BHA's Montana Chapter unpacked trash with a socially distant effort in Conner, MT.
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September was the month of the public areas. And the nonprofit Backcountry Hunters & Anglers have smashed (and far exceeded) their goal of removing 1,000 garbage bags from public areas.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers will have members throughout September gathered across the country to break the previous year's record. In 2019, the first Public Lands Packout extracted 600 bags of trash from public land in the United States.
In 2020, the volunteers took on the challenge of removing 1,000 bags – and hit them more than four times. The mark First Lite offered an incentive by donating up to $ 5,000 for every garbage bag collected. And there were a number of gift cards for different challenges, including 20 $ 100 gift cards for the people who packed the most junk.
"First Lite is proud to support BHA's Public Land Packout," said Ford Van Fossan, First Lite's conservation and content manager. "There is no better way to generate good hunting karma while also helping to keep our wild places untouched."
The BHA's Kansas Chapter pulled out a whopping 248 trash bags for Public Lands Month.
BHA Public Service – Beyond National Public Lands Day
Jonathan Mathews, a member of the BHA Capitol, unpacked rubbish during the hunt.
Month of public land is an extension of National Public Lands Day, an event originally organized by the National Foundation for Environmental Education in 1994.
It occurs every year on the fourth Saturday in September. And on this day, federal agencies, nonprofits, and various groups dedicate a day of volunteering public land. It is the largest one-day public service event in the country.
Since 2017 Backcountry hunters & anglers extended Public Lands Day to a month to support the service to and for public land.
With the precautionary measures for COVID-19, BHA members and volunteers have pushed socially distant cleanup efforts in their respective regions. The state chapters focused on group events to clean up specific spots that need garbage removal. And individuals collected trash near home on their local paths.
A total of 4,175 garbage bags were removed from public land during the 30-day joint effort.
"Our volunteers keep coming back for the occasion," concluded Land Tawney, President and CEO of BHA. "Not only did we break our pack out record from last year, we cleaned up public land across North America."
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