Feds expand hunting in 30 national wildlife refuges
By Chris Eger
The J. Clark Salyer NWR, located along the Souris River in north-central North Dakota, will be open to moose hunters for the first time due to the order. The 58,700-acre refuge is the largest in North Dakota and is among 30 across the nation where hunting and fishing opportunities were recently expanded. (Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS)
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke this month announced the expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities at national wildlife refuges in 22 states.
Among the changes, which increase access to more than 251,000 acres of federal lands for sportsmen, are opening Montana’s Swan River National Wildlife Refuge to big game hunting and Pennsylvania’s John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to white-tailed deer hunting for the first time. Zinke made the announcement Friday, stressing the country’s outdoor heritage and the importance of the user-pay model.
“American sportsmen and women contribute over a billion dollars a year to fund conservation. Without hunters and anglers, we wouldn’t be able to conserve wildlife and habitat; and, without access to our public lands like National Wildlife Refuges, many hunters would have nowhere to go,” said Zinke. “The last thing I want to see is hunting to become an elite sport, rather than a