Conservation groups blast "tone deaf" decision to expand hunting and fishing area during pandemic

The Trump administration has been criticized after revealing plans to open more land for hunting and fishing.

The proposals were described as "tone deaf" by one conservation group which says officials should be focusing on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Announced on April 9th, the plans would open 2.3 million acres of land.

Western Values Project director Jayson O’Neill told ABC:

“Instead of responding to pleas by state and local officials for needed agency resources, assistance, and help during this generational pandemic, Secretary Bernhardt made a tone-deaf announcement that by no means could ever make up for the hunting opportunities and wildlife lost as a result of Trump’s deregulatory agenda decimating our public lands and environmental protections."

The plans would allow fishing at wildlife refuges in San Diego Bay, Alamosa, Bombay Hook and New Hampshire sites.

Announcing the plans, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said:

“America’s hunters and anglers now have something significant to look forward to in the fall as we plan to open and expand hunting and fishing opportunities across more acreage nationwide than the entire state of Delaware,”

There are around 50 days left to comment on proposals.

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