In a U.S. Department of Interior press release, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced the opening and expansion of more than 850 hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres at 147 national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. According to the release, this rule is the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in history.
The final rule opens or expands 859 hunting and fishing opportunities (an opportunity is defined as one species on one field station in one state). On top of last year’s expansion of 1.4 million acres for new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities, this proposal would bring the Trump Administration’s total expansion to more than 4 million acres nationwide. This rule increases the number of units in the Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System open to public hunting to 430 and those open to fishing to 360. The rule also formally brings the total number of National Fish Hatchery System units open to hunting or sport fishing to 21.