White House Budget Strongly Condemned by Public Lands Sportsmen

The White House
The White House

Backcountry Hunters and AnglersWASHINGTON -(Ammoland.com)- Public lands fish and wildlife habitat, public access funding, and hunting and angling opportunities will face severe negative impacts in the administration’s fiscal 2018 budget, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers announced today.

Key resource agency funding is slashed, important staff positions are eliminated and programs important to public lands and sportsmen are cut in the budget, a draft version of which was released in March.

Notable measure include an 11 percent overall reduction in the Interior Department, an 84 percent cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and complete elimination of funding for a decade-plus collaborative effort to conserve the Western sagebrush steppe.

BHA President and CEO Land Tawney called the cuts “unprecedented” in both nature and scope.

“The administration’s budget starves our public lands of critical funding,” said Tawney. “The cuts they would levy on our natural resource agencies, resource professionals and key programs are unprecedented and far-reaching in scope: Not only would they profoundly diminish our lands and waters, fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor opportunities; they also would hobble America’s potent outdoors economy – currently $887 billion strong, sustainable and growing.

“On his first day at Interior, Secretary Zinke signed a secretarial order calling for the expansion of public access and hunting and fishing opportunities on U.S. public lands – an action we applauded,” Tawney continued. “Today, only weeks later, we are confused by the drastic cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has done more to facilitate public access opportunities to hunt, fish and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors than any other federal program in history. The proposed budget flies in the face of what sportsmen and women need and want most: access.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund represents a bipartisan commitment to safeguarding the nation’s outdoor heritage, having enhanced public access to millions of acres in the United States over the course of its 50-year-plus existence. The LWCF utilizes revenues from offshore oil and gas development to bolster state and local efforts on behalf of America's parks, wildlife refuges, forests, trails and other public open spaces.

As well, the administration’s budget would unravel critical greater sage grouse conservation plans, a model for landscape level conservation that prioritizes state and local needs as well as habitat conditions.

This approach has forestalled the need to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act and played a key role in the health of 165 million acres of sagebrush steppe, relied upon by more than 350 species of fish and wildlife, including big-game species such as mule deer, pronghorn and elk.

“Healthy and functioning sage grouse habitat is essential to conserving the sage grouse and hundreds of other species,” Tawney stated. “In addition to halting funding critical to sage steppe conservation, the administration is ignoring over a decade of collaborative work by private land owners, state and federal agencies, and hunters and anglers.”

Tawney concluded, “Bottom line, the administration is trying to put the golden goose on the dinner table instead of letting that bird lay eggs every day – and we as a nation will be poorer as a result.”

BHA reiterated a call for members of Congress to summarily reject the administration budget and act in the best interests of citizens, the economy and U.S. public lands and waters.

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

 

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Colonialgirl
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Colonialgirl

Strange that ALL the disasterous forest fires seem to occur on lands “owned” by the Federal government thanks to their POOR practices and their bowing to the Enviro-wienies and enviro-nazis which PREVENT intelligent management and the clearing of underbrush, dead trees and fallen limbs ALL of which are fodder for massive fires.

Taylor
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Taylor

State bureaucracies don’t manage land any better than federal ones do. They are both bureaucracies. The biggest difference is the state has to maintain a balanced budget meaning if there are not funds to support the land then they have to be sold. We have over 150 years of historical precedent to back up the argument that states sell lands that they manage. As a hunter and fisherman I don’t want to lose access to the public lands we all own. Also, don’t dismiss BLM and Forest Service land as low maintence worthless land. I hunt for quail every year… Read more »

Tionico
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Tionico

Yes it can…. I’ve seen in my state and three nearby the bad effects of Fed land ownership/control. In fact, move up a few articles in this very issue of Ammoland, and read the article on Washington lands now being preserved.. BY A PRIVATE CORPORATION, land which is adjacent to FedLands which are abysmally cared for and are not only not as productive as they should be (wildlife habitat) but a hazard to lands nearby. Federal mismanagement DOES close uo and destroy millions of acres. READ the Constitution and see under what circumstances FedGov is able to own lands, for… Read more »

DZ
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DZ

i wish more folks were educated on how public land works. This land belongs to the US citizens and LWCF funds are supposed to benefit the people that own the land. If you hunt, fish or use public lands in any way, get educated. See what states do with land they manage. See who owns these lands that were previously managed by the states. The information is put there. You just have to look for it.

Colonialgirl
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Colonialgirl

DZ; You spew idiocy just like a true snorter of the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers left winger anti-gun, anti-American organization. HOW LONG did it take to FINALLY FORCE the Government to allow citizens to carry firearms in National Parks, Forests and other lands?
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is nothing more than a Bloomburg cover group hoping to take over more and more land where they will finally BAN any hunting, fishing or firearms.

Brigit Adeir
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Brigit Adeir

In most of the Northeast and South, where the only federal presence is the occasional military base or national park, complaints that the government owns too much land seem laughable. But out west, the government lays claim to huge, state-sized swaths of land—more than 630 million acres, greater than the landmass of Texas, California, Florida and New York combined. In some states, government agencies are the biggest landowner; in Nevada, 80 percent of land is federally owned. The budget is not even really a cut, just a slow down of growth. Obama alone created 34 national monuments, expanding federal lands… Read more »

American
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American

BHA just another communist front group….. They need to go pound salt.

Joe American
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Joe American

Sounds like a step in the right direction.

JoeSmarterThanYou
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JoeSmarterThanYou

@Felixd I wonder the same thing.

Felixd
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Felixd

Why does Ammoland continue to support the leftist BHA? Research their political positions and see for yourself. You’ll see the camouflage.

Rusty Corneliusen
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Rusty Corneliusen

A good question…makes me wonder whether the agenda of Ammoland is in line with Conservative principles or a front for something else.

Cal
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Cal

Agreed. From what I’ve seen, it’s just another astroturf organization like Bloomberg’s “Everytown” group.