Recently, the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council submitted a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt regarding the usage of Backcountry Conservation Areas.
The Council develops and provides recommendations to the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to promote and advance hunting and the shooting sports. Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane serves as Council Chairman.
In the letter, the Council discussed various management tools used by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including Backcountry Conservation Areas (BCAs). BCAs prioritize maintaining and enhancing habitat for important species while expanding public access for hunting, angling and other forms of wildlife-dependent recreation.
Specifically, the Council supports the use of BCAs when the following criteria are met: BCAs should encourage the use of active management as a means to achieve their objectives of benefiting wildlife and balancing recreational usage; BCAs should avoid and minimize conflicts occurring due to multiple uses of BLM lands; and BCAs should be developed and implemented in a manner that is consistent with the wildlife management objectives of state agencies.
The Council will continue to work with the Department of the Interior to ensure federal public lands are managed in a way that supports multiple use habitat for wildlife and fisheries.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?