The Trump administration has announced a new undertaking to vastly expand access to hunting and fishing on federal lands.

According to a press release by the Department of the Interior, the plan would cover 1.4 million acres of public land, 74 national wildlife refuges, and 15 national fish hatcheries.

“Hunting and fishing are more than just traditional pastimes as they are also vital to the conservation of our lands and waters, our outdoor recreation economy, and our American way of life,” said Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

The plan will be open to public comment for the next 45 days.

Despite this action by Interior, hunting has received a bad rap in recent times.

Celebrities have taken to twitter to bash the practice, and radical groups like Peta have increased the use of ads condemning not just hunting, but meat eating in general.

But hunting is not about killing.

Like Secretary Bernhardt referenced, hunting is vital to the conservation of animal species. Without hunting and fishing, there would be very little funding for habitat restoration and species management.

The press release explained:

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States in 2016, according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101 million Americans — 40 percent of the U.S. population age 16 and older — pursue wildlife-related recreation, including hunting and fishing.

Even beyond funding for conservation, hunting is a necessary means of keeping animal populations in check and preventing the spread of diseases in animal populations.

Those who vilify hunting in the name of “protecting wildlife” are worsening the very animal deaths they claim to want to prevent.

Learn more about how hunting contributes to conservation in the first episode of CFACT’s “Conservation Nation” YouTube series here.

Sportsmen and women are lovers of nature, who give back to what they love and are an integral part of protecting it.

This move by the Department of the Interior will continue to enhance that American tradition.

Author

  • Adam Houser coordinates student leaders for CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.