Sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts rally across the West for public lands

Wed, 03/11/2015

About 100 hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers and outdoor enthusiasts rallied on the steps of the Colorado Capitol. Image: Judith Kohler

By Judith Kohler

The rumble heard in late January when hundreds of people crowded into the New Mexico statehouse to demand that public lands stay in public hands has only grown louder and deeper, spreading throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

Sportsmen and women have joined with hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, paddlers, wildlife watchers and others to take their fight for American public lands to the steps or lobbies of statehouses from Santa Fe to Carson City. They are meeting one-on-one with legislators, writing letters to the editor and talking to the media. 

As hunters and anglers fight efforts at the state level to dismantle our outdoor heritage attacks are occurring at the federal level, including proposals to gut the Antiquities Act and sell public lands. 

Idaho sportsmen and women set up camp on the grounds of the state capitol in Boise.

Our Good Public Lands and Employees

Tom Gagnon March 6, 2015

Image: Bureau of Land Management 

Increasingly we are seeing an irrational and unfair anger build up against public lands and the people who work for the federal government.  We should ask ourselves, “What would the country be like without these land agencies and their employees?”  One individual, a rancher, saw it both before and after major federal oversight and regulations, and this is what he wrote in 1943.

Montana legislator sponsors resolution to keep public lands public

Thu, 02/19/2015

In response to overwhelming public demand for greater protection for Montana’s public lands, state Rep. Ed Lieser,  D-Whitefish, has introduced House Joint Resolution 19, which expresses formal opposition to efforts to claim, take over, litigate, or sell federal lands in Montana. A handful of legislators have been pushing for the state to take over federally managed public lands in Montana. Earlier this week, about 500 people from across the state packed the state capitol to support keeping public lands in public hands and oppose attempted land grabs.

 “We want our elected officials to protect and manage these lands for future generations, not hold frivolous philosophical debates,”  said Dave Chadwick, Montana Wildlife Federation executive director.



NWF celebrates a new national monument: Colorado's Browns Canyon

Judith Kohler February 18, 2015

“Browns Canyon is widely revered for its rafting, fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife watching, and rugged backcountry," said Collin O’Mara, the National Wildlife Federation’s CEO and president, "This is why folks from all walks of life, lawmakers from both parties, and conservation leaders across Colorado, including our state affiliate the Colorado Wildlife Federation, have worked for more than two decades to protect it.  On behalf of the entire National Wildlife Federation, we are grateful to the president for supporting wildlife and amazing outdoor experiences by permanently protecting this conservation jewel." ~ Collin O'Mara