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Editorial: Public Land Open

Editorial: More public lands opened by President Trump

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jul 17, 2019

No matter what your feelings are for President Trump, if you’re a lover of fishing, hunting and the outdoors, he’s been doing some really great things for you, and right here in your own backyard.

President Trump has now approved a proposal opening thousands of public acres to hunting and fishing that’s being touted a massive win for hunters and anglers, and many of them are here in California in our own backyard. He understands that we need to act in efforts to expand hunting and fishing while at the same time being respectful of private land rights and be respectful of state law.


The proposal would increase the number of units in the Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt from 377 to 382, and the number where fishing would be permitted would be increased from 312 to 316. The proposal would also formally open lands on 15 hatcheries of the National Fish Hatchery System to hunting or sport fishing for the first time.


For specifics here in California:


— Colusa National Wildlife Refuge: Open to wild turkey hunting for the first time on 1,639 acres already open to other hunting.


— Delevan National Wildlife Refuge: Open to wild turkey hunting for the first time on 1,696 acres already open to other hunting.


— Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge: Open to sport fishing for the first time.


— Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge: Open to wild turkey hunting for the first time on 1,371 acres already open to other hunting.


— San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Expand season date ranges and method of take for existing migratory game bird hunting on 9,726 acres to further align with state regulations.


— Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Open to sport fishing for the first time on acres already open to other activities.


— Sutter National Wildlife Refuge: Open to wild turkey hunting for the first time on 839 acres already open to other hunting.


We don’t know of any president in memory who has opened up so much public land in such a short time to the consumptive sports of fishing and hunting, and he is to be commended for his actions. When you take a look at what California and the U.S. Government have already locked up and closed to consumptive sports over the decades, there’s plenty left for tree-huggers to play in.


The Service intends to finalize the proposed changes in time for the upcoming 2019-2020 hunting seasons. A complete list of all refuges and hatcheries in the proposal is available in the proposed rule and online.


While we don’t seem to have that many hunters here in California per capita, it always seems like there’s a shortage of uncrowded hunting spots to go to. Now, thanks to our president, California hunters and fishermen have more places to go.


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