Trump Administration Announces Historic Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities on Public Lands in YOUR COMMUNITIES

On August 18, the Trump Administration announced a historic expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands in and around your States, counties and communities. During a visit to the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced a final rule that will open and expand over 850 hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres at 147 national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. The rule is the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in history! And it follows last year’s expansion of 1.4 million acres for new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities. In total, the new rule will bring the Trump Administration’s total expansion to over 4 million acres nationwide.

The Trump Administration recognizes the important role served by hunting, fishing, and tourism on public lands in your States, counties and communities. America’s sportsmen and women generated nearly $1 billion in excise taxes last year, supporting critical state conservation programs. These funds are generated by excise tax collections on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment and boat fuel that is distributed to all 50 states and U.S. territories by the Service. And to date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has distributed more than $22.9 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects. The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $7.6 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

@SecBernhardt: Today in Michigan, I announced the historic opening and expansion of over 850 hunting & fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres. This action is the largest SINGLE expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the @USFWS in history.

“No one in modern history has done more than the Trump Administration to provide America's sportsmen and women with greater opportunities to enjoy the outdoors,” said the National Rifle Association’s Director of the Hunters’ Leadership Forum Erica Tergeson. “This rule is just another example of the commonsense actions that can make hunting and fishing more accessible to all Americans. Secretary Bernhardt and Director Skipwith continue to show their dedication to hunters and wildlife conservation.”

“This is an example of promises kept by the Trump Administration for America’s sportsmen and women,” said Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation Lawrence G. Keane. “Secretary David Bernhardt and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith recognize that our nation’s public lands belong to all Americans and the Trump Administration delivered on the guarantee that those lands and waters are accessible to America’s conservation-minded hunters and recreational target shooters. Those men and women are the greatest stewards of our natural resources and this initiative to expand and open new opportunities will nurture the next generation to enjoy and preserve our national outdoor heritage.”

“The National Wild Turkey Federation thanks the Department of Interior for their continued efforts to provide quality places for hunting, angling, and other recreation,” said CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation Becky Humphries. “Providing an additional 2.3 million acres of new opportunities and access builds on the legacy of this Administration. Now more than ever this country needs places where we can go to practice responsible recreation. This effort ties directly to the NWTF’s hunter recruitment and retention efforts by reducing barriers to hunting.”

“Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever members look forward to the fall when we can enjoy the new upland bird hunting access created within the collective 2.3 million acres of newly opened public lands. We thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for creating and enhancing new areas for our members to recreate,” said Howard K. Vincent, President and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.

“We commend the Trump Administration and Secretary Bernhardt for proposing the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities in history,” said W. Laird Hamberlin, CEO of Safari Club International. “This monumental step will increase access to our country’s unmatched public lands for hunters and anglers alike. America’s sporting heritage plays a vital role in many states’ economies, and hunters are the single largest source of funding for their conservation efforts. Outdoor recreational access is important now more than ever, so hunters across the nation have every reason to be thankful to this Administration for prioritizing this unprecedented expansion of opportunity for sportsmen and women.”

“The rule expanding hunting and fishing on national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries across the country, helps us all achieve our goals of engaging and creating opportunities for urban communities to connect with nature through hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities,” said Wayne Hubbard, Co-founder of Urban American Outdoors. “It is great to see the Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service moving forward creating more access for all.”

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