The Association Commends the Department of the Interior’s Historic Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities

April 9, 2020

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies applauds this week’s announcement by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt of the Administration’s significant efforts to increase recreational access on public lands. The new proposed rule would expand hunting and fishing opportunities to Americans by opening 2.3 million acres to public access and would represent the largest expansion of land to hunting and fishing in the history of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The outdoors and its health benefits are likely more important than ever,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “This proposed rule will afford people greater opportunities to get outdoors, whether it be for hunting or fishing, and enjoy our great natural heritage.  Outdoor recreation touches all Americans, from rural communities to urban areas.”

The proposed rule would open new hunting and fishing opportunities across 2.3 million acres at 97 national wildlife refuges and nine national fish hatcheries.

Click here to view the Department of Interiors press release.


The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.