U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposes expansion of hunting, fishing on National Wildlife Refuges

MARION, SC (WBTW) – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe announced the agency is proposing 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.

In South Carolina this could impact the Waccamaw Refuge located in portions of Horry, Georgetown and Marion Counties.

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.

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contribute 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.

“With America becoming ever more urban and its citizens increasingly divorced from nature, it is becoming critical that we find ways to foster connections between people and the natural world,” Ashe added. “As any outdoorsman or outdoorswoman will tell you, there are few better ways than to be outdoors sitting by the water’s edge with a rod and reel or wading in the shallows of a natural wetland habitat while waterfowl fly overhead,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe.

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

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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