Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), a deceptively named environmentalist group, has exposed its true, radical intentions by proposing extreme restrictions for anglers, boaters, and others in Montana.
The proposal, called the “Quiet Waters Initiative,” seeks to restrict motorized watercraft on over 50 Montana waterways. An article in the Independent Record states:
“BHA presents recommendations to drastically restrict waterways without demonstrating any necessity to protect public health, public safety, public welfare, or to protect property and public resources,” [Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks] FWP says in agenda materials.
"The initiative claims safety concerns, yet Montana already has laws against operating a vessel in a reckless or negligent manner, and the initiative’s name implies it is primarily focused on eliminating the noise engines produce, the agency [FWP] says."
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is identified as a “green decoy” group because of its deceptive title. Its name appears to be friendly to hunters, sportsmen and firearms enthusiasts, but behind the outdoorsy name is a group funded by leftist foundations and environmentalists, with goals very different than those supported by true hunters, anglers and sportsmen. The research website, “Activist Facts,” points out:
“BHA represents itself as good-ole-boy outdoorsmen who simply want to hunt and fish and be left alone. But don’t be fooled. As evidenced by both its sources of funding and current leadership, BHA is nothing more than a big green activist organization pushing a radical environmentalist agenda.”
Activist Facts identifies BHA’s largest funding sources as the Western Conservation Foundation (WCF), which in 2011 and 2012 donated $278,423 to BHA. WCF has given to other known far-left radical groups including Earth Justice and the Tides Foundation. BHA also receives donations from the Wilburforce Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, and several other foundations known for their extremist ideological leanings.
Land Tawny, the director of BHA, is also a leftist operative who ran the liberal political action committee (PAC) with an equally-deceptive name, “Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund (MHA),” which, according to Activist Facts: “
…spent $1.1 million against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Danny Rehberg, who was challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. [Land Tawny’s PAC] also spent $500,000 in support of the libertarian candidate as a strategy of drawing votes away from the Republican. MHA received several hundred thousand dollars from the League of Conservation Voters, a liberal environmentalist group.”
Given the radical environmentalist roots and affiliations of BHA, it’s not surprising that they lobby hard against local government in favor of continued federal control of public lands, water, and resources. In its attempt to deceive and frighten Americans into embracing federal control of public lands, BHA spreads false narratives such as:
- State and local control of public lands will limit access for hunters and sportsmen
- Public lands transfer will result in sell-off and privatization of public lands
Not only are these talking points untrue, they’re nearly opposite of the truth. The facts show that the federal government regularly auctions off public lands, and restrictions to public lands are enacted regularly by federal agencies.
By proposing extreme restrictions on boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities on Montana’s rivers, lakes and streams, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has ironically revealed its radical identity. This green decoy’s true goals are increased restrictions, decreased access, and decreased freedom for everyone on America’s public lands.