Conservation Corner: Interior Department Expands Hunting and Fishing in MS
Continuing the Administration’s unprecedented efforts to increase recreational access on public lands, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt recently announced the historic opening and expansion of over 850 hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres at 147 national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. This rule is the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in history. In Mississippi, additional hunting and fishing opportunities will be expanded on the Coldwater, DaHomey, and Tallahatchie National Wildlife Refuges, primarily for dove and big game hunting.
“The Trump Administration and Secretary Bernhardt have made access to public lands for hunting and fishing and other outdoor recreation a priority beginning day one. Hunting and fishing are a part of our American history, and we continue to ensure we provide opportunities for these activities which epitomize our American heritage,” said Service Director Aurelia Skipwith, whose parents are from Columbus Mississippi. “Furthermore, we have maintained our commitment to promoting good government by reducing the regulatory burden by working with states to facilitate these outdoor activities.”
“The Trump Administration’s historic expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on federal lands is a serious win for our nation’s outdoorsmen and future conservation efforts,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. “Recreational hunters and fishermen are among our nation’s most ardent conservationists and will help ensure these areas are preserved for future generations of Americans to enjoy.”
Laird Hamberlin, who I went from first through twelfth grade with in the Greenville Public Schools System, was also pleased. “We commend the Trump Administration and Secretary Bernhardt for proposing the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities in history,” said Hamberlin, the CEO of Safari Club International. “This monumental step will increase access to our country’s unmatched public lands for hunters and anglers alike. America’s sporting heritage plays a vital role in many states’ economies, and hunters are the single largest source of funding for their conservation efforts. Outdoor recreational access is important now more than ever, so hunters across the nation have every reason to be thankful to this Administration for prioritizing this unprecedented expansion of opportunity for sportsmen and women.”
The National Wildlife Refuge System is a tremendous network of public lands and waters that are critically important to sportsmen and women. This expansion is the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities in the history of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and I commend them for it. We look forward to working with the Director Skipwith and the Service to continue to focus on conservation efforts and bring even more access to hunters, anglers, and other wildlife enthusiasts across Mississippi.