US FWS Press Release
In a continuing effort to increase access to hunting and fishing on public lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final rule to open or expand opportunities across 132,000 acres on 10 national wildlife refuges. This will bring the number of refuges where the public may hunt up to 373 and up to 311 where fishing is permitted.
Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156.3 billion in economic activity across the United States according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101.6 million Americans – 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 and older – pursue wildlife-related recreation. The final rule opens more than 60,000 acres of Refuge System lands for hunting species not previously authorized in these areas.
“The nation’s sportsmen and women lead the conservation of wildlife and their habitats throughout our nation. They are passionate about the outdoors and are committed to sustainably managing these resources for all Americans to enjoy. Refuges provide all Americans with places to hunt, fish, observe the natural world firsthand and experience the great outdoors,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “We are pleased to be able to offer hunting and fishing opportunities and other recreational activities where they are compatible with national wildlife refuge management goals.”
Hunting will expand on the following refuges in North Dakota:
- Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge: Open to moose hunting for the first time. The refuge is already open to upland game and other big game hunting.
- Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge: Open to moose and turkey hunting for the first time. Expanded upland game and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to upland game hunting, other big game hunting, and sport fishing.
(Featured Photo: Lake Darling is part of the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. The refuge now features expanded upland a big game hunting opportunities. US FWS Photo)