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Land Protection Bills & National Monuments

The documents listed below are the formal comments made by Back Country Horsemen of America regarding various Land Protection Bills.

Public Access Ensured by Keeping Public Lands in Public Hands – The desire of some states and local governments to own or control federal public lands carries significant repercussions for backcountry pack and saddle stock users. State-managed lands, for example, typically do not embrace the multiple-use mandate that guides federal land management agencies and includes promoting diverse opportunities for public outdoor recreation. There remains great uncertainty as to whether the type of access currently enjoyed by BCHA members to federal public lands would continue under either state or local control or management. – July 2015

The Land and Water Conservation Fund – Congress must fully fund and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF remains the premier federal program to conserve our nation’s land, water, historic, and recreation heritage. Yet, the LWCF will expire on September 30th, 2015, unless Congress acts immediately. – July 2015

Wildfire Disaster Funding Act – During heavy fire-fighting seasons, the U.S. Forest Service is forced to withdraw funds from other accounts, including recreation and fire prevention, in order to direct resources to fighting wildfires. This “fire borrowing” comes at the expense of projects that often are left incomplete, perpetuating the likelihood of greater fires in the future and—in the case of recreation—adding to the backlog in trail maintenance. Congress must authorize the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (H.R. 167, S. 235) to put an end to fire borrowing. – July 2015

Dr. Rob Atwill Speaks During BCHA’s April 2015 National Board Meeting in Sacramento, California – Dr. Rob Atwill of the University of California-Davis was a fantastic guest speaker during BCHA’s recent National Board Meeting held in Sacramento. He summarized the latest science that demonstrates native mammals, including squirrels and marmot, are far more likely to be the source of water-borne pathogens than either livestock or pack stock. In one study at Yosemite National Park, a population of Belding’s ground squirrel was documented to have shed Cryptosporidium oocysts at a rate that might be matched by no less than 3,000 horses. – April 2015

BCH Applaud Designation of Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument – BCHA and BCH New Mexico Applaud Designation of Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument – May 2014

HR 1839 Colorado Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act – BCHA letter of endorsement to Representative Scott Tipton (CO) March 2014

S 776 New Mexico Columbine-Honda Wilderness Act – BCHA letter of endorsement to Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich (NM) September 2013

May 2013 Testimony – Impediments to Public Lands Access – BCHA letter encouraging Congress to support continued funding for federal agency trails May 2013

HR 6039 Washington Green Mountain Lookout – BCHA letter of endorsement to Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representative Hastings (WA) October 2012

California Berryessa-Snow Mtn National Conservation Area – BCHA letter of support to Congressman Mike Thompson (CA) July 2012

Make your voice heard, contact your local Senator and Representative and voice your opinion on issues.