Agriculture, Interior Secretaries Initiate President’s Enhanced Hunting And Land Conservation Opportunities
President Bush’s Executive Order today directs coordination among federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture and Interior, to work directly with the Sporting Conservation Council promoting expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat. The Sporting Conservation Council, a federally chartered advisory committee, advises the departments of Interior and Agriculture on wildlife conservation issues such as hunting access, education, healthy landscapes, and energy development.
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will direct their federal departments to evaluate trends in hunting participation and implement actions that will expand and enhance hunting opportunities for the public and establish goals to conserve and manage wildlife habitats for healthy and productive populations of game animals. Together, the Departments of Agriculture and Interior manage nearly 700 million acres of land in the United States.
“The President’s direct encouragement of opportunities for conservation and management of land and wildlife recognizes a vital role that perpetuates a natural balance among hunter, habitat and wildlife,” said Agriculture Secretary Johanns.
“The Executive Order from the President recognizes that outdoor activities, like hunting, can provide tremendous benefits to both individuals and to wildlife conservation. Hunters connect with the environment and become stronger stewards in their efforts to conserve that environment,” said Interior Secretary Kempthorne.
“The Sporting Conservation Council appreciates the President’s recognition of the importance of hunters and hunting in preserving America’s wildlife. The conference will go a long way in enhancing that legacy,” said Council chairman Robert Model.
The President’s Executive Order convenes within one year a White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy that will meet periodically to develop a comprehensive ten year Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan follow-through on the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and management of game species and their habitats.
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