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Director Steve Williams with rifle, hunting

FWS Director Steve Williams hunting in North Dakota,
FWS Photo by Ryan Hagerty

Director Steve William speaks to the Western Outdoor Writers (October 22, 2004)

Director Steve William speaks to the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (October 7, 2004)

Director Williams speaks to the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (September 11, 2004)

Other Speeches




U S Fish and Wildlife Service

Hunting and Fishing

Father and son hunting at dawn, Credit USFWSOver the past few years, the Fish and Wildlife Service has made great strides reaching out to the hunting and fishing community. Through word and deed we are working to enhance hunting and fishing opportunities and to support the inherent value to conservation that these activities bring.

In the news.

Get involved.

Comprehensive Conservation Plans guide the management of your National Wildlife Refuges, including hunting and fishing opportunities. Learn how you can have a voice in developing plans at a Refuge near you.

Improving hunting and fishing access to federal lands.

  • Together with the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and 17 sportsmen organizations, the Service developed an agreement that will improve access for hunters and Hunter in wheel chair underneath a hunting tent at Bombay Hook NWR, Smyrna, Delaware, Credit Steve Farrel USFWSanglers on Federally-managed public lands.
  • With the National Wild Turkey Federation's Wheelin' Sportsmen program, we are promoting improved hunting and fishing access for disabled outdoor enthusiasts on National Wildlife Refuges.
  • Since 2001, the Service has established more than 60 new hunting and fishing programs on National Wildlife Refuges across the country. With the creation of new hunting and fishing programs on four more refuges and expanded opportunities on seven others, the Service now offers hunting opportunities on 308 refuges and recreational fishing on 270 refuges enhancing access and opportunity for millions of Americans to enjoy their favorite outdoor traditions.
  • In 2003, the Service established the first deer management hunt on the grounds of its training center in West Virginia.

Protecting and restoring habitat.

  • By the end of the year, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program will have restored 1.7 million wetland and upland acres, providing valuable habitat for migrating waterfowl and other game and non-game species.
  • In Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005, the Coastal Program will continue to work with more than 300 partners to restore at least 57,000 acres of wetlands and grasslands adding to the more than 900,000 acres already restored.Man fishing with his dog before sunset, Credit USFWS
  • The Fish Passage Program is dedicated to the removal of waterway obstructions that restrict the passage of trout, herring, striped bass, shad, sturgeon, salmon, and other fish species. An additional 91 barriers to fish passage are slated for removal this year.
  • Through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program (March 2004 Program Update), the Service is distributing more than $260 million to states to support conservation programs in the states as well as boating access. Another $200 million is being distributed to the states for wildlife restoration through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration program.
  • The North American Wetlands Conservation Program was established in 1989 to provide seed money for the Service and its partners including the state fish and wildlife agencies and important conservation organizations to achieve, in part, the goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The conservation of important wetland habitat is necessary to ensure healthy populations of waterfowl and other migratory birds. In addition, wetland also serve a critical role by improving water quality and reducing the occurrence of flooding. The Administration requested $54 million for the 2005 fiscal year, an increase of $16.5 million over the amount appropriated for this program in the 2004 fiscal year. For every $1 made available to the Service's state partners, conservation organizations, and private landowners, the public-private partnership program generates another $3 that is used to establish or enhance habitat benefiting waterfowl and many other species, including fish, plants, and non-game wildlife.

Looking ahead.

  • Our FY 2005 budget request illustrates our continued commitment to programs that directly benefit fish Women fishing in the evening, Credit USFWSand wildlife and therefore hunters and anglers.
  • $54 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, a public-private partnership program used to establish or enhance habitat benefiting waterfowl and other wildlife species.
  • $43.3 million for the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, used to acquire migratory bird breeding, resting, and wintering areas.
  • $80 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants that provide a new source of income that can be used for non-game management needs, freeing up revenue from hunting and fishing licenses and other sources to be used for game species management.

In order to conserve healthy wildlife resources, we depend on the support of those who are equally invested in this goal. Hunters and anglers, who are often called the original conservationists, are among our greatest partners. Together we can fulfill the Fish and Wildlife Service's mission to protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit Angler holding a fish, Credit USFWS of the American people.

For more information:

Visit our hunting page

Visit our fishing page

Visit the Department of the Interior page, "Improving Opportunities for Hunters and Anglers"

Visit the Fish and Wildlife Service home page

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