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WI – HUNTING – Wild Things: Hunters, Anglers Praised for Conservation Efforts

It’s not every day that a top official from the Trump administration is in Green Bay to make a major conservation announcement, but that was the case Friday when U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt delivered remarks and took questions from the press at Smokey’s on the Bay tackle shop near the Green Bay Metro Boat Launch west of Bay Beach. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities in history – more than 850 hunting and fishing opportunities across 2.3 million acres at 138 national wildlife refuges and nine national fish hatcheries – wasn’t exactly big news here in Wisconsin, where the only addition was 11 species at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge on acres that are already open to other hunting. Still, the effort to increase recreational access on public lands has been an ongoing and worthy effort. Last year, 1.4 million acres of new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities were added. “We continue to take significant actions to further conservation initiatives and support sportsmen and women who are America’s true conservationists,” Bernhardt said. Hunters and anglers generated nearly $1 billion in excise taxes last year, supporting critical state conservation programs. The funds come from excise-tax collections on boat fuel and on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment that the USFWS distributes to all 50 states and U.S. territories. In addition to excise taxes collected from these activities, 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 most recent National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.  [full article]


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