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Wildlife Refuges, Not Hunters’ Playgrounds

October 16th, 2013 by Anja Heister

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Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) wants to turn even more wildlife refuges into playgrounds for hunters and other “consumptive users” of wild animals.

The U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System includes 550 national wildlife refuges, thousands of waterfowl protection areas and four marine national monuments, totaling more than 150 million acres. Despite being called “refuges”, more than half of all national wildlife refuges are already open to hunters, trappers and anglers.

Consumptive users also have millions of acres of public and private lands outside the refuge system available to them to pursue their frivolous and violent activities of “recreational” trophy hunting and fishing, and trapping for fur. They should not be allowed in refuges, which often are the last remaining places for animal species already struggling for survival.

Furthermore, as the USFWS’s own 2011 survey has shown, wildlife watchers have already well outpaced and outspent wildlife killing interests. Wildlife watchers are a growing economic force, and their overwhelming preference to see living animals needs to be considered and respected.

Wildlife refuges, as the name indicates, should be true sanctuaries for wild animals where they are sheltered from the killing spree that surrounds them.

What You Can Do:

Please copy and paste the comment below to the USFWS and tell them that hunting, trapping and fishing should not be allowed in national wildlife refuges at all.

Please follow these steps to send your comment to the USFWS:

1. Click here to submit your comments:

2. Copy and paste the text below into the comment section

3. Please personalize your comments – 5000 characters max.

4. Choose whether you want to provide your contact info, and if so, fill out the boxes— if not, click on “continue”

5. Preview and check the box that says, “I read and understand the statement above”

6. Click on “Submit comment”

Dear Director Dan Ashe,

As a supporter of In Defense of Animals (IDA), and a wildlife advocate who enjoys wildlife watching, I strongly oppose your proposal to add several national wildlife refuges (NWRs)
to the list of areas open for hunting and/or sport fishing, and to increase hunting and fishing activities in even more refuges.
More than half of the 550 NWRs are already open to wildlife killing activities. Hunters, trappers and anglers also have millions of acres of public and private lands outside the refuge system available to them to pursue their frivolous and violent activities of killing animals for recreation, trophy hunting, fishing and fur.

Consumptive users are a minority, and they are no longer the chief financiers of conservation as they often claim to be. As your own 2011 survey has shown, wildlife watchers have already well outpaced and outspent wildlife killing interests. Wildlife watchers are a growing economic force, and their overwhelming preference to see living animals needs to be considered and respected.

I request that my interest in watching living wild animals be considered in making any decisions on wildlife treatment in refuges, which are often the last remaining places for animal species already struggling for survival.

As the name indicates, wildlife refuges should be true sanctuaries for wild animals where they are sheltered from the killing spree that surrounds them. I ask that you close all wildlife refuges to hunting, trapping and fishing. Thank you.

 

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