April 9, 2008
Contact: Rod Mondt, Trout Unlimited, (520) 207-2883
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sportsmen support permanent protection of Conservation System lands
BLM lands support some of the best hunting and fishing in the country
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today sportsmen across the country applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a landmark conservation bill- the National Landscape Conservation System Act. The Conservation System is a network of Bureau of Land Management units that offer supreme wildlife habitat and, by extension, some of the best hunting and fishing in the country.
“The Conservation System contains some lands that are of acute value to sportsmen,” said Rod Mondt, conservation lands coordinator for Trout Unlimited based in Arizona. “Some of these places are well-kept secrets among hunters and others, like the Gunnison Gorge in Colorado, are serious destinations for sportsmen.”
The Conservation System contains 26 million acres of public lands that range from arid, remote deserts to high-country alpine habitat. For hunters and anglers, these lands are really special, Mondt said.
“For anglers, the free-flowing rivers on the North Coast of California, as well as the streams in the Steens Mountain area of Oregon are wonderful resources,” he said. “And the fishing just doesn’t any get better anywhere than it is on the Gunnison River through the gorge. Hunters have it all within the Conservation System, from quality deer and elk hunting to upland game bird hunting. Ask any chukar hunter if the wingshooting in the Owyhees of Idaho can possibly be better. Conservation System lands are vital to sportsmen, and we are hopeful Congress will pass this bill and protect the places for future generations of hunters and anglers.”
The bill enjoys bi-partisan support in Congress, and would, if signed into law, permanently protect this system of lands first established eight years ago. While sportsmen are not the only beneficiaries, Mondt believes they would be among the luckiest.
“The hunting and fishing in the Conservation System is so diverse,” he said. “In many places, the system lends itself to both pursuits, making the elusive ‘cast-and-blast’ adventure very possible. The lands lend themselves to hunting and angling just as much as they lend themselves to other worthwhile outdoor pursuits. By protecting these special places, Congress can give a lasting gift to sportsmen and all who value public lands in our country.”