The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hoping to expand hunting and fishing at 10 national wildlife refuges (NWR) in eight different states.

The proposal includes:

  • Opening moose hunting at the Des Lacs NWR in North Dakota
  • Opening moose and turkey hunting at the Souris River Basin NWR in North Dakota, as well as expanding upland game and big game hunting
  • Expanding migratory game bird hunting, upland game and big game hunting at the Savannah River NWR between Georgia and South Carolina, the Minnesota Valley NWR in Minnesota, the Patoka River NWR in Indiana, and the Horicon NWR in Wisconsin
  • Expanding big game hunting at the Fox River NWR in Wisconsin
  • Expanding upland game and big game hunting at the Sequoyah NWR in Oklahoma
  • Expanding migratory game bird hunting at the Baskett Slough NWR in Oregon
  • Opening sport fishing at the Siletz Bay NWR in Oregon

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke made the announcement last week.

“I grew up in the mountains of northwest Montana, where I spent my time hunting and fishing on our shared public lands. I was lucky to take my boys out on the same land that my dad and granddad took me,” Zinke said in a statement. “As the steward of our public lands, one of my top priorities is to open up access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down the heritage.”

“The last thing I want to see is hunting and fishing become elite sports,” he added. “These ten refuges will provide incredible opportunities for sportsmen and anglers across the country to access the land and connect with the wildlife.”

There are currently 566 national wildlife refuges in the United States. If the proposal is approved, the public will be able to hunt on 373 of them and fish at 312.