Sec. Zinke Issues Order to Expand Hunting, Fishing on Federal Lands

Rep. Ryan Zinke
AP Photo/The Great Falls Tribune, Rion Sanders

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a September 15 order to expand hunting and fishing opportunities on federal lands around the country.

The order–Order No. 3356–sets in motion a plans to expand hunting and fishing opportunities by mandating studies and reports on where and how hunting and fishing can be expanded. To that end, the order “mandates the Department to submit reports, upon the Secretary’s approval, to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council for their respective responses and recommendations.” It also “instructs the Department to identify within 30 days, specific actions concerning recreational hunting and fishing on public lands and waters, habitat improvement, predator management, and access to public lands and waters.”

Zinke quoted President Theodore Roosevelt in order, writing:

As President Theodore Roosevelt recognized, “in a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.” For generations, countless Americans have hunted and fished across the Nation’s natural landscapes and waters, enjoying opportunities steeped in traditions, rich in history, and integral to meeting many subsistence and sustenance needs, while also providing an effective means of managing various populations of wildlife species.

The reference to Roosevelt demonstrates Zinke’s understanding that hunting and fishing is a key component of conservation; that hunters and fisherman help keep animal populations as levels suitable for habitation continuation.

On March 3, 2017, Breitbart News reported that one of Zinke’s first acts as Interior Secretary was to repeal an Obama-era lead ban. The ban was a last minute move put forward during Obama’s final days in office. The lifting of the ban has been followed by efforts to expand hunting and fishing opportunities, with Order No. 3356 being only the latest example.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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