Protecting Our Outdoor Heritage

For many hunters across the country, the winter months can be a confusing and awkward stretch of time, as most hunting seasons have quieted down with little to no overlap. Many outdoorsmen and women are accustomed to bouncing between seasons and species throughout the majority of the year, maximizing their time in the field with family and friends. In an effort to fill the void, our team set out to create a digital scavenger hunt this year, with the intention of engaging users around the country, and remedying a little post-season depression. The participants that finished the tasks in the shortest amount of time won a number of different prizes, including our 15200ORG Altitude. With the terminus of our Hunt The Web project, and the recent success of a robust package of conservation and access legislation, we felt as though this would be a perfect time to expand upon one of the most influential organizations in the outdoor space, the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

Photo courtesy of Nate Simmons

Created in 2004, the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a non-profit organization headquartered in Missoula, Montana with a mission to preserve the longstanding outdoor heritage of North America. Reminiscent of the tenacity and determination embodied by Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th Century, the BHA has taken it upon themselves to promote education and advocacy regarding hunting, fishing, and responsible outdoor recreation in an effort to raise awareness for the protection of public lands and waters. North America is unique for many reasons, but one of the most exemplary qualities of the continent is its expanse of vast public land and wilderness. These lands are often managed by government entities ranging from cities to federal agencies, some of the most notable being The Bureau of Land Management and the United State National Park Service. As citizens, we have an incredible opportunity to utilize public land in a conscious and respectful manner, whether it be hunting, foraging, hiking, or camping. Providing habitat for a wide spectrum of species to thrive, these lands and waters are frequently placed in the crosshairs as the juggernaut of human development continues to expand. Now more than ever, we must find a way to stand in unison regarding the protection of these wild spaces that many outdoor enthusiasts have treasured for generations, as opposed to drawing lines in the sand between each respective outdoor lifestyle, thus jeopardizing the possibility for progress.

Since 2004, the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has expanded to include 39 state chapters, chapters in two Canadian provinces, and a variety of local chapters spread throughout each active state. One of the BHA’s greatest strengths, is their ability to unify the mission of individuals who had previously felt as though their lifestyle was mutually exclusive from that of another. They have pushed the likes of hikers, mountain bikers, climbers, birders, hunters, and anglers to find a common thread in the protection of land and water access, recognizing the value of a uniform approach. These chapters are the organization’s boots on the ground, generating widespread awareness and opportunities for education on issues at both the state and federal level. Most recently, the organization worked to raise support and awareness regarding S.47, also known as the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, that was signed into action on March 12th by the President of the United States. This package is the most comprehensive conservation act in over a decade, promulgated by the overwhelming voice of public support.

Despite having worked with the BHA for a number of years, our team made a conscious decision to further our commitment to BHA’s mission at the beginning of 2017. Having released the 15200ORG Altitude; a revolutionary ultralight fixed blade intended to meet the demands of backcountry hunting, we felt as though this knife would be a perfect fit within our relationship with the BHA. From its first date of sale, a portion of proceeds from each individual 15200ORG sold has been donated to the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers for the protection of public land and water access. To date, Benchmade has generated just north of $8,000 in behalf of the organization and their cause. It’s a relationship that we take great pride in, as there are many avid outdoorsmen and women within the four walls of our headquarters in Oregon City. We value the conservation of these wild places on a personal level given our affinity for outdoor recreation, but more importantly for those that come after us, humans and critters alike.

Photo courtesy of Nate Simmons
If you’re interested in digging a little deeper on the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the national meet-up will be happening May 1-4 in Boise, ID. It is open to the public, and while membership is not required in order to attend, we highly recommend getting involved. We will be present at Rendezvous 2019 and hope to see you there!

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