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Thursday, November 9, 2017
USFWS Expands Hunting and Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges
Lake Darling, a main focal point of Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, was named after political cartoonist Jay N. "Ding" Darling. Photo Credit: Jennifer Jewett / USFWS
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Expands Hunting and Fishing Opportunities on North Dakota National Wildlife Refuges

DENVER – In a continuing effort to increase access to hunting and fishing on public lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a final rule to open or expand opportunities across 132,000 acres on 10national 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:

  • Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge: Open moose and turkey hunting for the first time. Expand upland game and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to upland game hunting, other big game hunting, and sport fishing.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

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