New Interior Dept. order expands hunting access on western land

New Interior Dept. order expands hunting access on western land
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Adding to his pro-hunter reputation, Interior Department Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: House to vote on anti-carbon tax measure | Dem says EPA obstructed 'politically charged' FOIA requests | GOP looks to overhaul endangered species law Judge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester Office of Special Counsel looking into Zinke's 'MAGA' socks MORE issued an order Friday to expand big-game hunting access across the western U.S.

Zinke signed the order while attending the Western Conservation and Hunting Expo in Salt Lake City. 

The order will "improve wildlife management and conservation and expand opportunities for
big game hunting by improving priority habitats ​within important ​and migration corridors across
the West," according to a department press release.

The Interior statement said "priority" states for the new measure would include Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming​.

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"We all know that animals go where animals want to go, and more often than not that's dependent​ ​upon natural features like watersheds,​ ​rather than whether land is owned by the [Bureau of Land Management], state, or private landowners. We need to manage appropriately. ​My goal is healthy herds for American hunters and wildlife watchers, and this order will he​​lp establish better migration corridors for some of North America's most iconic big game species," Zinke said in a statement.

Zinke went on to call American hunters the "backbone" of big-game conservation efforts and promised that Interior will "leverage" its land management to study the migration habits of wildlife and improve habitat.

Zinke has made no secret of his love for hunting, and since taking the helm of the Interior Department he's made a number of changes to merge the passion with government policies.

On his first day in office back in March, he issued an order that overturned a ban of lead ammunition and fish tackle on Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters. In September, Zinke issued another secretarial order designed to increase access to various public lands for hunters and fishers. 

In 2018, Zinke's made his push for expanded hunting in the U.S. much more prominent. 

In addition to the hunting expo Zinke attended in Utah this week, he attended world's largest gun trade show in Las Vegas in January. There he spoke with a number of radio hosts and tweeted a number of times about his positive experience.