USFWS proposes expanded hunting opportunities

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge would be open for wild turkey hunting for the first time if a proposed USFWS rule is passed. ©Matthew Paulson

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a rule that would implement new and expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 30 national wildlife refuges. The proposed opportunities include opening sport fishing for the first time at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in California and opening wild turkey hunting for the first time at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. The rule would open more than 248,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities, which the USFWS estimates will generate $711,000 in recreation-related expenditures.

The proposed rule would also change some hunting and sport fishing regulations on some refuges to more closely match state regulations, which would be implemented for the 2018-2019 season.

With this rule, the USFWS continues the trend of expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on national wildlife refuges. The Service opened or expanded opportunities on 19 refuges in 2017, on 13 refuges in 2016 and on 21 refuges in 2015.

Read the Interior Department’s press release on the proposed rule and The Wildlife Society’s Standing Position on Hunting.