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U.S. Fish and Wildlife wants to expand hunting, fishing opportunities

Staff Writer | July 18, 2016
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced the agency is proposing to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 13 national wildlife refuges across the United States.
U.S. fishing
Recreational   The proposal modifies existing refuge-specific regulations
Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $144.7 billion in economic activity across the United States according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years.

More than 90 million Americans, or 41 percent of the United States’ population age 16 and older, pursue wildlife-related recreation.

The Service’s report Banking on Nature shows that refuges pump $2.4 billion into the economy and support more than 35,000 jobs. More than 47 million visits are made to refuges every year.

Th proposal includes migratory bird, upland game, big game hunting and sport fishing.

Hunting for elk is proposed for the first time in designated areas of Baca National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, as well as in expanded areas of Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, both in Colorado.

The proposed rule also includes opening sport fishing of state-regulated species for the first time at Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota, and expanding areas available for sport fishing at Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana.

In addition, the proposal modifies existing refuge-specific regulations on more than 70 additional refuges and wetland management districts throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Hunting and fishing are just two of the many recreational activities available to the public across an unparalleled network of more than 560 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive from most major metropolitan areas.

The Service manages hunting and fishing programs to ensure sustainable wildlife populations, while offering traditional wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands, such as wildlife watching and photography.

In addition, the Service’s Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, launched in 2013, is providing new opportunities for residents of America’s cities to learn about and take part in wildlife habitat conservation.