In addition to the Department of Interior recommending changes to 27 national monuments last week, Secretary Ryan Zinke also signed an order supporting expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on public land. The new order followed a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announcement that a survey found there are 2.2 million fewer hunters in America now than in 2011. The order instructs the entities under the Department of Interior, like the BLM and the Fish and Wildlife Service, to produce a plan to expand hunting and fishing on public lands within 120 days. The order will also allow national monument management plans to be amended, to ensure the publics right to hunt, fish and target shoot. It will also expand educational outreach programs for underrepresented communities such as veterans, minorities and youth. According to Zinke, the order shows the Trump Administration is actively moving to support hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation on public lands. Additional steps that will be taken under the secretarial order are available below.
The order will also:
- In a manner that respects the rights and privacy of the owners of non-public lands, identify lands within their purview where access to Department lands, particularly access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other forms of outdoor recreation, is currently limited (including areas of Department land that may be impractical or effectively impossible to access via public roads or trails under current conditions, but where there may be an opportunity to gain access through an easement, right-of-way, or acquisition), and provide a report detailing such lands to the Deputy Secretary.
- Within 365 days, cooperate, coordinate, create, make available, and continuously update online a single “one stop” Department site database of available opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on Department lands.
- Improve wildlife management through collaboration with state, Tribal, territorial, and conservation partners.