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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Seeks Public Input to Increase Access to Refuge Lands

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Seeks Public Input to Increase Access to Refuge Lands
USA – -( As part of its ongoing effort to increase public access on federal lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it is seeking the public’s assistance to develop a list of its managed lands that would benefit from new or increased access routes.
On March 12, 2019, President Donald Trump signed into law the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (S.47, the Dingell Act), which directs the Service and other federal land management agencies to develop a priority list of lands that have significantly restricted or no public access where that access could be improved.
The public is encouraged to identify national wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries and other lands managed by the Service that meet the complete criteria.
“Improving public access to hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation on national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries has been a key focus of the Department of the Interior under this Administration,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith.
“In just the last year, the Department opened 1.4 million acres of land and water to new or additional hunting and fishing opportunities — the single largest expansion on Service-managed lands in recent history. We’re committed to continue expanding the availability of these unique and magnificent places for wildlife-dependent recreation for the benefit of the American people.”
Comments will be accepted over a 30-day comment period from February 10-March 11, 2020.
Some of the criteria for nominated lands include: public lands must be managed by the Service and 640 contiguous acres; have significantly restricted or no public access; and be open under federal or state law to hunting, fishing, or use of the land for other public recreational purposes.
For additional information and a full list of required criteria for consideration as specified by the Dingell Act, visit:
Commenters are encouraged to review the required criteria and include additional information as to why the parcel should be on the Service’s priority list. Once the comment period closes the Service will evaluate the nominations to determine which lands meet the requirements and considerations specified by the Dingell Act.
The Service’s final priority list will be posted online by March 12, 2020, and updated biennially thereafter for 10 years.
The Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service have also sought the public’s input to nominate lands within their jurisdictions under similar criteria.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit
For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.
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SCI to Auction Rifle Number Five in the Series of Five World Heritage Guns

SCI to Auction Rifle Number Five in the Series of Five World Heritage GunsU.S.A. –-( The fifth and last of five rifles in the World Heritage Rifle Series – representing the Americas – is a .338 Winchester Magnum, donated by John Bolliger’s Mountain Riflery Inc. The rifle will be auctioned at the 47th SCI Hunters’ Convention to be held in Reno, Nevada, January 9-12, 2019.The World Heritage Rifle Series consists of five spectacular rifles, each representing the best of the gunmaker’s art and one of the world’s five hunting continents, Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and the Americas, and featuring materials representing its continent. The fifth and last of five rifles in the World Heritage Rifle Series – representing the Americas – is a .338 Winchester Magnum, donated by John Bolliger’s Mountain Riflery Inc.The Americas rifle is built on a highly-refined Pre 64 Winchester Model 70 action, full coverage engraving and complemented by an exquisite stock of highly-figured exhibition grade Turkish walnut in the Bolliger Custom style. It is equipped with a Swarovski Z8i 1.7-13.3X42 scope.It comes with a custom credenza for display, donated by Tom Julian and Sons, built from hand-selected figured walnut, with accessories including custom tools, cleaning rod and accessories along with scope storage.The .338 Winchester Magnum is the classic American caliber for this top of the line exhibition rifle that would be the pride of any gunroom. John R. Bolliger“It has been an honor being a part of the World Heritage Rifle Series. This rifle will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s hard to explain the joy working side by side with my father once again creating this stunning rifle dedicated to the country we both love and treasure so much,” says Bolliger.For more information, contact John R. Bolliger at 208-241-6417 and visit’t attend the Convention this year? Follow the auctions and bid online. Get approved to bid at register to attend, click here –*** Please use #sciconvention in all your social media coverage.***About the SCI Hunters’ Convention:Safari Club expects upwards of 24,000 international hunters to visitLas Vegas, January 31-February 3, 2018.  The SCI Hunters’ Convention represents the largest and most successful event to raise money for advocacy to protect hunters’ rights. The 2018 Hunters’ Convention will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center with over a million square feet of exhibits and almost 1,000 exhibiting companies.  Book rooms at Becoming an SCI Member:Joining Safari Club International is the best way to be an advocate for continuing our hunting heritage and supporting worldwide sustainable use conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian services. JOIN NOW: Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI has approximately 200 Chapters worldwide and its members represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page or call 520-620-1220 for more information.The post SCI to Auction Rifle Number Five in the Series of Five World Heritage Guns appeared first on

Hunter & Conservationist Sue New Jersey Over Feel-Good Black Bear Hunt Ban

Hunter & Conservationist Sue New Jersey Over Feel-Good Black Bear Hunt BanNew Jersey – -( Today, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, Safari Club International, and Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation filed a legal challenge to New Jersey’s ill-advised closure of state lands to the upcoming black bear hunt.“NJOA is proud to continue the fight for sound wildlife management,” said Ed Markowski, President of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance. “New Jersey sportsmen only want access to the lands they pay for and maintain and for wildlife policy to be free from the special interest agendas of anti-hunting extremists and career politicians who are long on rhetoric and short on science.”“New Jersey has held successful and scientifically-sound black bear hunts since 2010, but this year the new democrat governor Phil Murphy promised to stop the hunt regardless of what the state’s own wildlife professionals decide,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “SCI and its partners have battled to protect New Jersey’s bear hunt since 2004 and we will continue to support science-based management over emotion-driven decisions.”“It’s a sad day when a governor willingly puts his own constituents at risk just to fulfill a campaign promise to a vocal minority,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “This is political pandering at its finest. Governor Murphy knows that the wildlife experts in his own agencies use the best available science and practices when evaluating wildlife populations and hunting regulations. It is a slap in the face to the state’s biologists and wildlife managers who have spent their entire careers working on these issues, only to have a politician tell them ‘I know better.’”The lawsuit’s claims include:that the State violated New Jersey law by banning black bear hunting on state-managed lands without scientific or policy justification, but instead in fulfillment of a campaign promise;that the State violated federal law by diverting the use of state-managed lands away from the uses mandated by funding laws and agreement with the federal government;that the State violated other substantive and procedural laws and requirements in banning black bear hunting on state-managed lands, including by failing to take public comment or consider scientific evidence.NJOA, SCI and the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation filed the lawsuit in New Jersey state court.As part of this effort, the organizations are interested in hearing from New Jersey hunters (both residents and nonresidents) who had plans to hunt black bears on public lands this fall. If you are a member of one of the three organizations and have been affected by the closure, please contact that organization using the email addresses provided below.About NJOA: New Jersey Outdoor Alliance’s mission is “preservation through conservation.” NJOA serves as a grassroots coalition of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen dedicated to the conservation of natural resources and environmental stewardship that champions the intrinsic value of fishing, hunting and trapping, among opinion leaders, policy makers, and the public at-large. To join NJOA, make a financial contribution toward NJOA’s efforts or learn more about the organization, please visit: For media inquiries, contact Cody McLaughlin at [email protected] SCI: Safari Club International represents 50,000 members and all hunters in the fight to protect hunting opportunities and access. SCI’s mission is to protect the freedom to hunt and to promote wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI has gone to court many times over the past fifteen years to advocate for New Jersey’s management of bears through regulated hunting. To become a member of SCI or make a financial donation to help SCI’s litigation efforts, please visit, members wishing to provide information to SCI lawyers about how the public lands closure affects their ability to hunt should contact Jeremy Clare at [email protected] the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. The Sportsmen’s Alliance was specifically created to protect the outdoor heritage from animal-rights activists and organizations seeking to end those pursuits and undermine the nation’s conservation model. The Alliance partners with other organizations, such as SCI and NJOA, to provide a unified and formidable legal front, and has done so in New Jersey for bears many times, as well as in all 50 states, the courts and at the ballot box. To join the Alliance click here, or to donate to the Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund click here. For media inquiries, contact Brian Lynn at [email protected] post Hunter & Conservationist Sue New Jersey Over Feel-Good Black Bear Hunt Ban appeared first on

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