Just in time for hunting season, the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, has announced a substantial expansion of public land access as part of the Trump Administration’s policy to make more lands available for hunting, fishing and trapping. This latest move opens an additional 1.4 million acres and streamlines regulations on federal lands to fall more in line with the states where the lands are located. Numbers of areas opened for the first time or expanded, include 77 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
The total number of Fish and Wildlife Service units now available to the public for hunting is 381 along with 316 for fishing. A complete listing of all areas can be found here.
These actions are the continued benefits of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, led by the Sportsmen’s Alliance. The act mandated that hunting and fishing and other wildlife-dependent recreation are priority uses of National Wildlife Refuge System lands wherever those activities are compatible. Since its passing, millions of acres have been opened to American sportsmen.
“We’re thankful that Secretary Bernhardt and the Trump administration opened new opportunities for hunting and fishing,” said Evan Heusinkveld, President and CEO Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We encourage them to continue looking for additional opportunities like these.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.