More federal land is being opened up for fishing and hunting in Iowa as part of the Trump administration’s move to make public land more accessible.
Margaret Everson, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says 1.4 million acres were added to open areas this year, including at Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge east of Des Moines.
Everson says, “We’ve expanded 300 acres here for new opportunities for white tail deer for example, for pheasants, being able to, again, open new areas that have not been open before.” The Department of the Interior will also allow more big game hunting at De Soto Bend in western Iowa.
Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam says making that land accessible to the public promotes outdoor recreation and conservation. Putnam says, “Without that connection to the land, we’re not going to have a strong base of support for protecting the environment going forward.”
Federal officials say they’re also trying to match state and federal regulations to encourage more hunting and fishing.
(Thanks to Grant Gerlock, Iowa Public Radio)