Article Contributed by L. DeKeyser of Lifestyle Lost.
Some of you have noticed that Lifestyle Lost has been promoting Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA). You might be wondering why? Its simple really. They support what we truly care about. There are chapters of BHA all across the country working hard to keep public land public. The Michigan chapter is still fairly new, but is already hard at work.
“Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is the sportsman’s voice for our wild public lands, waters, and wildlife. In the 18 months since the Michigan chapter started we have focused our energy on a series of bills that would have been bad for our great state’s public lands, and have been involved in stakeholder meetings with the Department of Natural Resources to help maintain the backcountry feel of the Pigeon River Country State Forest.”
Chair Michigan Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
It is because of work like this that we feel so strongly about standing behind BHA. Jason reached out to us on social media and got us involved. Our purpose at Lifestyle Lost is to support groups like BHA and help their efforts. Since then we have spent some time volunteering, organizing and promoting events that support what they are doing. I can not explain in words the fulfillment this has brought to us at Lifestyle Lost.
I can’t remember where I first heard about BHA, but I was impressed with them immediately. There are a lot of great conservation groups out there. If you have a passion for something in the great outdoors, there is likely a conservation group the aligns tightly with what your passion is. I encourage you to seek out at least one and join them.
I say all the time that I am a jack of all things outdoors but a master of none. I love to hunt and fish for many different species. I like to camp, hike, and mountain bike. I utilize public land for every one of these activities. I have heard people say “But I don’t hunt on public land.” It’s not just about hunting. What do you do you do outdoors? Do you only do those things on your own land?
If these lands were for some reason to become private, it would be devastating to me and many of you reading this. I don’t anticipate that this would ever happen in my lifetime, but it could happen someday.
The thought that future generations might someday face my worst fears is hard to think about. There are movements today to reduce the amount of public land. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to educate yourself. Go to www.backcountryhunters.org and sign up for their email list. Take some time to learn about what they really do.
Public land is not utilized by hunters and anglers alone. It’s not just utilized by hikers, campers, kayakers, boaters, etc. Public lands are first and foremost the home for wildlife. Public land is a place where wildlife can thrive in a natural way. I personally do not view myself above any living thing. They have as much right to the land as we do.
The time I have spent in the outdoors observing wildlife has brought me a deeper understanding of life. It has helped me to realize how fragile life itself is. The gift of life can easily be taken for granted when most of us spend our time inside, at work, sourcing our food blindly from supermarkets. It’s a lifestyle lost by many, but if you are like myself, you understand that we are all dependent on natural resources.
My political alliance does not stand with any one party. My purpose in life and every political decision I make is based on protecting our natural resources. I wouldn’t think the way I do today if I didn’t have the experiences in the outdoors I have been so blessed with. I am actually comfortable with you calling me a tree hugger if you want. Because I realize how important that tree is. Without people that share my views I fear for the future of wildlife.
It was through Theodore Roosevelt’s time hunting in the outdoors that lead him to create the United States National Forest Service, and protect somewhere around 230 MILLION acres of public land. He also feared for the future of our land and natural resources. Can you imagine if he simply enjoyed his time in the outdoors, and didn’t think about what the future might hold? Where would our public land be today? We can thank President Roosevelt for a large majority of our public land that we have today. It’s now up to us to protect it.
Hunters and anglers care about the our natural resources. They care because they have spent time in the outdoors. If we lose the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors, we will lose people who care. We can’t let that happen.
BHA is committed to making sure that doesn’t happen. Because of this, we stand behind their efforts. There is power in numbers. If you can, please join them. You will strengthen the voice of public land and help it to be heard. If you are unsure, at the very least subscribe to their newsletter here. http://www.backcountryhunters.org/access_and_opportunity
If you do join BHA, please let me know! I want to thank you personally.
About the Author
Landon was born in the upper peninsula town of Saint Ignace Michigan, but moved to the countryside of Coldwater at the age of seven. Some of his earliest memories are of deer camp, and fishing with his Dad. His love of the outdoors goes beyond simply enjoying his time there. His goal in life is to leave this earth better than he found it for both humans and wildlife alike. He strives to educate others about the outdoors and conservation by sharing his experiences. This calling lead him to cofound Lifestyle Lost. A clothing brand with the simple mission of raising funds for conservation. He finds inspiration from historic figures such as Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir, and strives to follow in their footsteps.