves and pick up after the slobs. Heavy fines for littering or polluting. Hold dirt bags accountable! We all want a healthy place to live.

enslaved citizen

Another excellent choice by President Trump!

Dwight Kehoe

There are two views on the use and control of public lands. Either one could be bad or good. It depends upon which department is controlling the land and also who in the private sector is buying it. Being a cynic, my first inclination is that holding land by the government is not the best thing for the people. Too much regulation and interference. I think the land should be owned and controlled by the citizens, as much as possible. Remember how Clinton grabbed hundreds of square miles of land in Utah ostensibly to prevent the destruction of it by… Read more »


No, we, all of us, are the government. We all own the land. Save it for our kids, stop selling off their heritage to greedy oil grubbers.

Larry Brickey



Backcountry Hunters & Anglers? Who are they? They might not be our friends.


Greendecoys is an organization under the Environmental Policy Alliance which is a front for Berman & Co who specialize in propaganda/fake news used as an attempt to discredit their clienteles’ opponents. They really really don’t care about your access to public land for hunting and fishing. BHA is a group of people who spend a ton of time in the field hunting and fishing.