The U.S. to Open More Wildlife Refuges to Hunters

Conservationists argue that the move will expose more animals to lead poisoning and other environmental threats.


An elk bugles in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. (Photo: Getty Image)
Jul 23, 2016
Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service plans to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 13 national wildlife refuges across nine states, including opening up big game hunting in Colorado’s 92,000-acre Baca National Wildlife Refuge for the first time.

That’s good news for America’s hunters, who will have more chances to target big game species such as elk and deer, as well as prairie chickens, quail, pheasant, ducks, doves, and pigeons.

But conservationists fear the move will expose wildlife to lead poisoning and other threats.

“The best purpose for our national wildlife refuges is the original purpose: to provide an inviolate sanctuary for the protection of our native wild spaces and wildlife,” said Jennifer Place, program associate at Born Free USA in Washington, D.C.



6 thoughts on “The U.S. to Open More Wildlife Refuges to Hunters

  1. Jeez – it really seems like we are in an environmental twilight zone lately. What is going on? Why is a Democratic administration allowing this? And we should not be expanding lead toxicity with as much as we have already. I hope it is held up until after the election – but I’m no longer hopeful about a new Democratic regime either. 😦

    • Yes – I’ve been puzzling as to why Obama doesn’t do something — He has, such as naming environments as National Monuments which the BLM does not respect. But we have a Republican congress whose committees oversee various agencies. These people are beholden more than the Dems are — that’s the problem. There needs to be a balance of legislators or people in congress who care more about observing nature rather than killing it.

  2. Fish and Wildlife Service, backed by lobbyists and hunter and gun groups are hell-bent on getting into every wilderness area for hunting and trapping. They want the deer and elk and probably the wolves and Cougars who also want some of the deer and elk. The hunters want it all and feel entitled to it.

  3. Environmentalists ( & even many so-called “animal people”) largely ignore hunting issues, and many groups actually support hunting. “Wilderness Alliance” groups, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon, and most other groups simply accept that the “hunting culture” is part of the American scene. The current trend toward giving humans “more access” to public lands, includes more hunting access. Most politicians do not want to touch the NRA, including Bernie Sanders. In his lovely state of Vermont, which I visit often, forget hiking in the woods when hunting season opens. Even before the “season” gun shots are heard everywhere. Bernie is quoted by the Daily Beast, Nov. 24th 2015, that “hunters should be allowed to carry their guns on AMTRAK.”

    Racist, Misogynist, Donald Trump, has two nasty grown sons who are big trophy hunters, and Trump is very close with the NRA. At least Hilary Clinton has voiced publicly that she “will go after the NRA.”
    Senator Martin Heinrich D-NM, is a big game hunter, and the darling of many environmental groups. Senator Jon Tester D-Montana, is a staunch rancher and hunter. Both of these “men” are major sponsors of the “Bipartisan Sportmen’s Act. Tester is also noted for his wolf de-listing efforts.

    If Trump is elected, say good-by to any wildlife protections, period. It will be a free-for-all out there for hunting, trapping, and other sadistic activities, much worse than now. Not to mention any current global protections such as CITES, involving the wildlife trade, endangered species. Since Trump is nationalist, isolationist, he would no doubt gut any international wildlife protection agreement–more bodies for his spoiled rich spawn.

    • After Sen. Tester worked hard on de-listing wolves in Montana and other states fell like dominoes, I wrote him to say I hoped he didn’t win re-election, since he was such an embarrassment to the Dems. Surprisingly, he wrote back saying I didn’t know anything about the problems of ranchers. He wields power.
      Secondly, I hope the Pope has the Vatican sign onto CITES and tells the clergy stop selling elephant trunk trinkets. Otherwise, I like this Pope.

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