The Interior Department Monday announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened new or expanded hunting and sport fishing opportunities across 2.1 million acres. The increase is the largest expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities in recent history. The increased recreational access includes 88 National Wildlife Refuges and one National Fish Hatchery.
Secretary Deb Haaland states, “Increasing access to outdoor recreation opportunities is essential to advancing the administration’s commitment to the conservation stewardship of our public lands.” The announcement expands 910 opportunities for hunting or fishing, as an opportunity is defined as one species on one field station. The announcement brings the number of units in the National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt to 434 and the number where fishing will be permitted to 378. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States.