Public Lands Yield Iconic Game and Pristine Backcountry

This past August, I had the opportunity to hunt deer with archery equipment in central Nevada. This would be my first Nevada mule deer tag and I was able to hunt in a pristine backcountry area with abundant deer and little hunting pressure. I was blessed to have the opportunity to hunt this iconic animal in such a spectacular setting.

One reason Nevada consistently provides outstanding opportunities for hunting and fishing are the large areas of intact and undeveloped backcountry on Bureau of Land Management lands. Most people don’t realize it, but just over 86 percent of the land in Nevada is public land. It is these large intact areas of backcountry land that provide the core habitat that gives us some of the finest big game hunting in the West where trophy mule deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep are taken every season.

Large intact areas of backcountry land provide the core habitat that gives us some of the finest big game hunting in the West. Photo by Dusan Smetana.

Unfortunately, throughout the West some of our best public lands are threatened by a massive wave of new energy development and deteriorating habitat conditions. Here in Nevada, poorly planned wind energy projects and transmission lines could threaten to further fragment prime fish and wildlife habitat. In other parts of the West, oil and gas developments are being proposed in some of the best remaining big game habitat.

As development pressures continue to grow, the TRCP and partners are working to maintain the high quality fish and wildlife values of our public lands. Western hunters and anglers are working through local land use plans in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon to conserve intact fish and wildlife habitat and are calling on the BLM to manage high value areas as backcountry conservation areas or BCAs.

BCAs would provide BLM land managers with clear guidelines that would help conserve our best wildlife habitat while protecting public access and at the same time would allow common-sense activities to restore habitat and honor existing rights like ranching.

Learn how you can help conserve backcountry and hunting and fishing heritage today.

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Eric Petlock

Eric Petlock

Eric Petlock grew up chasing ducks and black-tailed deer in California and currently lives along the Nevada/California border. He has worked on sportsmen's and public lands issues in Nevada since 2008, where he has strong relationships within the community. Eric is working as part of a partnership between the TRCP and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited to advance BLM backcountry and build an active constituency of sportsmen in Nevada to ensure that renewable and conventional energy development projects are done responsibly.

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About Eric Petlock

Eric Petlock grew up chasing ducks and black-tailed deer in California and currently lives along the Nevada/California border. He has worked on sportsmen's and public lands issues in Nevada since 2008, where he has strong relationships within the community. Eric is working as part of a partnership between the TRCP and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited to advance BLM backcountry and build an active constituency of sportsmen in Nevada to ensure that renewable and conventional energy development projects are done responsibly.

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