06/28/2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has posted a proposed rule change in the Federal Register, which will increase hunting and fishing opportunities on dozens of National Wildlife Refuges.

The rule proposes to open seven refuges to hunting for the first time and to provide new hunting and/or fishing opportunities at an additional 67 refuges.  The proposals will affect hunting and fishing in 36 different states throughout the country. 

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State opportunities facilitated through this proposed rule include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In addition to expanding hunting and fishing opportunities, the Service proposes to remove approximately 2,100 unnecessary and/or redundant regulations and simplify an additional 2,900 regulations.  This action helps fulfill the Presidential mandate to reduce the regulatory burden on the public.

The Service will accept public comments on the proposal through midnight, Aug. 12, 2019. Comments can be submitted electronically by clicking here. Click on “Comment Now!”

Comments also can be sent by mail, or hand delivered to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FW-HQ-NWRS-2019-0040; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: JAO/1N; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

Review the chart below for commenting purposes. Individual comments regarding specific refuges carry far more weight than hundreds of ‘cut and paste’ letters. Find the refuge(s) of interest, and if possible, provide comments that specifically support the expanded opportunities to hunt and fish on refuges where you hunt or intend to hunt.

SCI will prepare and submit extensive comments in support of the Service’s proposal to simplify the regulations, as well as expand hunting opportunities in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Seven NWRs will be opened to hunting and/or fishing that have, to date, been closed to both hunting and fishing. Those refuges are:

CO – Leadville - opening up hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game. This refuge also opens up sport fishing.

CT and MA – Silvio O. Conte - opening up hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game. This refuge also opens up sport fishing. *Note – this refuge encompasses land in four states. Hunting is already allowed in two of the states. This proposal opens up the two additional states to hunting and fishing.

MA – Mashpee - opening up hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game.

NM – Dexter - opening up hunting for migratory birds and upland game.

OK – Ozark - opening up hunting for upland game and big game.

WI – Iron River - opening up hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game.

WY – Hutton Lake - opening up hunting for migratory birds.

 

The refuges listed below have been slated for an expansion of hunting and/or fishing opportunities. A brief description of the proposed changes is included for each refuge.

AL – Grand Bay - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds

AL – Key Cave - New species for migratory birds and upland game, new activity for big game


AZ – Bill Williams River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds and upland game

AZ – Buenos Aires - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game and big game

AZ – Cibola - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game

AZ – Havasu - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds

AZ – Imperial - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds and upland game

AZ – Kofa - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game

AZ – San Bernadino - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds

CA – Colusa - New species for upland game hunting

CA – Delevan - New species for upland game hunting

CA – Marin Islands - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

CA – Sacramento - New species for upland game

CA – San Pablo Bay - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds

CA – Stone Lakes - New activity for sport fishing

CA – Sutter - New species for upland game hunting

CO – Hotchkiss NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

FL – St. Marks - Land expansion for upland game and big game

GA – Bond Swamp - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game and big game

GA – Okefenokee - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

GA – Piedmont - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game and big game        

ID – Minidoka - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for sport fishing, new activity for big game

IL – Crab Orchard - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game new species for migratory birds and upland game

IL – Cypress Creek - Land expansion for migratory birds, upland game and big game, new species for migratory birds and upland game

IL – Great River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game and big game

IL – Hackmatack - New activity opening for sport fishing

IL – Middle Mississippi River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game, land expansion for upland game, water expansion for sport fishing

IN – Patoka River - Land expansion for migratory birds, upland game and big game, water expansion for sport fishing

IA – Desoto - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

IA – Neal Smith - Land expansion for migratory birds, upland game and big game

IA – Northern Tallgrass Prairie - Land expansion for migratory birds, upland game and big game, new activities for sport fishing

KS – Kirwin - Expansion of land for migratory bird hunting

KY – Clarks River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game

ME – Craig Brook NFH - Refuge opening to sport fishing, previously closed


MD – Patuxent - Land expansion for big game

MA – Monomoy - New activity for migratory birds and upland game

MA – Parker River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting and land expansion for migratory birds and big game, new activities for upland game hunting

MN – Crane Meadows - New activity for migratory birds and upland game, new land opened to big game hunting

MN – Northern Tallgrass Prairie - Land expansion for migratory birds, upland game and big game, new activities for sport fishing

MN – Tamarac - New species for migratory birds and upland game

MS – Grand Bay - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds

MO – Great River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game and big game

MO – Middle Mississippi River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game, land expansion for upland game, water expansion for sport fishing

MT – Medicine Land - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for sport fishing, new species for migratory birds

NE – Boyer Chute- Land expansion for migratory birds, expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting and new species for big game

NE – Desoto - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

NE – Valentine - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for upland game

NH – Great Bay - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting and new species for big game

NM – Bitter Lake - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds and upland game

NM – Bosque del Apache - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game

NM – Las Vegas - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds

NC – Currituck - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds

NC – Edenton NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

NC – Mattamuskeet - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

ND – Valley City NFH - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

OH – Cedar Point - Water expansion for sport fishing

OH – Ottawa - Water expansion for sport fishing

OK – Deep Fork - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game, new species for migratory birds

OK – Little River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game, new species for migratory birds

OK – Salt Plains - New species for migratory birds, upland game and big game, land expansion for migratory birds and upland game, expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota , youth hunting for big game

OK – Sequoyah - New species for big game

OK – Tishomingo - New activity for migratory birds and new species for big game

OK – Tishomingo NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

OK – Washita - New species for migratory birds and upland game, land expansion for migratory birds

OK – Wichita Mountains - New activity for migratory birds and upland game, new species for big game

OR – Brandon Marsh - Water expansion for sport fishing

OR – McKay Creek - New species to hunt for migratory birds and upland game, new activity for big game

OR – Nestucca Bay = New activity for sport fishing

PA – Cherry Valley - New activity added for already opened sport fishing areas

SC – Orangeburg NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

SD – Sand Lake - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

TN – Cross Creek - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game, new species for upland game

TX – Hagerman - New land opening for migratory birds, upland game and big game

TX – Inks Dam NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

TX – Laguna Atascosa - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

TX – Lower Rio Grande Valley - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for big game

TX – Trinity River - Expanded dates, methods, bag limits, quota, youth hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game

VA – Harrison Lake NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

WA – Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually - New land area for hunting migratory birds

WA – Entita NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

WA – Leavenworth NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

WA – Little White Salmon NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

WA – San Juan Islands - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

WA – Spring Creek NFH - Refuge opened to sport fishing, previously closed

WI – Green Bay - Refuge opening to big game hunting and sport fishing, previously closed

WI – Hackmatack - New activity for sport fishing

WI – Whittlesey Creek - New activity for sport fishing

WY – Seedskadee - New species for big game

 

 


 

 

 

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