June 3, 2019

Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council Supports Interior Department Efforts to Increase Migratory Waterfowl Populations

Recently, the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council submitted a letter to Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary David Bernhardt in support of the DOI’s efforts to increase migratory waterfowl populations while enhancing hunting opportunities.

The Council develops and provides recommendations to the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to promote and advance hunting and the shooting sports. Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane serves as Council Chairman.

In the letter, the Council highlighted DOI’s efforts to improve waterfowl populations and hunting opportunities through Secretarial Order (S.O.) 3356.  Specifically, the Council discussed the inclusion of voluntary perpetual easements in S.O. 3356, which directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and National Park Service (NPS), to “significantly increase migratory waterfowl populations and hunting throughout large portions of the country by: enhancing and improving the use of voluntary perpetual grassland and wetlands conservation easements…”

A conservation easement serves as a legal agreement between a willing private landowner and qualified non-governmental organization or land management agency to conserve property to benefit fish and wildlife habitats. Wetland and grassland easements – as discussed in the Council letter – serve as a critical conservation tool to benefit migratory waterfowl, pheasants, and many other game species.

CSF is strongly supportive of DOI’s efforts to increase migratory waterfowl populations and other game species as well as increasing hunting opportunities.

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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