The Interior Department announced new recreational access at 138 national wildlife refuges and nine fish hatcheries on Tuesday. This rule marks the “single largest” expansion of such opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in history.
Secretary Bernhart said in a statement, “On the heels of President Trump signing the most significant conservation and recreation funding in U.S. history, providing nearly $20 billion over the next 10 years to fix and conserve the American people’s public lands, the Trump administration has now made an additional 2.3 million acres accessible to new hunting and fishing opportunities,”
Many of the new opportunities for hunters come in areas already open to public land. The number of acres hunters can access has been increased. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge in Washington state and Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, along with others, will see an increase in huntable acres for big game hunting.
New refuge opportunities include the opening of migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing at Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge in Florida for the first time; the opening of Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming to upland game and big game hunting for the first time; and the opening of sport fishing for the first time and the expanding of existing migratory bird, upland game and big game hunting to new acres at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia.
The Trump administration has now increased hunting and fishing access to over four million acres across the country. Click here to see all of the opportunities available.