Making good on one of his earliest promises, Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356 which will serve as an extension of Secretarial Order 3347, which he issued on his first day in office.
The newest order sets out to support and expand outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans, enhance conservation stewardship and improve wildlife management.
“Hunting and fishing is a cornerstone of the American tradition and hunters and fishers of America are the backbone of land and wildlife conservation,” said Secretary Zinke. “The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands. As someone who grew up hunting and fishing on our public lands – packing bologna sandwiches and heading out at 4AM with my dad – I know how important it is to expand access to public lands for future generations. Some of my best memories are hunting deer or reeling in rainbow trout back home in Montana, and I think every American should be able to have that experience.
“Today’s Secretarial Order is the latest example of how the Trump Administration is actively moving to support hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation on public lands. This means finding ways to expand hunting and fishing on public lands, improving access, and taking necessary actions to facilitate the enjoyment of these time-honored activities by any member of our society.”
Secretarial Order 3356 directs bureaus within the department to:
- Within 120 days produce a plan to expand access for hunting and fishing on BLM, USFWS and NPS land.
- Amend national monument management plans to ensure the public’s right to hunt, fish and target shoot.
- Expand educational outreach programs for underrepresented communities such as veterans, minorities, and youth.
- In a manner that respects the rights and privacy of the owners of non-public lands, identify lands within their purview where access to Department lands, particularly access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other forms of outdoor recreation, is currently limited (including areas of Department land that may be impractical or effectively impossible to access via public roads or trails under current conditions, but where there may be an opportunity to gain access through an easement, right-of-way, or acquisition), and provide a report detailing such lands to the Deputy Secretary.
- Within 365 days, cooperate, coordinate, create, make available, and continuously update online a single “one stop” Department site database of available opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on Department lands.
- Improve wildlife management through collaboration with state, Tribal, territorial, and conservation partners.
The order is being praised by many members of the hunting, angling and conservation communities including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the NRA and many others.