MISSOULA, Mont. -(Ammoland.com)- As the Trump administration considers taking unprecedented action to reduce or eliminate national monuments, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is releasing detailed habitat maps of six Western national monuments on the chopping block.
Each of the monuments – Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico, Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon and Gold Butte in Nevada – was designated over the last two decades to safeguard, at least in part, important wildlife habitat, valuable fisheries and access to great places to hunt and fish.
Each interactive map highlights data on fish and wildlife habitat and hunting and fishing opportunity that are at risk in the wake of the administration’s review.
“Sportsmen and women need to understand what’s at stake,” said BHA Conservation Director John Gale. “Conserving large tracts of undeveloped public lands as national monuments is essential to America’s hunting and fishing traditions. These maps graphically illustrate what we currently possess as public land owners – and what we could easily lose.”
Taken together, the maps offer revealing data:
- Each of the six national monuments identified for modification or elimination contains important big game habitat.
- Together, the six national monuments encompass nearly 4 million acres of big game habitat, including nearly 3 million acres of deer habitat and more than 1 million acres of elk habitat.
- Annually, more than 7,300 deer and 1,800 elk are harvested from hunt units across four states containing these six national monuments.
- Annually, more than 25,000 deer tags and 10,000 elk tags were offered to sportsmen in hunt units across four states containing these six national monuments.
As outlined in this report released by BHA and a consortium of outdoor groups and businesses, when done right, the designation of national monuments can be a critical tool to safeguard important fish and wildlife habitat while maintaining traditional hunting and fishing access.
Explore the BHA national monument habitat maps.
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About Backcountry Hunters & Anglers:
Our freedom to hunt and fish depends on habitat. While many of us enjoy hunting and fishing on a range of landscapes, including farm fields and reservoirs, there is something special – even magical – about hunting deep in the backcountry or fishing on a remote river.
Wilderness hunting and fishing deliver a sense of freedom, challenge and solitude that is increasingly trampled by the twin pressures of growing population and increasing technology. Many treasured fish and wildlife species – such as cutthroat trout, grizzly bear and bighorn sheep – thrive in wilderness. Others, like elk and mule deer, benefit from wilderness. From the Steens Mountain Wilderness in Oregon to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, BHA members treasure America's wilderness system and strive to add to it.
We take the advice of Theodore Roosevelt: “Preserve large tracts of wilderness … for the exercise of the skill of the hunter, whether or not he is a man of means.”