Presidential proclamation restores protections to millions of acres of public lands and waters
MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today commended a decision by the Biden administration to reinstate protections to three national monuments whose boundaries were reduced by the previous administration, restoring the integrity of the federal Antiquities Act and heeding the calls of hunters and anglers, conservationists, Tribal Nations and others.
BHA, together with a broad coalition of hunting and fishing groups and businesses, has consistently supported America’s national monuments system and the judicious use of the Antiquities Act as a means to permanently conserve important large landscapes. The presidential proclamation reestablishes the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments and restores management conditions to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
“The Antiquities Act is one of our nation’s most powerful tools to conserve large landscapes, secure important fish and wildlife habitat and safeguard traditional hunting and angling opportunities on our public lands and waters,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt, it’s been used by 16 presidents – eight Republicans and eight Democrats – to permanently sustain great places to hunt and fish. We’re glad to see the Biden administration restoring integrity to this bedrock conservation law.”
“Millions of Americans, including hunters and anglers, have raised our voices in support of our national monuments, sending a clear and uncompromising message about the role they play in our outdoor opportunities, local communities and economic health,” Tawney continued. “Now that this necessary action has been completed, we look forward to continuing to work with the administration to invest in future conservation efforts like the America the Beautiful initiative, assuring its implementation is executed through collaboration with hunters, anglers, private landowners, tribes and other diverse stakeholders.
“Much remains to be done in the name of our public lands, waters and wildlife,” concluded Tawney. “Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
In 2017, BHA mapped hunting opportunities on six Western national monuments being considered by the Trump administration for modification, reduction or elimination. The year prior, BHA and a consortium of outdoor groups and businesses released a report on how national monument designations can conserve important fish and wildlife habitat while maintaining traditional hunting and fishing access.
The administration in January initiated a review of boundary and management changes made to national monuments by the Trump administration.
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