EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation is pleased that Interior Secretary Zinke has recently reaffirmed the states’ primary authority to manage fish and wildlife within their borders, including on Department of Interior lands. In a recent memo to staff, Zinke reminded them of the states’ authority and directed agencies to defer to the states for management whenever possible. He also directed a review of their policies and practices to ensure alignment with the directive.
“State wildlife agencies have the expertise, staff and resources to best manage the wildlife in their states,” said NWTF CEO Becky Humphries. “Reaffirmation of this expertise and authority by Secretary Zinke will result in positive benefits for wildlife and sportsmen.” A likely result of the agency review may be additional hunting opportunities on federal properties, like National Wildlife Refuges. Additionally, habitat management on federal lands may better align with strategies to achieve state agency wildlife population goals.
The NWTF encourages state wildlife agencies to take advantage of this opportunity. We look forward to working with the Interior and state wildlife agencies to achieve greater conservation results and opportunities for sportsmen and women.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.