Sportsmen and Arizona BLM Lands

The Bureau of Land Management administers more than 12.2 million acres of public lands in Arizona that are extremely important for hunters and anglers. Some of Arizona’s best hunting is found on BLM “backcountry areas” that remain intact and unfragmented. Mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, antelope and upland birds provide high quality sporting opportunities because our backcountry provides food, water, cover and plenty of space for wildlife to roam. These areas contribute greatly to Arizona’s outdoor recreation-based economy and the Western way of life. In addition to providing quality hunting opportunities, backcountry areas also offer refuge and essential habitat to a wide variety of fish and wildlife.

  • Garnett Mountains

  • Chirichua Mountains

  • Mule deer in southeastern Arizona on BLM land

  • Cerbat Mountains

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Sportsmen in Arizona are asking the BLM to recognize these special backcountry places as “backcountry conservation areas,” or BCAs. Created locally through public planning, the BCA management approach would:

  1. safeguard intact and undeveloped backcountry lands with priority fish and wildlife habitat and dispersed hunting opportunities
  2. focus management activities on projects that restore habitats and control noxious weeds
  3. maintain important public access to public lands
  4. maintain traditional uses of the land that are important to rural communities

In Arizona, efforts will focus on incorporating the BCA management approach into the BLM resource management plans being revised and updated for Kingman Resource Area and the Safford Resource Area beginning in 2015.

The BLM Safford Resource Area encompasses 1.4 million acres in six eastern Arizona counties.  In addition to providing outstanding hunting opportunities for a variety of game species, the diversity of plants and animals inhabiting this region of the state is unmatched in temperate North America.

The BLM Kingman Resource Area includes 2.4 million acres of public land south and east of the Colorado River in northwest Arizona. The area provides quality hunting opportunities for desert bighorn sheep, quail, dove, mule deer, antelope and elk.

For more information on efforts to conserve backcountry areas, contact John Hamill, Field Representative, Arizona.