Land Tawney, President and CEO, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Land is a fifth-generation Montanan who developed his conservation ethic from a young age in duck blinds on warm water sloughs in the Bitterroot Valley, at the end of a fly rod during the salmon fly hatch on the Big Hole River, and chasing the wily wapiti in Cinnabar Basin. He’s led the charge at BHA since 2013.
Land received a B.S. in wildlife biology from the University of Montana in 2000 and a Ph.D. in post hole digging while fencing in the family quarter horses and mules. Fresh out of college, he worked for a newly formed sportsmen’s organization called the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership as the TRCP’s national grassroots coordinator. Much of his work at the TRCP focused on sustaining high-quality places to hunt and fish via roadless area conservation and promoting volunteer incentives for landowners to provide public access to private lands. Following four years with the TRCP, Land joined the staff of the National Wildlife Federation as NWF’s regional representative in Missoula, Montana.
In 2007, Land was promoted to senior manager for sportsmen’s leadership at NWF. In this capacity Land led a joint campaign with NWF, TRCP and Trout Unlimited called Sportsmen United for Sensible Mining, which aimed at reforming the 1872 Mining Law. Working with more than 600 local, state and national sportsmen’s organizations, former U.S. Forest Service chiefs and former state fish and game directors, the coalition was able to advance comprehensive legislation with bipartisan support through the House; unfortunately, it stalled in the Senate.
In 2009 Land initiated Vanishing Paradise, an effort to nationalize the issue of coastal land loss in the Mississippi River Delta, which winters 11 million ducks and geese every year and supports world class redfish and speckled trout fishing opportunities. This joint campaign by NWF, Ducks Unlimited and Louisiana Wildlife Federation built an army of 700 local, state and national sporting businesses and organizations and more than 70,000 individual hunters and anglers from all over the country. All these partners were essential in the passage of the RESTORE Act through Congress. RESTORE dedicated 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties (estimated at $15-20 billion) associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to restoration of this national treasure.
In addition to his campaign duties, Land helped build the sportsmen profile within NWF, served as liaison to national sportsmen’s organizations, created two sportsmen advisory councils and was a member of the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, an advisory board that counsels the secretaries of Interior and Agriculture on issues concerning hunting and fishing. In short, Land has spent his professional career building, energizing and activating hunters and anglers to carry on our rich outdoor legacy.
Land sits on the boards of the Phil Tawney Hunters Conservation Endowment, named after his late father, and is active in local and regional sportsmen’s groups. Any other spare time is spent on the stream, duck blind or chasing big game.
Land enjoys anything outside with his wife Glenna, daughter Cidney, son Colin, and black Lab, “Triple T,” Teller Turk Tawney.
Land will speak on the panel ‘Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste‘ on Saturday, October 15 at 10:00 AM as part of the SHIFT Summit.
Tickets for the 2016 SHIFT Festival can be found here.