Zinke Forms National Hunting, Shooting Council To Advise DOI, USDA

A new national hunting council has been formed to advise federal land and wildlife overseers on issues near and dear to sportsmen.

Nominations are now open for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s just-announced Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council.

HUNTERS DISCUSS THE DAY AROUND A CAMPFIRE IN THE OKANOGAN-WENATCHEE NATIONAL FOREST. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

It’s charged with providing Zinke and the head of the USDA/USFS with “advice regarding the establishment and implementation of existing and proposed policies and authorities with regard to wildlife and habitat conservation.”

The advisory panel is scheduled to meet twice a year. Nominations can be sent to joshua_winchell@fws.gov.

“The Council will be made up of experts that share their knowledge, experience, and recommendations on a number of policy proposals put before them, as well as helping the Departments come up with innovative ideas to improve the health of wildlife and their habitat and increase sportsmen access on public and private lands,” said Zinke in a press release out this morning.

Among the polices and programs he and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will be looking for recommendations on improving and expanding are those that:

  • Conserve and restore wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, forests, and range land habitats;
  • Promote opportunities and expand access to hunting and shooting sports on public and private lands;
  • Encourages hunting and shooting safety by developing ranges on public lands;
  • Recruit and retain new shooters and hunters;
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation and the social and economic benefits of hunting and shooting;
  • Encourage coordination among the public, hunting and shooting sports community, wildlife conservation groups, state, tribal, territorial, and federal government.

Zinke, whose accomplishments for fishing and hunting over his first 10 months as secretary are touted in the press release, was the subject of a recent article by Outdoor Life editor Andrew McKean, which is well worth the read.

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