Looking back, looking forward: A brief history of BHA
The campfire flared and popped, the undulating light casting crisp shadows across the seven faces gathered around it. The faces were somber yet resolute. There had been a lot of talk about loss, habitat destruction on favorite mountains, pollution of beloved waters. But a high note was rising through it all.
On that March evening of 2004 in the southern Cascade foothills outside Eagle Point, Oregon, seven visionaries saw a lot of problems with the management of our nation’s wild places and public lands. But they also conceived a means to address these problems. Onto this auspicious stage, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers was born.
Mike Beagle, on whose property they were gathered, Dick Hentze, Tim Lillebo, James Montieth, Tony Heckard, Michelle Halle and Brian Maguire set out to create a grassroots organization focused not on protecting one specific species, river or hunting area but on ecosystem-wide conservation across the continent. They wanted to create a voice for the silent wilderness.
Thirteen years later, more than ten thousand faces are gathered around that campfire, around that idea. That wilderness voice can be heard from the lonely tundra of Alaska to the raucous chambers of Congress in Washington, D.C. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is now, more than ever, advancing positive change for our nation’s hunting and fishing heritage.