Hunting News

USFWS expands hunting, fishing on 10 wildlife refuges

USFWS expands hunting, fishing on 10 wildlife refuges

By United States Fish and Wildlife Service

In an effort to increase access to hunting and fishing on public lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a final rule to open or expand opportunities across 132,000 acres on 10 national wildlife refuges.

This brings the number of refuges where the public may hunt up to 373, and up to 311 where fishing is permitted. The final rule became effective upon publication in the Federal Register Nov. 8, 2017.

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156.3 billion in economic activity across the United States according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years.

Read it here.

More than 101.6 million Americans – 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 and older – pursue wildlife-related recreation. The final rule opens more than 60,000 acres of Refuge System lands for hunting species not previously authorized in these areas.

Hunting and/or fishing will expand or be opened on the following refuges:

Georgia and South Carolina: Savannah National Wildlife Refuge will expand migratory game bird hunting, upland game and big game hunting.

Indiana: Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge will expand migratory game bird hunting, upland game and big game hunting, and sport fishing.

Minnesota: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge will expand migratory game bird hunting, upland game and big game hunting.

North Dakota: Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge will open moose hunting for the first time. Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge will open moose and turkey hunting for the first time and expand upland game and big game hunting.

Oklahoma: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge will expand upland game and big game hunting.

Oregon: Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge will expand migratory game bird hunting. Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge will open sport fishing for the first time.

Wisconsin: Fox River National Wildlife Refuge will expand big game hunting. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge will expand migratory game bird hunting and upland game and big game hunting.

More than 50 million Americans visit refuges every year. National wildlife refuges provide vital habitat for thousands of species and access to fishing, hunting and hiking to nature watching, photography and environmental education. This supports regional economies by $2.4 billion per year and supports more than 35,000 jobs. The network of 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts means that there is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd