On National Voter Registration Day, BHA calls on hunters and anglers
to vote their values, offers resources on candidates
MISSOULA, Mont. – Today, National Voter Registration Day, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is urging sportsmen and women to “Vote Public Lands and Waters” and launching a series of state-based questionnaires designed to inform voters about the stances taken by candidates running for elected office on issues affecting our natural resources.
“Your voice doesn’t count unless you use it,” said Land Tawney, BHA president and CEO. “If you aren’t at the table then you’re on the menu. Register to vote today, confirm or update your voter registration if necessary, and join BHA to Vote Public Lands and Waters.”
The views of candidates across the country are profiled in the volunteer-driven BHA surveys, which include questions on issues ranging from wildlife and public lands management to the state’s outdoor recreation industry. Responses from gubernatorial candidates in Colorado are available on the BHA website now, with other state breakdowns to be released in the coming days.
BHA’s effort addresses a growing push by the organization to inform and engage sportsmen, women and others in the policies – and individuals – with the greatest potential to impact public interest issues such as our shared lands and waters, Tawney said.
“Your vote is the single most powerful way make sure your voice is heard – in Washington, D.C., and state legislatures across the country,” said Tawney. “BHA members are hungry for information about the values of those who are seeking our votes. And as for the candidates themselves? We’re putting them on notice: We hunt, and we fish, and we Vote Public Lands and Waters.”
Results of a recent demographic survey shows that BHA’s membership is politically diverse, with 33 percent identifying Independent, 23 percent Republican and 20 percent Democrat (24 percent listed “none of the above” or are unaffiliated). BHA members also spend close to three-quarters of their time afield on public lands and waters.
“With public lands issues taking center stage in numerous races across the country, the votes of sportsmen and women represent an increasingly powerful force,” Tawney continued. “Unfortunately the Bull Moose Party isn’t an option today. I wish it were. The party fathered by Theodore Roosevelt was short lived, but it tackled pressing challenges like tariff reform and regulation of industry – issues we continue to wrestle with today.
“In 1912 the Bull Moose Party platform stated that ‘to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day,’” concluded Tawney. “At BHA, we strive to uphold the ideals first expressed by Roosevelt. Fortunately, the passion and commitment of our members tells me that we are more than equal to the task at hand.”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.