Right now, with deer seasons heating up across the country, the federal government has issued directives to close accessible public lands while the government is shut down.
At stake are millions of acres of public land administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and the like. According to the United States Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) these agencies are being told to close access to their lands because of the standoff taking place over funding the federal government.
“These lands are generally accessible to the public without special entrance fees, passage through gates, or access via controlled roads or waterways,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA President and CEO. “Not only are these closures unnecessary, they run contrary to law. This is ‘political theatre’ at its very worst.”
The USSA has delivered a letter to President Obama demanding that these closures be lifted to allow American hunters to do our thing.
These closures are occurring on lands where federal law mandates hunting, and where hunting is statutorily determined to be a “priority public use.” Lack of an agreement on a federal budget does not terminate the effect of the law, which clearly allows for hunting.
“It’s a shame that these closures are being implemented as a punishment against sportsmen and women,” said Pinizzotto. “These lands are our lands, and American sportsmen and women—and the general public—deserve better than this.”
What do you think of this mess? Has your hunting been affected yet, or will it? The shutdown will surely end soon, but even one more day that a guy can’t get out and hunt a buck on OUR LAND is a shame.