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Interior Plans Largest Hunting Expansion After Virus Over

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The Interior Department is proposing to let hunters and anglers kill more migratory birds and other animals in wildlife refuges—an opportunity to “celebrate” victory over the coronavirus pandemic in the fall, Interior officials said Wednesday.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to open for expanded hunting and fishing 2.3 million acres of federal land within 97 national wildlife refuges and 9 fish hatcheries.

The move, which Interior says it the largest single expansion in FWS history, is part of a rulemaking updating hunting and sport fishing regulations for national wildlife refuges for the 2020-2021 hunting season.

“Once the Trump Administration’s effort to eliminate the threat of COVID-19 has been successful, there will be no better way to celebrate than to get out and enjoy increased access for hunting and fishing on our public lands,” Fish and Wildlife Service chief Aurelia Skipwith said in

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