Secretary Zinke Moves to Expand Hunting and Fishing Opportunities in 30 National Wildlife Refuges

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Secretary Zinke Moves to Expand Hunting and Fishing Opportunities in 30 National Wildlife Refuges

Will the Department of Interior’s proposal create new spots to hunt near you? Two areas set in Ohio.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke this week announced a proposal to open or expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 30 national wildlife refuges. Check below to see if that includes spots near you in Ohio, or click here to see the full nation-wide list of affected areas.

Some of these places have been traditionally closed to certain types of hunting or fishing. Other changes reflect broader opportunities at refuges already open to hunting, such as new species that hunters may soon pursue.

If finalized, Zinke’s move would bring the number of units of the National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt to 377, and the number where fishing would be permitted to 312. The move would open 248,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities, Generally National Wildlife Refuges are created with a certain purpose in mind – such as protecting crucial nesting habitat for a certain species. Recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing are allowed when those activities don’t interfere with – or even benefit – the core mission of the refuge.

Zinke has pushed the US Fish & Wildlife agencies to look for opportunities to expand hunting and fishing in land it oversees. Zinke has also pushed the agency to simplify regulations on refuges to more closely match the regulations set by the states where those refuges exist. Those changes would be implemented for the 2018-19 hunting seasons, according to a Department of Interior news release. “As stewards of our public lands, Interior is committed to opening access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down this American heritage,” Zinke said.

Here are the affected areas in Ohio:

Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge: Open white-tailed deer hunting for the first time.

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge: Open hunting of certain gamebirds, small mammals and furbearers for the first time, and expand existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

Originally posted By Ben Long at OutdoorLife.com on 5/24/18.
Image courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Services.