Plan to expand hunting, fishing in wildlife refuges revealed

Posted at 2:05 PM, Jun 05, 2019

OAK HARBOR, Ohio (AP) -- The Trump administration is announcing what it calls a major expansion of hunting and fishing in the nation's protected wildlife refuges.

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Wednesday the plan affects 1.4 million acres (5,666 square kilometers) of federal public lands, including 74 national wildlife refuges.

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The department says it's about expanding access to these lands. It expects to finalize the plans by September.

The plan would also allow hunting and fishing for the first time at 15 national fish hatcheries.

Bernhardt made the announcement at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge along Lake Erie in Ohio.

Among refuges where the expansion is proposed are Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin and Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming, where deer and elk hunting would be allowed for the first time.