National Wildlife Refuges

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Saw this article today: (https://www.sportsmensalliance.org/...tMjlJrYvl4lqUteUp0D1w7TCqPfZyOTfSnnxTNRYTDmj4)

Posted on February 15, 2022

An animal-rights group and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have announced settlement discussions over a lawsuit that could revoke hunting opportunities on nearly 100 National Wildlife Refuges nationwide. In November, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed suit over the 2020 expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on 2.2 million acres within the refuge system. The litigious group alleges that hunting on refuges threatens endangered species due to hunters trampling critical habitat, through lead poisoning as a result of spent ammunition and because grizzly bears are mistakenly shot by hunters believing them to be black bears or in self-defense.
The lawsuit seemed a long shot given the 1997 National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act, landmark legislation drafted and pushed through Congress by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, which ensured that hunting, fishing and trapping would occur on any refuge where it is compatible. The historic law has opened millions of acres to hunting as every Presidential administration since has touted expansion of opportunities within the system.
However, the surprise joint filing by the Biden Administration and CBD asking for a delay in the court proceedings while the two sides conduct settlement talks sends an alarming message to hunting groups that are preparing to intervene in the lawsuit to ensure the rights of sportsmen are protected. Should the administration reach an agreement, CBD would likely not have to spend a single legal dollar, as these settlements often include payment of legal fees using taxpayer dollars. Worse, any settlement will likely include restrictions or revocation of hunting opportunities. The Sportsmen’s Alliance and other conservation groups were offered no warning of the pending talks, nor offered a seat at the table.
“A few short months ago, the Biden Administration was touting the largest expansion of hunting and fishing in history on these lands and now they’re negotiating with animal-rights activists over hunting opportunities, while excluding sportsmen from having a seat at the table,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, which has been preparing to defend hunting on refuges in the case. “It’s no surprise that animal-rights and anti-hunting groups want to stop hunting, but sportsmen shouldn’t tolerate being shut out as the Biden Administration negotiates away hunting opportunities on public lands.”
The best way to save these hunting opportunities from being lost is for American sportsmen to contact their U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Senators to oppose these backroom negotiations.

Sportsmen need to speak up immediately! Call your U.S. Senators and Representative and make sure they hear your voice. Use the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center to reach your Senators and Representatives.




Can anyone shed some light on it? I know I've seen wildlife refuges in SD, but I've always avoided them because they aren't in areas I hunt and seem difficult to work with the restrictions on them.

Any input welcome on how this may affect the normal hunting folks.


Thanks
 

nettereo16

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In 2020 a number of Natl Wildlife Refuges were opened to hunting. This land was often purchased/managed through Federal Duck Stamps.
I did some duck hunting at one of these newly opened refuges in VA this past November and was very grateful for the opportunity.

CBD will never stop. Call your reps.
 

wllm

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I’ve hunted several out here, there are some extra regs to deal with and some silly rules occasionally, but they also provide great hunting opportunities for deer/turkey/waterfowl and are often some of the only public lands in the area.
 

BuzzH

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I've also hunted a bunch of them over the years for elk, deer, pronghorn, waterfowl, upland birds, javelina, etc.
 

neffa3

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I saw that IG post by Sportsman's Alliance too, but couldn't find anymore info on it.
 

drexal

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I hunt several refuges including one this year that was part of the expansion. Through some research for the new area, I read through pages of surveys and impact statements (yea, I'm somewhat of a nerd). If we are going to believe the science and experts of the field, then those impact statements clearly state that the species (currently over-populated in the area) and ecosystem (already open to similar activities) are very minimally affected. These surveys are all part of opening the area to these activities, the research has been done, the experts have spoken...
 

The_Jim

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There are some good opportunities on Nebraska refuge land plus with our already lack of public land, any public hunting loss in Nebraska is a big hit.
 

Hunting Wife

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I wouldn’t get all worked up just yet.

The law says hunting is one of seven priority public uses of refuge lands. It isn’t going away. They might get some specific items under the most recent hunting expansions reevaluated under Administrative Procedures, but I suspect that’s about the best they could do.

The most recent hunting opportunity “expansions” have been light on actual additional opportunity provided in many cases anyway, as I’ve explained in other threads.
 

wllm

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I wouldn’t get all worked up just yet.

The law says hunting is one of seven priority public uses of refuge lands. It isn’t going away. They might get some specific items under the most recent hunting expansions reevaluated under Administrative Procedures, but I suspect that’s about the best they could do.

The most recent hunting opportunity “expansions” have been light on actual additional opportunity provided in many cases anyway, as I’ve explained in other threads.
X2

bear hunting ops in refuges that do not hold bears for instance lol
 

drexal

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I wouldn’t get all worked up just yet.

The law says hunting is one of seven priority public uses of refuge lands. It isn’t going away. They might get some specific items under the most recent hunting expansions reevaluated under Administrative Procedures, but I suspect that’s about the best they could do.

The most recent hunting opportunity “expansions” have been light on actual additional opportunity provided in many cases anyway, as I’ve explained in other threads.

Maybe not get worked up yet, but don't just lay down either. If the research has already been conducted and the experts say hunting activities should be permitted, then I'd like to see the counterargument for closing any of the expanded opportunities. If there are legitimate issues, then let's hear them.
 

Gellar

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Over hunting is not going to harm refuges, but knucklehead hunters are. We have seen an exponential increase of duck hunters with mud motors and airboats going places they could not before. They are harassing wildlife, ripping apart sensitive plants, and destroying mussel beds. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.
 

3855WIN

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A few short months ago, the Biden Administration was touting the largest expansion of hunting and fishing in history on these lands and now they’re negotiating with animal-rights activists over hunting opportunities, while excluding sportsmen from having a seat at the table,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, which has been preparing to defend hunting on refuges in the case. “It’s no surprise that animal-rights and anti-hunting groups want to stop hunting, but sportsmen shouldn’t tolerate being shut out as the Biden Administration negotiates away hunting opportunities on public lands.”
 

brocksw

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A few short months ago, the Biden Administration was touting the largest expansion of hunting and fishing in history on these lands and now they’re negotiating with animal-rights activists over hunting opportunities, while excluding sportsmen from having a seat at the table,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, which has been preparing to defend hunting on refuges in the case. “It’s no surprise that animal-rights and anti-hunting groups want to stop hunting, but sportsmen shouldn’t tolerate being shut out as the Biden Administration negotiates away hunting opportunities on public lands.”
I'd slow down a bit. I believe the usfws has to listen to any settlement offers, as in legally obligated to hear all parties. I'm hearing rumors that the usfws has no intention of backing off these refuges. We should be hearing more in the next couple days.
 

Dougfirtree

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I cut my duck hunting teeth at Lee Metcalf NWR. Plenty of rules, but I always loved seeing the sunrise light up the Bitterrroots and listening to the whistle of wings. I like that many refuges allow hunting. I've had some great conversations with non-hunters that started with them saying, "Wait, they allow hunting on wildlife refuges!? Why!?"
 

F250

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I cut my duck hunting teeth at Lee Metcalf NWR. Plenty of rules, but I always loved seeing the sunrise light up the Bitterrroots and listening to the whistle of wings. I like that many refuges allow hunting. I've had some great conversations with non-hunters that started with them saying, "Wait, they allow hunting on wildlife refuges!? Why!?"
My wife works at a NWR. I patrolled that one for decades. I actually enjoyed answering that question from the nonhunter hikers and photographers who used the Refuge, and seemed appalled that hunters used the area. My answer : "Because the hunters are the only ones who PAID for the Refuge !!! "
 

hossblur

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My wife works at a NWR. I patrolled that one for decades. I actually enjoyed answering that question from the nonhunter hikers and photographers who used the Refuge, and seemed appalled that hunters used the area. My answer : "Because the hunters are the only ones who PAID for the Refuge !!! "


In Jan, the Bald Eagles come through here pretty heavy. So as goose season is still rolling, we too get the bird watchers(can't blame them those big eagles are awesome).

Most pay no attention, but of course their is always that one, and yes, she drove a Subaru.

She decided to march over to me and my boys to "explain" to us that "this is a refuge that we created for animals and birds to hide from hunting"

I was nice, but explained to her that"we" didn't do jack. I did. My boys did. Those other dudes whose trucks were parked there did. She was a "taxpayer, she had contributed"

I pulled out my license, showed her the duck stamp stuck on it, told her what it was, and that she could actually help pay for it, and buy one.

Hopefully she started buying them. Even more, hopefully she learned to mind her own damn buisness. I'm not betting on either 🙄
 

ccc23454

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Hunted several but Back Bay NWR use to be great hog hunting and some fun deer hunting. Lots of extra rules but was right next to my house and base i was stationed at so was convenient in a area where hunting oppurtunity was limited by development. Be a dam shame to close some of these places to hunters!
 

Rhcuam

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Between this and the meetings concerning refuges, I am starting to question a the claim “this Administration is going to be great for public lands“
 

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Salmonchaser

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I wouldn’t get all worked up just yet.

The law says hunting is one of seven priority public uses of refuge lands. It isn’t going away. They might get some specific items under the most recent hunting expansions reevaluated under Administrative Procedures, but I suspect that’s about the best they could do.

The most recent hunting opportunity “expansions” have been light on actual additional opportunity provided in many cases anyway, as I’ve explained in other threads.
Always trust your insight and perspective please keep us posted!
 

Eric Albus

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A few short months ago, the Biden Administration was touting the largest expansion of hunting and fishing in history on these lands and now they’re negotiating with animal-rights activists over hunting opportunities, while excluding sportsmen from having a seat at the table,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, which has been preparing to defend hunting on refuges in the case. “It’s no surprise that animal-rights and anti-hunting groups want to stop hunting, but sportsmen shouldn’t tolerate being shut out as the Biden Administration negotiates away hunting opportunities on public lands.”
Hang on, it’s just beginning. Rumors I hear are not to good. Time will tell if there is any fire where the smoke comes from.
Same dark Money funding several “green decoy” groups funds the animal rights/anti hunting groups.
 
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