Interior Department announces expansion of fishing and hunting

The United States Department of the Interior recently announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened new or expanded hunting and sport fishing opportunities across 2.1 million acres, the largest expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities in recent history.

The increased recreational access, which covers 88 National Wildlife Refuges and one National Fish Hatchery, is aligned with the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, a locally led and voluntary, nationwide effort to conserve, connect and restore 30% of lands and waters by 2030.

“Increasing access to outdoor recreation opportunities is essential to advancing the administration’s commitment to the conservation stewardship of our public lands,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Responsible hunting and fishing helps to promote healthy wildlife habitats while boosting local recreation economies.”

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the U.S. in 2016, according to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101 million Americans—40% of the U.S. population age 16 and older—pursue wildlife-related recreation, including hunting and fishing.

National Hunting and Fishing Day planned

The rich tradition of hunting, target shooting and fishing will be on full display for National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 26, celebrating the conservation efforts of sportsmen and women everywhere.

The annual event recognizes hunters and anglers for their decades-long leadership in funding wildlife and conservation efforts through self-imposed excise taxes and license fees. Since 1939, programs have collectively raised $65.1 billion for habitat restoration and public lands access so that all Americans can enjoy abundant wildlife and wild places.

Celebrated on the fourth Saturday of every September, National Hunting and Fishing Day is the largest, most effective grassroots movement ever undertaken to promote outdoor sports and conservation. Enacted by Congress in 1971, the federally recognized holiday brings together sportsmen and women from across America to celebrate the rich tradition of hunting, target shooting and fishing through organized local, state and national events aimed at introducing new audiences to the outdoors. NHF Day’s official home is at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. For more information, visit