Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 86

A Refuge Opportunity Check the rules and you’ll often find hidden opportunities for public hunting in these American gems T by Patricia Stockdill The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act has opened doors of opportunity for nearly 20 years. In states like North Dakota, though, the door was already open. Yet the federal legislation defined U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) missions, goals and purposes, appropriate uses, and wildlife-dependent recreation -- including hunting and fishing. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Don Young, (R-Alaska), was signed into law in 1997. It specifically defined six authorized Page 86, Dakota Country, October 2016 purposes -- hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation -- when they are deemed compatible with a particular refuge mission. Standards and defined process were developed for refuge managers to follow when a particular use was requested, such as turkey hunting. The bottom line: It opened a multitude of doors for hunting and fishing opportunities across the United States, even though it took several years www.dakotacountrymagazine.com