Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and the
Rebecca Romero Legacy
Hunting Award

About Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) was formed around a campfire in the foothills of Oregon’s southern Cascades in 2004. Seven thought leaders came together to address the management inadequacies of our nation’s wild public lands and waters and set out to create a grassroots organization focused not on protecting one specific species, landscape, or outdoor pursuit but rather on ecosystem-wide conservation across the continent.  

As the voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife, BHA seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting through education and work on behalf of fish, wildlife and wild places. They prioritize three key issues: access and opportunity, public lands and waters, and fair chase. The ways in which they address these spans from local, boots-on-the-ground projects to legislative advocacy at the state and federal levels. We represent the challenge, solitude and adventure that only wild places can provide.

 

Acknowledging the importance that young adults and students play in the future of public lands and our hunting and angling heritage, BHA founded the Collegiate Program in 2015. Through the establishment of formal, university-sanctioned clubs, the program gives college students a foundation to enrich their hunting, angling, and conservation mindset and become active in civic engagement as it relates to public lands, waters, and wildlife. Through the program’s five pillars (community, adventure, stewardship, education/advocacy, and inclusivity) they build local communities of young adults who not only hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors, but who are actively involved in the processes that affect access & opportunity, habitat, and fair chase. By connecting students with BHA chapters, they look to combine the sage wisdom of an older generation with the youthful exuberance of the next and foster a new generation of conservation-minded hunters, anglers, and public land advocates.

 

The University of Montana BHA club was the program’s first. With Montana’s robust access to public lands and strong hunting and angling culture, various programs were established to help recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters. Acknowledging the many barriers that exist for students when it comes to hunting, the club created a scholarship to help out-of-state students afford their hunting licenses through initial support from a grant.

 

In 2018, club leaders named the award in Rebecca’s honor to support a cause she was passionate about. The Rebecca Romero Legacy Hunting award is now supported by the Romero family, Goerz family, and the Montana BHA chapter. Each scholarship recipient goes on to participate in the Montana Hunter Mentorship program, where they are paired with a mentor to help them fill their tags.

Please take a look at our blog to see guest postings on the scholarship recipients' experiences out in the field.

To find more information on the BHA, please visit either of these two sites:

www.backcountryhunters.org

www.backcountryhunters.org/collegiate_program