US Interior Department expands hunting opportunities at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

FILE - People gather with their binoculars at the Bear River Refuge outside of Brigham City. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
FILE – A sign greets visitors at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge along the Great Salt Lake that also doubles as a hunting opportunity, southwest of Brigham City, Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2003. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Hunting opportunities in Box Elder County’s Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge have been expanded. According to the Associated Press, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has expanded hunting and fishing in 30 national wildlife refuges across the country.

Hunting at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge near Brigham City will include more existing migratory game birds and upland game hunting. Those birds include ducks, geese, pheasants, tundra swans and water birds called coots. The birds can be hunted there with a special permit from the State of Utah.

FILE – A great blue heron wanders at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge along the Great Salt Lake, southwest of Brigham City, Utah, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2003. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, established in 1928, encompasses 74,000 acres where the Bear River enters the Great Salt Lake in Box Elder County. Over 200 bird species, totaling millions of birds each year, visit the refuge on their migrations north and south. Some of them use the area for their nesting phase.

In a statement, Zinke says that hunters are an important source of revenue for conservation projects. Additionally, Interior officials say that 40 percent of the population aged 16 and older do wildlife activities like hunting, fishing and birding. Officials with the wildlife refuge system say the hunting expansions fit with current wildlife-management goals.

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