Proposed Changes for Hunting and Fishing on the Refuge

Hunting and fishing are two of the six wildlife-dependent recreational "compatible uses" designated in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, along with wildlife watching, photography, environmental education, and interpretation.
Hunting and fishing are two of the six wildlife-dependent recreational “compatible uses” designated in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, along with wildlife watching, photography, environmental education, and interpretation.

There is a draft proposal in place by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to expand hunting and fishing opportunities across the national refuge system.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is specifically listed for a proposed expansion of migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting, and big game hunting. This expansion would equate to an estimated 160 additional hunting “days”. The proposal defines “day” here as “one person per day participating in a recreational opportunity”.

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The “160 additional days” can be interpreted in a number of ways. It could be an extra 160 hunters, each hunting one day over the course of the days hunting is allowed. It could be an extra 80 hunters, each hunting 2 extra days – or any other combination amounting to the same 160.

There is a public comment (click link to comment) period from Apr 9, 2020 to Jun 8, 2020, which means that if you have an opinion on the subject, this is your chance to share it with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. You can read the official document here.

While the document is lengthy and covers the entire Refuge System, you can use the search tool to search for “Iroquois” to find the specific mentions of INWR.

There are several ways you can submit comments. The official channel is through the regulations.gov website.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association also has a great article covering some perspectives on the proposed changes here. They also offer a channel for submitting comments.

So settle in for some exciting reading, and then take some time to share your feedback with the FWS!

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