U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Expand Hunting Opportunities on Three Midwest Region National Wildlife Refuges
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposal to add one national wildlife refuge to the list of areas open for hunting during the 2008-09 season and increase hunting opportunities on two other refuges in the Midwest Region.
Initially proposed in July 2006, the hunt program changes were withdrawn because of a lawsuit and subsequent court decision requiring some refuges to revise Environmental Assessments to incorporate cumulative impact analyses. Refuges named in the lawsuit have completed the revised assessments, as have the refuges included in today’s proposed rule.
The proposed rule, published in the June 11, 2008 Federal Register, proposes changes to three refuges in the Midwest Region and to several other refuges across the nation. In the Midwest Region, the proposed changes would open Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota to migratory bird and big-game hunting. In addition, the rule increases hunting opportunities to include migratory birds and upland game at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota and opens Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin to big-game hunting.
The entire proposed rule, along with instructions on how to submit comments can be found at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-12193.pdf
In addition to the proposed rule, a final rule making minor administrative changes and modifying existing hunting and fishing regulations was also published. This final rule can be viewed at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-12188.pdf
Some of the nation’s finest hunting can be found on national wildlife refuges, as well as excellent opportunities for fishing, wildlife photography, wildlife observation, environmental education and interpretive programs. More than 300 national wildlife refuges currently have hunting programs and more than 270 refuges have fishing programs.
For More Information on Midwest Region National Wildlife Refuges visit: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Refuges/
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. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov