Trump administration order expands hunters’ access to public lands

Trump administration order expands hunters’ access to public lands

The Trump administration is moving to expand access to hunting and fishing on public lands.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeNew policy at Interior's in-house watchdog clamps down on interactions with press Overnight Energy: EPA proposes scrapping limits on coal plant waste | Appointee overseeing federal lands once advocated selling them | EPA lifts Obama-era block on controversial mine Latest appointee overseeing federal public lands once advocated to sell them MORE on Friday signed the order, which would give hunters and fishers more access to lands managed by his department. It’s an extension of a previous order he signed aimed at restoring the "American sportsmen conservation ethic." 

“Today’s Secretarial Order is the latest example of how the Trump Administration is actively moving to support hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation on public lands," Zinke said in a statement. 

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"This means finding ways to expand hunting and fishing on public lands, improving access, and taking necessary actions to facilitate the enjoyment of these time-honored activities by any member of our society.”

The move is likely to be welcomed by hunters and fishers and is the latest Trump effort to reach out to those groups.

But conservation groups have criticized the administration’s efforts to scale back national monuments and to open up more land to activity. They argue that hunters and anglers already have broad access to public lands. 

The move comes after Zinke recommended in August that President Trump shrink "a handful" of national monuments.

Zinke said it’s important to keep areas protected when they warrant it.

“There’s an expectation we need to look out 100 years from now to keep the public land experience alive in this country,” Zinke said. “You can protect the monument by keeping public access to traditional uses.”