Hunting, fishing expanded at fed wildlife refuges; none in Nevada

09 Juin, 2019, 06:55 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge asking for comments on proposed hunting plan

"These refuges and hatcheries provide incredible opportunities for sportsmen and women and their families across the country to pass on fishing and hunting to future generations and connect with wildlife", Secretary Bernhardt said.

None of the refuges in Nevada, including the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, will be affected by the changes. The proposal would also formally open lands on 15 hatcheries of the National Fish Hatchery System to hunting or sport fishing for the first time.

President Trump's administration announced it plans to expand public access to hunting and fishing on federally protected lands.

The proposal outlines a revision of refuge-specific hunting and fishing regulations in all 50 states to more closely match state regulations, he said.

In Ohio, the plan would expand sport fishing to new areas at the Ottawa and Cedar Point wildlife refuges.

Lack of access to hunting and fishing sites is one of the most common reasons people don't begin those activities, Bernhardt said.

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.

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Ed Carter, president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, said state agencies represented by his group are "delighted" the Interior Department worked with states to expand hunting and fishing opportunities on public land.

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. "This is an important step in that direction!"

Two years ago, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke set this change into motion when he said his department would undergo reviews on how to increase hunting opportunities on public lands.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will seek comments from the public for 45 days for the proposed plan. The notice will be available at www.regulations.gov, Docket Number: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2019-0040, and will include details on how to submit your comments. The refuge system is home to more than 8,000 animal and marine life species. Other facilities would see smaller expansions with the net result of some 1.4 million new acres of public land opened for access to sportsmen.

Delevan National Wildlife Refuge: Open to wild turkey hunting for the first time on 1,696 acres already open to other hunting. Fishing is now permitted on 278 wildlife refuges and 34 wetland management districts.

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

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