Federal Court Rules in Favor of Hunting on Wildlife Refuges

Hunters won a major victory yesterday when a federal court ruled in favor of allowing hunting on dozens of national wildlife refuges.

From this press release from Ducks Unlimited:
Ducks Unlimited and waterfowl hunters across the nation are celebrating today's federal district court ruling that supports the opening of waterfowl hunting on a number of public lands. Today's ruling from the Northern Federal Court District of Ohio will help ensure that our country's waterfowl hunting heritage will be protected. DU joined with Safari Club International and others to intervene in this action on behalf of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they attempted to open waterfowl hunting on almost 70 national wildlife refuges around the country. The action was opposed by anti-hunting interests in a lawsuit. 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."
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_The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2003 by organizations philosophically opposed to hunting, attempted to end hunting activities on multiple public lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System by alleging that the refuges had not gone through the proper environmental review process. 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.

The lawsuit was also opposed by Safari Club International, Delta Waterfowl, the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation, the California Waterfowl Association and the Izaak Walton League of America.