September 21, 2017

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Signs Secretarial Order Supporting Sportsmen’s Access

On September 15, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356, which aims to expand access for hunting and angling on federal lands governed by the Department of the Interior (DOI).

The Order directs DOI bureaus, including Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park System to produce a plan for expanding access on lands within 120 days. The Order also amends National Monument Management Plans to include or expand hunting, recreational shooting, and fishing opportunities to the extent practicable under the law; expands educational outreach programs to enhance recruitment and retention efforts; create a user-friendly database for the public to access information about available hunting and fishing opportunities; and improve wildlife management efforts through collaboration with state partners.

Prior to signing this Order, Secretary Zinke addressed members of the sportsmen’s conservation community at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Annual Banquet & Auction VIP Reception as the event’s keynote speaker.

“Hunting and fishing is a cornerstone of the American tradition and hunters and fishers of America are the backbone of land and wildlife conservation,” said Secretary Zinke. “The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands.”

“”For many Americans, hunting and fishing wouldn’t be possible without public land and the access it provides for these pastimes. Secretarial Order 3356 represents a renewed commitment to working with our nation’s sportsmen and women to ensure that our legacy of hunting and fishing-driven conservation continues to stand the test of time,”” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “”We applaud Secretary Zinke for recognizing the critically important role that expanded federal land access plays in achieving this goal.””

Secretarial Order 3356 follows two previous Orders signed by Secretary Zinke earlier this year. Order 3346 overturns the recent ban on lead ammunition and fish tackle used on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities; and Order 3347 advances conservation stewardship, improves game and habitat management, and increases outdoor recreation 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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