Trump Admin To Expand Hunting At 74 Wildlife Refuges

James Marshall
June 6, 2019

The Trump administration announced a plan Wednesday to expand access even further to protected federal lands for hunting and fishing.

The plan seeks to increase access across 1.4 million acres of public land in 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries.

Barnhardt is a former Big Oil lobbyist.

Lack of access to hunting and fishing sites is one of the most common reasons people don't begin those activities, Bernhardt said. The proposal would allow hunting of white-tailed deer and sport fishing for the first time.

Bernhardt made the announcement at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge along Lake Erie in Ohio.

A comprehensive review of federal and state rules is something that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had never been done before, Bernhardt said.

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge: The 27,230-acre refuge includes riparian, wetland and upland shrub habitat along 36 miles of the Green River northwest of Green River. It also highlighted the sporting groups supporting the proposal, including the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Delta Waterfowl, a nonprofit group that supports duck hunting, and the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation.

The plan is to finalize the proposal by September after public comment.

Proposed expansions of refuge opportunities include the opening of new acres at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida to existing upland and big game hunting, and, at Great River National Wildlife Refuge in IL and Missouri, the expansion of season dates, times and methods for existing deer, turkey and other upland game hunting to align with state seasons. A notice will be posted at https://www.regulations.gov/ under the Docket Number: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2019-0040.

The changes would go into effect for the 2019-2020 hunting seasons.

A complete list of all refuges and hatcheries included in the proposal is available in the proposed rule.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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