Expansion of Hunting, Fishing Proposed on National Wildlife Refuges
July 19, 2016
Editorial Staff (248 articles)
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Expansion of Hunting, Fishing Proposed on National Wildlife Refuges

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced the agency proposes to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 13 national wildlife refuges across the United States. This 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.

“The highly successful North American model of wildlife conservation is founded on our nation’s great hunting and fishing heritage,” said Ashe. “This tradition was the primary driver behind the creation of the Refuge System that has since set aside millions of acres of land for the conservation of all wildlife, and so where it is compatible with refuge management goals and other recreational activities, we are pleased to be able to expand hunting and fishing opportunities.”

The Service proposes opening the following refuge to hunting for the first time:
Colorado
•    Baca National Wildlife Refuge: Open migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is currently closed to public use activities.

The Service proposes opening the following refuge to sport fishing for the first time:
South Dakota
•    Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge: Open sport fishing. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

The Service also proposes expanding hunting and sport fishing on the following refuges:
Colorado
•    Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory game bird hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting and upland game hunting.
•    Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory game bird hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting and upland game hunting.

Indiana
•    Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area: Expand migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing.

Louisiana
•    Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge: Expand big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing.
•    Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing.

Michigan
•    Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

New York
•    Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory game bird hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing.

Oklahoma
•    Washita National Wildlife Refuge: Expand big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing.

South Carolina
•    Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing.

Texas
•    Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory game bird hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory game bird hunting and sport fishing.
•    Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge: Expand big game hunting. The refuge is already open to upland game hunting.

The Service is seeking comments from the public for 30 days regarding information pertaining to the proposed rule. Please go to www.regulations.gov, docket no. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2016-0007, for additional information. The proposed rule will publish in the Federal Register on July 14, 2016, comments must be received by August 15, 2016.

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