Local Backcountry Hunters & Anglers chapter hosts meet and greet June 14 (letter) | VailDaily.com

Local Backcountry Hunters & Anglers chapter hosts meet and greet June 14 (letter)

Join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Vail group

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers was started by seven individuals sitting around a campfire in 2004, discussing the hunting and angling opportunities that were slowly being eroded by "our" Congressional representatives.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers currently has approximately 22,000 members nationwide with 1,200 Colorado members, chapters in 35 states including Washington, D.C., as well as members in all 50 states.

There has always been an organization in existence to speak for Colorado's exceptional fishing opportunities in Trout Unlimited. Colorado's mule deer population has been protected by the Mule Deer Association. Taking a back seat to no one is the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, protecting the second largest ungulate in our state after our Shiras moose.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers protects and fights for your rights to access your public lands and public waters. Public lands can be utilized in almost any manner you wish. From camping and hiking to the top of a 14er to bird watching, mountain biking and ATV/OHV riding in a responsible manner on only designated routes.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Colorado has recently initiated a Central Rockies Chapter Group in the Vail area. The group will be led by Micah Shanser, Jimmy Donohue and Brian Busker. On Thursday, June 14, at Craftsman in Edwards, the Central Rockies Group will have a meet and greet for the valley's sportsmen and women beginning at 5 p.m. with raffle items donated from various valley business, and everyone is welcome.

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One initiative that the Central Rockies Group first addressed was in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service based out of Minturn. The Eagle/Holy Cross forest supervisor Michael Beach advised the group that the local area had a few areas where public land access may have been accidentally utilized by public land enthusiasts while driving ATV/OHV vehicles.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Central Rockies Group purchased 20 "no access" signs for the surrounding Vail Valley trails to indicate that certain trails are closed and that a reward of $500 will be paid by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers for the conviction of the illegal destruction of your public lands on Vail Valley trails that are closed either temporarily or permanently.

This is one of the most pristine valleys in not only Colorado but in the world. Let's keep our public lands and waters protected.

Rick Seymour

Colorado Board, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers