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BHA Chapters Launched in Michigan and Wisconsin

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Great Lakes region home to growing number of backcountry advocates,  BHA members commit to advancing issues of regional and national concern.
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Great Lakes region home to growing number of backcountry advocates, BHA members commit to advancing issues of regional and national concern.
MISSOULA, Mont. – Public lands sportsmen are gaining a foothold in the Great Lakes region as Backcountry Hunters & Anglers announces the formation of new BHA state chapters in Michigan and Wisconsin.
BHA President and CEO Land Tawney, affirming the growing presence in the region that is backcountry sportsmen, stated that BHA’s increasing momentum is “impossible to deny.”
“The formation of our Michigan and Wisconsin chapters ignites BHA’s presence in the Great Lakes region and provides a sportsmen’s voice for our backcountry lands and waters,” said Tawney. “These two new chapters join our rapidly growing Minnesota chapter at a time when BHA’s voice is desperately needed.
“I’m particularly impressed by the strong leadership being shown by these two new chapters,” said Tawney. “They’re diving right in and tackling the issues that have the potential to impact hunting and angling opportunity region-wide. Their energy to do good work in the name of our public lands and waters is infectious.”
BHA’s Michigan and Wisconsin chapters join the group’s burgeoning Minnesota chapter in building sportsmen support for some of the best backcountry hunting and fishing destinations in the East, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota, the Sylvania Wilderness Area in Michigan and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin.
Jeff Guerard, chair of the Wisconsin chapter, said that BHA speaks to the values of hunters and anglers in a state with deeply entrenched outdoor traditions.
“The Wisconsin chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers was formed to provide a voice to Badger State sportsmen who want to protect our public lands,” said Guerard, who lives in Wauwatosa. “We will work to conserve our lands and waters as well as access to these places, both at a state level and nationally. We also are committed to upholding our fair chase hunting tradition and the ethical taking of fish and game.”
BHA provides a strong national voice for wild public lands to hunt and clean, healthy and accessible waters to fish, said Michigan chapter chair Jason Meekhof of Southfield.
“With approximately 8 million acres of public land, 3.6 million of which is federally managed, as well as some of the best fisheries in North America, Michigan is ripe for BHA’s message of public lands conservation,” said Meekhof. “The Michigan chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to provide a voice for the state’s sportsmen and crucial support for Michigan’s public lands and waters. We also look forward to engaging the Great Lakes State in the national issues at the heart of BHA’s mission.”
Soon after forming, the Michigan chapter of BHA weighed in on a pair of bills currently being considered by the state legislature (Senate bills 39 and 40) that would jeopardize public hunting and fishing access on 4.5 million acres on state owned lands by directing the sale and development of state-owned land.
A dozen years after its formation, BHA has expanded its membership to comprise chapters in 19 states and Canadian provinces. BHA was formed around an Oregon campfire in 2004.
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