Sportsmen Slam House Bill Limiting Public Lands Acquisitions

Eastern hunters must help stand for public lands.

Backcountry Hunters and AnglersWASHINGTON-( A bill that would inhibit the strategic acquisition of public lands and waters for access, recreation and fish and wildlife habitat is drawing strong criticism from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. H.R. 2167, introduced last week by Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia, would legislate a “no net increase” in the size of the public estate, stipulating that for every acre acquired by the federal government, an equal amount must be sold or divested to state or private interests.

The “Acre In, Acre Out Act” would unnecessarily deprive entities such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service of a critical tool in their efforts to increase public access opportunities and address the needs of specific game and fish populations, said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney.

“American citizens must remain committed to providing our land management agencies the tools they need to successfully conserve key lands and waters and enhance public access to the outdoors,” said Tawney, “and the ability to strategically acquire important acreages is central to achieving this goal.

“Under Congressman Griffith’s legislation, we the American public land owners would be forced to sell off our lands – potentially at a fraction of their value – in order to enable land managers to do their jobs,” Tawney continued. “This type of contemptible horse trading deserves to be swiftly and summarily rejected. Hunters and anglers must unite in urging our elected officials to stand strong in opposing Mr. Griffith’s bill, just as previous Congresses have done.”

This marks the third time Rep. Griffith has introduced the legislation, which so far has failed to advance.

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Jim in Conroe

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has consistently supported federal control of lands, which they believe will be beneficial to outdoor activities – in their case related to the preservation and expansion of elk habitat. Yet in their recent Bugle publication (May – June 2017), the RMEF President and CEO David Allen had this to say. “. . . much of North America’s elk country suffers from mediocre conditions. . . . For decades now, Congress has routinely strangled funding for the stewardship of America’s public lands. . . . Yet, “At a time when some in Congress want to sell… Read more »

Wild Bill

I guess that it is a matter of who do you trust with vast amounts of land: the federal government, the state governments, industry, private citizens or land trusts. We can all think of examples of corruption, land grabbing, misuse, destruction, or profiteering by each of the above named entities. None of their skirts are clean.

Rick Ellison

The Constitution clearly states how much land the federal government can own. An area for the capital and forts and ports with the permission of the states.

Wild Bill

Ellison, Ok, all that land owned by the Federal Government is now named Ft. Washington. Problem solved.

Charlie Redfeather

Sometimes I think sportsmen are “DUMBER THAN A CEDAR POST”!!! The Feds already have way too much control over Public Lands!! Don’t be stupid enough to give them more!!


All of the A-holes go into government as a way to back-door all of the money they possibly can from us, the taxpayers. This bill, introduced three times, must stand to make someone a whole bunch of money and they just hate to give up on it. I think the statement in the piece that said” the government could possibly have to sell lands, possibly at a fraction of it real value” is at the heart of this persons desire to get this passed. Always follow the money. Ill bet the sponsors of this bill already have people lined up,… Read more »


the “bargain price” “fraction of real value” meme is politispeak from this corrupt bogus “sportsman’s organisation”. Their goal: Coopt and seal away from public access as much land as possible. It is scaremongering to foment opposition to this bill. I oppose this bill because it is based on the unconstitutional premise that FedGov rightly owns/controls lands, and should, just not more than they do now. But these BHA guys are on the wrong side, and we should not support them. They want FedGov to have ALL the lands…. which rightly belong to the states in which they are found. NOT… Read more »

Jim S

This is the second news release from this organization. This is an environmentalist group trying to put as much land under federal control as possible. Just look for their funding.


Steve Quinn may want to pay particular attention to this.

This is a shill anti-hunting anti-gun organization. Don’t be fooled.

If anyone wants to know exactly who Backcountry Hunters and Anglers are look no further than right here:

Clint Pirtle

Mr. Tawney is an environmentalist whacko mascarading as a conservationist. Second article ammoland has featured with this wolf in conservationist clothing.

Steve Quinn

I think the point is that these lands need protection from any commercial extractive uses (mining, logging) as well as land-damaging uses, which, in some cases would include ranching and ranging as wells commercial development. The Federal Government has demonstrated over the centuries that it is quite capable of setting aside and maintaining valuable public land and generally protecting it from such devastation, in the form of National Parks, Wilderness areas, Monuments, and more. Sadly, some of these (Forest Service. U.S. F & W S, BLM) agencies are badly underfunded and overtasked with paperwork that make it more difficult to… Read more »


BLM is an anathema to most sportsmen and the general public. Never let them near a piece of land, if you do they’ll close it off and make sure you’re never able to set foot on it. In a perfect world they’d be closed down and all lands would be returned to the States.


Given the outrageous amount of land already under government management, the proposed legislation seems to be a VERY sensible and long overdue response to the land grab of private properties by unaccountable government entities and aspiring land barons who pretend to be working for us. Government ownership of increasing amounts of land is just another version of the same sad song that government always knows best how to do and manage our lives. BS, we need less government intrusion, not more!