U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Survey found that 101.6 million Americans participated in hunting, fishing, and similar wildlife activities in 2016.
According to Go Hunt, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that 30 wildlife refuges across the United States will be opened or expanded when it comes to hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the 2018-2019 season. The decision will open more than 251,000 acres within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System, as well we increase the number of public hunting spaces to 377 and fishing areas to 312.
“American sportsmen and women contribute over a billion dollars a year to fund conservation,” Zinke said. “Without hunters and anglers, we wouldn’t be able to conserve wildlife and habitat; and, without access to our public lands like National Wildlife Refuges, many hunters would have nowhere to go.”
EcoWatch added that Zinke has been criticized in the past for favoring hunting and fishing over actually protecting the wildlife found within these areas.
Here are some of the national refuges that will feature new or existing expansions when it comes to hunting and fishing:
- Oregon — Expanding existing migratory game bird, big game hunting, and upland game hunting at Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge. Also, expanding existing sport fishing at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge.
- Pennsylvania — Opening white-tailed deer hunting for the first time at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
- Maine — Expanding existing white-tailed deer and wild turkey hunting at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.
- Indina –Expanding existing upland game, migratory game bird, sport fishing, and big game hunting at Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge.
- California — Expanding existing migratory game bird hunting and opening sport fishing for the first time at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
- Arkansas –Expand existing migratory game bird, upland game, and big game hunting at Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge.
- Florida — Opening wild turkey hunting for the first time at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge.