A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to expand hunting opportunities would allow hunting for waterfowl, squirrels, rabbit and raccoons, deer and hogs on Coldwater River National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Sportmen's Alliance announced yesterday (July 13).

The move is part of a plan to provide additional hunting opportunities on 10 refuges across the country.

"The proposed expanded hunting opportunities on these Refuges are a testament to the long-term work of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation, and shows how both organizations fill a vital need for sportsmen," said Bud Pidgeon, USSA and USSAF's President and CEO.

MS-Sportsman.com users are encouraged to submit comments supporting this proposal. Comments must be submitted by August 4.

In 1997, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance pushed for changes in laws ensuring that hunting and fishing were priority public uses on compatible refuge lands. The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act was signed into law, and has been essential in opening new Refuge lands to sportsmen.

More than 300 National Wildlife Refuges allow hunting.
 
Also on the list for new hunting opportunities are:

• Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (CO) – would allow elk hunting
•Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge (LA) – would allow migratory bird hunting of waterfowl and coot
• Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (MN) – would allow deer and turkey hunting
• Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (MN) – would open new areas to migratory bird, upland game, and big game hunting
• Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge (MN/IA) – would open new areas to migratory bird, upland game, and big game hunting and allow additional species of migratory birds and upland game to be hunted
• Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (MN) – would allow turkey and deer hunting and would open new areas to migratory bird hunting
• Currituck National Wildlife Refuge (NC) – would allow deer and hog hunting
• Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge (TX) – would open new areas to deer, feral hogs, rabbit, and squirrel hunting
• Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (UT) – would allow turkey and elk hunting

Recently, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation, along with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and other defendants, won an important court victory protecting hunting on Refuge lands.  The case, filed by anti-hunting groups, sought to stop hunting on a number of Refuges.  Click here to read more about the recent Refuge lawsuit victory.