The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed opening three Oregon national wildlife refuges to hunting for the first time.
The three are Baskett Slough west of Salem off Highway 22 and Nestucca Bay and Siletz Bay National Wildlife refuges on the coast.
If approved, the three would be open to migratory bird hunting.
The announcement drew praise from the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association.
“The fact that half of the nation’s refuges proposed for new hunting are right here in Oregon will be an economic boom for our state,” Liz Hamilton, the association executive director, says in a press release. “There are numerous studies that show outdoor recreation is an important economic driver for the Oregon economy.”
The proposals were published Sept. 24 in the Federal Register which started the clock on a month-long public-comment period. You can submit comments online at www.regulations.gov/#!home
After the comment period, service officials will review them and take them into consideration when updating the proposed rules.
The three Oregon refuges are among six nationwide where hunting and fishing would be allowed for the first time, along with expansion of current hunting and fishing programs at 20 additional refuges.
Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 329 wildlife refuges. Fishing is permitted on more than 271 wildlife refuges.
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