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  • October 25, 2012

    Arizona Battles the Federal Government for Control of the Grand Canyon-5


    The Grand Canyon has been called many things, but perhaps the most fitting title is "national treasure."

    Legislators in Arizona, however, think that title is inaccurate. They claim that it's an "Arizona" treasure owned by the state of Arizona, and they want to make it official.

    Arizona voters will decide a referendum on Nov. 6 that would amend the Arizona constitution and declare sovereign control over air, water, minerals, wildlife and public lands. If passed, Arizona could lay claim to all federal land in the state except military bases, Indian reservations, national parks and some wilderness areas—a total seizure of some 25 million acres. Once control has been claimed, Arizona legislators have vowed to expand logging and mining activities on those lands.

    The vote is just the latest in an ongoing public lands battle in the West.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • October 18, 2012

    Minnesota Bill Could Open Up Boundary Waters Canoe Area For Mining-12


    Let's play a little word association game. I'll write some words, you then immediately say the first words that come to mind when reading them...

    The Boundary Waters.

    Obviously, I can't hear what you're saying. But I bet I can guess a few of the words that came to mind.

    Pristine. Clean. Clear. Wild. Untouched. Motorless. Smallmouth. Adventure. Sulfide mines.

    What? You mean, the mention of the Minnesota’s Boundary Waters don't conjure up images of sulfide mines? Well, it soon might.

    Last month, the Minnesota House passed the Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act, a bill sponosored by freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack.

    The bill certainly has a pleasant-sounding ring. What it does, however, might not sit so well with those who value hunting and fishing opportunities in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Act authorizes a land swap of some 86,000 acres of school trust land with the federal government.

    [ Read Full Post ]


About Open Country

Hunters and anglers across the nation consistently list one challenge as their primary obstacle to spending more time in the field: Access.

Outdoor Life's Open Country program aims to tackle that issue head on and with boots on the ground. The program highlights volunteer-driven efforts to improve access along with habitat improvements to make existing public lands even better places to hunt and fish. The program's goal is to substantially increase sportsman's access across the country by promoting events that make a difference.

Here on Open Country's blog page, contributors take a close look at access issues across the country. Some are public-policy discussions, where we investigate the nuances of public access. In other blogs, we shine a light on attempts to turn public recreation opportunities into private hunting and fishing domains. In still other blogs, we interview decision makers about access issues. Together, we fight for the ability of America's hunters and anglers to have a place to swing a gun or wet a line.

We promise the discussion is always lively, interesting, and fresh, so visit this page frequently to tune into the latest access issue.

The Open Country program culminates in grants and awards with top projects and participants being honored.

Submit a project for the Open Country Grant Award.
Nominate an individual for the Open Country Award.

Open Country



Event Calendar

  • June 1: Red Oak Planting in Gwinn Forest Management Unit
  • June 7: Pinegrass Restoration, Willamette River (Eugene, OR REMF Chapter). Contact.
  • June 7-8: Lower Deschutes River Thistle Cut (OR Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and OR Fish and Wildlife). Contact.
  • June 13-15: Prairie City Aspen Habitat Enhancement (Oregon Hunters Association, Capitol Chapter) Contact: 503-399-1234
  • June 21: Smith Ridge Meadows (Eugene, OR Chapter RMEF). Contact.