Animal welfare groups had challenged plan on procedural grounds
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A federal district court has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can move ahead with plans to open 70 refuges across the country for waterfowl hunting. The plan was opposed by some animal rights groups, including the Fund for Animals and the Humane Society, arguing that refuges should be focused on conservation. They filed a lawsuit challenging the decision.
But Ducks Unlimited, which joined with similar groups to intervene in the case on behalf of hunters, said the decision will help protect the country’s waterfowl hunting heritage.
After the ruling, Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall said he supported the decision and reaffirmed DU’s support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“Ducks Unlimited and its members have always been strong supporters of the National Wildlife Refuge System, whether it is through participating in the purchase of duck stamps or through directly partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” Hall said. “I’m pleased this ruling will allow the USFWS to continue its mission of managing and conserving waterfowl and other wildlife along with offering quality wildlife-related recreation opportunities to the American public.”
The lawsuit dates back to 2003. The groups challenged the federal government on procedural grounds, claiming the Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t adequately review the hunting plan.
Due to the serious implications this lawsuit could have on the ability of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage waterfowl and hunting on refuge lands, Ducks Unlimited joined efforts to defend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s position. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats.
Filed under: federal government, hunting, public lands, recreation, wetlands, wildlife Tagged: | Ducks Unlimited, Environment, Fund for Animals, Humane Society, National Wildlife Refuge hunting, public lands, Summit County News