August 17, 2020

Department of the Interior Announces Report on Big-Game Habitat Conservation Initiative

Last week, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a new report highlighting the accomplishments of Secretarial Order (S.O.) 3362, which directs DOI to work in partnership with states across the Western U.S. to enhance and improve the quality of big game winter range and migration corridor habitat on Federal lands under DOI management. S.O. 3362 continues to recognize state authority to conserve and manage big game species and respect private property rights.

Now in year 3 of implementation, S.O. 3362 has completed 41 projects spanning over 11 western states, totaling $6.4 million. Through funds provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other conservation leaders, S.O. 3362 has completed 8 habitat conservation easements totaling over 39,000 acres, 39 fence-related projects that address 326 miles of fence line, and 21 projects across more than 300,000 acres to mitigate the damage associated with invasive species.

“We applaud the final report on S.O. 3362, which reinforces the principle that wildlife benefits most when there is a cooperative approach to big game management, especially on diverse western landscapes with migratory game species such as elk, mule deer and pronghorn,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “We sincerely thank Secretary Bernhardt and his team for emphasizing the Department’s commitment to working in partnership with states, private landowners, and the conservation community for the benefit of big game winter range and migration corridor habitat.”

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation continues to work closely with the Department of the Interior to further implement S.O. 3362.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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