Science

Trump administration plans to expand hunting and fishing access

Trump administration plans to expand hunting and fishing access”

The 2019-20 proposal would allow hunters to take wild turkey and feral hog on more than 16,000 acres in Oklahoma's Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, where other types of hunting are now allowed.

The proposal would increase hunting and fishing access across more than 1.4 million acres of public land in 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries.

"Hunting and fishing are more than just traditional pastimes as they are also vital to the conservation of our lands and waters, our outdoor recreation economy, and our American way of life", Bernhardt said, speaking at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

With the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge as a backdrop, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt Wednesday announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing opportunities in federal wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries.

Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge: Open to sport fishing for the first time.

An Oklahoma wildlife refuge is asking for opinions regarding a proposed hunting plan.

"The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation applauds Secretary Bernhardt for his efforts to expand hunting and fishing opportunities within the National Wildlife Refuge System", said Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation President Jeff Crane.

Under the proposed rules, Green Bay Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin would open to hunting and fishing for the first time. But he warned the details need to be examined closely to ensure the rules don't compromise other goals and values for the refuge system.

"The agency has to consider how any public use might affect that habitat", Salvo said.

In 1997, Congress passed the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, which established six priorities for wildlife refuges. "These refuges and hatcheries provide incredible opportunities for sportsmen and women and their families across the country to pass on a fishing and hunting heritage to future generations and connect with wildlife".

According to USFWS surveys and data, some 101 million Americans, or 40 percent of the United States' population, pursued wildlife-related recreation to the tune of some $156 billion in 2016.

Bernhardt said he is committed to giving people more access for sporting activities. "This is an important step in that direction".

Last summer, administration officials announced plans to limit some protections for endangered species and proposed a new rule to reduce the number of wetlands under federal protection, which are vital to the nation's water quality.

In response to comments like these, FWS said federal law allows hunting on a refuge "after rigorous examination of the available information" by the refuge manager, including the development of a conservation plan.

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge: Open to wild turkey hunting for the first time on 1,639 acres already open to other hunting.



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