SALT LAKE CITY — The Trump administration plans to open 2.3 million acres of land for hunting and fishing at more than 100 national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries under a proposal unveiled Wednesday that is aimed at giving Americans more recreational access on public lands.
The plan earned applause from several hunting and fishing groups, but criticism from one conservation organization that called it “tone deaf” to focus on this during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal would allow fishing for the first time at several national wildlife refuges, including San Diego Bay in California, Alamosa in Colorado, Bombay Hook in Delaware, Umbagog in Maine and New Hampshire, and Everglades Headwaters in Florida.
Western Values Project director Jayson O’Neill criticized the announcement.
“Instead of responding to pleas by state and local officials for needed agency resources, assistance, and help during this generational pandemic, Secretary Bernhardt made a tone-deaf announcement that by no means could ever make up for the hunting opportunities and wildlife lost as a result of Trump’s deregulatory agenda decimating our public lands and environmental