August 29, 2017
Secretary Zinke Proclaims August National Shooting Sports Month
Secretary Zinke’s Statement:
“I grew up in the mountains of northwest Montana, where I spent my time hunting and fishing on our shared public lands. I was lucky to take my boys out on the same land that my dad and granddad took me. Today I’m focused on continuing that tradition by announcing this August, and every August under my leadership at Interior will be proclaimed National Shooting Sports Month.
“As an NRA Lifetime Member and the steward of our public lands, one of my top priorities is to open up access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down the heritage. We are expanding access to hunting on public lands and wildlife refuges and also exploring ideas for more ranges on public lands. The last thing I want to see is hunting and fishing become elite sports.
“Lastly, as a retired U.S. Navy SEAL Commander, I know the importance of the Second Amendment and I know the responsibility that goes along with firearm ownership. I know that as a community sportsmen take the responsibility of firearm ownership and safety very seriously, and that we all work to instill that respect to our kids and grandkids.”
Secretary Zinke’s Leadership at Interior:
- Secretary Zinke signed an order on his first day in office to begin the process of expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands
- Also on his first day in office, Zinke signed an order to end the Obama-era ban on lead shot and tackle.
- Secretary Zinke Expands Hunting and Fishing Opportunities at 10 National Wildlife Refuges
- Secretary Zinke Supports Acceptance of 3,595 Acres of Wilderness for Sportsmen’s Access to Sabinoso Wilderness Area in New Mexico
In addition to the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs these sports generate for the U.S. economy, the shooting sports industry also generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually in excise taxes through the sale of firearms, ammunition, bow arrows and other shooting accessories. These funds are passed on to the states through the Wildlife Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and form the bedrock of state wildlife conservation efforts. Since 1937, this program has distributed more than $12 billion billion to states for projects to restore, conserve, manage, and enhance wildlife and their habitats; provide access to America’s wild places; fund hunter education programs; and develop and manage shooting ranges.