As mankind continues to claw its way to every far corner of the globe, we are working to be mindful of our impact on the native species.
Responsible conservation is a priority of nearly all Americans. We understand that we were gifted a vast and varied continent from which to draw resources and wealth, and that it must be maintained at all costs. Our agriculturists and ecologists have long tinkered with the formulas as well, working diligently to ensure that the biological balance remains intact.
Hunting is an enormous part of this system, and is one of the most versatile. Tag lotteries limit the number of specimens taken in any given year, and allow for species to repopulate according to decades of observation.
We can also adjust our conservation tactics by geography, opening up new lands for hunting, or shutting down others.
That is precisely what the President is doing this week.
“He’s basically said, ‘Git-R-Done,’” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who is spearheading the opening of 1.4 million acres and elimination of 7,500 regulations limiting access.
“The president fundamentally gets that hunters and anglers are the true conservationists in our society. He understands that history and that we need to act in efforts to expand hunting and fishing while at the same time being respectful of private land rights, respectful of state law,” added Bernhardt.
It has been a whirlwind of activity to get this done.
First under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and now as the nation’s top outdoorsman, Bernhardt has been implementing rules to expand access at lightning speed.
As part of that effort, Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service established 10 “hunting and fishing chiefs” that have scoured every single federal property to find opportunities to expand access.
This month, Bernhardt announced a proposal to open 1.4 million more acres to hunting and fishing at 74 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fish hatcheries. After a public comment period, he hopes to have the land open in time for the September dove season.
As hunting and fishing continue to gain popularity, these newly offered lands will provide a great American experience for generations to come.