Trump administration announces plan to open more wildlife refuge land to hunting, fishing
Over 100 wildlife refuges across the nation, including Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, seen here, are among those where the Trump administration plans to expand hunting and fishing to 2.3 million additional acres. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)
It would also allow alligator hunting at three national wildlife refuges: Banks Lake in Georgia, Laguna Atascosa in Texas and Savannah in Georgia and South Carolina.
The plan was announced as part of the Interior Department’s annual review ahead of the upcoming hunting season, department spokesman Conner Swanson said.
A critic from a conservation group called the plan "tone-deaf" in the time of the coronavirus crisis, adding that it "by no means could ever make up for the hunting opportunities and wildlife lost as a result of Trump’s deregulatory agenda decimating our public lands and environmental protections." (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Western Values Project director Jayson O’Neill criticized the timing of the announcement and other decisions the Trump administration has made that he contends damages public lands.
“Instead of responding to pleas by state and local officials for needed agency resources, assistance, and help during this generational pandemic, Secretary Bernhardt made a tone-deaf announcement that by no means could ever make up for the hunting opportunities and wildlife lost as a result of Trump’s deregulatory agenda decimating our public lands and environmental protections," O'Neill said.
People will have 60 days to comment on the proposal.
Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam said in a statement the timing is perfect since Americans hunkered-down during the pandemic are looking for open spaces to recreate.
“As millions of people around the country中国体彩票手机版下载 feel trapped in their own 中国体彩票手机版下载s due to the COVID-19 virus, having the opportunity to hunt and fish in the quiet of the wilderness or the tranquility of a lake is perhaps more important now than its ever been,” Putnam said. “There’s never been a better time to enjoy the solitude of our public lands and distance yourself from the crowds.”