Great hunting news travels even to the most remote locations as I sit here typing from an Idaho elk camp. But the latest news is no surprise as NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) Executive Director Chris Cox has advised hunters and NRA members repeatedly to have faith in fellow sportsman and U.S. Secretary of the Interior (SOI) Ryan Zinke since being confirmed to his position in March.
“The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands,” Zinke explained in an official DOI news release. “As someone who grew up hunting and fishing on our public lands—packing bologna sandwiches and heading out at 4 a.m. with my dad—I know how important it is to expand access to public lands for future generations. Some of my best memories are hunting deer or reeling in rainbow trout back home in Montana, and I think every American should be able to have that experience.”
Demonstrating Zinke’s staunch commitment to sportsmen, SO 3356 is one of numerous positive changes resulting from the tireless work of NRA-ILA, millions of NRA members and other like-minded sportsmen’s organizations during the 2016 elections to put new government leadership in place. As noted in his recent Fox News article, NRA-ILA’s Cox continues to applaud President Trump’s appointment of Zinke, marking the end to a hostile era toward American hunters and sportsmen.
"On behalf of the five million hunters, recreational shooters and members of the NRA, we commend Secretary Zinke for continuing to follow Teddy Roosevelt's sportsman legacy by opening more land and water to hunting and target shooting," said Cox, following the DOI announcement on Friday. "In the past, management plans for federal lands have been put in place to ban hunting and shooting. Sportsmen and women can now breathe a sigh of relief that those days are over. This administration values access to public lands for sportsmen and we commend them for it."
Within 120 days produce a plan to expand access for hunting and fishing on BLM, USFWS and NPS land.
Amend national monument management plans to ensure the public's right to hunt, fish and target shoot.
Expand educational outreach programs for underrepresented communities such as veterans, minorities and youth.
In a manner that respects the rights and privacy of the owners of non-public lands, identify lands within their purview where access to Department lands, particularly access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and other forms of outdoor recreation, is currently limited (including areas of Department land that may be impractical or effectively impossible to access via public roads or trails under current conditions, but where there may be an opportunity to gain access through an easement, right-of-way or acquisition) and provide a report detailing such lands to the Deputy Secretary.
Within 365 days, cooperate, coordinate, create, make available and continuously update online a single “one stop” Department site database of available opportunities for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on Department lands.
Improve wildlife management through collaboration with state, Tribal, territorial and conservation partners.