April 13, 2020

Department of the Interior Proposes to Expand Hunting and Fishing Across 2.3 million Acres

Last week, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a historic proposal to expand hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres of public land and water spanning over 97 national wildlife refuges and 9 national fish hatcheries – the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in history. 

The Department of the Interior finalized a similar proposal in September that expanded hunting and fishing opportunities on more than 1.4 million acres across the nation. Last week’s announcement builds off of the earlier success and commitment of DOI to expand access opportunities across the entire country. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) applauds DOI for recognizing the contributions of sportsmen and women and for the Department’s unprecedented efforts to expand opportunities for hunters and anglers.

“America’s hunters and anglers now have something significant to look forward to in the fall as we plan to open and expand hunting and fishing opportunities across more acreage nationwide than the entire state of Delaware,” said DOI Secretary David Bernhardt. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hunt Fish Chiefs have been instrumental in our effort over the past two years to streamline our regulations and identify new opportunities for sportsmen and women like no other previous administration.”

CSF will continue to work with the Department of the Interior to identify new lands and waters to expand hunting and fishing opportunities for sportsmen and women. 

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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